THE EDITOR’S DESK: Also, No More Legos

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I don’t want to define The Rumpus by opposition. After all, one of our 22 mottos is, “Three Celebrations for Every Complaint.” Another of our mottos is, “Only Rich People Call Themselves Upper Middle Class.”

Still, here are some things we’re less interested in. You can tack this on to my previous rant, F*$@ Pop Culture.

Rants. The Rumpus doesn’t do rants, especially political rants. OK, that’s a lie, we do rants sometimes, but only me and Andrew. We’re an online daily culture magazine and there is a line between rant and cultural criticism. A book review is not a manifesto. This is a manifesto. The Huffington Post has rants more than covered. With 250 editorials every day, Huffpo has gone above and beyond proving that every celebrity has an opinion. Currently at the top of the page: Jamie Lee Curtis on art, climate change, steroids, and plastic surgery.

Lists: This is the laziest form of journalism. I mean, c’mon people. Examples of lists we’re not linking to: The Seattle PI’s ten best fiction. I mean, how many novels and short story collections published in 2008 were covered in the Seattle PI? Same with Timeout Chicago. I mean, if you’re going to do it, be a really cool book blog edited by a dozen people, including former book section editors, that love books. Admittedly, we’ve done some pieces that could be called lists, like Books That

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Changed The World (our most popular article to date). But we’re not going to give you top ten lists of things we know nothing about, and we’re not going to link to other people’s lists.

Legos: Legos were interesting for a minute, until people figured out that legos were internet gold. Not quite as good as cute cats, but close. Lego art has become so ubiquitous online that it’s becoming a parody of itself, even when it’s good, and much of it is. Ultimately, when writers and artists think they’re co-opting pop culture, pop culture is usually co-opting them. It reminds me of They Live starring Rowdy Roddy Piper. You think you’re sleeping with some sexy man or woman but actually you’re in bed with a reptilian alien. The most recent example of cool lego art that we would link to if we weren’t sick of legos is the iPod Killer. (also, for cute cats, check out Josh Bearman and Superkitty).

OK, glad we got that out of the system.


Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, including the memoir The Adderall Diaries and the novel Happy Baby. He is the founder of The Rumpus. His feature film debut, About Cherry, was distributed by IFC. More from this author →