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View Diary: The Morning F Bomb (72 comments)

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    Really, most paintings have a lot more impact in person than they do as reproductions. That's certainly true of Starry Night -- I try to see that whenever I can.

    But I think the one that surprised me the most was Grant Wood's American Gothic. It's so iconic and so widely parodied that, once you first get the general outline in your head, you don't really look at it any more. I saw it in person as an adult, since it's in Chicago, and it just stopped me in my tracks. I cannot explain why it's so funny (I guess you have to see it!), but it literally and without exaggeration made me laugh out loud.

    I have never read Mein Kampf, nor half of today's authors. Really, I am surprised at the support Jane Austen is getting in this thread. Her novels are entertaining, in a soapy kind of way, but I'm not sure I think they're great literature. I guess that wasn't the question, though. To me, her plot gets more and more complicated, the number of pages left to resolve it is getting dangerously small, and all of a sudden, she apparently gets tired of writing about it and dispenses with the whole batch of difficulties in a page and a half. It reminds me of the old Michael O'Donoghue NatLamp piece, "How to Write Good", in which he advises novelists to end with either "And then they woke up. It had all been a dream!" or "And then they all got hit by a bus." I believe this opinion speaks more to my OCD than to Jane Austen's talent.

    I like Hunter Thompson. I can't help it.

    The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
    Caviar is fish eggs. I don't believe it should be eaten by humans.

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