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May 26th, 2004

i am not a stuffed tiger.

getting out

A perspective on the Iraq exit strategy from George Saunders:
So really, it is a win/win: The Iraqis have fewer abuses than they were having, and we have fewer abuses than we would have had had our abusers stayed at home. Everyone is happy, except, it has been observed, those who were abused and those who hear of the abuse and suddenly join the group of those wanting to kill us. [slate]

I can't think of anyone who captures the whimsical deep sadness of modern existence better. He has been in top form recently, perhaps because there is no shortage of material (see also "My Amendment" [googlecache] regarding same sex marriage).
i am not a stuffed tiger.

cue violins

this new McSweeney's, number 13, that turned up in my mail this week looks like maybe the most beautiful issue that they've ever put together. And that's saying something given their history of producing really nice volumes.

Who knows if I'll ever get around to actually reading it beyond flipping through the pages and looking at the introduction and just feeling generally amazed by the foldout dustjacket, hidden mini-books, and gorgrous detailing. It seems that lately I have a hundred things in progress and no attention span whatsoever.

I'm actually making the situation sound a lot worse than it is. I started reading House of Leaves (er, House of Leaves?) this week, which is kind of a big step since I'm embarrassed to be in the midst of a phase where I can't even remember the last novel I read.1 The real culprit is the always growing stack of scientific articles, regularly arriving magazines, purchased but unread novels, and a couple of unfinished short story collections.

But this McSweeney's is a comics issue, which is neat (though my first instinct is to read the text parts). I haven't really read comics since I gave up on the continuing soap operatic saga of the X-men and friends. I mean, I read Calivn & Hobbes and get the Boondocks in my email, but that's about it. Not even the comics in The New Yorker (amazingly); so this should be interesting.

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[1] See above regarding no attention span. I finished Master & Margarita about one month ago.