Newsflash: Fiction is Declared Dead (Again)

The dominion of Fiction is over. Memoir is now king of all literary genres.

I guess all that’s left is for someone to tell all those fiction writers they’re wasting their time…

Okay, I’ll do it.

“Attention all fiction writers, you are wasting your time and your readers’ time with your fictions. Memoir is where it’s at. Rip up those tired made-up manuscripts. Get to work on those tell-all memoirs. Readers only care about whether you or your parents were drunks or drug addicts, whether you were beaten as a child, whether you or your parents or partner had multiple sexual partners and/or came out of the closet, whether you beat your own children, whether you have any fetishes (sexual or otherwise, but preferably sexual), and above all whether you overcame tremendous odds to be a success.”

How do I know this to be the case? Someone more renowned than myself says so.

“When it comes to proving points and making cases, fiction’s day is done,” Yagoda says.

Fiction, with its made-up stories and obvious constructs, doesn’t provide a roadmap for becoming a success. It merely tells stories and therefore can’t compete in the Land of Point Scoring and Case-Building against the all-mighty Memoir. Because writing and publishing in the 21st Century is all about point-scoring and case-building. Fiction is history.

Consider yourselves informed.

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Chicago: A Biography by Dominic Pacyga

My review of Dominic Pacyga’s Chicago: A Biography is up over at PopMatters.com.

No book that deals with the history of a city like Chicago could ever be small. A city the size of Chicago is essentially a small country. Thousands of books have already been written about various aspects of the city, from biographies of the city’s politicians, artists, personalities, and captains of industry to histories of particular businesses, neighborhoods, events, and vices. It’s a city that even has an encyclopedia dedicated to it (the Encyclopedia of Chicago courtesy of the Chicago History Museum).

Enjoy.

Pre-School Admission Test Tutoring

Showing that it is never too early to start making your kid insecure and success-obsessed, the New York Times brings you tutoring for pre-school admission tests.

Test preparation has long been a big business catering to students taking SATs and admissions exams for law, medical and other graduate schools. But the new clientele is quite a bit younger: 3- and 4-year-olds whose parents hope that a little assistance — costing upward of $1,000 for several sessions — will help them win coveted spots in the city’s gifted and talented public kindergarten classes.

Helicopter Parents of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your child’s place in a gifted program. So sign up your toddlers for tutoring NOW! Because if they don’t get into a Gifted Pre-school Program (that offers Chinese Mandarin Immersion of course), they won’t be able to get into a Gifted Kindergarten Program, which means they won’t be able to get into a Gifted Elementary School Program, and on and on up through a poor high school with bad SAT and ACT scores, and then no Ivy League University for Junior.

And we know what happens to kids who don’t get into an Ivy League University: they end up working McJobs, living in run-down apartments, sitting on the couch smoking pot watching movies from Netflix during all their free time, dude.

One (Partially) Truthful Moment

Every once in awhile, someone says what they really and truly feel deep down, revealing the motivation behind their actions.

Bill “Loofah” O’Reilly of Fox Entertainment did this the other day (at least in part),

“I don’t care about the Constitution!”

Many are distressed and outraged by this. No one who’s watched his shouting TV show for more than three excruciating minutes could be surprised by his attitude made public.

What’s still missing though is the second part of that statement, which would be this:

“I only care about ratings!”