Now more than ever, Americans are troubled by questions. As sweaty modernity thrusts itself upon us, the veil of ignorance that cloaked our nation hangs in tatters, tattered tatters. Our "funny bones" are neither fun nor bony. Glum is the new giddy, and the old giddy wasn't too giddy to begin with.
What can be done to stop this relentless march of drabbery? Nothing. But perhaps this book can be used to dull the pain. Included herein:
The Ten Worst Films of All Time, as Reviewed by Ezra Pound over Italian Radio
Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One.
How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot in the Stomach
My Beard, Reviewed
Circumstances under Which I Would Have Sex with Some of My Fellow Jurors
Words That Would Make Nice Names for Babies, If It Weren't for Their Unsuitable Meanings
As a Porn Movie Titler, I May Lack Promise
Ineffective Ways to Subdue a Jaguar
Eleven Lunch Meats I Have Invented
Four Things I Would Have Said to Sylvia Plath if I Had Been Her Boyfriend
And much, much more, including 20 brilliant new lists . . .
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans|
|Release Date: 08-10-2004|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans
From the beginning, McSweeney’s has brokered an awkward alliance between two opposing forces. On the one hand, the journal sought to publish experimental fiction and journalism; on the other hand, we hoped to make a home for stories that were funny without being humorous. Though our dream was that these two forces could act as one, as allies and not combatants, this dream was made of stone, or something like petrified wood. Then it turned to ashes. Yet before it turned to ashes it became embers, burning dimly, like a dying fire. Then, once it was ashes, we had no more hope for our dreams, for they were now ashen. Our dreams were no more. We had woken up from our dream, which was a flightless bird.
You have no doubt heard of the many battles, squabbles, fights, and slap-sessions between these two camps. Always this animosity was fueled by those who said that any possibility of peace between two opposites—serious fiction and less serious humor-type writing—was not only impossible, but perhaps not even possible. They said that humor writing should be on the back pages of magazines, and never over 800 words. They said that fiction should never allow one to laugh. And what did we say to that, after thinking about it for a few days and wishing we had had a quicker comeback? We said Nay! We said Nay, these things could coexist, and length need not be an object. Then we hedged a bit, and said, Length is an object, if said pieces are published on the Web, where reading at great length can cause eye strain. And thus was born the idea that sometimes McSweeney’s would publish funny things—sometimes in the journal, more often on the website