Monday, April 19, 2010

Believer notes

I. Out now: You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice, edited by contributing editor Eric Spitznagel. The SFBG quotes Zach Galifianakis’ “ways to kick-start a satisfying life”:

1. Start reading Teen People

2. Rent a stretch Hummer to go see Noam Chomsky speak

3. Model your life after the movie Sideways, but instead of wine make your passion Mountain Dew

4. Ask a state trooper where the closest gay bar is

5. Have a Super Bowl party with no television

II. Not too late to get the Believer's film issue! The Karpo Godina DVD is

III. Speaking of the film issue—Salon will occasionally be featuring McSweeney's content. Up now: Elif "The Possessed" Batuman's "Seven Unproduced Screenplays by Famous Intellectuals," also in the current issue (film) of The Believer. (But you should still get the issue itself.) Here's a taste:

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer

In Los Angeles in the 1940s, Frankfurt School philosophers Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer spent nearly six years working on a screenplay about prejudice. The final draft, titled "Below the Surface," features a violent commotion on a subway car, during which a woman carrying a vacuum cleaner either falls or is pushed onto the tracks. A one-legged peddler tries to rally the passengers against a Jewish man, who had previously jostled him. At the end of the film, the audience is to be polled regarding the guilt or innocence of the Jew; other audiences might be shown a similar film in which the Jew would be substituted by a "Negro" or a "Gentile white-collar worker." "Below the Surface" was batted around Hollywood for years, subjected to numerous scriptwriting consultations, and pitched to the likes of Jack Warner and Elia Kazan. It was never produced.

IV. In the NYTBR, David "Reality Hunger" Shields likes Ander Monson's Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir, which features material first published in The Believer. Shields writes, "Memoir is dead. Long live the anti-memoir, built from scraps."

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