The Real Paul Jones

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BBC-TV Blooker story

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature, News of News

WillR reports that he saw the BBC-TV Blooker story last night. It’s online now (or for now). They did a cute trick with video effects that makes it look like you are seeing the series of interviews in a QT player on a large Mac OS X box. You may be, in fact. Well, almost — you can only watch the BBC stream in WinMedia or Real. Julie Powell, our Blooker winner is there, I am there, Russell Davies of Bacon, Egg, Chips & Beans, the anonymous Iraqi blogger (not Saleem Pax) and a rather confused editor from a traditional publisher in LA.
WillR sends this link which didn’t work so well for me. I did a search on Blooker on the BBC site and found the video link in this context which worked fine for me.

Blooker and Jones on NPR Marketplace

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature, News of News

Between returning from the University of Pennsylvania and heading up to Boone for the Odyssey of the Mind competition, I did a bit for Marketplace about the Blooker. Several of my collegues heard it, but not me. Stephen Fraser sent me the link to the story (my/Blooker part begins about 3:30 into the 8:24 segment. Lasts about 1 minute).

Not as bad as I feared.

UPDATE: Stephen sends this better link (if you only want to hear the Blooker segment).

Cooker beats Hooker to win Blooker

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, literature, News of News

As seen in Guardian UK: [with some corrections and additions]. More Blooker winner stories here. And the official Lulu Blooker announcement is here.

Diesel, death and dinosaurs

Overall winner and winner of non-fiction category

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
Julie Powell (Penguin) [and Little, Brown in hardback - pj]
Source blog blogs.salon.com/001399

[A great blook isn't a website shoveled onto paper. Julie and Julia successfully makes the transition and grows as it goes having learned from the blog readers. The deeply personal story here, the story of an obsession, leads us all to see what could be trival and indulgent as a personal and as it turns out communal art, an art of transformation and of conquest (of egg dishes and of selfdoubt). - pj]

Runner-up

Biodiesel Power
Lyle Estill (New Society Publishers)
Source blog www.biofuels.coop/blog

[This blook too is about obcession and drive and community. The blook is printed and bound in the most environmentally friendly manner true to the last drop of ink to the higher goals for the writer. This attention to detail, to harmony inform the writing and the story telling while the self-reflective humor in the stories keep the blook from become preachy and sour. - pj]

Fiction winner

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Cherie Priest (Tor Books)
Source blog http://wicked-wish.livejournal.com

[I am not a reader of the gothic, but this blook captivated me with its gusto, its invocation of a dark South both in mountains and in swamp. Priest can tell a tale and she can write a sentence that competes with the best out there. Stephen King should be very afraid. - pj]

Runner-up

Hackoff.com: An Historic Murder Mystery Set in the Internet Bubble and Rubble
Tom Evslin (dotHill Press)
Source blog www.hackoff.com

Comic books winner

Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection

Zach Miller (Boxcar Books – self-published through Lulu.com)
Source blog www.joeandmonkey.com

[I teach people about the same age as Joe. I thought this comic blook was a non-fiction documentary. The humor cuts to the bone. It's that true. That's why it hurts but you laugh. - pj]

Runner-up

Dinosaur Comics: Huge Eyes, Beaks, Intelligence, and Ambition
Ryan North (CatPrint)
Source blog www.qwantz.com

[A single set of illustrations manipulated into dozens of different stories by the words alone. The art, i mean the skill and imagination, dazzles me at every page turn. Everyone I hand this blook to is delighted and laughing. - pj]

Blooker Winners are out!

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature

It’s Monday somewhere. Specifically in the UK. Stephen Fraser is a little upset that the word of the winners is out already, but hey Lulu didn’t plan an awards ceremony so Monday is midnight GMT if you are a leading UK paper. The Telegraph has their story here. The Independent has theirs here. And USA Today has their story here.

Who was the overall winner? The person who worked as nanny to the only two-time winner of the Booker Prize.

I’m waiting til Monday here in NC to announce any more than that.

Blooker on BBC Outlook

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, literature

On BBC with the Baghdad blogger, Salam Pax, and one of the Africa Fresh contributors, Gaynor Paynter, we talk about what makes a good blook and a good blog and their experience in blogging and blooking. Both have great things to say. Should run on Monday along with revealing the Blooker winners.

Blooker in NYTimes (albeit briefly)

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature

lulu’s Stephen Fraser is delighed to let us know that the Blooker gets a mention in today’s NYTimes Arts, Briefly column just after the section heading Da Vinci and the unstoppable Harry Potter:

Blogs, including the diary of a prostitute and a guide to Britain’s best greasy-spoon cafes, are on the short list of 16 for the inaugural Lulu Blooker Prize, to be announced on Monday, the BBC reported. Sponsored by the self-publishing site Lulu, the Blooker Prize honors blooks, or books from blogs, published in English anywhere in the world.

I note that the NYTimes remains a provincial paper, not doing original Blooker reporting but merely disgesting the news from the motherland (via BBC). The result is that great American finalists don’t get a mention but blooks on bad British habits get the bang.

In Philly, but in a hotel

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, literature, Virtual Communities

As soon as I got in the cab here in Philly, my cell sang the unknown caller song. It was a reporter for USA Today (she’s in SFO) wanting a Blooker interview. She drove around SFO and I rode into Philly doing a tape. Lord
knows what was said, but be assured that the winners were not announced — that’s for Monday afterwhich all this Blookerness may subside.
Many folks are expecting a Blooker Prize Ceremony, but if there is one no one invited me. My tux hangs alone.

BBC Radio tomorrow early on the same subject (this one will run on Monday and may mention the winners).
Open Source and Developing Nations tomorrow at 9 am.
Dinner with the smart folks from University of Pennsylvania and the other speakers.

Blooker mania – Singapore and BBC Outlook

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature

Will be live taping an interview with Peter Shevlin of BBC (Radio) Outlook before my talk at U of Penn law which requires shifting gears between blooks and Open Source and Law. The BBC show will run on Monday — when the Blooker Prize winners are announced.
Also just finished an email interview with Lee Sze Yong of the Straits Times in Singapore — blooker of course. Should show in the Life! and LifeStyle section.

Blogger up for BBC Non-fiction prize

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, literature

As if the Blooker Prize weren’t enough (it’s plenty but there’s room for more), a blook by an anonymous Iraqi blogger is on the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Baghdad Burning by Riverbend is in the final 19 for the 3000 pound purse. (BBC reports on itself).

I note that the Johnson judges are less distinguished than the Blooker judges ;->

Charles Edward Eaton (1916 – 2006)

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, General, literature

Just learned that Charles Edward Eaton has died at age 89. I’ve delighted in Eaton’s poetry for many years. His relaxed formalism and his subject matter which is at once refined and sensual has been not only a joy but a guide. I found his “Work of the Sun” online tonight which while it does not show his favorite form — long relaxed lines rhyming in surprising ways — demonstrates much of his pleasures (and ours).

The first stanza of The Work of the Sun:

Verlaine said the poem slowly rises like the sun,
Spreads over the landscape, a bird that hovers,
Moves on to find and bless a pair of lovers:
The work of the sun is never done.

Charles Edward Eaton Obit in Chapel Hill News.

WSJ – Blooker article

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, literature, News of News

The Wall Street Journal article on the Blooker Prize is out (and will be out in print tomorrow). Great coverage informed I think somewhat by the long phone call to Buenos Aires that I had with the author, Ian Mount, on Wednesday. Cory and I aren’t directly quoted or mentioned (only indirectly) which is okay.
I love that the Executive Editor of Little Brown says first what a hit “Julie and Julia” turned out to be, but then warns other editors and publishers away from blogs (the better to keep that resource to herself?):

Little, Brown Executive Editor Judy Clain, who acquired “Julie and Julia,” says she was amazed by the boost the book got from fans of the blog. “What we underestimated was how huge the audience was,” she says.

Still, not every blogger is a born author. “I don’t think a blog is a great place to look for new writers,” says Ms. Clain, “because there are so many, and so many aren’t very good.”

BBC-TV and Wall Street Journal on Blooker and Jones

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature

Blooker madness continues. After a morning at the doctor, I met up with the two person BBC-TV crew from DC and Stephen Fraser of lulu. We spent about 2 hours shooting in Carroll Hall’s Halls of Fame room. I got to be sitting in Charles Kuralt’s chair during at least part of it. Rozalia Hristova interviewed me about Blooks and the Blooker. Stephen ran out and got a copy of the Blooker overall winner (I can’t tell you what that is yet) as the show, News at 10, will run on or after the April 3rd Blooker winner announcement.
Afterwards, we all went to Bon’s Country Cookin’ where we introduced the BBCers to fried okra, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, and hushpuppies.
During lunch, I had to walk off and take a call from Ian Mount of the Wall Street Journal. Also about the Blooker. Ian is down in Buenos Aires where they have no Wall Street. Ian’s article will run this upcoming Saturday.
I am trying not to get a standard Blooker rap, but it’s becoming unavoidable.

Jones on BBC-TV

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, General, literature, Virtual Communities

Allen and Son
Is there no end to Blooker madness? Yes, on April 3 when we announce the winners. In the meantime, BBC-TV has picked up from the BBC Radio Five lead and is flying a crew down to interview me, in my role as judge, tomorrow.
The question is where to do the interview. In the lovely SILS Library? Outside if the weather holds? Or at Allen and Son BBQ? I’m leaning toward the last.

Dean Bowers suggests the Kuralt Learning Center, a great place. But the BBC-TV want — get this — my office “probably with the
blinds shut (for what the producer describes as a “cyberspace feel”).”
This is why the French and Italians are known for high fashion and the Brits for bowlers.

The Ridge is Blue; the Prose is Purple

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General, literature, News of News

Asheville elumenati David McConville is indignant about the purple prose let loose in the NYTimes Magazine Travel section by Wells Tower.

Tower wants to write about the good things in Asheville/Black Mountain, but his Columbia-trained MFA kills it for the readers. Better to go over to the J-School, Wells.

UPDATE: Check out David’s response in the comment below.

Reviewing Dave Smith by writing about William Matthews

Paul, · Categories: General, literature

Eric McHenry was paid to review Dave Smith’s decade’s worth of poems but he must have wanted badly to write a homage to Willam Matthews (in today’s NYTimes Book Review). In a seven paragraph review of Smith’s Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004, Matthews and his poetry are discussed (occassionally with Smith’s poetry) in four. Hell, Robert Frost gets his own full paragraph. Even Stanley Plumley gets a few sentences. That doesn’t leave much for Smith who suffers in comparison to both Frost and Matthews. Smith doesn’t even get the opening and closing paragraphs — those are for Matthews. The second paragraph is about Smith writing about Matthews. The penultimate, Frost used to find fault in the style of the unnamed Smith.

Now I too miss Bill Matthews and with others I regret his too early death in 1997. But does he need to rise from the grave to show us what Smith lacks? And doesn’t Smith deserve more that one paragraph dedicated to him in a review like this?

Reading a review that is too much about Matthews as a basketball opponent and not enough about Smith as a poet — I call foul.

Bound by Law? is out

Paul, · Categories: Amusements, General, Information Commons, literature, News of News

Bound by Law
James Boyle of Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain writes to remind us that Duke won the ACC Championship (after having lost their last regular season game to UNC) and that the Center’s Bound by Law comix book is now available:

Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has just released “BOUND BY LAW?” – a comic book on copyright and creativity — specifically, documentary film. It is being published today
–March 15 under a Creative Commons License. The comic, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins explores the benefits of copyright in a digital age, but also the threats to cultural history
posed by a permissions culture, and the erosion of fair useand the public domain. You can read or download the whole thing for free or buy hard copies (*on soft paper) from Amazon.

Will a spiky-haired, camera-toting super-heroine… restore decency and common sense to the world of creative endeavor? -Paul Bonner, The Herald-Sun

Bound By Law lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield.
-Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

Blooker v Booker

Paul, · Categories: General, literature

I love Bob Young’s gumption. True, I’m judging the Blooker Prize for his lulu.com venture, but even if I weren’t I’d be admiring his take on how the Blooker will overtake the Booker (now know as Man Booker) in a few years (see the Telegraph UK for one particularly zesty Young performance).
As I look over the press, I see that the Brits love the Blooker. Or at least the Brit press seems to. Lots of coverage from the “small island nation” which has landed two blooks in the contest — one by a callgirl and one on Bacon Egg Chips and Beans.
I am waiting, by the way, for a contest for female writers called the Woman Booker Prize.

BBC on Blooker

Paul, · Categories: General, literature

Am talking with Rhod Sharp instead of Chris Vallance. I’m in DC which makes reading the Dada Alphabet subtitled An Absurdist Illustrated Primer extremely appropriate. Rhod asks about Cheeseburger Brown whose book, Simon of Space, didn’t make the shortlist. I am sad that Cheeseburger and Mimi Smartypants didn’t make the cut. He is excited by Egg Bacon Chips and Beans. We get off track when I mention that the Beans should be replaced by Grits. He is down on grits not having had them properly prepared. I say Grits are polenta before the Italians got hold of them. He’s only had soupy white grits, poor fellow. Back to Blooker. I mention several food related blooks, Julie and Julia, EBCandB, Biodiesel Power. He asks if the blooks have been edited. Most have that I’ve read so far. There are a couple of daunting fatties there tho. Unmemorable chatter and we’re done. Be back in April.

Jones on BBC Tonight

Paul, · Categories: General, Information Commons, literature

Radio Five’s Up All Night’s Pods and Blogs’ Chris Vallance was one of the voice mails that I couldn’t answer whilst blanked out in the World Bank. I did get in touch and I’m to be on Pods and Blogs again tonight after 9:30 EST (US) to talk about the Blooker Shortlist. Mimi Smartypants didn’t make the cut. Neither did the Search nor Ambient Findability.

Blooker Short List Announced

Paul, · Categories: General, literature

I have a pile of blooks to read now (they came Friday but I couldn’t tell you til now). The list is here on the Blooker Blog. I’ll say that I’ve read through three blooks over the weekend and that two of those were exceptional and not in a genre that I usually read. I glanced through all the others and there are some very very good blooks there.