Find us Sunday at the Brooklyn Book Festival. And then reading at lprnyc at 715. Go to theneweryork.com/events for details.
New Fiction: Failed Consumer Robots by S. Kay
Art by Lumi Valkoinen
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/failed-consumer-robots-s-kay/
- The singing robot performed highlights from Top 10 Karaoke Hits on repeat and cleared out the product launch party.
- Doggie Barbot dispensed chicken, beef, and salmon flavoured water, but the angel investor’s dog preferred drinking out of a toilet.
- Driverless taxis didn’t fare well when people hacked them to cross the country for free.
- Nobody wanted a morning alarm drone hovering over their pillow and streaming video of their bed hair to social media.
- Personal chef bots were great, until they used molecular gastronomy on house plants for garnishes.
- The office desk version of the twerking robot sparked a rush of sexual harassment lawsuits.
- Robotic hair extensions had a flash of popularity, but the fad was replaced by prosthetic fingers on rings.
- The foodie telepresence robot was no fun; it visited restaurants you want to go to, composted meals it ordered, and used your credit card.
- A Kickstarter campaign boomed for robotic cat exercise toys. Cats opted for lazy play, riding on Roombas.
- A Kickstarter campaign boomed for robotic cat exercise toys. Cats opted for lazy play, riding on Roombas.
New review: Building a Fairytale, or Comparing a Modern Version of Beauty and the Beast to the Film Gigli by Dave Wright
All true fairytales are true the same; every untrue fairytale can only be true to itself, and only in arbitrary ways. (Poor Count Lev, he can’t escape our molestations.) So, anyway, we must say there are no untrue fairytales. If A is a fairytale, then A is a true fairytale. If A is not a fairytale, it cannot be an untrue fairytale. Since all fairytales are true fairytales, the phrase true fairytales is redundant. A either is or is not a fairytale. [See work of Antti Aarne, Stith Thompson, Alexander Propp, Claude-Levi Strausse, and Marian Roalfe Cox for more information regarding classification of models]
If A is properly built using a basic fairytale model as its foundation, then A can be a fairytale regardless of its specific characters or settings. If A is built on a framework of its own devices (without regards to fairytale structure), A can still be a fairytale, but only by chance. If the narrative structure of A is such that it follows no variation of a traditional fairytale model, it is only a story built on the arbitrary details alone. That’s not to qualify to any degree these stories. They can be truths to themselves, though a great many choose to be otherwise. I say this only to make room to compare, shed light on, move closer to an understanding. One can feel a marked difference when considering a fairytale and a tale tale, comparatively. Consider the following:
- A brave, wealthy, aristocratic, kind-hearted bachelor volunteers to go to the war and becomes horribly disfigured, after being hit with chemical weapons in the face. He returns home after healing and being medically discharged. Worried he may scare his fellow citizens, and in part due to his self-conscious anxiety, he becomes a lonely, disgruntled recluse in his family’s country manor. So afraid of his own image, which is burned into his memory and festers and grows ever-more gruesome as he perceives it, he removes all reflective surfaces from his life and home, never to look upon himself again. He is left to his own devices, to grow increasingly hideous in mind and attitude. He is resigned to living out his days in total solitude, his physical appearance having buried the man he once was. Just when it seems all hope of finding true love and self-happiness is lost, a beautiful, strong-willed traveling encyclopedia saleslady (with her own concerns for her own future) decides to ignore her supervisor’s advice to skip this country manor over— the last five solicitation attempts to that address being disastrous— and things begin to change for the wealthy, disfigured war veteran and the beautiful middle class saleslady with $15.36 in her bank account. Let me guess, you’ve heard this one before. You knew three sentences back where this was headed. But look again, this one is totally new. The dancing candlestick is nowhere to be found. The ghastly-looking man is keeping no eternal rose garden. And her name isn’t Belle from France. It’s Angie from Tennessee. But nonetheless, like Belle and Gaston, Capt. Jeffery Banes and Angela Lee (now Angela Lee-Banes) are the beauty and the beast. And after a trying period of coming to terms with each other’s situation, and too overcoming external forces which seek to interrupt their bond, they live like a great many fairytale characters live in the end: happily ever after. (Not that living happily ever after is always a given, but it is the case with this model: the Aarne-Thompson 425C.)
- Rikki the criminal lesbian assassin, Larry Gigili the tough-guy hit-man from Los Angeles who has a heart of gold, and Brian the kidnapped hostage & younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor all come to be best friends, while carrying out a plot to free a high-ranking gangster from incarceration. Amidst all the shenanigans, Rikki and Gigili become attracted to one another, which neither can understand. While the narrative is predictable to the Hollywood film audience, it is not universally recognizable by its structure, as it is not built on any discernible fairytale model. Its composition is based on the arbitrary causes and effects of random events. Things happen; Gigili and Rikki run off together. Happy, unhappy, or indifferent. Any ending would have satisfied the arbitrary demands of the narrative. For some reason Hollywood audiences like happily ever after (further proof perhaps of the deeply situated structures of fairytale in human life, since this ending convention of the genre pre-dates Hollywood by a few years). Perhaps this has something to do with Disney, the reason they over-use and misuse the happily ever after. I couldn’t say for sure. But they like them. Love them. That’s bread and butter right there. So they get what they pay for, sort of. They think they get happily ever after, when in reality what they get is a random, seemingly happy event at the end of a movie. We never question whether or not Capt. Banes and Angela live happily ever after in scenario 1. It’s built like a fairytale we know. However, nothing in the way of Gigili’s narrative’s structure necessarily points to this happy ending as a real possibility, or even logically validates it as any more reasonable than an unhappy or an indifferent one. At this point, the happy event ending is nothing more than a deus ex machina inserted for the purposes of cuing the audience on what it is supposed to feel, since the narrative is arbitrarily structured and has no real meaning on its own. Essentially meaninglessness is the primary driving force behind such a narrative, it relies on our ability to passively absorb life in the present, at least while we are encountering it. But old boy, I’ve run aground in circles repeating myself. I’ve never been to cinema per se. Just know that without these meaningless narratives, the collective majority of us just might all go bat shit crazy. Climb a tower or put rocks in our pockets. [See Affleck and Lopez in the film Gigli. Understand this is just a general example of what 99% of all movies do. It is in no way a direct attack against Gigili specifically. We could have just as easy used The Shawshank Redemption.]
See what I mean?
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/building-a-fairytale-or-comparing-a-modern-version-of-beauty-and-the-beast-to-the-film-gigli-dave-wright/
Art to be featured in theNewerYork Book IV. See more at obsoleteworld.com. Jeannie Lynn Paske = @obsoleteworld
New Fiction: Weather Change by Soren Melville
all the teens assembled behind the drugs store and appreciated the act of setting you on fire. for three days afterwards your mother could not speak of the loss except to liken it to a soft stomach ache she didn’t ever suspect to subside.
all things considered, being shot is not as bad as I always thought it might be, as long as you can keep the fear from your mind
but I guess you can say that about almost anything in life
it’s not so bad as long as you can keep the fear from your mind
you had a dry mouth, as if you spoke too much in bed
spent the night speaking in slow motion
slow down, tiger
LGBT politics can’t handle this yet
as above, so below. the human being finds himself, or herself, in the middle. there is as much space outside the human, proportionately, as inside. stars, moons, and planets remind us of protons, neutrons, and electrons. is there a bigger being walking with all the stars within? does our thinking affect what goes on outside us, and what goes on inside us? i think it does. where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? what really is creamed corn? is it a symbol for something else?
i did not ever come out to my mother. i grew up in yorkshire. i was twelve when my mother and father divorced and i moved to the states with my mum. she is an american. she is a medium. the dead have been following her around since she was nine. she knew i was gay like she knows a lot of things. she plucked a dark hair from my jumper once as i stood in the kitchen and asked me if i had had a nice day. it was raining. quite a few boys fancied me because of my accent, which has worn down only a little. more boys fancied me for that than if i had been born here without it, which i almost was. but mum and dad lived in yorkshire before me, and during a section of me, and then i was swept away. on the gloomy rainy day in the kitchen mum picked a dark hair off my jumper, the hair of the boy i had lost my virginity to. it was good to be normal enough for something like that. to touch the world in that way. i was not too odd that i could not lose my virginity at the normal age with a young man i thought i loved. “it’s different being different” is what mum has always said about us, though she is different in a way that no one else i have ever met is. do the dead follow you often? i ask. she says they used to be more shy, but i think it was your father they did not like. can you see any right now? i ask. she says no, but she feels them almost all the time, like cobwebs through her guts. she tells me about them sometimes when i visit. i do not live with her anymore. she knew i was gay and asked me kindly if i loved him. i do not remember if she was holding the hair or if she had dropped it on the floor to be swept up later. i said that i did, and was happy. she tip-toed to kiss my forehead. this was ten years ago or so. my jumper was red. this was a normal conversation for us. mum says she has no other gifts besides seeing the dead. she says my mind has always reminded her of heavy bricks; there is no room for psychic gifts.
“you blur slightly when you move,” he told me in the light of the full moon falling across the bed. imagine you, a wicker basket, and me, the grey spiny creature with glistening fangs and weeping eyes that have looked into each unfathomable darkness. “come to bed, cory,” he said, and it sounded like a proposition from an endless desert
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/weather-change-soren-melville/
Stable. Maybe. I don’t know. What?
Martial Arts Status
I watched The Karate Kid several dozen times as a child.
What is the first animal you remember killing?
it was probably an ant.
How long have you had this problem and why do you think it lingers? (You know which problem.)
Since adolescence, so, 20 years? Probably because of some weird psycho-masochism and an aversion to feeling vulnerable.
What color is a bluejay?
blue and white and black, silly.
What is the first feeling that babies feel?
Which iteration of you was your favorite and why?
whichever one was a couple years ago. I’m thinking it was the 8th or so.
Absurdity or Death?
What if at the moment we die every photograph we were ever in the background of but never knew existed flashes before our eyes? Think about it. Are we
Sigur Ros or Sugar Ray
What is your favorite flavor?
Explain your step-by-step process re: growing as a human being.
Watch relationships explode or decay.
Where do you get your news?
•I still believe in newspapers
How much alcohol do you drink when you have the next day off?
A post-party-anxiety-inducing amount
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Would you like to donate to the Red Panda Network
I’m too lazy to look into it.
You’re entertaining guests at your homestead. You serve:
Potluck and BYOB. What? Do I look rich?
What is your face?
Today I met a nice girl whom I will not ask out on a date because I’m afraid my financial situation and relative lack of ambition will be discovered upon deciding to take our relationship to the “next level.”
1. Ice cream
I was pretty disappointed with the last one I attended, and I’m no good at organizing them myself.
Would you like to adopt a red panda?
I’m afraid it may not get along with my cat, whose presence I resent.
Drugs from strangers:
Just say no
How do you separate the artist from the art? Should you even?
With a scalpel on a case-by-case basis. Or with two pickup trucks and a predetermined length of chain.
Hugs from strangers:
You are a human being on planet Earth. Please rate your experience thus far. 10 being not very satisfied and 0 being extremely satisfied.
What kind of goth are you?
To “party” a shirt means to:
Either of the above (wear it / rip its sleeves off)
What’s the first thing you say to strangers at parties?
You’re trapped on a desert island and can only bring three books. You:
Kierkegaard? More like, Ermahgerd!
Do you plan to submit to the Department of Forms and Records contest?
FILL OUT THIS FUN FORM HERE