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The Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers makes its nationwide U.S. debut May 4th, uniting the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in the first of the summer blockbusters. Early word is it’s not half bad. And because I know there are fans out there with their Fandango-printout tickets of midnight showings in their fists and their knitted Captain America suits ready to step into, I have compiled ten Avengers-related links to help pass the time in these final few days. Stay strong, friends!

Stay-at-home, breast feeding, “naturalist,” and/or cloth diaper-using moms, be forewarned: the old guard feminists have it in for us, apparently.  We’ve set women back decades with our hippie earth mother garbage, and at least one French Feminist, Elisabeth Badinter, is actually willing to say so publicly.  In an article for Salon, Madeline Holler writes:

Sure, children have been ruining their mothers’ lives since we evolved from chimps. But what makes this snapshot in time so different, according to Badinter, is the fact that modern, emancipated mothers are so complicit in their own destruction. Lactating, co-sleeping, time off from work – that’s a bunch of “naturalist” mumbo-jumbo and a distraction from a woman’s duty to herself and a society that wants to see her as equal but can’t quite get past the milk stains on her blouse.

Please explain what just happened.

Erika Rae: Which one–the weeping or the laughing?

Carissa Carter: The weeping might be me. I over-indulged on this new craving for kale that just won’t go away.

 

What is your earliest memory?

ER: Spiderman was creeping around all open-armed on our brown, plaid living room couches in the dark. Next, I found myself inexplicably stuffed in the kitchen pantry eating dried brown rice from a white bucket. I think it may have been a dream, but I’m not sure.

CC: I was sitting on the floor of my room in our new house stroking a 4×6” swatch of shag carpet from our old house.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Daniel Pinchbeck:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of comedy…

Rob Delaney:

Summer at the cinema is very nearly here, which means I’ve been thinking about robots.  This one, for instance:

Scott Timberg, writing for Salon, with a compelling essay on the financial struggles of America’s creative class:

Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen write anthems about the travails of the working man; we line up for the revival of “Death of a Salesman.” John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson hold festivals and fundraisers when farmers suffer. Taxpayers bail out the auto industry and Wall Street and the banks. There’s a sense that manufacturing, or the agrarian economy, is what this country is really about. But culture was, for a while, what America did best: We produce and export creativity around the world. So why aren’t we lamenting the plight of its practitioners? Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm that creative industries have been some of the hardest hit during the Bush years and the Great Recession. But  when someone employed in the world of culture loses a job, he or she feels easier to sneer at than a steel worker or auto worker.

I met Abbie Grotke a few years ago when my company Zepheira started work for the U.S. Library of Congress to produce the web application that has become Viewshare. I was immediately struck by her sideline, collecting classic advice books and writing articles which apply material from those books for modern enquirers, and also by the phenomenon that’s emerged from that sideline, which will become clear in this interview.

For those of you who couldn’t make it out to last week’s TNB Literary Experience in Los Angeles, here’s a little taste of what you missed.

Behold this set from spoken word maestro Rich Ferguson, accompanied by B.O.S.S:

TNB’s resident food writer Alan Brouilette sat down with Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller Jimmy Russell and his son, Eddie, at Whisky Advocate‘s Whiskyfest Chicago.  

 You’ve been in the bourbon business a long, long time.  What’s your earliest memory?

 Eddie Russell : Goin’ out there as a little kid.   Jimmy worked seven days a week, and I’d go out there with him during the summer, on the weekends.  The buildings were so big, and fun to play in, and I knew everybody out there…it was just a fun thing for a young kid to do.   Then as a teenager I moved on to other things, but I actually went there for a summer job, and that was thirty-one years ago.

I have known you for more than a decade as a writer of sensitive fiction mostly centered around your Indian roots.  But you are also a journalist who has many in-depth articles on nature and religion under your belt.  Now you have taken on the role of filmmaker. Specifically as writer and Associate Producer.  How did this new project come about?

A good friend of mine in the US, Ribbel Josha Dhason, happened to read one of my stories online and got in touch with me. “How about making this into a movie?” he said, ever so deceptively casual. Equally casual I replied, “Why not? How do you want to go about it?”

First step, turn it into a script, he said. Could I do it?

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Benjamin Percy:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of film and television.

Denis Leary: