Hot new shit all over the place coming from Radioactive Moat : Most recently Lonely Christopher’s CRUSH DREAM : Of which CAConrad said “DON’T BE STUPID you know as well as I do these poems boil to the top of the gravy!!” : And of which RM has kindly offered to giveaway a copy along with copies of Ji Yoon Lee’s IMMA and Lucas de Lima’s GHOSTLINES , both also from RM.
All one has to do is : “Write Three Sentences About Your Worst Crush.” : Leave your sentences as a comment and a winner will be selected by Lonely Christopher : in ~48 hrs
The most inflammatory sentence in the comments wins the 70 UDP books from their Full Moon Sale.
The winner will be chosen by either Blake or myself. I’m not really sure who. We just made this contest up a few minutes ago over email, and didn’t really plan that far out.
Good luck, and R.I.P. Gore Vidal! Loved that Caligula!
*UPDATE 8/02/12* I’ve picked a winner, and that winner is Scott McClanahan. Congratulations, Scott! You’ve won some books! R.I.P. Gore Vidal!
[matchup #63 in Tournament of Bookshit]
If I just reword the debate, you will see there is no question here:
The story of the homeless man who recently got his face eaten off vs. Humanure
As you can see, even the most banal, average human story easily trumps a sewage treatment technology. But as language is a game in which I play really good, I will expand my argument with a memory thus bludgeoning you with my sweet opinion. Picture a small child, gazing up at her grandmother, her eyes wide with anticipation and respect for the matriarch, her attention clinging to her grandmother’s every word. Now picture a child listening to her grandma go on and on about growing up next to a PF Chang’s as grandma sat on the toilet and every once in a while demanded 8 squares of 2-ply—I could have listened to those stories for hours. The smell of crab wontons and northern style spare ribs still issuing from her soft, old-ass lady skin. Listening to those stories of a shared past, I felt a great sense of familial warmth like a curly hair in massage oil. It wasn’t just the historical facts of my grandmother’s stories that kept my attention for hours—that as a baby she escaped some horrible genocidal type thing in Europe or the mid-west or the time she rode on this big, huge boat that crashed into a glacier and sunk or actually, that was a blimp, I think—what kept me at attention was the amazing power of language to build vivid, infinite worlds in my mind, that and her fists were the size of hams. She wasn’t the most eloquent of story tellers, in fact she suffered from swollen tongue so often that most of the time it sounded like she was rolling a golf ball around in her mouth, but I could feel the urgency and emotion in her every word. Her life was the accumulation of her stories, and this defines our human condition. In comparison, sewage, treated or otherwise, ain’t shit. Septic tanks? Fine bubble diffusers? Froth flotation? Expanded granular sludge bed digestion? I’ll take my grandmother’s story about meeting my grandfather during the Great Sensation or watching the first Jewish president get knifed on cable any day.
[matchup #62 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Calling anything you write a manuscript, known as the Billy Collins approach or the Ron Silliman method in contemporary poetry circles, is not only popular with poets (David Foster Wallace immediately springs to mind, too), but nobody does it better than a poet. No one else has the narcissistic tendencies, nor the free time. But these very same tendencies led to one of the most beloved pieces of literature of all time: The Bible. Can you think of another book with words and sentences arranged less arbitrarily? Can you think of another book that’s inspired as much killing in its name? Yet it was conceived during a flight of whimsy and written on the back of a cloud as a half joke.
[matchup #61 in Tournament of Bookshit]
If this were the S.A.T., I’d go with my gut and say, alcoholism. Sure, everyone has a story, but most of those stories are as boring as policy debates on CSPAN. In service of our egos, we subconsciously construct our identities so that everything we say, wear, eat and do reinforces the illusion that we know everything, and totally have our shit together. “Let me tell you about the time I was right—again—because I know important people at the Wall Street Journal.” Snoresville.
Give me epic tales of humiliation, shame and ignorance. For example: “My fat camp counselor discovered my cache of hidden candy bars and let everyone in the cabin give me titty twisters for a week, and now I can’t come unless candy bars are hidden under my mattress and I’m on the top bunk.” William Burroughs said, “Pity the young lawyer who’s never lost a case, the doctor who’s never killed a patient. He doesn’t know the score. I trust him little in the commerce of the soul.” Ditto. READ MORE >
Alcoholism vs. “everybody has a story” [Judge: Jennifer L. Knox]
Calling anything u write a manuscript vs. Sewage Treatment Technologies [Judge: Jason Bredle]
TBD vs. TDB [Judge: Sommer Browning]
O WHO WILL WIN?!?!?
[matchup #60 in Tournament of Bookshit]
“Funny how new facts pop up and make you doubt that there’s any goodness in life.”1 An ewer of wisdom. “The first baby of the new year, her arrival had been announced in all the papers as if she were heir to a throne or a fortune instead of the daughter of a sometime fisherman and fulltime gambler, and the best waitress at the Garden Cove Pancake House on U.S. 1.”2 There are times when your connection to humanity is self-evident, joyously overwhelming. “She had to take a shower, like, immediately.”3 Who doesn’t know the bright snap of day, and welcome it? “Most people think about age and experience in terms of years, but it’s really only moments that define us.”4 Could it be any sweeter? “The club will not run out of tequila until I get my hair right. So shut the fuck up.”5 Forms like dew, inevitable as the sun. “One of the things I hate most about this book is that it is all about me.”6 Alas, we are all selecting principles. “Surely this babe would be impressed by his résumé.”7 Alas.
– – – READ MORE >
[matchup #59 in Tournament of Bookshit]
This being my first venture into sports writing, I think what I’ll do is recap alcoholism’s inevitable rise to power before tonight’s “game,” then we can all pop some High Lifes and pull them hot wings out of the freezer.
Alcoholism was on a tear until HTML decided to drop Tournament of Bookshits and review books. Shame, because there were some real gems in there. Take these gems from the Giancarlo Ditrapano-moderated Facebook status updates re: present MS word count vs. Alcoholism:
If you write 5,000 words, chances are that 4,950 of them are shit
I miss workshops already. READ MORE >
[matchup #58 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Well, I really wanted this one to go the other way. I know I’m meant to be impartial, but really: everybody has a story? Um, no they don’t. (See, you can’t even talk about it without getting into the whole pronoun thing.) Everybody has a skull, sure, and a pet fish, but a story? Most people have neither beginning, middle, nor end. They just sort of float out there waiting to get stabbed.
Whereas, daily Facebook updates of what you ate? Yum! More please. You had kale? You pig, you did not! Bonus points if you braised something, because I don’t know what that means. But it sounds delish. READ MORE >