This is actually a fairly substantive bit of dart throwing.
There's a reason why just about every author that comes through here makes sure to comment on how Seattle is their favorite stop of the tour. I sometimes forget how spoiled I am living here.
You want to know what's happening to New York City? This belief about how great a place it is has been revealed as a farse. For every shiny example of how great NYC is in the media, we get another of how much it sucks. The only reason that NYC is seen under any positive light is because they have have decades of a head start in convincing everyone how lovely it is there.

No more do we have to sit back as New Yorkers explain why their city is superior to every place else, now we can listen to them with a smile and point them towards this:…

Spring in NY is so great because it's the last bit nice weather before the shitty 100+ degree summer that will turn the city into the inside of my childhood easy bake oven.
The Statue of Liberty would look better in the Salish Sea, anyway.
It's America that's literarily dead, not New York. McSweeney's is a case in point -- gorgeous, unreadable twaddle, almost all of it. New York, like the rest of the country, Seattle included, has been taken over by Pod People, fresh-faced and flush, white kids just out of college and rarin' to set up shop knitting wooly covers for the thumbs they so recently stopped sucking. Their books are impeccably graphically designed but contain nothing but gimmickry and self-absorbtion. Where's the guts? Where's the range? Where's something besides thirty-year-olds babytalking to their kitties?

Eggers? At least he's working on it; he might get there someday. A more representative sample is Tao Lin. Or Miranda July.
@Fnarf, if you think you can do a better job, I need a ghost writer.
Gawk THIS, motherfuckers!
I love this war! This war is making my morning! Can we go to war with New York every day? Please!
I love SLOG so much right now.
For what it's worth: McSweeney's came from New York originally -- Eggers published it out of his Brooklyn apartment, and the "McSweeney's scene" you describe was, at least initially, centered in Park Slope and environs. Eggers didn't move to San Francisco 'till later.

And the jab at Gawker wouldn't have anything to do with their jab at Slog a few days back, would it? You guys are above that, right?
Paul's comment #5, ftw. Gawker is just gossipy trash. I like the slog theme today.

@6 also has some good points, although I do like Eggers (but perhaps he's overrated).

excuse me. farsical farse. the correct spelling is importante.
@12, "What is the What" was a great leap forward. Shame he hasn't done anything since.

The real problem, as I see it, is that it's very difficult for Americans today to have interesting experiences, at least ones that translate into fodder for interesting writing. The only part of American life that has any LIFE in it anymore is crime, which is why crime fiction is still vibrant.
Fnarf @15: Read Zeitoun, please.
I'd fall on the SEA side of almost any "war" with NYC, but this post is ludicrous. Trotting out our local internet version of WalMart as evidence of our literary dominance? How does smugly citing sheer market power jibe with the tenets the Stanger usually espouses? The fact of Amazon's corporate clout is more important than the reality that a weighty share of notable U.S. writers call NYC home? I'm new to this blog--is it always so overdone?
Yeah, there's a very good reason Manhattanites (whom I believe must to some extent be distinguished from the other borough-dwellers) refer to this time of year as "The NYC Urine-Fest", before they get the hell out of the City.

And while some may call this "small city provincial backlash", the fact that anyone even attempts to challenge NYC's hegemony when it comes to matters of cultural is simply proof of how far the city has slipped.

Because, as the saying goes: the pack only attacks the Big Dog when he shows signs of being vulnerable...
OH!! Can we also declare war against Tao Lin please?
@6 hooray!
Yes, we see that Seattle is the "greenest" city in the world.
Nice post.
@16, FUCK, I forgot "Zeitoun". OK, I suck, I withdraw my criticism of Eggers. It's neither the best book about New Orleans or even Katrian, though; when Eggers steps into the world of non-fiction, he's suddenly surrounded by a whole 'nuther level of talent. Ned Sublette eats Eggers's lunch every day.
This is my favorite day on Slog in forever.
Eggers is trash. He's always been trash. I read McSweeney's on the toilet after a week of eating nothing but ramen bowls and my bowels are so impacted that no over-the-counter laxative, stool-softener, or fiber supplement could relieve my constipation. Only McSweeney's, that bastion of how tough it is to be an upper-middle class white person, could provide the kind of tough, prescription-strength mediocrity that can cause me to dump a nice frothy mix of textures and colors into the bowl.

It's tough to be a working writer.
Today is fun.
Sorry, but Eggers had one good book in him, Miranda July should be serving coffee somewhere in NorCal (seriously, WTF?!) and McSweeney's so dead it's stinking up the joint.
The best magazine in America is The New Yorker, not The Seattleite". The best newspaper in America is The New York Times, not The Seattle Times. And The New York Review of Books > The Seattle Review of Books.
Oh yeah Paul, regarding point #3 - cutting out publishing houses and having authors deal directly with Amazon. You forgot about one vital element missing when you bypass publishers: Editors. Have you ever tried reading an unedited manuscript? It's an experience not unlike spending time in the dentist's chair without novocane.

Does Amazon really want to add editing to their list of services? Or marketing for that matter? And believe me, the relationship between Amazon and publishers is a symbiotic one. Do you really think Amazon would stay afloat by selling BBQ equipment?

A book is a product to be sold and the process, from writer to agent to acquisition committee to editor, has a purpose. - to get quality books in the hands of readers.
@27: No, no, no. Miranda July should not be serving coffee, she should be in Seattle having crazy sex with some married 40-year old cyber-hippie with a doctoral degree. And then writing a novella about it.

@28: Yes, yes, yes. I might add, Miranda July has contributed wonderful things to the pages of The New Yorker.
What? No love for the local literary center that could? I'm disappointed, Paul. There are only a handful of literary centers in the entire country, and the three biggest are in Minnesota, Maryland and--you guessed it!--Seattle.
More war! More war!
Another way New York is superior to Seattle: New Yorkers are way more fun to wind up. They're so attached to the top dog status that they had nothing to do with earning that they get all furious and sulky when it's challenged. Good stuff!

Disclosure: I lived for years in Boston where New-York-baiting is endemic. This may have colored my opinions.
Another feather in Seattle's cap-- we're the only place in the world with 2 Espresso Book Machines in *the same city*.

How many does New York have? *None*, zip, nada, zero, bupkiss. (ok, ok. so they'll finally get one soon: McNally-Jackson bookstore, but whatever. They'll still have one less than us for the foreseeable future).
@34, I thought ours were in Seattle and Lake Forest Park -- that's TWO cities!


Another metric: Seattle has me, that's +1 for Seattle. Seattle has Will in Seattle and John Bailo, that's +204 for New York. Looking grim, guys.
Hey Fnarf..How's it goin'?...Uh. Hey. What's this in my pocket?Well, will you lookee here------> I just found a buncha hairs for you to split, good sir!

Though in all seriousness, I have to say it still boggles my mind that New York doesn't have a single one and Washington has 3 (Bellingham being the other); I've thought about it for a while an I think the reason why this has happened is that traditionally the west coast (and moreso Washington/Oregon) has been so far removed from the 'pulse' of the publishing world, that something was in the air; a mistrust of the publishers and their ability to take care of the publishing industry's future... And the Espresso Book Machine is a way to alter the game a little for bookstores and authors...
@35: "Seattle has me"

Fnarf, I really wish you'd write a novel. I'm serious. Have you tried? If there's a clunker in you, get it out of the way and keep writing. Find a good editor, and voila. It won't be shit, and it might be fantastic. You owe it to your city.
@37, I blush. You are too kind. But if I ever wrote a novel, it would be about 75% the Authorial Voice telling my characters what useless pieces of shit they are, and 25% my characters telling me what an asshole I am for making them in such a defective manner. Sort of Pirandello-meets-Faulkner at Northgate Mall. Not sure anyone wants to read that; I certainly wouldn't.
Paul, about #4: dream on, sir. Dream on...
Short stories, then? A book of critical ripostes? Don't hide your light under a bushel, is all I'm saying. And what else are you going to do with your retirement? I plan to write all kinds of useless crap just to prevent myself from being permanently pickled.

Please wait...

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