December 13th, 2011 / 2:10 pm

ToBS R2: Calling yourself the editor-in-chief of an online journal vs. bowties

 [Matchup #36 in Tournament of Bookshit]

I know what you’re thinking: clearly the answer is “Having an opinion about MFA rankings.”


But we have to work with what’s given us which means other possible solutions (“Garamond,” and “Fetishizing experimentation while hating on those who fetishize narrative” among them) are left unavailable as is information seemingly vital to out trial. Do these online literary journals actually have sub-editors? Are these bowties pre-tied? Is this a wedding? If the editor-and-chief marries a sub-editor does the sub-editor move up in rank? Does the rank require a uniform? Does the uniform require a bowtie?


Clearly the answer is “Writing a Story That Uses the Word Pus.” 


But we must consider this in the abstract if we’re to find the real. Therefore we must imagine a world without editors-in-chief of online literary journals and a world without bowties which will allow us to discover which one we would miss most. It’s like that great movie about whether or not the world should have had a Jimmy Stewart. We should have had one. And we did. Thank you, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


Or, if we imagined a place without both, we would know that through consideration of that world, the best world, the answer is “Starting a Smug Tournament.”


If we lived in a world without bowties, what would we have? Barely a half dozen other kind of more socially acceptable tie options and that’s excluding the bolo which is not even nearly socially acceptable (the bowbolotie, however, is, though it, unfortunately is not a thing). And yet conservative commentators’ Adam’s apples would flap limply with the vibrations of their thoughts on the flat tax and the golden age of baseball. And yet young hipsters constructing a look out of only a fedora would look like incomplete sentences. And yet we wouldn’t know who probably has an opinion about Evelyn Waugh. Because the bowtie is not a utilitarian object its users would simply go without. Or, more likely, start wearing buttonhole daisies. If they weren’t doing that already. They are probably doing that.


So the answer is clearly “Absurdist Short-Shorts.”


But a world without the editors-in-chief of online literary journals, well, it’s nearly too grim to imagine. Except it’s not because this might be the world most already live in. Let’s go back to that Jimmy Stewart classic The Magic of Lassie and imagine the following conversation is applicable for our purposes instead of about Lassie, the giant invisible rabbit.


Me: Why you know me, I’m  [the editor-in-chief of an online literary journal]?


You: A what?


Me: Zulu’s petals!


Okay, so maybe it doesn’t take us very far. I blame my own lack of knowledge about Jimmie Stewart and not the man himself. The point, perhaps, is that the lay person lives in this dark and scary world without the editors-in-chief of online literary journals already. They wake up, go to work, sire someone named Zulu, watch Rear Window, all of these things without once being presented with the business card of the editor-in-chief of an online literary journal (Not that any editor-in-chief of an online literary journal has such a thing for fear of offending all the other people in the online literary journal corporate cafeteria). If a person was presented with such a thing—let’s call this hypothetical person Everybody, Seriously Like Everybody—he or she would surely take it tweezered between fingernails just as they would if presented with the bowbolo tie. It, simply, is not a thing to them.


But a thing it is, even if just. And a thing it can be to everyone. That’s why clearly the answer is “Having Interns.”


Wait, no, I didn’t ask the most important question. Is the online literary magazine Narrative Magazine? It’s not? Good.


“Calling yourself the editor-in-chief of an online literary journal” wins. Clearly.


Zulu’s petals for everyone.

Adam Petersen

– – –

WINNER: Calling yourself the editor-in-chief of an online journal


  1. deadgod

      fact vs. legend

      winner:  sad story vs. sadness of storytelling

  2. Derek

      There goes my bracket.

  3. JSA Lowe

      The answer to *anything* is almost always, Garamond. Judging from the number of submissions in it.

  4. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Isnt her name Zuzu? I thought it was Zuzu.

  5. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      fyi: Many believe that every time a bell rings, an angel gets it’s wings, but this is a common misconception. Actually, every time a bell rings, AN ANGEL DIES. Don’t feel bad, you didn’t know.

  6. Helen

      I don’t get the ‘Zulu’s Petals’ thing. Zuzu is a great name for a child, though it’s a pity the character from it’s a wonderful life never goes to the future to see his vampy child strut the stage while smoke drapes effortlessly around her, over her audience, to the sound of some cool jazz. Or later, to the 70s, when she’s washed up in LA, coughing blood into the corner of her threadbare cashmere sleeve, on a wretched hot day.

  7. Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

      Jimmy Stewart is the winner

  8. Anonymous

  9. shaun gannon

      fucked fucking fucks fucked fuckin fucked fuckers fucking

  10. Flintsk

      Dumb. What a waste of my time.

  11. Anonymous

  12. Anonymous

  13. JosephPatrickPascale

      One semester when I was in college, only me and one other person were signed up to work on the school’s literary journal. I listed myself as “Editor-in-Chief” and her as “Chief Editor.” Who wins there? The spheres that appeared when the people disappeared?

  14. Christine Hamm

      Pus!!  omigod that word makes me so happy, I don’t know why.  Maybe because, backwards, it’s “sup?”

  15. Leapsloth14

      Glow “Absurdist Short-Shorts.”

  16. Leapsloth14

      ‘like’ coughing blood

  17. Anonymous