Friday, May 15, 2009

So close I can smell the weekend...

The garbage truck didn’t take my yard waste because I left it in the wrong type of bag. Now, my garage smells like decomposing foliage.

It’s Friday. Welcome to the melange.

I have some final one-sentence stories from my coworkers.

From my City Editor John Bertosa: “Caesar came, saw and conquered." (I guess this counts.)

From Education Reporter and rabbit enthusiast Sandra M. Klepach: “It took two attacks and Ralph Fisher’s severed genitals before the family could see the cloned Brahman bull was not their beloved pet reincarnated.”

(Sandy wants everyone to know that her one-sentence story was inspired by a segment from Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life.)

I read Eric Michael Dyson’s “Is Bill Cosby Right or has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind?” I never want this blog to turn into a discussion of politics. Never. So it will suffice to say that I found it interesting. Dyson dissects Cosby’s recent comments regarding the African-American poor. In Cosby’s words, they “failed” to keep up their end of the civil rights movement.

Dyson said that most of Cosby’s criticism is ill-founded. He also notes that Cosby avoided the topic of race for most of his career and questions why he would only broach the subject to attack the poor.

I found myself disagreeing with both Dyson and Cosby. In general, I think they both leaned toward extremes. Cosby was too quick to blame the poor; and Dyson, too quick to blame racial power structures.

I would only recommend the book if the last four paragraphs didn’t bore the spit out of you. I find this kind of stuff fascinating, but it ain’t beach readin’.

The annual Esquire fiction contest is upon us. More information here.

Aspiring writers can write a short story for the magazine. The winner gets $2,500 and published in Esquire. The story must be 8,000 words or less. It also must be titled either “Twenty-Ten,” “An Insurrection,” or “Never, Ever Bring This Up Again.”

Best of luck.

-Jason Lea,

P.S. The ultimate challenge would be to write a one-story sentence involving one of those titles.

P.P.S. “She stood from the couch — still smelling of Miller Lite — smiled disingenuously, and said, ‘Never, ever bring this up again.’”

Final Post Script. That wasn't very good at all.

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