December 29, 2014

Bill de Blasio has blamed the media for “dividing” people. Not a very original move, but the mayor’s irritation in this case is somewhat understandable. He was asked in a press briefing whether he’d let his children recite some of the chants that have been sung at protests in recent weeks, specifically those that compare the NYPD to the KKK. De Blasio pointed out that most protesters had not repeated this chant: “What you manage to do is pull up the few who do not represent the majority, who are saying unacceptable things.” He’s unhappy because some of the blame for last week’s shooting of two police officers has been directed at him, for not responding differently to protests that a few people say have encouraged to “anti-police” sentiment.

Tomaz Salamun

Tomaz Salamun

Tomaz Salamun, a prominent Slovenian poet and a significant influence on a number of avant-garde writers throughout the world, died on Saturday.

In a new essay about climate change, Rebecca Solnit writes: “As it happens, the planet’s changing climate now demands that we summon up the energy to leave behind the Age of Fossil Fuel (and maybe with it some portion of the Age of Capitalism as well).”

Salon has asked a number of authors to name their favorite books of 2014. The most comical blurb comes at the end, when Nell Zink recommends her own novel, The Wallcreeper.

Yet another group of writers is angry with Amazon: self-published authors, some of whose profits diminished significantly when Amazon introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows subscribers unlimited access to around 700,000 titles for $9.99 a month.

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