Debuting what is surely one of the longer titles in literary history, Bethany Billman has published a piece called, “Lost Scenes from Generic Hipster Indie Romance Films Found in 2076 During a Museum Restoration of an Old MacBook Air and Subsequently Adapted for the Stage During Heritage Week at a Camp for 7th and 8th Graders Later That Summer.” It may not tell us much about 2076, but we are always grateful for the chance to refine our definition of “hipster....more
Posts Tagged: mcsweeney’s
It’s sometimes hard to imagine the life of the road-tarer or the elephant waste remover. Here’s to an unsung hero the world wouldn’t be the same without.
Point is, no matter how long I been doing this or how I got into it people just think I grab any old thrift-shop rag and casually fold up a doubly slipped reef knot onto Steve’s mic stand, hand it to him, and I’m done.
When I started the book, I hadn’t planned on it being only dialogue. I knew it would be primarily a series of interviews, or interrogations, but I figured there would be some interstitial text of some kind. But then as I went along, I found ways to give direction and background, and even indications of the time of day and weather, without ever leaving the dialogue itself.
Author and veteran Voice of Witness editor Peter Orner sits down with Invisible Hands: Voices From the Global Economy editor Corinne Goria to talk about putting the book together, economic interdependency, and the complex human stories behind everyday items....more
VLAD: (points at ESTHER’s legs) What’s with the leg warmers?
ESTHER: What do you mean?
VLAD: I’ve never seen you wear them.
ESTHER: I don’t know what to tell you. They’re warm. Can you help me with this? (With VLAD’s help she succeeds in pulling off her shoe.
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.
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?
Fine, you caught us: it’s a McSweeney’s thing. In one sense, these mock-Aesop fables show just how untranslatable the morality of antiquity is to the modern, post-Enlightenment subject. In another sense, they’re just plain funny.
When the winter came, the Ant had plenty of corn from the stores he had collected in the summer.
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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
To commemorate their fifteenth anniversary, McSweeney’s is offering up an anthology featuring work from their past fifteen years.
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....more
“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....more
“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.”
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....more
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!...more
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!...more
Sean Carman reviews Dan Kennedy’s AMERICAN SPIRIT today in The Rumpus Book Reviews....more
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).