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What "makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle"?

In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission (Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book (Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998, titled From the Earth to the Moon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 26, 2013 - 28 comments

I wish you would stop looking for beauty in things that want to kill us.

"The long night has come. The Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. Now, one ship, one crew have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda hope lives again" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 4, 2013 - 43 comments

"Victory as recorded on those screens made them feel like Masters of the Universe."

Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."

posted by Fizz on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 comments

Hustlin': The Rise of the Privileged Poor

Writer and comedian A Wolfe writes a compelling piece on education, poverty, and shame.
posted by Dokterrock on Jan 31, 2012 - 42 comments

Celebrity Lecture Series at MSU

Web artifact made of solid gold CELEBRITY LECTURES SERIES from Michigan State University. Ten years worth of lectures were posted in 1998. They are all still there-- awaiting your return. Edward Albee ,Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, Jacques d'Amboise, E.L. Doctorow, Richard Ford, Carlos Fuentes, David Halberstam, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Judith Jamison, William Kennedy, Norman Mailer, David McCullough, Terry McMillan, Arthur Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, Jane Smiley, Susan Sontag, Amy Tan, Paul Theroux, John Updike,Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Derek Walcott, Garry Wills, August Wilson and Tom Wolfe. I listened to the Vonnegut lecture. Imagine-- a whole hour and a half (Well, I skipped the first 9 minutes of introductions.) with my favorite author wheezing and sputtering. How refreshing to hear him declaim in his own voice and reveal the happiest day of his life and his own favorite from among his works -"The Sirens of Titan".
posted by notmtwain on May 27, 2011 - 8 comments

2010 International Conservation Photography Awards

The International Conservation Photography Awards is the creation of Seattle, Washington-based photographer Art Wolfe: "We wanted to provide a platform from which photographers both amateur and professional alike could showcase their work in a very prestigious way. We love the idea of championing the cause of preservation and nature through the medium of photography." Winning imagery from the 2010 awards can be viewed in person at the Burke Museum in Seattle, or online here, which includes excellent slideshows of wildlife, underwater life and distinguished photographs (requires Flash support).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 24, 2010 - 3 comments

It's quieter than you think on the Wellesley College Senate bus.

On average, college students are having a medium amount of sex.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 23, 2007 - 59 comments

Dandyism

"The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated."(Wilde)
A dandy eschews fashion but embraces style.(.pdf)
He is an aficionado of personal elegance and refinement. From the archetype in George 'Beau' Brummell there is a lineage tracking through to Tom Wolfe in which the personal artistry of the dandy knows no bounds save for those of exquisite taste.
posted by peacay on Jun 3, 2005 - 9 comments

Latro, Cerebrus, Suns New, Long and Short - Gene Wolfe

We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.

Gene Wolfe      -     Now step within Father Inire's mirrors....
posted by y2karl on Jan 15, 2004 - 25 comments

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