Volume I, Issue 26
December 1 - December 8, 1997
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Human-rights journalist Danny Schechter's media-bashing book, "The More You Watch, the Less You Know," could turn the author into an outcast or a hero. 
Once Old, New Again
"New Journalism" is on display in John McPhee's latest book of essays. 
Blake de Pastino
Gus Bailey's back in town and Dominick Dunne's back in show biz. 
Cult poet Paul Metcalf maps new territory as he mines America's past. 
Nashville's history preserved on postcards. 
Marc Stengel & Christopher Scribner
Cultural critic Thomas Frank wonders if the ad-men of the 1960s were hipper than the hippies. 
Before he died at the age of 22, Dan Eldon traveled the world and accomplished a great deal. His journals tell an impressive story. 
Nicols Fox's "Spoiled" is a disquieting and utterly convincing exposť of the American way of producing and eating food. 
In his "Notes from the Underground," Stephen Duncombe wonders if you can change a world you don't want to join. 
A Double Shot of Wry
A visit to the Austin home of crime and science fiction author Neal Barrett, Jr. 
Review: "Bad Eye Blues"
Neal Barrett, Jr.'s latest
mystery-crime romp. 
The American West as seen through the eyes of some strong women who can kill their own damn snakes. 
f you think today's journalistic standards are inherently weak,
you'll want to read this review of Danny Schecter's new book,
"The More You Watch, The Less You Know." Schecter nails
modern journalism for implicitly kissing up to the power structures
it claims to scrutinize. Unwilling to ruffle feathers, offend
sensibilities, or otherwise take risks, today's journalists willingly
turn themselves into pawns of political manipulators and P.R. people, says Schecter. He lists television as one of the
worst offenders, offering less down-to-earth news and more pablum
with each passing minute. (For other perspectives on television,
see the Film & TV section.)
I always enjoy reading books like Schechter's: they're
spooky, they're thoughtful, and much of the time they're true.
Related attitudes can be found in "Irons in the
Fire," journalist John McPhee's new collection of essays;
and "The Conquest of Cool," Thomas Frank's concerned
analysis of how the consumer world manages to co-opt any and all
rebellious movements, underground art, or other cultural strains. Rage against the system all you want, says Frank -- it won't prevent you from ending up in a Nike ad.
Reviews of other, less Noam Chomsky-inspired works include:
And that's just for starters.
- Dominick Dunne's "Another City, Not My Own," a novel
in the form of a memoir about the O.J. Simpson trial
- A selection of experimental fiction and poetry by Paul Metcalf
- A scary look at the making of modern food, by Nicols Fox
- Neal Barrett, Jr.'s latest science fiction work, "Bad Eye
Blues," as well as an inside look at the author's inspiration
- The journals of a now-deceased world traveler and
artist who packed a full life's worth of experience into his 22
- A book about 'zines by Stephen Duncombe
"Chicanismo" by Ignacio M. Garcia; "Angel Wings" by Nicole Conn; "Pretending the Bed is a Raft" by Nanci Kincaid; "Geronimo's Kids" by Robert S. Ove and H. Henrietta Stockel. 
Jessica English, Leslie Davis, Nicholle Toth
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