Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, “The Disappeared: How the fatwa changed a writer’s life”—”‘You must never write history,’ he [Arthur Hibbert] said, ‘until you can hear the people speak.’ He [Rushdie] thought about that for years, and it came to feel like a valuable guiding principle for fiction as well. If you didn’t have a sense of how people spoke, you didn’t know them well enough, and so you couldn’t—you shouldn’t—tell their story.” Read more.
Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, “Hitching His Wagon to Obama’s Star: a Republican Senator”—”President Obama is appearing in yet another television commercial in the Massachusetts Senate race. This time, it was not produced by the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren, but by the Republican, Senator Scott P. Brown…That approach would be unusual enough for a Democrat in a year in which many feel the need to distance themselves from the administration, but it is virtually unfathomable for a Republican. That both candidates are trying to leverage their ties to Mr. Obama underscores how popular the president is here and how unpopular his rival, Mitt Romney, is, even though he once served as the state’s governor. Mr. Obama is expected to carry Massachusetts overwhelmingly in November.” Read more.
Neetzan Zimmerman, Gawker, “Restaurant Owner Creates Fake Sex Site Profile for Patron Who Posted Negative Review Online”—”An Ottawa restaurateur was found guilty yesterday of defamatory libel after she created a phony sex site profile for a patron who wrote a negative review of her restaurant. Marisol Simoes, co-owner of two dining establishments in the city’s ByWard Market district, also impersonated customer Elayna Katz in a raunchy email sent to Katz’s superiors at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. ‘I am open to anything — couples, threesomes and group sex,’ Simoes wrote in the email, which she signed in Katz’s name. ‘Am especially into transsexuals and transgenders (being one myself). I am…a tiger in the bedroom.'” Read more.
The Economist, “American Beer and Spirits: Prohibition hangover”—”American beer drinkers, who once had little option besides gassy, mass-produced bathwater, may now choose from hundreds of beers of all shades, styles and strengths. Craft beers’ share of the national throat remains small, but it is growing. And as beer goes, so go spirits, as laws dating from Prohibition are whittled away.” Read more.
John Heilemann, New York Magazine, “Joe Biden Isn’t Finished” —”Time and again, in public and private, Biden has dressed down anyone who has dissed Obama. (At a meeting of House Democrats in late 2010, Biden upbraided Anthony Weiner so forcefully and profanely that he earned a standing ovation.) ‘The stories all get back to Obama,’ says a White House official. ‘He loves them.'” Read more.
Hua Hsu, New York Magazine, “Magic Mike: Michael K. Williams’s Disappearing Act”—”Omar [Little, a character on HBO’s The Wire] had been a lifeline, but [actor Michael K.] Williams continued to flounder. ‘Omar took me further away from who I was. I think I crossed a line with that character. I was pulling from a lot of personal experiences, a lot of pain. I was hoping I would leave it there with him, but I was using it constantly to breathe life into him.’ He ended up back in a Brooklyn housing project, only to get evicted during a hiatus after season two. It wasn’t until Omar’s demise in season five that he began reckoning with the self-destruction that had been required to sustain him.” Read more.
Evan Hughes, The Awl, “The Murders And The Journalists—”In February 1970, at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a pregnant woman named Colette MacDonald and her two children, Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2, were slaughtered in their home. Colette’s husband, Jeffrey MacDonald, a 26-year-old doctor and Green Beret at the time of the crime, was convicted of the murders in 1979. MacDonald faces the next of countless court dates on September 17, still seeking exoneration. The MacDonald case has been an object of obsession and controversy for more than four decades and the subject of high-visibility journalistic debate. But respectable opinion has always vastly favored the jury verdict of guilt. Errol Morris is trying to change that.” Read more.
Photo: Pulpo gallega at Seviche A Latin Restaurant, by Zach Everson