inessential by Brent Simmons


According to this page on dmoz, Charles Bukowski, with 98 links, is by far the most popular 20th century American writer. Jack Kerouac is a not-so-close second.

Hey, I like Hank as much as the next guy -- but more than Hemingway, Salinger, and Fitzgerald put together? No way.

And there were no -- count 'em, zero -- links for Raymond Carver, easily in the top five of American masters of the short story, arguably the very best ever.

For all the love passed out to the (over-rated) Beats, where's William S. Burroughs, the one who was actually good?

I'm not criticizing dmoz. This is probably a pretty accurate picture of what's out there. I'm criticizing the Web itself -- but with great affection, always. I guess what I'm saying is that for the Web to become the ultimate research tool, an idea needs to take hold -- the idea that we need to fill in the blanks, that always going for the crowd-pleasing stuff isn't the best thing.

There's hard work to be done. But, you know, hard work can be more rewarding than the easy stuff.

All your intestines are belong to us: There are so many lovers to take a pecture in front of the worm for their memory. An exhibit from the Meguro Parasitological Museum.

Another picture from the same museum: Warning: don't click here unless you're very, very brave and like to get totally grossed out in a sick-making way. Don't click here if you're at work.