An unfortunately named aspiring actor,on being an aspiring actor, and King Lear
Now available worldwide via a series of tubes.
Howdy there! It’s me Nick Grunerud, and this is the Website for
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
…Which is a public access show in New Haven. It stars one of my, I guess you could say friends, Peter Cunningham who helps write all of the sketches with me.
Other people help me, but it’s really all me…
Anyway, this is where you will see updates and essays, and sketches, and a plethora of other content….
It’s…THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
HOLIDAY GREETINGS TO ALL!
Now that Thanksgiving has left us, the turkey and mashed miscellany disposed of via a series of tubes, it is time for us once again to prepare of the onslaught of Christmas gift season. How many people are on your list? Fifty? Twelve? A HUNDRED?! NO MATTER!
deciding what to get FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES for holiday gifts can be daunting. BUT WE’VE MADE IT EASIER!
It is well-established that any and all people fit into one of ten different archetypes. (nerd, hippie, complete stranger, etc.) If you are having trouble deciding what to get a FRIEND or LOVED ONE: simply take the test linked below, answering best the questions provided with that person in mind. the test will establish WHICH ARCHETYPE your person fits into, and offer gift suggestions accordingly.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY SHOPPING!!!
-Dexter Ellsworth, editor and Holiday guru
having been given a gift certificate for 10 free photos from a prominent paparazzo for a recent birthday, here is a series of candid photos of famous celebrities NOT WEARING THEIR MAKEUP!!!!!
more hard-hitting journalism to follow.
-DEXTER ELLSWORTH, editor, TABLOID SCUM
JESSICA ALBA in Beverly Hills, 10/15/2012
EMILY BLUNT shopping in Aspen, 11/13/2012
BLAKE LIVELY in Manhattan 11/01/2012
SIENNA MILLER in Los Angeles, 11/06/2012
ANNE HATHAWAY in Los Angeles, October 14, 2012
CONDOLEEZZA RICE in Washington D.C., 11/05/2012
KATE WINSLET in London, 11/01/2012
REBECCA LOBO in Hartford, 11/04/2012
BROOKE SHIELDS in Manhattan, 10/29/2012
DREW BARRYMORE in Beverly Hills, 11/10/2012
Roy Scheider, at the premier of 2010: The Year We Make Contact
SALUTATIONS DEAR READERS!
We have much to discuss!
Earlier this week two skeletons were unearthed from beneath a Lincoln Oak on the Green by Hurricane Sandy. Furthermore, this is Halloween Week and today is All Souls’ Day and the Day of the Dead - in light of these facts it seemed only natural to speak once more with an old friend of THE TURDY POND: Mr. NIGHTRAVEN MURDERCLAW, the centuries-old Lich who resides beneath the Green. He is a harbinger of unspeakable Doom, and we spoke to him earlier in the year about Occupy.
TURDY POND: How are you, Nightraven?
NIGHTRAVEN MURDERCLAW: I AM AS I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN, SINCE MY ESSENCE WAS TRANSMUTED FROM THE PUNY SPECTRE ENCASED IN FLESH YOU CALL A SOUL INTO WHAT I AM NOW. WHAT I AM NOW IS WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN, EVEN BEFORE I WAS CHANGED. TIME IS NOT LINEAR, MORTAL. I AM AS I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN. IF YOU MUST ASK YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND.
TP: Well, you seem to be contradicting yourself a bit, but okay. Great. At least you’re talking.
NrMc: YET YOU DO NOT LISTEN.
TP: I’m going to change the subject. As you’re no doubt aware, two skeletons were unearthed on the New Haven Green earlier this week by “Superstorm” Sandy’s toppling of a tree. We all know that the Green was once a burial ground, so it seems as though this was just a freak occurrence. Bodies are down there, and it seems only natural that a couple could get tangled up in -
NrMc: WERE I CAPABLE OF LAUGHING, HUMAN, I WOULD BESEECH YOU NOT TO MAKE ME DO SO.
TP: So then am I to understand there’s more here than meets the eye?
NrMc: HAVE YOU LISTENED TO NOTHING I’VE TOLD YOU? HAVE YOU NOT EARS? HAVE YOU NO APPREHENSION? WHAT MEETS YOUR EYE IS LESS THAN COULD SATE A FLEA’S HUNGER. BEHIND EVERY SURFACE BRIMS TRUTHS AND REALITIES YOU CANNOT FATHOM.
TP: But what of the bones?
NrMc: I HAVE TOLD YOU.
NrMc: MY MASTER BIDS MY PRESENCE.
TP: But we’re right in the middle of an interview, Mr. Murderclaw!
NrMc: VERY WELL. YOU MAY JOIN ME. ASK YOUR QUESTIONS AS WE TRAVEL.
it was at this point that i understood. the lich took me with him. i felt myself leave my body, and when i was lost from it i felt it die as if by some unknown sense. i felt myself in the presence of the lich, though i could not see or hear or feel. i knew only suffering and an abstract sense of movement. i could not know it the way i know our world, but after what seemed like weeks i knew we had arrived in his realm. i knew. he spoke with his master then, who bid him do awful things, things i shall never repeat. oh god. oh god. oh god. i shall never repeat them, but i will not need to. the rest of the interview as follows took place via a grotesque telepathy on our journey. redacted are my wails. after his master was finished with him (why he did not torture or obliterate me confounds me; could it be that murderclaw protected me from his master?) i felt myself thrust back into my flesh. the lich was gone. the M*A*S*H that had been on in the background while we spoke before our journey indicated that only moments had passed. his reward sat congealing in a paper bag.
NrMc: I HAVE TOLD YOU IN THE PAST, MORTAL, THAT THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED. THIS IS THE BEGINNING. THE BONES UNEARTHED BY THE WHIPPING AETHER ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING. THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED. THE LIVING WILL BE BURNT TO CINDER.
TP: Where are we?
NrMc: YOU WOULD NOT LISTEN SO I AM DEMONSTRATING. THE BONES ARE THE BEGINNING ON YOUR PLANE, BUT WE HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR EONS. MY MASTER SEEKS MY PRESENCE TO MAKE FINAL ARRANGEMENT FOR YOUR WORLD’S END. YOUR WORLD’S END AND THE ASCENDANCE OF MINE. OF OURS.
TP: Who is your master? Is it Satan? The Morningstar?
NrMc: THE MORNINGSTAR IS A FICTION. MY MASTER IS UNKNOWN TO YOU. YOU SHALL KNOW HIM SOON. ALL OF YOUR KIND SHALL KNOW HIM.
TP: See, I’m seeing a contradiction here again. Before you said that linear time is an illusion, that you are as you have always been, and taking that for granted, isn’t your speak of prophecy and imminence a bit moot? If things are as they always have been, aren’t they what they always will be? How can something come to pass if all of time is a singularity? How is it that the dead “shall” be raised? How is it that I “shall” know your master?
NrMc: IF YOU MUST ASK YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND.
TP: Well now that’s a cop-out, as far as I’m concerned.
NrMc: MUST WE PARSE THE NATURE OF TIME WHEN YOURS AND THAT OF YOUR WORLD IS FINISHED?
TP: See now, you’re speaking in linear terms. I’m confused.
NrMc: I SPEAK ONLY IN TERMS YOU WILL UNDERSTAND.
TP: Give me some credit here.
NrMc: THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED. THIS IS THE BEGINNING. THE BONES UNEARTHED BY THE WHIPPING AETHER ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING. THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED. THE LIVING WILL BE BURNT TO CINDER. THEN THE CINDER WILL GNASH. THE MASTER IS CLOSE. DO NOT SPEAK. I SHALL RETURN YOU AFTER WE ARE FINISHED. NEVER CONTACT ME AGAIN. I DESIRE NOT MY REWARD.
TP: You don’t want your -
NrMc: SILENCE! THE MASTER!
Well, there you have it folks, the “deal” with the Lincoln Oak Bones. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.
EDITOR, SEER OF THAT WHICH CANNOT BE UNSEEN
here i am with a stranger,
a strange man.
no: not a stranger, and not a blind date.
it is a date with a man i met on the internet,
during time i set aside for meeting men on the internet.
he asks me if i found the place ok,
which is strange, because i suggested it.
i realize he must be nervous.
i wonder if i am nervous.
then i wonder if not, should i be?
then i realize it doesn’t matter.
here i am.
and it doesn’t matter where you are
or what you are doing or who you are with,
because i am here with this strange man,
wasting time trying to get to know him,
and wherever you are and whomever you are with
we are wasting time, together, knowing each other at least.
and i think that is worth something.
and for whatever it is worth,
this strange man insists on paying,
so i insist on ordering champagne.
"New York’s Literary Cubs," in a nutshell:
Young, over-educated urban book-types are unable to break into the publishing industry. Disillusioned and intellectually atrophying they reject the model which has spurned them and create their own, modeled after the Lost Generation of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Stein. (Of course, the Lost Generation and their peers more or less established the Establishment they’re rejecting, but hey whatever.) So, they start a roving salon and an online journal called The New Inquiry. The Old Inquiry of course being a job interview. To wit:
There was no thought of turning a profit. But who cared? No one was making any money on the traditional path, anyway.
“There’s something incredibly liberating,” Ms. Rosenfelt said, “when you realize that climbing that ladder is a ladder to nowhere.”
Ms. Chapman added: “My whole life, I had been doing everything everybody told me. I went to the right school. I got really good grades. I got all the internships. Then, I couldn’t do anything.”
Ms. Rosenfelt and her collaborators envisioned a kind of literary salon reminiscent of the Lost Generation of the 1920s. So once a week, about 20 of The New Inquirer’s contributors and guests gather at an unmarked clandestine bookstore, a sort of literary speakeasy, in a second-floor, three-room apartment on the Upper East Side.
Here’s why this sucks. The formation of an independent intellectual community is all well and good, but these guys only took it upon themselves to do so after they realized that existing channels would never prove lucrative financially. If art is not profitable, then at least it can be enriching, they say. The subtext here is that the latter is secondary to the former, that an education and a pursuit of the mind’s life does not constitute a noble end unto itself but rather “a ladder to nowhere.” Says the novelist Jonathan Lethem in the article, “They’re the precursor of this kind of synthesis of extrainstitutional intellectualism, native to the Internet, native to the city dweller.” Precursor? “Extrainstitutional intellectualism” existed long before someone with an M.A. from Colombia couldn’t get a publishing job in Manhattan. It exists outside of those poor, poor souls downtrodden by their unfulfilling New Yorker internships. Reading Books and Having Ideas is not something restricted to people with who feel entitled to make a living off of them. This group and groups like it do not represent a subversion of the establishment in question, but its stubborn persistence. These are still people with Ivy League degrees, rubbing elbows with people with Ivy League degrees, being patted on the back by the New York Fucking Times. The caste is the same. I overheard a conversation between two friends at a house party last night about Slovoj Zizek. No one involved reads his work for compensation, or expects recognition for knowing it. They work for a living, and learn for the love of it, not to posture or profit. They know better than to join any club that would have them as a member. One can have a thought without gesturing for it to be stuck to the refrigerator.
Ms. Rosenfelt described meeting there [a fucking literature reading] as a form of “urban hacking.”
At one point, a few debated, only half-ironically, whether a new bank in a former Dunkin Donuts nearby was philosophically akin to the French reactionaries’ construction of the Sacré Coeur basilica on the site of the Paris Commune’s insurrection in 1870.
No. No it was not.
She started with a passage from “To the Finland Station,” “in which Edmund Wilson couches the inevitable failure of Marxism in Edmund Wilson’s idea of the national and ethnic identity of Marx.”
The room exploded in vaudeville-style hoots.
Edmund Wilson is really keen on Edmund Wilson, as anyone who has read Edmund Wilson knows.
DESPITE its slacker-revolutionary spirit, The New Inquiry is starting to tiptoe toward the publishing mainstream.
With an audience that understands references to consumerism as “a hedonic treadmill,” many articles in The New Inquiry make The Paris Review look like a beach read. Arch and often aggressively leftist, the articles dance effortlessly from Jacques Derrida to Lady Gaga.
Is “rais[ing] the roof” a form of Structuralism?
Tim Barker, a junior at Columbia, said he was drawn to the salons for the chance to “discuss ideas at an extremely high level, without worrying about status or material support of traditional institutions: publishing houses or universities.”
"Barred from feeling smart alongside people with expensive degrees from [likely] privileged backgrounds within an established social context, Barker took it upon himself to feel smart alongside people with expensive degrees from [likely] privileged backgrounds within an established social context.”
Despite her upbeat take on the proceedings, Ms. Chapman admitted she wasn’t feeling chipper. It was her birthday. A happy occasion? For most, maybe — but not, she explained, when you are turning 25, having graduated summa from Cornell, with a master’s from Columbia, only to find yourself unemployed and back living at home with your parents.
I’m sorry, Ms. Chapman, but something tells me you’re going to be just fine.
EDITOR AND CURMUDGEON
Yekaterina Samutsevich’s closing statement in the criminal case against the feminist punk group Pussy Riot:
During the closing statement, the defendant is expected to repent or express regret for her deeds, or to enumerate attenuating circumstances. In my case, as in the case of my…
Hello! Thank you all for writing in with your submissions, but unfortunately there can be only one winner of the “Write the Winning Essay” essay contest.
with her essay, “This is the Winning Essay”
MS. PAULA ST. CINDY of Kalamazoo, MI!
CONGRATULATIONS TO MS. ST. CINDY
Truthfully, I don’t believe anyone else even followed the directions.
her prize is FREE lifetime membership in the Tautology of the Month Club. she will receive a free tautology in the mail every month forever.
The runner up is Mr. Beasley Bundt of Boston, with is essay, “This is an Excellent Essay.” Congrats as well to Boston’s Mr. Bundt.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP WRITING THINGS THAT WIN THINGS
WRITER, JOURNALIST, JUDGE OF OTHERS