Long/ Live/ Stephen Colbert

This is article is this-blog meta and Colbert-meta. Meta^2.

Colbert is not against scoring a political point or two, but the focus is always the comedy and the performance. Colbert has spoken about wearing his “Stephen Colbert character” “as lightly as a cap;” “you can take them on and off as you need.” When the cap came off, as it increasingly did, you saw the real Colbert. This lightness led to less heavy-handed statements and more quiet, lovely little moments, while still allowing for plenty of the show’s signature “we’re all in on the meta-joke” moments. (It was perfect that President Obama’s only live appearance on the show had him speaking as Colbert’s character—a President playing a person playing a fake character—and we all got it.)

Stephen Colbert Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert {bloomberg}.

Via {daring fireball}.

Local Success

Author Ann Patchett is an enthusiastic new voice in the anti-amazon, pro-local bookstore scene. And she’s not all words: along with co-owner Karen Hayes, she opened a small, successful independent book store in her hometown, called Parnassus Books.

From her recent article in The Atlantic:

Two years ago, the city of Nashville had two bookstores. One was Davis-Kidd, which had been our much-beloved locally owned and operated independent before selling out to the Ohio-based Joseph-Beth Booksellers chain 15 years earlier. Joseph-Beth moved Davis-Kidd into a mall, provided it with 30,000 square feet of retail space, and put wind chimes and coffee mugs and scented candles in front of the book displays. We continued to call it our “local independent,” even though we knew that wasn’t really true anymore. …

In December 2010, Davis-Kidd closed. It was profitable, declared the owners from Ohio, who were dismantling the chain, but not profitable enough. Then, in May 2011, our Borders store—also profitable—went the way of all Borders stores. Nashvillians woke up one morning and found that we no longer had a bookstore.

How had this happened? Had digital books led us astray? Had we been lured away by the siren song of Amazon’s underpricing? Had we been careless, failing to support the very places that had hosted our children’s story hours and brought in touring authors and set up summer-reading tables? Our city experienced a great collective gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, but to what extent was Nashville to blame? Both of the closed stores had been profitable. …

See also: her interview on The Colbert Report, and more about local bookstores on this blog.