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Posts Tagged: mcsweeney’s

Social Media Year, 2080

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In the spirit of Orwell, Saunders, and M.T. Anderson, see here for a glimpse at the future of social media: virtual reality dates, sensory augmentation, robots writing on humans in peer-reviewed journals.  

Sensory augmentations will make possible ever-deeper transports of desire, as we use technology to expand beyond our biological bodies, while machines increasingly anticipate all our needs.

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What We Can’t Say

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You know the feeling perfectly. You’re at an interview. The manager clears his throat, says, “Tell us a bit about some of your strengths.” Despite the facts that he repeatedly calls you juggernaut, you feel an undying, writerly urge to dig deep. You want to puncture your chest, pull your heart out, set it on the IKEA office desk, and say:

A head on fire, a heart speeding through what days are left for me, a one hundred and forty beat per minute rocket ride back into the ether we all came from, and in the meantime longing to leave something behind, some kind of initials carved in wet cement, a stain on the planet, something proving I was here even just for the minute we get, you know what I mean?

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Ballad of a WiFi Hero

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Yesterday, Vulture premiered “In Which I Fix My Girlfriend’s Grandparents’ WiFi and Am Hailed As a Conquering Hero,” an animated short based on Mike Lacher’s popular McSweeney’s humor piece of the same name and which “follows the harrowing tale of a bold warrior who confronts unbelievable obstacles (a faulty router, clutter behind some furniture, a power outlet) to save his lady’s grandparents from an apocalyptic crisis (they can’t access USAToday.com).”

Done in the style of an early-90s Nintendo-esque video game, the video is narrated by H.

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A Heap of Cake

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It’s lovely to be wanted, and then it isn’t. You start to wonder what they want you for–the audience, the men. If it’s even about you. If all I am, despite my many professional and artistic roles, is a woman who will make you pie.

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A “Ridiculous, Potent Musical Minefield”

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As part of McSweeney’s long-running series “Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond,” Summer Brennan wrote “An Open Letter to the Mix Tape Made for Me by My College Boyfriend, Now Deceased.”

It’s exactly as poignant and sadly funny as the title makes it sound, and in Brennan’s able hands, it becomes downright transcendent.

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Commas, and How Complicated Things Might Really Be

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When properly used, commas can be used to keep discourse clear, to bring statements together, and to suffuse language with detail. In “The Comma From Which My Heart Hangs,”  Benjamin Samuel makes the case for using commas correctly, exploring the difference between the sentences “I love Tom” and “I love, Tom,” among a number of other examples.

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Notable NYC: 11/30–12/6

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Saturday 12/7: Natalie Eilbert, Mike Bushnell, Rob Ostrom, and Christie Ann Reynolds inaugurate the Banquet reading series with an evening of poetry. Eilbert is the founder and editor of The Atlas Review. The Banquet series was launched intending to highlight the intersection of poetry performance and audience experience; it is the product of curators Joshua Kleinberg, Alexis Pope, and Dana Jaye Cadman.

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McSweeney’s Anthology and Book Trailer!

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To commemorate their fifteenth anniversary, McSweeney’s is offering up an anthology featuring work from their past fifteen years.

And they have a trailer for the anthology here. Fun fact: it features Isaac Fitzgerald and Sam Riley!

You can preorder the anthology!  The collection features work from literary heavy-hitters like George Saunders, David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Ames, and others.

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Beautifully Disturbing

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“Thank you. I love when people write “disturbing” in reference to my work. “Beautifully disturbing”? Even better.”

In the newest issue of Specter Magazine, Kameelah Rasheed interviews Rumpus contributor Wendy C. Ortiz! The two talk about her two forthcoming book releases, the courage to write personal stories, and the cross pollination of arts, among other topics.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

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Your Patriarchy Is the Reason We Can’t Have Nice Things: Scenes from a Feminist Youth,” is a McSweeney’s piece that begins with a mother giving birth–asking her doctor not to impose gendered imperatives on her as he tells her to squeeze–and ends with a “young womyn” majoring in Fine Arts at Barnard, dating “briefly a redhead, MOLLY,” and ending the relationship “when lesbianism is no longer en vogue in the pseudo-intellectual circles.”

 

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Voices From The Government Shutdown

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What do you do if you live in Washington, D.C. in the midst of a federal government shutdown that leaves 800,000 people out of work and affects millions of others? If you’re Sean Carman, a writer, environmental lawyer, and longtime Rumpus contributor, you take to the streets and interview the residents whose lives have been at a standstill for the past two weeks.

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McSweeney’s How Music Works Contest!

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After much anticipation, David Byrne’s How Music Works is finally hot off the presses in PAPERBACK! Our friends and publishers at McSweeney’s have proposed a contest for fans and readers alike, tweet or Instagram a photo of the book’s poster in its natural habitat of New York City with the hashtag #howmusicworkspb and be automatically entered to win a copy of the book for free!

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McSweeney’s Night of One Hundred Apocalypses

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Quick! Think of some apocalypses! How many did you think of? For Lucy Corin, the answer is one hundred, and some others. That’s why she named her book One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses.

To celebrate those myriad armageddons, come to McSweeney’s Night of One Hundred Apocalypses this Thursday at Amnesia in San Francisco!

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“I Never Intended Anyone to Read These ‘Poems’”

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Previously, we blogged about a reading by Victoria Chang from her new poetry collection The Boss.

Here’s a Q&A with Chang about that book, her approach to poetry, and her day job in the business world. An excerpt:

I wrote these poems in a car while waiting for our four-year-old to finish a Chinese language class in Irvine (which she despised, by the way).

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Introducing Lit Tease, A Preview/Fundraiser for Lit Crawl

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Still hyped up from Beast Crawl and counting down the days until San Francisco’s Lit Crawl in October?

Then you’ll want a ticket to Lit Tease, LitQuake’s preview/fundraiser event for the highlight of their annual festival, happening tonight.

Tickets are $20 apiece (with discounted drinks), which seems well worth the price for a night of comedy, music, readings, LitCrawl’s first-ever book fair, and a live auction with some pretty astonishing Bay-Area-lit-scene prizes.

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Lost Sloth

McSweeney’s McMullens, Lost Sloth, and J. Otto Seibold

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McSweeney’s McMullens has published a new picture book for kids—Lost Sloth by J. Otto Seibold—and they want to celebrate!

Join them on Sunday, July 14th, at the Lost Sloth Pop-Up Kids’ Book Shop at 849 Valencia for family-friendly fun and a huge sloth piñata. Seibold will be there to sign and draw in copies of the book!

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Michelle Tea’s Book Party Looks Awesome

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Food, drink, fortune-telling, live music…is there anything about the release party for Michelle Tea’s new novel that doesn’t sound amazing?

The book is Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, new from McSweeney’s McMullens; the refreshments are pierogi, chocolate, and cocktails; and the entertainment includes Annah Anti Palindrom, Daniel Handler, and of course, Tea herself.

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Tell Stories Better with Technology

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Speaking of publishing innovationsSF Weekly‘s current cover story, “Storytelling 10110001101,” by Alee Karim, chronicles some recent forays into spinning narratives in the electronic age.

Karim focuses on two enterprises. The first is Madefire, a company creating interactive comics for the iPhone/iPad that differ markedly from earlier, laughable attempts at “motion comics.” The other is Ying Horowitz & Quinn, which is a supremely lawyery-sounding name for a group of former McSweeney’s employees producing striking digital literature.

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