Benedict Cumberbatch also known as Bandersnatch Cummerbund

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of BBC's Sherlock

A bandersnatch was in the news today, but it was widely assumed to be a typo. The actor who plays the titular role in BBC One’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, had his already-Carrollian-sounding name apparently spectacularly autocorrected by the Washington Post into “Bandersnatch Cummerbund.” Thanks to @Alex_Ogle on Twitter for the picture before. Anyone hoping for a sober correction – something along the lines of “The Washington Post deeply regrets mistakenly printing the name of the actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Bandersnatch Cummerbund blah blah blah” – will be disappointed. The Post responded that it was not a typographical error, and issued the following statement:

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that there is raging debate, in re whether we intentionally referred to Benedict Cumberbatch as Bandersnatch Cummerbund in The TV Column and blog.

Bandersnatch concept art for the 2010 Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland, by Jason Seiler and Bobby Chiu ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Apparently it all started when Poynter posted an item early Tuesday afternoon about the “typo.”

MSNBC.com’s Alex Johnson, a gentleman and a scholar (and former Post staffer), leapt to our defense, noting I correctly identified Cumberbatch on first reference in the column item, and explaining that we are “a titan of snark” who “gets away with that kind of stuff all the time.”

Johnson was perhaps recalling the time, back in 2009, when Politico wrote about the sorry state of The Washington Post’s copy editing, citing something we had written about “American Idol” in which host Ryan Seacrest was called “Seabiscuit” – until some people explained to the author in the comments section, that we had used the nickname for Seacrest during many years of “American Idol” recapping. (The report vanished from the Web site).

But Poynter’s Craig Silverman, a skeptic, bet Johnson a beer on it, asking Johnson, like he meant it to sting, did he think the Post’s copy desk would let that through without any kind of wink to readers.

Silverman owes Johnson a beer.

But, we would like to give credit where credit is due. The nickname “Bandersnatch Cummerbund” originated with one of the serious students of television who join me each Friday to chat about all things TV. And that person would no doubt want to give credit to Lewis Carroll, who first wrote about the “frumious Bandersnatch,” in “Jabberwocky,” in the late 1800’s. We loved it then, we love it now. Oh — and, wink wink!

Call to artists to represent the Tulgey Wood monster wearing a tuxedo sash.

The Mouse from the Caucus-Race babbles on a Wine Label at Trader Joe’s

We saw this Instragram photo on Twitter (thanks @1devo) and lo! it’s Sir John Tenniel’s illustration of “A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale” from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on a bottle’s label. The wine art tastefully adds a glass of red wine in hand of the Mouse, who is telling a very dry tale about a dry wine. (You can see the added color slightly better in the image at the bottom of the post.) Is this a commentary that all descriptions of the wine on wine labels are babbled nonsense? The mouse is babbling “It’s an insouciant little vintage that’s both playful and brash, brawny and confident but with a smidgen of unctuousness that allows its provocative f lavor s to blend into a voluptious tastescape – …” [I couldn’t go on transcribing…] If that’s not the wine industry self-parodying itself, then what is? The back label begins, “We won’t bore you with overwrought descriptions of Babble,” et cetera.

It also replaces Alice for some reason with the Gryphon from Chapter IX. Maybe the vintners didn’t want to offer wine to a young girl (even though the March Hare does.)

Babble Mendocino Red Wine is a designer blend available inexpensively at Trader Joe’s (one of their unique distributions I believe.) The promotional article from their Fearless Flying is far from dry:

Something to Talk about

The English poet Edward Young once quipped, “They only babble who practice not reflection.” Au contraire. They who partake of a fine, high value red wine can reflect thoughtfully, then run at the mouth enthusiastically. (Case in point.)

In honor of our thoughtful prattlers, we bring you Babble Red Wine from Mendocino County. Crafted exclusively for us by a renowned vintner, whose 40 years of wine making experience is as legendary as his infinitely quotable wit, this red blend is verbose but harmonious. 36% Petite Syrah, 26% Syrah, 17% Merlot, 10% Carignane, 10% Grenache and 1% Malbec, this full-bodied red boasts aromas of savory plum and blackberry preserves. It’s creamy on the palate with hints of blackberry cobbler and baking chocolate that roll around the tongue, along with substantial-yet-rounded tannins that lead to a long, wordy finish. As you can imagine, this is a wine that pairs well with hearty fare. We’re selling each 750 ml bottle of Babble Red Wine for $6.99 – a price so good, it will only stir more chatter.

Viticulture Veracity: Mendocino County profited heartily from the California Gold Rush. Failed prospectors planted vines on the rugged hillsides, turning the lack of nugget gold into pure liquid gold – wine.

Hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica:A harmonica to produce music for the soul played by fingers dipped in water… It’s a real thing. To make a wine glass sing, simply wet your finger and gently rub it along the rim of the glass. Or just pour in some Babble.

Gathering for Gardner celebrations worldwide on October 21st, coordinated online

So far, sixty-six parties have been coordinated around the planet to commemorate the giant Carrollian, Martin Gardner (October 21, 1914 – May 22, 2010) on what would have been his 96th birthday, Thursday. The website g4g-com.org (possibly named by Dr. Evil) invites you to join them “in celebrating the life of Martin Gardner by attending or hosting a G4G Celebration of Mind Party.” There are maps to help find you one in your area, and a Twitter account @G4G_Com has a cacophony of tweets about the ever-increasing number of events.

Twitter Interview with Stickfiguratively Speaking creator Jamison Odone

Your Far-Flung bloggers used Twitter to conduct an interview with Jamison Odone, who illustrated and retold Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with his stylish stick figure art. (Stickfiguratively Speaking is available for $14.95 from Publishing Works.) We reckoned that text messages to discuss Stick Figures vs. 3D was appropriately 2010. The full interview follows (I’ve tried to replicate the feel of Twitter for non-users: starting a tweet with an ampersand means its an open conversation to that person.)

AliceAmerica We’re about to have a Twitter conversation with@JamisonOdone, creator of Stickfiguratively Speaking.#AliceinWonderland #LewisCarroll
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica ahoy!
about 11 hours ago from web



AliceAmerica Hello @JamisonOdone This is the Lewis Carroll Society of North America’s first ever interview conducted in 140 characters.
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica This is The Jamison Odone Society’s first 140 character interview ever as well! Glad to take part:)
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone WHO ARE YOU?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica HI! I’m jamison odone. author and illustrator of children’s books, raconteur and all around funny guy. Redsox fan, new dad…
about 11 hours ago from web


AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone It looks a bit to us like your Caterpillar resembles your own drawings of yourself. Is he a deliberate self-portrait?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Yes he is. No reason exactly why I did that. Perhaps his glib wisdom is just something that I aspire to.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone How old were you when you first found Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and what brought you to it as an adult?#LewisCarrollabout
10 hours ago
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Not exactly sure quite how old I first was..it’s always been around. As an adult, on the development of this series-it emerged
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jamisonodone Also, Jeremy at @publishingworks was hot on the idea of this story to kick off my Stickfiguratively Speaking series.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone Did you have Sir John Tenniel or any other illustrators’ art in the back of your brain while you were working?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Always! Tenniel is a hero of mine! It was difficult for me to draw so simply when all I wanted to do was copy his perfection.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone You chose to release your book the same day as the Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland opening. Did the huge shadow help or hurt?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica The date was chosen by @publishingworksand it only helped. There was no shadow for me really–I’m an island without trees:)
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone And whereas Burton’s visions are dense, detailed, and 3D, yours are simple pen drawings on white paper, 1D.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone How do you resist the temptation to fill in all that negative space?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Well I really like the artistic notion of deconstruction. We are always trying to make things MORE MORE MORE. I’m like Thoreau
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jamisonodone Simplify Simplify
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone Thoreau it away! There’s a moral in that. Our interviewing moral has always been that it’s done by minding your own business.
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica It is kind of tough to do. I kept telling myself that the next book I will illustrate will look like the sistine chapel!
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone Lewis Carroll himself had simple (even childish) drawings for his original Alice’s Adventure’s Under Ground.
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica I know–I’ve seen a scanned version of the entire book online. I wish I could hold it…but no luck with that I suppose.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone My friend suggested that your drawings might inspire children that they could illustrate stories themselves.
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica I do lots of school visits with my books. I have been speaking to kids about that exact notion lately. Your friend is smart.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone You & Mr Carroll have totally different senses of humor, side by side in the same book. Any favorite Carrollian shticks?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Tough one…my real admiration for Carroll is how created such a brilliant world with so many different layers and meanings.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone AND what the world demands to know: Do you intend a Stickfiguratively Speaking Through the Looking-Glass?
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica If people like this book then I’d think about Looking Glass. If people dislike what I’ve done, I would not want to go further.
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AliceAmerica @JamisonOdone Your public might demand it! Thanks you Mr Odone for charming conversation! Best of luck with the book, with fatherhood, &c.
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica Thanks! Look out for Iparty’s Classes in Wonderland–featuring lil’ ol me
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jamisonodone @AliceAmerica It was a true pleasure interviewing with you. I have a true respect for Carroll and for literary groups that keep it all going
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Announcing: Twitter Interview with AAIW Illustrator Jamison Odone, Monday at 18:00 GMT

Please join the Far-Flung bloggers on Twitter tomorrow morning for a short interview in short format (140 characters) with Jamison Odone, who has recently issued an Alice’s Adventures  in Wonderland (Publishing Works, $14.95) illustrated and “retold” with stick figure drawings – the original text is intact, but he has added his own humor alongside in the comics. The conversation will take place at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern (18.00 GMT). To receive it, follow both the Far-Flung twitter (which we recommend anyway) @AliceAmerica, & Mr Odone @JamisonOdone. Subscribe to both of us on SMS text and get the whole thing texted to your phone! See you then…

A scene from Jamison Odone's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

AliceAmerica & other Carrollians on the tweetosphere

In the opening preamble for the forthcoming Fall 2009 Knight Letter, Mark Burstein says that my “first act as co-FF-editor was to create a Twitter stream at http://twitter.com/AliceAmerica as an alternate way to follow the blog…” While I’m slightly embarrassed that this was my inaugural motion, it is true that, if you use Twitter’s services, you can now follow @AliceAmerica for alerts from this blog and other notices.

If you are confused about why Twitter exists, and why the mainstream media seems so obsessed with mentioning it as often as possible, there is no reason for you to worry or change anything about your life. (I personally see the service neutrally, between the extreme loves and hates it has generated.) Twitter is basically a global text-messaging service, for posting public or private 140-character messages, and following the messages of your friends or celebrities, politicians and pundits. One of my favorite tweeters is 17th century London diarist Samuel Pepys, who recently wrote “My wife is mighty fine, and with a new fair pair of locks, which vex me, though like a foole I helped her the other night to buy them.” If you desired, you could set it up to receive @AliceAmerica’s messages on your mobile phone in hundreds of countries. I’ve also just created a twitter list of Carrollians at @AliceAmerica/carrollianswhich I’ve embedded in the lefthand sidebar of this blog – to follow the various Carroll & Alice-related twitterings. Please e-mail us or comment below if you have any suggestions of more Carrollians that list should follow.