Saturday, March 17, 2007

Somebody Call the Margaret Mitchell Estate

Carol Burnett sues "Family Guy":

MARCH 16--Comedian Carol Burnett, angered by her portrayal as a janitor in an adult film store in the animated TV show "The Family Guy," has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox, the program's distributor. According to Burnett, 73, she was approached by Fox in mid-2005 for permission to use the theme song from "The Carol Burnett Show" in a "Family Guy" episode. She declined the request. It was then, Burnett alleges in a lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that she became a target of the raunchy Fox show.

Considering how many stars Burnett parodied in her career, she's on pretty thin ice here.

(the video in question is here at The Smoking Gun)

Friday, March 16, 2007

At Least Some of Them Admit It

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Happy (Belated) Birthday, David Terrenoire!

Another year come and gone. Sorry I missed it, buddy.

Here's to a fine writer, a truly good guy, and a great friend.

The Gang's All There

I've suddenly realized that I've been neglecting this blog a bit this week. Blame Daniel Hatadi. He came up with the bright idea to create a social networking site, sort of like MySpace, for crime writers and readers. It's called Crimespace, and it's taken off like a rocket. You can create friend lists, post messages, videos, photos, blogs, and discussions, and generally watch a lot of valuable writing time go right down the friggin' tubes. Daniel's stated ambition was to create the online equivalent of the bar at a crime writer's conference, and I think he's succeeded. Check it out, if you haven't already.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Duke Goes Down In Round One: Eric Maynor hit a 15-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left to give Virginia Commonwealth a 79-77 upset victory over the Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday night. Maynor finished with 22 points, six of them in the final 1:24.

Duke lost a first-round game for the first time since 1996. The loss also ended the Blue Devils' string of Sweet 16 appearances at nine. It was the longest active streak and second-longest behind North Carolina's 13-year run.

What is there to say after I say


Monday, March 12, 2007

Ken Bruen

Sandra Ruttan has declared today "International Ken Bruen Appreciation Day" and hey, why not?

You never forget your first Bruen, and my experience is no exception. Vicki at Books n' bytes sent me a copy of Ken's book The Guards to review. I sat down and opened it. A few hours later, I finally put the book down and went "Holy shit. That was AMAZING." The prose was as simple and direct as a punch in the face, shot through with dark Irish wit and flashes of poetry. After I was done with the review, Vicki gently reminded me that I needed to pass the book on to the next reviewer on the list. I didn't actually weep as I put it in the mail, but it was a damned close run thing. I proceeded to devour every Bruen book I could get my hands on.

Then, shortly after The Devil's Right Hand came out, the fine folks at Murder By the Book in Houston contacted me about doing a signing. I got on the phone with David Thompson to discuss dates, and he let it drop that they would be doing a Noir Night with some fellows named Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Allan Guthrie, and oh, yes, Ken Bruen. Would I like to be on that? I think my response was something along the lines of "who do I have to kill?"

As I flew down to Houston, I got more and more nervous. The other participants were much more experienced and savvy at this book thing than I was, and they all seemed to know each other. Plus, you know, Ken Freakin' Bruen. I hoped I'd at least get to say hello and tell him how much I loved his work before I got stuck down at the end of the table, listening to the other guys talk.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. When I got to the store, Ken was signing stock. He got up, came over, hugged me, and let me know how much he'd liked The Devils' Right Hand. I was floored. One of my favorite writers had not only read my book, he liked it! He really liked it! (I wasn't nearly as cool and blase then as I am now.) And Ken and the other fellows could not have been more generous to the new guy, before, during, and especially after the panel. In fact, it's the after that sticks with me, where we all ended up at the home of MBTB's McKenna Jordan, listening to Ken read from his work--after which he insisted that the rest of us read from ours.

Since then, I've met Ken Bruen a half a dozen times at various functions, and he remains as he was the first time I met him: friendly, funny, open, and incredibly gracious. And his work keeps getting better and better.

Here's to you, Ken. Cheers.