-Proof that Neal Pollack is a fraud as a performer is that he picks only safe, uncompetitive outlets like Philadelphia's yearly ultra-lame preppy "215 Festival," the Class D of literary readings; the cashmere sweater set which excludes the top local talent to ensure none of their privileged participants will be upstaged by the genuine article. (Face it: Neal was originally someone's wry joke; that person's stooge.)
-Nice to see cultural Overdogs have belatedly recognized folk music (with movie soundtracks made up of 70 year-old songs). But what about folk literature? The New Yorker will be writing article about Jack Saunders and Wild Bill Blackolive in the year 2074, two grass roots heroes alive now.
-Year's worst literary website has to be MrBellersNeighborhood, which so well fulfills expectations of New York City trust fund poseurs.
-Enemies of mine should know there's a new book out containing a chapter which trashes me badly without naming me. (Full of lies of course.)
-It appears that Keith Gessen has found a way to publish the infamous killed Atlantic article which Dave Eggers squelched. The question is whether it's been edited or updated. Anyone read it? (I'm waiting for Eggers groupie "Don't Make Waves" Maud to address the topic.)
-Speaking of which, Lauren Cerand, whoever she is, seems to be New York City's most shameless literary suck-up. Which is saying a lot, considering how much competition for the designation there is in that town; one million demi-puppets fawning over the lit-gods. (It's like selecting the city's rudest cabdriver. How does one choose?) I mean, Cerand works at it: non-stop groveling, embarrassing to watch. (For truth-in-advertising the blog in question should be renamed "Sycophantasia: Adventures in Crawling.")
-Rumor is the Philadelphia Independent has folded. It actually contained some good articles at times, which were obscured by the paper's McSweeney's-wannabe look and tone. Had it dropped the pretentious smugness and been more gritty, more Philly, it might've done better-- but who knows?
MORAL: There are other players in this city besides the Eggers gang. The McSweeney's appeal always was limited. (Even when done by children, constant showing-off gets old-- "look at me! aren't I cute?"-- even quicker when done by adults.)