I think May makes people do stupid things. You get poisoned by the jasmine smells and the weeklong stretches of bird-chirpy cloudless sunny days, and you become a little delusional. Everyone around me is falling in love (stupid), or pursuing their dreams (stupid), or playing volleyball (the most stupid). But an argument could be made that people need to be stupid in May so that we end up out on the edges of cliffs that ultimately define us. In October, perhaps, you’ll regret whatever trap you fell into in May. You’ll wish you had been soberer and made more rational decisions. But rational decisions never really got anyone anywhere anyway. Progress only comes from failing miserably and then, with all you have in you, trying to reassemble what gets broken.
This month we have some excellent pieces about folly and freedom and failure — appropriate enough for this quietly diabolic season. With issue 17 we welcome a new humor editor (hello, Jocelyn Richards!), a new podcast, and featured art by the incredible Dmitry Borshch. Come back every Monday for fresh content; and go ahead and do whatever stupid thing your heart tells you to do.
Our featured artist this month is Dmitry Borshch. Dmitry was born in Dnepropetrovsk, studied in Moscow, today lives in New York. His drawings have been exhibited at the National Arts Club (New York), Brecht Forum (New York), ISE Cultural Foundation (New York), the State Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg). You can see more of his work here.
by Blythe Roberson
I have a consulting idea for AstraZeneca!
Why don’t you just call up Mitt Romney and ask him for a job at Bain?
Do you want ME to call Mitt Romney?
by Alex Ebel
Bette Midler played over the crackling speakers throughout the store – one of her more inspirational albums.
“I’m sorry sir, we’re no longer accepting donations today.” A man named Denny held his hand up at eye level, his pinky and ring finger curled slightly, as though in benediction. His name was embroidered in the chest pocket of his red work shirt, “Salvation Army” patched across the back.
“I thought you accepted donations until five?” I asked, half knowing already what he was about to tell me.
by Eddie Small
Here at Keegan University, we recognize that today’s economy is changing at an even faster pace than the way our campus administration defines amateur athletics. In order to help our students maximize their postgraduate earning potential, we are pleased to offer the following new majors specifically geared toward the modern job market.
by Joseph Bien-Kahn
Earlier this month, there was a minor groundswell after Fusion reported on the lengthy list of requirements for moving into the Startup Castle—the Tudor-style mansion with “everything you need to live and launch your greatest ambitions.” The requirements included 15 hours of weekly exercise, a degree from a top-class college, and an aversion to car commuting. But the list of deal-breakers was much more striking:
by Eddie Small
by Blythe Roberson
by Dana Perry
by Maggie Cloos
by Joe Veix
by Megan Kirby
When I was a kid, I was really freaking good at drawing horses. My horse drawings will bring you to tears. I obsessively read and reread “Black Beauty,” “Saddle Club,” “The Black Stallion,” and “Misty of Chincoteague.” I knew a lot of horse words, like forelock and withers. My uncle thrifted a huge chest to hold my obscene number of plastic horses, but I mostly left the herd scattered over my bedroom floor where their sharp plastic legs would destroy my bare feet. I dreamt about converting our back garage into a working stable.
by David Schneider
I have an utterly irrational fear of pregnancy. Some combination of visceral details, life experiences, and imagined horrors have lead me to become completely paralyzed by thoughts ranging from making other people pregnant, interacting with pregnant women, and even becoming pregnant myself. I think that’s rational. No one else does, and they say that shouldn’t surprise me.
by Rich Ives
by Willa Conway
I recently took a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, where my extended family has lived for generations. I stayed the night with my grandparents in their house that my great-grandfather built in 1941, right before World War II broke out. My grandmother’s father loved the property because it was large enough to have a little barn and some green space where he could go riding.
by Tom Harper
by Sophie Lucido Johnson
On Saturday I went to a birthday party at a bar on the edge of the Quarter. It was a dance party: the music was loud, and people were drinking; on a stage at the back people tangled yards of tulle around each other like a rave-sized spider web, heads bowed in a boozy euphoria. I had never been to a party like this. I have always been aware of them, but I tend to steer clear of anything that involves close proximity to people, and late nights at bars.
by Marisa Clogher
We’d sit and eat dinner, three-hour long dinners in which we’d only eat for 30 minutes, listening to you talk about your brother, the way he shoved you behind a refrigerator once and you couldn’t get out for hours. You’d have your hair up in a bun, wisps of curls messily bulging from the scrunchie in your hair.
by Roy White
Our meeting was the friend version of a shotgun wedding. It was the summer after third grade, and when my big brothers came to visit, they decided that there was something not quite right about my solitary vacation routine: watching “The Price Is Right” and “The $10,000 Pyramid,” poring over atlases that I had persuaded some adult to borrow from the public library, and throwing a tennis ball against the front steps (I was Bob Gibson mowing down the ’64 Yankees, or sometimes the ’26 Yankees — my steps, my rules).
by Brian Fabry Dorsam
by Dave Hotstream
by Mackenzie Schubert