If They’d Told Me We Were Poor, I Would’ve Given This Commencement Speech to Other Poor College Graduates
McSweeney’s
by Marcie Alvis Walker
4h ago
Well, look at you. You’re all so brand spanking new, shiny, and gleaming. The world was made for the likes of you as you are now. Young. Supple. Idealistic. Yes, even the goths with their cloaks of (imaginary? performative?) sorrow, black as their black kohl-rimmed eyes. Yes, you are hopeful and just as starry-eyed and dreamy as the sunshiny ones that you scorn as vehemently as Dracula despises daylight. But you’re here too, wearing a robe and a ridiculous hat with a tassel. The truly sinister-at-heart, antiestablishment marauder wouldn’t be caught dead among such living. I’m not saying you’re ..read more
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I Tried IHOP’s Sonic the Hedgehog Menu So You Don’t Have to, But I Wish You’d Help Out Once in a While
McSweeney’s
by Troy Doetch
4h ago
Sega fanatics and pancake aficionados rejoiced last week as the International House of Pancakes dropped their latest collab. These six foodstuffs, inspired by America’s favorite blue hedgehog, are sure to make Sonic players curl up in a little ball and spin around really fast in joy. But don’t worry, I tried every item on the new menu, so you don’t have to. And while I’m happy to do it for you, I’d feel better if you tried an IHOP novelty menu one of these times, just so I’d know we had an equal partnership. Sonic’s Blue Blur Special Press start to four flapjacks loaded with juicy berries, the ..read more
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Is It a Red Flag? (Jane Eyre Edition)
McSweeney’s
by Amy Greenlee
3d ago
He’s your current employer, and you live in his house. Not a red flag. Not for you at least. As the person in the higher class, he is the one with the most to lose. For you, there is nowhere to go but up. He lies to you about who he is when you first meet. Not a red flag. This is called keeping the mystery alive, and he is smart to make a habit of it early on. He accuses you of putting a spell on his horse. Not a red flag. Insisting that the person you like has used dark magic is actually a very common method of flirting. All the kids/ grown men are doing it. Other versions of this technique i ..read more
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Letters to Moms: A Letter to Alison in Knocked Up
McSweeney’s
by Kristen Mulrooney
3d ago
In this column, Kristen Mulrooney writes letters to famous mothers from literature, TV, and film whom she finds herself relating to on a different level now that she’s a mom herself. - - - Dear Alison, I am forever thinking about the time Katherine Heigl made some negative comments about your character, saying that you were painted as a shrew and a killjoy, and that you and your sister seemed “humorless and uptight” while the men in your lives got to be “lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” After letting my indignance about those comments stew for over a decade, I am writing to you today to adama ..read more
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Other Things That Could Be Called The Tortured Poets Department
McSweeney’s
by Rebecca Turkewitz
3d ago
The LiveJournal community, circa 2005 The university café where English adjuncts hold their office hours My tenth-grade ELA class when I ask them to write one (1) poem The subject line of Submittable email notifications Bard College Any and all bars named after Oscar Wilde Literary Twitter The reception for the Nobel Prize in Literature the year Bob Dylan won An MFA workshop forbidden from writing any more poems about birds English professors walking by the new $80 million STEM building The comments section of a think piece about the TV show Dickinson Coffee shops with horoscope-themed drink s ..read more
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Good News, Husband: I’ve Become a Tradwife
McSweeney’s
by Wendi Aarons and Johanna Gohmann
4d ago
Hi, sweetie. Remember how you told me that your childhood crush was Laura Ingalls Wilder? And that you think America is in the toilet? Well, you’re about to have all your home-churned-butter dreams come true, because I’ve decided to become a tradwife. Like the other pretty, milk-fed traditional wives on Instagram and TikTok, I want to return to the glory days of the 1960s. Or the 1940s? I’m not entirely sure, but whatever time it was when women served their husbands homemade Pop-Tarts and America was a better place for white men with weak chins, I want to return to it. That’s why I’ve quit my ..read more
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McSweeney’s Books: An Interview with Sam Sax About Their New Book, Yr Dead
McSweeney’s
by Rita Bullwinkel
4d ago
- - - In August 2022 I received an email asking if I would like to read Sam Sax’s debut novel with an eye towards possibly becoming the book’s editor. I said yes immediately, and read Yr Dead later that day in a single sitting. The book, which takes place entirely in the span of time between when Ezra, the protagonist of the novel, lights themself on fire and when Ezra dies, is told in lyric fragments that span both lifetimes and geography. It’s a queer, Jewish, diasporic coming-of-age story that questions how our historical memory shapes our political and emotional present. While reading the ..read more
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Writer Math
McSweeney’s
by Elissa Bassist
4d ago
If you think a piece is 100 percent done, it’s actually 45 percent done. To get it to 100 percent done, you can’t. If you think you need “just a few more hours,” you really need a few more months. “I’ll send it by EOD”—no, the odds are 6-1 you won’t. 7-1. 17-1. “EOD” equals 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11:59 p.m., as well as 2 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. the next day. Each breakthrough equals ninety days of clinical depression. (But you can’t pay upfront; if you commit to ninety days of clinical depression, then you may or may not get one breakthrough.) Tragedy plus time equals a best-selling fu ..read more
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The Boys Are Back in Town (for Johnny’s Funeral)
McSweeney’s
by Patrick Coyne
5d ago
With apologies to Thin Lizzy. - - - Guess who just got back today? Mothers, lock up your daughters, because after five long decades away raising our families and building careers of varying success, them wild-eyed boys are back in town to attend our dear friend Johnny’s funeral. It’s such a shame, and we all miss Johnny terribly. It’s wild to think someday all the boys will be gone for good, never to come back to town again. His so-called doctors say it was a pulmonary embolism exacerbated by years of hard drinking and one too many random party chicks slapping him in the face. But if you ask m ..read more
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What I Thought My Life Would Be Like After Decanting All My Spices into Mason Jars
McSweeney’s
by Joe Viner
5d ago
1. My decision to spend sixteen dollars on these Mason jars would inevitably coincide with a sudden, inexplicable change in my personality, from someone who eats luncheon meat straight from the packet to someone who regularly uses fenugreek. 2. The twenty seconds I used to spend looking for the cumin, I would instead devote to loftier pursuits, like marveling at how easy it is to find the cumin. 3. I would automatically become the best, most well-adjusted and anxiety-free version of myself. An aura of uncluttered calm would radiate from me, bathing my interlocutors in a golden, turmeric-scente ..read more
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