"Do you really think you’re better than the porn industry, beauty pageant industry? At least porn has the decency to admit it’s built on the backs of amateurs and screws everyone over. Meanwhile three-year-olds are wearing dentures so they can have that perfect smile and you make them pay for the privilege of treading your filthy middle-school auditorium stages." —Miss Delaware has been "de-throned" for doing the wrong kind of self-branding promotional videos.
Wake up when you have to.
Take as much air you need.
Examine trivial details, the bubbled foam on a just-used but not-yet-rinsed toothbrush.
Eat what you eat too often.
Have or dwell on the possibility of sex.
Envy things but realize it is not the things you desire so much as the comfort of envy itself, the notion that you might one day have more.
Acapulco: Not That Many Decapitations Per Capita
Touring The French Riviera? Well Heads Up Because For Some Reason The Casinos Make You Wear Shoes
Detroit — Don't Bother Locking Up When You’re Done
Berlin: Now With Flights To Barcelona!
Come To Sunny South Africa (Unless You Fear Black People, Of Course)
South Korea, Where That Quiet Weirdo From College Moved Shortly Before Never Being Heard From Again
"When there is no writing out there to speak for itself, the writer talks about writing. Maybe they write a story about it. Or an essay. Or they read a story/essay about writing, which is an elegant way of avoiding writing, because it provides a writerly fog that nearly simulates writing itself. It’s all very tiresome, because of course you can’t properly write about writing — you just drone on about 'the process,”'or your close attention to the texture of this world, or your drinking problem, or whether MFA programs destroyed the craft (as if there was anything to destroy). Leaving aside the obvious benefits of a good writing [...]
Try to attach a file that's 25 megabytes or bigger to an outgoing Gmail message and what do you get? I have no idea, because I would never attempt such a stunt, but I'm guessing it's a friendly error message informing you that the raw video trailer for your documentary about paperclips is the digital equivalent of a wide-load trailer and unfit for this particular mode of travel. What now? You've tried everything! Except no, you haven't.
For starters, if you're teaming up on this groundbreaking documentary of yours, and need to share the material with a partner 3000 miles away so they can edit and play around [...]
You go to hell. Or: hell comes to you. You are unemployed, pursuing work, any sort. You submit a cover letter so typo-ridden it breaks the Internet. The Internet, of course, is what braces the laws of thermodynamics. So now there’s a temperature colder than absolute zero. Though scientists keep that discovery quiet.
Initially it isn’t too bad, an indefinite shift, your coffee tasting like wine, your hair growing too fast, inert objects gleaming with raw and terrible life. In fact, it might just be you: you were always half-certain you’d lose your grip on things one day, and if not now, when? But reality is what’s unraveling—one can’t [...]
Let’s say that after a certain amount of time, probably more than a year (and possibly more than a few), you’ve finished your novel and want to find a publisher; or perhaps at the other extreme, five hours ago you started a high-traffic Tumblr, which people are telling you needs to be made into a printed book. Either way, chances are you’re going to need an agent. Agents are the gatekeepers of publishing, which may seem kind of pointless and inefficient until you understand that these days, agents not only negotiate contracts but often also do the lion’s share of the editorial heavy lifting (leaving actual “editors” more [...]
35. "The Semplica Girl Diaries"
33. "My Amendment"
32. "I CAN SPEAK™"
31. "Al Roosten"
29. "The Barber's Unhappiness"
26. "Tenth of December"
24. "The Falls"
San Diego Zoo Condor Cam over Osprey Cam? You've got to be kidding me!
Doctor Says I Can’t Fly Anymore Something to do with kidney strain. Now, absurdly, my feet are what move me. I look to the sky, clouded by people: executives floating to work in suits… kids soaring too high, backpacks dangling by a strap. Police officers hover ten stories up, analyzing the flow of traffic. When my neck aches from tension and longing, I return to the rippled shade of the sidewalks, which are in severe disrepair, as everyone in this city flies. I avoid fellow terrestrial travelers, who inevitably seek to combine their misery with mine. The path is dim—is cracked, unreal and lonely—but veined with a sunlight sifted [...]
Drunken Notes from Last Night's Republican Debate That Will Also Serve as Notes for the Next Eleven Republican Debates
SO MANY SCREENS. GLORIOUS, USELESS SCREENS.
Grip the podium for dear life or don’t? This alone will determine who becomes president.
ONE SENTENCE INTROS. It’s like a round of speed-dating where you crossed everyone off the list beforehand.
Michele Bachmann: "I'MAFORMERTAXLITIGATIONATTORNEY ALSO LIVEFREEORDIE."
In this latest edition of the hipster serial "Famous Rays Original Web Series," the kids try to make a film. But men only, according to the director: "Like my idol, Chris Nolan, I don't write parts for women." Do note, the audio is not entirely safe for work, as in when the director decides that the film needs some real-life man-on-man penetration to have its artistry taken seriously.
(Previously: The Last Desperate Day of Four Loko.)
The week I had my wisdom teeth removed, I saw a man in line at the corner bodega drop a pencil, a nice-looking one, without noticing. I was fixed in a Percocet fog and stared at the pencil (handsome wood, something an architect would use) instead of telling the man he had dropped it. His transaction completed, he left, and I stepped up to the register, placing my beer next to it. I then turned to watch as an employee mopping the floor discovered the pencil, picked it up and admired it. I regretted not doing the same when I had the chance, but it seemed fair that all [...]
As National Novel Writing Month continues on, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.
The novel I never wrote is spotless. Every sentence is a sickening surprise. The plot coils round you like a python. Your eyes water badly at the humanist climax. You do not trust this response.
It is three hundred and twenty-nine pages long. It is at least fifty-four percent true and took six days to write. Seventeen people conspired against it, and each died under odd circumstances.
The text is political but not polemic, learned but not dense. It is charged with alarming [...]
Miles Klee's debut novel, Ivyland, takes place in a crumbling, violent, post-urban New Jersey. Published by OR Books, the novel's been getting praise for its dark vision of a burned-out world where drug companies rule, nature is reclaiming what it can, and locals like Hecuba—the bus driver in this excerpt—can only look on in weary disbelief as the past disappears.
One hangover-blasted Wednesday, Hecuba dreamt she was asleep at the wheel, lead-foot subconscious running her route. Eventually she admitted to herself this was no dream and hooked an instinctual right to avoid entering at 60 mph a drive-through ATM tube that would’ve shaved the top [...]
Playground next to low-income housing. At night. Modular squares of beaten rubber serve as gridlike, lunar ground. Swoop of a tubular plastic slide. Sag of a miniature plank bridge that joins a pair of raised platforms, one outfitted as nautical helm, the other roofed with a ziggurat. The vast brick cake—apartment complex—beyond. Counterfeit moons in clustered bulbs, the color of scrambled eggs, on poles.
Medicine cabinet mirror ajar. Shelves a mosaic: prescription orange, paradise blue. Twin hairs stuck to the grooved little shelf that should offer soap. Silver faucet a mounted bird’s neck. Raised drain-stopper whose ridge amasses a layer of slime. Damp jeans draped on translucent rod. Tile [...]
As to those, who in presence of their betters are too lowly in speech so that they bring not their voice whole to the lips, it happened to me and without full utterance I began:1
Yes, it is terrible, and sudden2. He thrown everything off balance.3 And then he did go off balance on the ice, taking a step back from the eyes which had penetrated him and emptied his face.4 What was that dim distant music, those vestiges of color in the air?5 The penalty of light forever.6 Then he would be able to think about it and sort things out.7 [...]