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Inappropriate in public since July 2006

Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

John L. Singleton

At a Waffle House on the Edge of Florida

September 23rd, 2009
by John L. Singleton

LOS ANGELES, CA—

After we passed through the hinterlands of Florida, we stopped at a Waffle House, maybe ten miles before the border. As a kid, my mom had worked at the Waffle House, and sometimes I’d come to work with her and sit at the counter all day, eating hash browns and talking to the customers.

It was a skeezy joint but I loved it there. There was something about the endless parade of anonymous faces that floated in and out of there that made me feel at home. Every day there were different people, a few regulars, but mostly truckers and other travelers that stopped in off the highway on their way to somewhere that wasn’t here.

Celeste ordered the steak and eggs and I had a Coke and a double order of hash browns. While we waited for our food we sat in silence, listening to other people’s conversations. We were too tired to make conversation for ourselves and we’d already been talking for too long. Talking about god knows what. Mostly how we hated Florida and wanted to leave.

“I don’t know why the hell people wanna come retire here. It’s worse than already being dead,” she said.
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Rebecca Adler

The Fear of What’s Out There

September 14th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

ISTANBUL, TURKEY-

After traipsing around Europe for weeks with a giant backpack strapped to me, I’ve finally made it. I’ve arrived. And oh, how things are so different here than I could have ever imagined. After all of the warnings and strange looks from friends and family, I’m here and I can finally say with confidence and first-hand knowledge: You don’t know what you’re talking about. Istanbul is amazing and beautiful. The people are kind and the city is modern. There’s nothing to worry about.

I’ve thought about misconceptions a lot in the few days since I’ve arrived here, and I’ve talked about it a lot with the new friends I’ve made since arriving. It’s sad to me that the only things we ever hear about each others’ countries are the negative things. After all, it’s always going to be blood and guts that get people to read the newspapers. Nobody wants to read that the sun is shining and the birds are singing. No, we all need to be whipped up into a constant state of paranoia over What’s Out There, The Other. (more…)


Brandon Gorrell

Most of the People I Know on the Internet

August 11th, 2009
by Brandon Gorrell

SEATTLE, WA -

I have written small reflections on most of the people I know on the internet. Most of the people are associated with the “Internet Literary Scene”. I didn’t use the internet while writing this. People are listed alphabetically.

ADAM J. MAYNARD: Runs “My Name Is Mud”. Continually slightly confused about his age. Like the design of his website. Seems to like me.

ADAM ROBINSON: Feel like he edits Publishing Genius but also feel unsure. Have “kind of no idea” of his opinion of me while worrying, slightly, that he dislikes me. Watched a video of him singing and felt really confused.

(more…)


James D. Irwin

I Won’t Hang Myself in Thirty Years’ Time: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Writing Saved My Life

July 29th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

A kid walks into a bookstore, he buys a book, it changes his life in a way he would never have imagined.

But what if that book is never purchased? What if, on that grey summer morning when the clouds are bursting with fine rain falling so gently it’s like the spittle of an overweight and drunken relative trying to hold a semblance of civilized conversation after Christmas dinner, that book never reaches the destination that fate had intended?

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Suzanne Burns

Diary of a First Book, Entry 2: It Ain’t About Unicorns, Bitch

July 26th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

This book-pimping thing has brought both extreme highs and lows during the first month, as Misfits and Other Heroes has made its way into the world. I have cried and eaten one too many donuts, been routed to an Internet porn site when I Googled myself and been told by a local bookstore owner, “We don’t carry books about unicorns,” when I tried to explain how my short stories hover around the genre of magic realism.

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Greg Boose

The Lending Library: A Stephen Elliott Experiment and Interview

July 20th, 2009
by Greg Boose

CHICAGO, IL -

I don’t remember if I caught wind of it through Facebook or Twitter, in an email or if I just stumbled across a headline on the web, but when I heard that author Stephen Elliott was sending around a limited amount of advance copies of his new book, The Adderall Diaries, for free, I kept the information to myself and emailed him immediately.

He calls it the Lending Library.

Asks that people read his book in a week and then send it along. Just pay for the first-class postage and don’t mistreat the book for the next person.

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John McNulty

What is That Word? A Guide To French English

June 29th, 2009
by John McNulty

PARIS-

A Guide to French English for the English 

Or 

How to understand what the hell the French are saying to us in our own language.

Note: there are many words in both the French and English language which have been incorporated and used correctly. Words such as “rendez vous” and “entrepeneur” on the English French side and “rock and roll” and “donut” on the French English side.

I am not interested in these words. 

I am however very interested in the misappropriate (sometimes bordering on psychedelic use of the English language in daily French life) Yes, I am talking about instances where a foreign word has been incorporated so incorrectly, so weirdly, it borders on dadaist art. 

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David S. Wills

Jesus Lives by North Korea

June 15th, 2009
by David S. Wills

NORTH KOREA -

The Dogs Howl at the DMZ

The most heavily fortified border in the world is a strange kind of divide, because unlike the people on either side of most military separations, Koreans seem to view one another as brothers and sisters. It just so happens that one country is ruled by a tyrannical monster who has forced his population into poverty, and his nation into the headlines as a rogue terrorist state.

When you come close to the DMZ, you don’t necessarily feel like you’re approaching something so important. Sure, when the train snakes past US military bases – this is a metro line that runs from the DMZ to Seoul Station and down towards Cheonan – you can see tanks, guns and anti-aircraft weaponry, but it’s all just lying around casually, as a part of life. Everything else goes on as normal.

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James D. Irwin

For Want of a Better Title: An Interview With Scott Tournet

June 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

About a year ago I tried to start up my own classic rock blog, more akin to an online magazine. It was going to feature the best new rock bands, obscure and essential albums and interviews with anyone who I could get hold of.

Judas Priest turned me down, Golden Earring wanted to see a full edition first and I’m still waiting for Rick Wakeman to reply (no, seriously).

I came close with My Morning Jacket, I actually got in touch with their management and got a telephone interview, unfortunately time difference and conflicting schedules (more theirs if I’m honest) shot it down.

I did however get to interview Scott Tournet, the guitarist with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, a fantastic band I discovered whilst watching Good Morning America in a New York hotel room.

Originally it was going to be part of a feature of new bands looking back at the music that inspired them, but due to poor journalism skills, kind of turned into a mass of slightly unstructured questions.

And here’s the interview, from exactly twelve months ago…

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Paul A. Toth

Interviewing Christian Slater

June 10th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

I’m sitting with Christian Slater in a well-known L.A. deli. Slater’s latest film, Dolan’s Crossing, is in wide release, in Europe, specifically Germany. I start by asking Slater the first of many delicate questions I have in mind, for I’ve been a bit beaten up during my last few interviews, and I begin this one in something of an ill temper. I think to ask his forgiveness in advance but then think twice about that and then stop thinking about it at all. (more…)


Kip Tobin

Reflections on the Land of Sunshine and Joy

May 29th, 2009
by Kip Tobin

MADRID, SPAIN

Dear I-

In the several week run up to my exit here from your beautiful country, many people, including yourself, have asked me what I will miss about Spain. The main reaction of those who find out I’m leaving resembles this: “You been here how long - six years? Shit man. That’s a long time. Damn.” Most follow with “Why are you leaving?”.

These reactions naturally force you to consider the reality of your exit. These final days have been flashing before me like a movie reel, unable to to see one frame and appreciate it. As I type these words, I can already feel the credits starting to roll.

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Brad Listi

Comment Culture

May 20th, 2009
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES-

Just read some pretty interesting stuff on “comment culture,” which has become an area of interest over the past few years. A new mutation in the human fabric.

Naturally I’m fascinated by the comment boards on this site. I’m also fascinated by comment boards in general, and the people who populate them, and I wonder how they work, and why.

With respect to The Nervous Breakdown and its boards, I often find myself asking: What is it? And how did it happen? And what is its value? And who is it that’s drawn here? And why? And what might this weird beast become?

And things like that.

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Paul A. Toth

Interviewing the Elusive Harrison Ford

May 7th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

Staring into Harrison Ford’s eyes is like watching Star Wars while mildly intoxicated: One sees stars and something scrolling, words and thoughts that have nothing to do with today. I ask him about his film legacy and he replies, “Which one?”

“How about Star Wars?”

“That was a good movie.”

“And Indiana Jones?”

“Good movies. Those were good movies.”

I struggle with a follow-up. His eyes are piercing, though what they’re piercing is uncertain. We order drinks and he begins to loosen up.

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Andrew Johnson

Blog Will Eat Itself

May 5th, 2009
by Andrew Johnson

HONG KONG, CHINA

“Is there anything more ridiculous than a blog about blogging?”

Yes. There are a great many things more ridiculous than a blog about blogging. Stop trying to make it sound more important than it isn’t. For instance - the career of Oliver North. Oliver North is infinitely more ridiculous than a blog about blogging.

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Jennifer Duffield White

The Subtle Differences Between Bear Bones and Human Feet

May 1st, 2009
by Jennifer Duffield White

SARANAC LAKE, NY-

When the snow melts, things turn up with stories hidden in their decomposition.

A cigarette carton.

An abandoned navy blue sweatshirt.

A stray mitten.

And bones. (more…)


Paul A. Toth

007 at 77

April 29th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

Sean Connery is not a tough guy. That’s what he wants me to believe in this coffee bar that’s so hip no one knows it exists. “If I thought you were screwing me in this interview,” he says, “I might bite your balls off. But never mind that. I’m no longer double-07. I’m double-7. I wear a girdle in the few action scenes that don’t involve stuntmen, like sitting down. I’m still growing as an actor and a man.” (more…)


Savannah Schroll Guz

Silenced Dissenters

March 22nd, 2009
by Savannah Schroll Guz

WEIRTON, WV–

This morning, I began reading about the Supreme Court Case,  Citizens United v. FEC, 08-205. So, what is it, you ask? It involves a movie about Hillary Clinton by Citizens United. “Hillary: The Movie” takes a very dark and glowering look at the former presidential candidate and current secretary of state. Called a documentary film by creator David Bossie, a former Republican congressional aide, the 90-minute film was originally intended to air during the 2008 presidential primaries. However, the film was revoked because it was classified as a long-form campaign ad, and therefore, subject to campaign finance laws.

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Zara Potts

Escaping the Inferno

February 9th, 2009
by Zara Potts

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -

Just across the sea from where I live is the vast island nation of Australia. It takes three and a half hours on a 747 plane for me to step onto its red barren earth. Today, we can see the smoke from the immense bush fires raging in the southern states. We cannot see the lucky country from our shores but the smoke has swept across the sea and is leaving a bitter taste in our mouths.

There are forty six fires sweeping through the southern states of Australia.

One hundred and twenty six souls have perished, thousands of homes have been razed to the ground. Ash and despair are hanging side by side in the air.

The television cameras are there of course. They linger on the houses reduced to rubble. The burnt out cars, doors left open as the occupants ran for their lives to escape the flames. In most cases they ran right into the mouth of the inferno. The cameras focus on the weeping Prime Minister, the shocked survivors, the puppies with burnt paws. This is Australia. This is burnt, devastated Australia. (more…)


Stefan Kiesbye

Cave of the Winds

January 30th, 2009
by Stefan Kiesbye

LOS ANGELES, CA-

“The Maid of the Mist isn’t running,” a tourist with a British accent says, studying a map of Niagara Falls, New York. “Wasn’t there something called the Cave of the Winds?” His companion, a slim woman with red hair and freckles and dark-brown eyes, shrugs, crinkling her nose. The man continues, “I remember you wore raincoats, climbed a slippery wooden stairway and entered a cave behind the falls.” “Maybe,” the woman answers, but she seems cold in her black pea coat, seems to shrink from an overcast day and icy drizzle. She puts a small hand on the man’s arm and asks, “Would we want it to be open in November?”

The Cave of the Winds, once located behind the Bridal Veil Falls, was destroyed by a controlled dynamite blast in 1955. By then the once large cave – 130 feet high, 100 feet wide and 100 feet deep, had shrunk and been reduced to about a third its original size. Falling rocks had ‘shrunk’ the cave and hurt or endangered several visitors. (more…)


N.L. Belardes

Erika Rae, Rich Ferguson, And Hollywood Spinning On A Top

December 20th, 2008
by N.L. Belardes

BAKERSFIELD, CA-

“Write about each other,” I say. I’m not sure Erika was listening. She got fixated on some strange Colorado party where the local book club dresses up like characters from novels. She’s some slinky sex kitten out of a D.H. Lawrence book. Why not? She was chased by a giant moth on some Chinese beach. That’s sort of D.H. Lawrence-ish. Maybe not. We debated the moth sighting for half an hour. I Googled to no end. I didn’t even know there were giant moths on planet Earth. But she’d nearly touched one.

I think she was having a Peter Pan dream. (more…)