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We speak jive

Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

Christopher Eaton

A Decent Interval

October 23rd, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO-

My wife and I have been together long enough that what should be between us in bed is a decent interval.

I can appreciate that “early on,” couples might want to engage in touching. Even at the risk of children. But at some point, personal space needs to be allowed back into the sleeping arrangement.

Many couples resort to a dog to reestablish spouse-free zones in bed, only to find themselves later united against the dog.

Our problem began with my wife’s ass. It’s a nice ass—during the day. At night, though, it is transformed into a marauder, conquering the linen expanse of our shared bed, relentlessly seeking out warmth. You see, my wife sleeps cold, while I sleep hot. And once my wife falls asleep, she gets colder. That’s when her ass takes over.

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Brandon Gorrell

The Gimmicks of American Apparel vs. the Gimmicks of Urban Outfitters

October 21st, 2009
by Brandon Gorrell

SEATTLE, WA-

I have listed comparisons of what I feel are significant gimmicks of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.

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Tyler Stoddard Smith

Tyler’s Adventures in Cultural Literacy

October 12th, 2009
by Tyler Stoddard Smith

AUSTIN, TX-

What does it mean to be literate? That one’s pretty easy; it means you know how to read. What does it mean to be cultural? That one’s a little tougher; it means you know that in most situations, it’s unacceptable to put your cigarette out on a dachshund. And so what does it mean to be “culturally literate?” Many have posed this question (Harold Bloom, the Yale professor currently encased in acrylic and preserved for posterity does it a lot.), yet no one has truly come to terms with an accurate answer. My uncle Seamus once remarked that “cultural literacy is for homosexuals,” but he was urinating in a koi pond at the time, so who knows? I suggest we journey together to see if we can’t get to the core of this labyrinthine dilemma. Perhaps the most logical first step is learning how to read (I’ll wait for a few minutes)… Sweet. Our next step is to determine what exactly is “cultural.” Below are a few undeniably cultural items in the realm of architecture, literature and music. Let’s familiarize ourselves with these things, and then we can begin to get a handhold on what it means to be culturally literate. (more…)


Tyler Stoddard Smith

How to Write, Or Not

October 4th, 2009
by Tyler Stoddard Smith

AUSTIN, TX-

They tell me you should write about what you know. I’ve always had a problem with that. I may know some things other people don’t, but in writing that down, what good does that do me? Not much. I already know it. I want to write about things I don’t know about. I want to learn things about what I don’t think, how people I don’t know don’t act and why. Perhaps I say this because I don’t know much. I know a lot of facts about arcane things, but I already know them and I already know that nobody, unless they are short of Trivial Pursuit cards, wants to hear that kind of bilge. However, I don’t know one thing that I think will serve me well in my writing career: I don’t know how to write.

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Tyler Stoddard Smith

Some Thoughts on a “New Literacy” While Remembering Patrick Swayze

September 29th, 2009
by Tyler Stoddard Smith

HOUSTON, TX-

Pierre Bayard’s ode to philistinism, Comment Parler des Livres que l’on n’a pas Lus, or How to Talk About Books That You Haven’t Read is a unique experience. Upon completion of Bayard’s work (one wonders if Bayard himself ever read his own book), I found myself first outraged, then confused, and finally, a little constipated. I thought to myself, “How does this boorish Frenchman claim that a perfunctory flip-through of Anna Karenina should suffice for an understanding of St. Petersburg’s high society during that time—or Jasper, Missouri’s, home to the Double Deuce for that matter?” Can this Bayard be serious? Can we really talk—intelligently—about books we’ve never read?

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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.

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Brad Listi

Tweet It

June 26th, 2009
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES-

When I heard the news about Michael Jackson yesterday, I immediately got up from my desk chair, grabbed my French bulldog, Walter, and dangled him over the balcony of my second-story apartment. The skies over Hollywood were filled with helicopters, and in the distance I could hear “Human Nature” blaring from someone’s car stereo. I let out an involuntary, guttural wail, and my whole body shook.

“Oh my god!” my wife said. “What are you doing?”

I turned around and put Walter down and felt a wave of nausea sweep over me.

“Didn’t you hear?” I said. “He’s dead. Michael Jackson…he died.”

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Dawn Corrigan

Found Poems on Craigslist

March 8th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Magic Couch

This fabulous sectional couch
just came out of my house
and has been well loved by all.

No stains or odors
that I can see or smell.

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Paul A. Toth

The Case of the Publisher and the Silent Alarm Clock

March 7th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

Now more than ever comes publishing industry’s chance to redeem itself. It might finally take chances again, though for me “again” means about the time when I was ten years old and watching Dick Cavett interviews with novelists I, even at that age, recognized as culturally dangerous. (more…)


Erika Rae

Fornication Under Consent of the King

January 23rd, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Several days ago, a close friend of mine was on the phone with his father.  My friend – male, age 35 - was having a hard time that day – with family, with business, with life.  He was very upset.  He said the word “fuck.”  Not directed at his father, but at the situation.  

His father is a Christian man – and quite conservative.  I make this distinction as not all Christians are as conservative as he.  He lives in Oklahoma – in the Bible belt – and while he is not an extreme fundamentalist, he represents a fairly strong set of rules and beliefs.  One of these beliefs is that the word “fuck” should never be used in the English language.  It is vulgar.  Disrespectful.  Taboo.  Women and children should be sheltered from the word and men who use it are classless and obscene.  He would be very disappointed in me if he were reading this post.

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Reno J. Romero

Cheesy Arpeggios, a Bastard Named James, and a God-Awful Thought of Bret Michaels Re-Recording Every Rose Has Its Thorn

October 21st, 2008
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS -

I was in the 9th grade when I first heard Yngwie Malmsteen play guitar. A friend had Alcatrazz’s album No Parole From Rock ‘n’ Roll - a mother of an album. We both just started playing guitar. Greenhorns. Rookies.

We sucked.

“Dude, listen to this. This is that fuckin’ Yngwie guy I was telling you about.”

The needle hit the record. (more…)


Brad Listi

Politics as Bloodsport: A Conversation with Stefan Forbes, Director of Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

October 3rd, 2008
by Brad Listi

Stefan Forbes is the director of a new documentary called Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, a fascinating, funny, and deeply disturbing portrait of the controversial Republican operative who perfected the art of politics as blood sport. The film arrives in theaters this weekend riding a wave of critical praise.

Owen Glieberman of Entertainment Weekly: “Stefan Forbes’ incisive portrait of the late, infamous Republican consultant is a chronicle of how the culture 
war took over American politics. 
 As such, it could scarcely be more timely. (Karl Rove was Atwater’s protégé.)…In terrific clips, we see the scampish gleam of mischief that shot out of Atwater’s steely eyes, giving him the look of a honky-tonk Daniel Craig. His great strategy, and legacy, was the art of lying out in the open. He saw that character assassination invades media like an airborne virus—that even a lie can become its own ‘truth.’”

And from the Washington Post: “The career of the wildly successful, and wildly controversial, late Republican political operative comes back to us in ways that are funny, sad and mean. There is more than one moment in this film that will likely pop your jaw open.”

And finally from the Los Angeles Times: “The movie isn’t a knee-jerk lefty hit job. In fact, it shows that Atwater was a runaway success not just because he was a devious political operator, but because, in the words of one liberal reporter Forbes interviewed, the sass-talking, guitar-playing Atwater ‘was the most fun man I ever met.’”

I recently had a chance to talk with Forbes about his film and the man who inspired it.

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Paul A. Toth

Improper Nouns

September 5th, 2008
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

Too many things are improperly labeled.  I will get to that in a moment, but first I must address what I will not address in this essay.  Labels for people exceed the limits of commonsense.  As an example, a motherfucker is not actually a motherfucker, except, possibly, Elvis Presley.  A son of a bitch cannot possibly be a son of a bitch, unless he wags his tail.  A shithead has yet to be born.  A scumbag would too easily leak, and the White House would be enshrouded by mold, rather than disgrace. A “bitch ass whore” is asking a lot of anyone; most whores are quite chummy. Such is the human condition, and it’s better avoided. Instead, let us deal with a few of our favorite things, all of which would be things.

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Paul A. Toth

Take These Poles

August 15th, 2008
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

When I first heard the words “bipolar,” I figured the shrink thought I lived on the North and South Poles. That may sound like bullshit, but I also wonder whether there really is any such thing as bipolar, except in the most obvious cases (you wake up and dress like Hitler, making speeches in town square, which no longer exists).

I just don’t know. Rapid cycling? I don’t ride a bicycle.  Doesn’t everybody have rapid mood changes?  Listenting to grocery story music can send me into a mini-depression during the length of one Elton John song. Sorry has to be the hardest word? No, “You’re a billionaire with the world’s worst wig” is not a word, but it’s much sorrier, and to pare it down to the analogy, I’m sure “wig” would do the trick for you. (more…)


Brad Listi

For Some Reason, I’m Not Feeling Lucky, Even Though a Pigeon Just Defecated on My Face

November 30th, 2007
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Money apparently buys happiness. According to University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener, very rich people rate their level of life satisfaction substantially higher than do their impoverished counterparts. Adds Andrew Oswald, an economist at the University of Warwick in England: “There is overwhelming evidence that money buys happiness.”

The only remaining point of debate, then, seems to be: To what degree? And naturally, some people harbor serious doubts about the aforementioned notion, including yours truly. I’m not entirely convinced that money alone makes people happier. I think it’s much more complex than that. (more…)


Emma Ashwood

In Which We Mock a Marketing Gimmick, Reveal our own Anti-Gimmick Gimmick, and Rend our Clothes in Despair at Inappropriate Attempts to Stimulate our Jaded Appetites

November 26th, 2006
by Emma Ashwood

LONDON-

Meet the C’mons.

The C’mons are fabric puppets. They are positioned as a Gorillaz style band from Barcelona. Of course, if you’ve heard any of their tunes, which all feature the repetitious lyrics, ‘C’mon, c’mon, c’mon…’ (ad infinitum), you might be a tad suspicious.

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