Inhuman Swill : Page 202
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Op-ed piece on newsstands now!

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Hey, my op-ed piece for ON Magazine (formerly Time Digital), "Web of Hope," is out now! The December issue is available on newsstands in this fine country as we speak. Unless you have a really well-stocked newsstand nearby, your best best is probably to look for it in the computer magazine section at your nearest Barnes & Noble. (The B&N at Union Square had about 20 copies last time I looked. That was before I bought half of them.)

Kind of depressing, though, that a one-page essay paid more than any single piece of fiction I've ever sold, at any length.

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Pollock's fractals

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For you math/art geeks out there, there's a fascinating article in the November Discover about fractal patterns in Jackson Pollock's work.

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Bilmo steps out

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Bilmo and Laura
Laura and I went to the wedding of our friends Eric and Vera over the weekend. Some pictures just came back, and it looks like I was getting a little crazy...

That woman with Bilmo sure is gorgeous, eh?
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Any given eyeball

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Laura and I were just channel-surfing before bed, and we stumbled across Any Given Sunday on one of the Cinemax channels. Now tell me, have you ever seen a player's eyeball pop right of his head during a professional football game? I'm not sure that's ever happened even in an XFL game. Jesus, I'm going to have nightmares tonight. Thanks, Oliver.

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Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb

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I find this news brief from last week's Onion strangely relevant to the situation with my book....

Terrorism Storylines Being Added To TV Shows As Quickly As They Were Dropped LOS ANGELES—Less than two months after frantically excising any allusions to terrorism, network executives are scrambling to add terror-related storylines to TV shows, sources reported Monday. "We're working around the clock to squeeze in a special episode where a Libyan with ties to Al Qaeda threatens to blow up the D.A.'s office," said Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, who on Sept. 15 scrapped an episode of the NBC drama in which a character utters the word "bomb." "We've got to stay on top of this thing." Next week, Spin City, which last month pulled an episode featuring a shot of the World Trade Center, will air a "very special" one-hour episode in which Mayor Winston is infected with anthrax.
My timing, as usual, is piss-poor. But perhaps the next submission will benefit.
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American Spirit

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American Spirit
Laura smokes all-natural American Spirits...

...the "Cigarette of Salmons."
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Wrong holiday, but...

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four-leaf clovers
So, when Laura and I were in Utah a week ago, we went hiking on Mount Timpanogos on a trail called Timpooneke. I stopped to tie my shoe by a tiny waterfall, and I found not one but two four-leaf clovers:

Laura had a copy of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections in her pack, which turned out to be more than suitably large and dense for pressing the clovers in until we returned to civilization.

Today may be the wrong holiday for it, but what the heck, the world's upside-down anyway. Happy Halloween.

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I shoulda known it

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Luke Skywalker
Turns out that I am...

This should not have come as a surprise. Somehow I knew I wouldn't turn out to be Han Solo, like [info]reefa did.

Of course, being clean-shaven now, I really do look like that.

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Clean-shaven

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It's very strange—the last few years, the only time I seem to get myself clean-shaven is on Halloween. A couple of years ago I went as a Mormon missionary, last year I was Elmo, and this year I'm Harry Potter. I only pull out my true face as part of a costume. Weird.

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Today's hate mail

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Reasonable-sounding shit (that's the only word for it) like this gives me genuine hope for the timeliness of my book, if not for the state of the human race. The fact that this man believes he is being rational turns my stomach. If this is not the most offensive thing anyone has ever said to me, then surely it ranks in the top three:

Elder Shunn—

I came across your website by accident a few weeks ago and was surprised to find such a detailed account of your mission and experiences. (I had initially heard about the episode while I was on my mission in England, but never learned anything more about it and assumed that the story was just another Mormon myth). After finding your website, I went ahead and printed the entire account and took it with me on a recent business trip—from which I have just recently returned.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed reading about your experiences and was very impressed with your writing style and ability to articulate feelings that only a 19 year old missionary could fully appreciate. Saying that, I was also very disturbed by how it all ended—and what you seemed to learn from the whole experience.

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