Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two things:

Number one, you may not know this, but I'm the Managing Editor of an online literary magazine called Brevity. It features creative nonfiction of 750 words or less, which is an interesting conundrum for a writer to face. For readers it's nice, because if you don't like the piece you're reading—BAM!—it's over, on to the next one.

So if you're interested in that kind of thing, issue 29 just went up and it's got some gems, including a great odd piece by Lance Larsen. (Note: Some people may find some of the content very edgy or even offensive. If you're easily bruised, just ask me which ones to steer clear of.)

Also, Brevity keeps a blog which usually features the contributors talking about how a particular piece came about. So if you like something and want to know more, check that out.

Secondly, check out this premium analogy riffed out by Rolf Potts. It's not every day you find such a good one.

Indeed, to get a sense for what it’s like to be 18 and Cuban these days, imagine going to a high school that won a miraculous and inspiring football championship in 1959. The guy that quarterbacked the team some 50 years ago is still wearing the same damned uniform—only now he’s the school principal, and he’s decreed that all academic subjects must be studied within the context of that bygone championship game. Everyone at your school is now an honorary member of the football team—though the stadium is condemned from years of neglect, no actual games have been played in decades, and anyone with the temerity to point out this discrepancy is summarily sent to detention. On most school days you’re required to study your principal’s old pass-routes and blocking schemes and tell him how ingenious he was to have devised them. All of which would seem insane were it not for the fact that tourists from wealthier schools—schools with actual, functioning football teams—are constantly visiting your class to marvel over how wonderful it was that your team triumphed 50 years ago, and gush about how proud you must be to have such innovative role models. In this context, it’s easy to understand why young Cubans are underwhelmed by the idea of Che: To them, he’s just another sepia portrait in the trophy case—handsome and intriguing, perhaps, but hardly relevant or revolutionary.

Read the rest of Pott's essay, "Che: The Ronald McDonald of Revolution," at worldhum.com. (You may recognize Potts from my reading list last year; he wrote Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.)


editorgirl said...

Thank you for posting about this. I heart Lance Larsen.

Sarah Louise said...

Shut! Up! I discovered Brevity last spring and recommended that my fellow classmates submit their short exercises. You know, for the victory of the thing.