Review: “The Good Divide” by Kali VanBaale

“But what’s most surprising about this novel, which ends in a lean 186 pages, is Jean Krenshaw’s complexity. She is likeable and unlikable, deeply sympathetic and profoundly unknowable.” Alex Mattingly reviews The Good Divide.

Desert Island

Societies I Would Form if I Was Flying with Coworkers From Various Jobs and We Crashed on a Desert Isle

“I guess we’d try to start some kind of economy based on shells and lava rocks, but it wouldn’t take long to realize we had no survival skills. Like, there’s only so many times I can buy three conch shells for a lava rock or vice versa before I realize I’m starving to death and eat a web designer.” Alex Mattingly contemplates life on a desert isle.


The 5 Worst Scenes Directed by Steven Spielberg

I won’t dispute that Steven Spielberg is one of the great American directors. Taken together, his body of work is astonishing in both its breadth and its narrative depth, ranging from explosive summer blockbusters to deeply meditative character studies. But after a recent viewing of “The Lost World,” I realized that even a director of…

May 1, 2015
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A Brief Report on Generational Trends

Good afternoon, Millennial business owners! And welcome to adulthood! By now you’ve begun to realize your impact on the world is negligible. As it turns out, the ability to “multitask” is not actually a very revolutionary skill. Take heart! Generation X learned the same lesson about “cynicism,” and the Baby Boomers are still trying to…

April 13, 2015
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Punchlist, Week of 4/13/15

“It can be any Kool-Aid you want, if you want green, it can be green. We don’t have green or blue. So it can be red. I like to put mustard in it at the bottom.” Alex Mattingly tapped a third-grade mixologist to see what kind of drinks the future might stir up.

February 25, 2015
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Writer Night for Second Story Presents David James Keaton

This Friday night, 7 PM, Mr. David James Keaton will be here live and in one piece as a benefit for Second Story. I believe you recall Mr. Keaton. Published in more than 50 places, the kind of haunts a coupla mugs like us might enjoy. Places like PANK, Thuglit, Noir at the Bar II, and Plots With Guns. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Flywheel Magazine. Guy’s got a rap sheet a mile long.

February 4, 2015
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A Selection of My Failed Pitches for USA Today Guest Editorials

I Saw One Less Red Squirrel Today Than Yesterday, So What Happened to That Other Squirrel: An Investigation Our Nation’s Greatest Vegetable is Not the Proud Corn Stalk but the Humble Gutter Pea This Guy I Know, Part 1: Matt Cosenza: Who Needs Him? What to Know About Hoarding Your Gold Your Dream Only Failed…

December 23, 2014
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A Few Small Improvements

Alex Mattingly has some suggestions for “printing brighter, better human beings.” Let’s get it right this time.

September 15, 2014
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A Brief Summation of the World’s Major Religions, with Specific Regard to the Meaning of Life

Alex Mattingly knows. And he’s sharing.

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