The first sentences to essays I’ve started and abandoned in the past year:
For the first time in nearly a decade I’m not participating in a fantasy baseball league.
Here’s Paul Scheerbart’s “The Perpetual Motion Machine: The Story of an Invention,” a wonderful little book with a half-accurate title.
We find ourselves in some kind of office. (Note: this was the beginning of a plot summary to a porn clip.)
It was a very big house.
The closest I ever came to having an actual fistfight was during recess in the fourth grade, when Parth Thakker tried to re-play a triple word score, and I body-slammed him onto the Scrabble board.
One night at dinner, I guess when I was 10 or 11, my dad started talking about the John Coltrane song “Giant Steps.”
This weekend, more than 60,000 people will begin their pilgrimage to Burning Man, the annual arts festival staged on an otherwise barren strip of land in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
Was Edvard Munch funny?
Long stripes of oily color from the street lamps and stop lights stretched undisturbed across the wet, empty streets. A few downed trees. A screen door blown clear off its hinges. But that was it. Williamsburg was fine.
I walked toward the river, and found a few dozen people milling at the piers by the new towers on North 5th and 6th. I’d been in the same spot earlier in the afternoon, when it’d been an almost festive atmosphere. People had been posing for photos, trying to time their snaps to the breaking waves (waves?!) tumbling over the East River.
In the six or seven hours since, the water had pushed a good three hundred yards past the river’s banks, filling the trench of a construction site and lapping against the big windows of one building’s fitness center. Now everyone was lined up at the water line, gawking at the eerie, half-lit Williamsburg Bridge and the negative space of the darkened Manhattan skyline.
It was a surreal scene for sure, but there actually wasn’t much to see. The stray supernatural flash of a car’s headlamps provided the only light from across the river. Mostly it felt like things had been somehow displaced: the equilibrium between light, water, and sky now oddly misaligned. We were all having the same conversation —
“It’s so weird, I know…”
Nice Lady On The Second Floor:
Thank you for killing all the horseflies in our building’s entranceway.
We bonded over those flies. I was coming in, and you were going out, or vice versa, and we both commented on the fly situation. The sheer, hideous number of them.
The next day I found you in the entranceway, unloading an entire can of Raid into the air. You’re a woman of action.
I hope you enjoyed your walk the other night.
Your dog: could you get it to stop barking so much?
And is Jose your brother? nephew? cousin? What’s going on there?
- Guy On The Third Floor, Who Did Nothing About The Flies
This Election Day, voters will choose sides on a fundamental issue: Will America become a better place for poor people or rich people? Truly, we are living in the heyday of representative democracy.
Now, we already know the presidential candidates’ positions. But where do musicians stand? What’s their plan?
This is no trivial question. Musicians are some of our country’s most dedicated public servants, turning their lives outward in order to voice our unspoken wants, desires, and histories.
Fortunately, we needn’t wonder in vain. There is a long tradition of musicians outlining their visions for the world. Rarely are they realistic. I suppose that’s the point.
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