But you guys, it was rejected really nicely. With a brief, concise, but quite constructive explanation.
I literally have never felt so positive about a rejection, you guys.
If you don't currently follow McSweeney's Internet Tendency, you totally should. It's chock-full of smart, satirical, arch, hip humor that somehow manages to be not cloying and precious more than 80% of the time.
Anyway, whereas McSweeney's declined to publish my piece, I will now post it here on my little old blog.
I thought it was funny. I hope you do, too. If you don't, I'm probably going to ignore you, because how else can I justify continuing to write? Right?
On the Reason I Was Unable to Complete My Humorous Article Conflating the Speech Patterns of Holden Caulfield and Donald J. Trump
(An Unpublished Submission to McSweeney's Internet Tendency)
First, I think you’re terrific. I really do. A lot of internet sites, they’re phony, you know? They want you to think they’re smart and funny and all. But when you look at ‘em close - and I mean really goddamn close, not just with one eye or when you’re thinking about the ballgame or the stock market or something - but really good and close, they’re phony. Not good. But I like you, McSweeney’s. And I mean that. I never lie about things like that.
Here’s the thing. I wanted to write something for you. That’s what I started out to do. Write something, send it in. Maybe you would publish it or maybe you wouldn’t, I don’t know. It’s your lousy website, you know?
What I wanted to do - what I was trying to do - was come up with this funny piece about Holden Caulfield and Donald Trump. You know? Like, “who said it? Holden or Trump?” I’ve seen things like that on McSweeney’s before. And they made me laugh. Not always. I mean, Christ, I don’t just go around laughing my head off at everything I read. I have standards..
So anyway, I thought I’d give it my best shot. I do consider myself a pretty smart person. I figured I could write something for McSweeney’s. I mean, you look at some of the people who write for McSweeney’s every day. Every day. Like that’s all they’ve got to live for is seeing their name on some stupid article on the internet. Losers. But I thought, hey, I’m a smart guy, and if those guys can do it I sure as hell can. So I gave it my best shot.
This is where is gets a little screwy. I was writing - and you know, I write everything down in a notebook I keep with me. I write in it daily, almost every day, without fail. I get off on words, I guess you could say. And in case you didn’t know, I have the best words. Ask anyone.
So I’m writing. And I’m writing, you know, Holden Caulfield would say this, and Donald Trump would say that. And it’s funny, right? It’s funny goddamn schtick. I spent a lot of time on it, and I thought it was good. I thought it was pretty beautiful, in fact. I imagined that all my friends would read it and laugh like it was just about the funniest damn thing they ever saw. Not that I need my friends to do that. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any friends who read McSweeney’s, anyway.
But you won’t believe what happened next. I can hardly believe it, and it happened to me. I’m going along, writing to beat the devil, and I stop to read back what I’ve written. That’s what you do. Probably you don’t know this, but that’s what writers do. And I’ll be damned if I couldn’t figure out who I’d meant to say what. Like, to my mind there was no difference between what was supposed to be Holden’s words and what was Don’s. I swear to God, there was no difference at all. Sad.
What it was, see, I didn’t know what to do. As I said, it was supposed to be funny, but now it seemed sorta creepy, me not knowing who was supposed to have said the things they said, you know? It was weird. I was kind of mad, if you want to know the truth. Here it was supposed to be funny, but instead it went off the rails and everything.
Anyway, long story short, I went out instead and had a few drinks and hired a prostitute.
And that, McSweeney’s, is why I didn’t finish my article like I meant to. Maybe I’ll try again in a few days. Maybe, I don’t know. I’m sure I will. And you know what? It will be goddamn tremendous.
With love and squalor,Chuck Baudelaire