Sunday, November 28

my hero

I love me some George Saunders. He comes up with the weirdest ideas, say, what's life like for theme park employees? Plus he plays with language, like the ungrammatical ways people speak, or how they say things like questions when they're not questions?

The stories in his book CivilWarLand were mostly about the lives of workers in theme parks of a depressed and chaotic future. Some of these stories, which are all from the New Yorker, carry his dystopian vision outside the theme park.

    New links: Jon or Jon
    Inside the lives of future product testers.
    Back in the time of which I am speaking, due to our Coördinators had mandated us, we had all see that educational video of "It's Yours to Do Wit What You Like!" in which teens like ourselfs speak on the healthy benefits of getting off by oneself and doing what one feels like in terms of self-touching, which what we learned from that video was, there is nothing wrong with self-touching, because love is mystery but the mechanics of love need not be, so go off alone, see what is up, with you and your relation to your own gonads, and the main thing is just have fun, feeling no shame.

    My Guilty Pleasures
    New link: My Guilty Pleasures
    If the future of reality TV is like this, we have a lot to look forward to.
    Those of us in the "literary game" often have "guilty pleasures" that we indulge in when not translating Cicero from the Latin into the German and then back into the Latin, to see how funny it sounds. My favorite guilty pleasure is watching the new TV series "The Bachelor: Who Screws the Best?"...

    My Amendment
    As an obscure, middle-aged, heterosexual short-story writer, I am often asked, George, do you have any feelings about Same-Sex Marriage?

    To which I answer, Actually, yes, I do.

    Like any sane person, I am against Same-Sex Marriage, and in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban it.

    To tell the truth, I feel that, in the interest of moral rigor, it is necessary for us to go a step further, which is why I would like to propose a supplementary constitutional amendment.

    The next two are less good, but still worth reading:
    My Flamboyant Grandson
    New link: My Flamboyant Grandson
    In a future where watching advertising is mandatory.

    A Survey of the Literature
    A parody of academics.

    Read these last two only if you're jonesing for more Saunders:
    (Update: this story is no longer online, but it's in the collection Best American Non-required Reading 2005, edited by Dave Eggers and with a foreword by Beck! Perhaps I should give the story another read...)

    Chicago Christmas, 1984


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