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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:

Meet Brandon Generator.  He stares at the cursor on his blank laptop screen.  He drinks too much coffee.  He cuts newspapers into “word salads” for inspiration that never materializes.  He can’t write.  Like many a struggling writer, you can find him bemoaning his stasis on Twitter and Facebook: “Today I wrote nothing, but learnt how to draw four different types of dogs.  Progress?”  What makes him exceptional is that he is also the creation of writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Marvel and Lucasfilm artist Tommy Lee Edwards for their online, animated graphic-novel-in-progress designed to crowd source elements of the story.

Please explain what just happened.

I was once again discussing with my wife the fact that more and more I lean towards believing in the existence of aliens. Especially in religion. I think that I’ve been watching that Ancient Aliens show too much. She’s not a believer and the look on her face tells me that she probably thinks I’m joking.

 

What is your earliest memory?

I would sit on a little rocking chair that my paternal grandfather made for me.  My mom and I would sit by the door to wait for my father to come home from work. My parents separated when I was about five so this must have been earlier than that.

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

Mark Leidner:

 

If you’re not familiar with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, he’s the man who penned the likes of Flashdance, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and now a scathing nine-page letter to Mel Gibson with whom he’d been collaborating on a film dubbed the “Jewish Braveheart.”  The Maccabees was allegedly intended to be Gibson’s olive branch to the Jewish community after his much-publicized anti-semitic rants, but the project stalled.  Eszterhas, addressing Gibson, believes he knows why: “You hate Jews.”  The letter, published in full by The Wrap, goes on to detail Eszterhas’ accounts of working with Gibson on the project.     

As it turns out, Ashley Judd looks somewhat chubby or bloated lately.

I hadn’t noticed.

In fact, I had somewhat forgotten that she existed.

But apparently she is out promoting a new project, and at some point during the press junket, she was characterized as looking “puffy” or as if she’s gaining weight.

Little did they know, boy-o, the press had objectified the wrong Hollywood-actress-who-has-posed-nude-to-help-sell-magazines-and-fronted-a-cosmetic-line-but-also-objects-to-patriarchal-beauty-standards*:

Please explain what just happened.

I’m not totally sure what just happened. I think someone roofied me and now I’m just passed out somewhere dreaming all of this.

 

What is your earliest memory?

Being two or three years old and barfing my brains out in the car. Every time I got in a car I would get motion sickness. This one time I got really sick and decided to use my mom’s purse like a barf bag. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I still get really car sick if I’m not driving, but I don’t puke in purses anymore.

In an interview over at the Findings blog, Clay Shirky responds to the question “How is publishing changing?”:

Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done.

In ye olden times of 1997, it was difficult and expensive to make things public, and it was easy and cheap to keep things private. Privacy was the default setting. We had a class of people called publishers because it took special professional skill to make words and images visible to the public. Now it doesn’t take professional skills. It doesn’t take any skills. It takes a WordPress install.

Some time in the late nineties, some time around the release of the Ewan McGregor/Ashley Judd vehicle Eye of the Beholder, a friend asked me which living actress embodied the epitome of beauty.  Because I’d just seen Eye of the Beholder, I answered, “Ashley Judd.”  Sure, she’s a lovely woman, but what had really prompted my response was her nude scene in Eye of the Beholder in which we see her backside in all its dimpled imperfection.  She’s lovely … and she’s real.  And, more importantly, if her willingness to film this scene is any indication, she’s not ashamed of who she is as a woman.  And why should she be?

It’s a rare case when we are shown, in film or on television, physically imperfect (as society deems it) leading women who are meant to be the object of beauty and desire.  Even more rare is the leading woman who isn’t meant to be objectified at all.  But in 1999 Ashley Judd came close to achieving the former by the tiniest of margins with a little cellulite.  Baby steps.  I loved her for it.   And yesterday, when she posted a response to the body-snarking backlash to her “puffy” appearance of late, I decided I loved her a little bit more.