• Saw it too late for my earlier Bradbury linkfest: John Crowley on Ray Bradbury
• Interesting personal article about a friendship with Noam Chomsky. A sample:
I finally asked him how he felt about my having gone into electoral politics. I also mentioned that I was then staying with a former progressive friend who was working for a major bank who had told me that morning that he did not want to meet Noam because he assumed Noam would put him down. Noam was genuinely shocked by the story. “Why, we’re all compromised,” he said. “Look at me. I work at MIT, which has received millions from the Defense Department.” He seemed genuinely puzzled and hurt that either my friend or I would think that he would denigrate us for what we were doing.And speaking of Chomsky, here's a great interview with him, focusing on his (Jewish) childhood and his thoughts on Israel.
• I can't wait to see How to Survive A Plague, the new documentary telling the history of AIDS, focusing on ACT-UP. Andrew Sullivan's review here. Larry Kramer's objection to the aforelinked review here (and yes, though AS is less than fully clear about it in that post, that is the great Larry Kramer himself writing in.) Democracy Now!'s interview with the director, and one of the protagonists -- including several clips of the film -- here.
• A marvelous discussion of the two Hobbits (two versions of the story written by Tolkien, that is -- we're not talking about any future cinematographic calumnies) by blogger Adam Roberts.
• Also by Roberts: a marvelously (and, I think, self-consciously) mad reading of Dickens's Tale of Two Cities. What I love about this one is that it starts of convincing (i.e. that Dickens's affair with Ellen Ternan affected the story) and ends up in insane, Aish-style numerology (the reading of prisoner 104's "name"), but the dividing line between them is so hard to place: where, exactly, does Roberts's reading slip from plausible to lunatic? It's fascinatingly hard to say.
• Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter* writes an interesting article about work/life balance for women in our society. (Via) Follow-up interview here. Commentary from the left, and the right, and the left.
* If I say "Full disclosure: I knew her when she was at Harvard, and even did some research work for her", is that pretentiously pretending to be a journalist, or pretentiously name-dropping, or is it moot because these days "naming dropping" and "being a journalist" are almost synonymous, so we can just say it's pretentious? I get so confused sometimes.