Landscape

American Anthem

“When the promises of liberty, opportunity, and justice are being broken week after week—whether for all people or a certain group of people—what do we owe to the symbols that claim to stand for them?” Robin Beery on a father’s protest and the distinction between a nation and its symbols.

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My Favorite Dead Rock Star

“‘Jimi Hendrix died,’ my stepdad said through the window in the radio room, or maybe I just overheard him announce it to someone through that black microphone. I did know, even at ten, who Jimi Hendrix was. I was surprised my dad knew.” Marisa Mangani on recurrently remembering the death of a legend.

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Lick My Shoes

“I ignored that thought and said, I’ll bring his first album in tomorrow, if you like. You can borrow it and burn a copy, and he said, thanks, though really I don’t think he cared either way, or was particularly interested in hearing this DJ Rupture, it would make him look uncool, and even if he did end up liking it, he couldn’t say so, not in public anyway, or to me.” Stephen Mander tells the story of a CD he’s never getting back.

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Unemployed Character Seeks Work with Ultra-Niche Self-Published Author

“I can grow a long bushy beard, or I can shave my head. Put eyeliner on me and see how brooding I become (I’m thinking of Mr. Jabapuppee from Ziti Underbelly). These choices are all up to you.” New fiction by Doug Cornett.

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Regarding the Murder Problem in “Those Neighborhoods”

How do you solve Indianapolis’s violent crime problem in “those neighborhoods”? We may have actually found some common ground with Tony Katz. (Probably not.)

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Punchcard: Who You Gonna Call? Ghostwriters!

Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter responsible for The Art of the Deal—and he seems to think, Donald Trump himself—has come forward to say that he pretty much hates Donald Trump and is sorry he wrote the book. One of his grudges seems to be that Trump claimed to have written the book that Mr. Schwartz himself…

July 21, 2016
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Thirteen Cellular Narratives

What is a cellular narrative? Benjamin Tedoff offers thirteen perfect examples.

July 15, 2016
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Punchcard: Reading on the ‘Net

In our last Punchcard, we talked about the virtues of reading (books mostly). This week, we’re talking about one of books’ chief competitors—after streaming video, Pokemon Go, and competitive bass fishing. Namely, reading on the Internet. Since springing fully formed from the loins of Al Gore in the nineteen-nineties, the Internet has become a vast, ever-changing repository of written…

July 1, 2016
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Punchcard: On Reading

Readers sometimes have an uncertain relationship with the act of reading. We want it to be good for us—we want there to be some moral/mental/spiritual justification for the fact that we spend our leisure time losing ourselves in someone else’s words. Couldn’t you argue, after all, that reading encourages empathy? And we could all use…

June 27, 2016
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Home Sweet Home

I am normal, I think, in all regards except for the fact that I still live with my parents. I read somewhere or heard somewhere not long ago that more and more adults these days live with their parents. It is comforting to know that I, that my girlfriend and I, are not in a league of our own, so to speak.

June 24, 2016
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Punchcard: Plagiarism

Time for another exciting Punch Card, in which we talk about things other people have written and add some text and links to jazz things up. Today, we’re taking on plagiarism and coming back with a shocking recommendation: Don’t do it.

June 23, 2016
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Ritalin Zombies

“Once, a boy received a low grade, the lowest we could receive: a “U,” unsatisfactory. I remember he had sandy hair and very blue eyes. I think his name was Tommy. He cried, loud, heaving tears that made him hiccup and splotched his face red. Eventually, a nurse escorted him from the classroom.” Carla Dash on avoiding undue effort.

June 22, 2016
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Drinking with the Russians

“Of course I couldn’t keep up with Anatoli/but that didn’t keep him from refilling my shot glass./In between the endless shots of vodka/I swallowed too many pieces of salted Black Sea fish.” A new poem by Dan Grossman.

June 21, 2016
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Lafcadio Hearn in New Orleans

In November of 1877, the sultry southern city of New Orleans became home to an accomplished journalist who was to become the most exotic of writers in an era of exotic writers. Born to an undisciplined Greek woman and a rakish Irishman serving in the British occupation army in Greece in 1850, Lafcadio Hearn spent…

June 20, 2016
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Hey, Mike Gove! Hands Off Our Mojo
You can't get back what you never had.

Brexit is one thing. Cultural appropriation is quite another. Before British Conservatives go looking for their lost mojo, they need to get a clue.

June 17, 2016
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Punchcard: Do You Pay for Content?

Time to get another punch on your Punchnel’s Punchcard. This one’s about stuff we get for free and what that costs everyone involved.

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