The first is rather long.
Young Download McNulty was scared of the books at first, his Brain Nozzle pumping him full of Video Sprays.... Download picked up the book and kept pressing on its cover, title, and spine, hoping that images would appear. Ruthie told him that books weren't interactive and they couldn't be brain-pumped, that you had to open them up and read the text with your eyes.
She told Download he had to keep his Brain Nozzle on standby. “Read a little,” she said, “and then every once in a while try closing your eyes and entering the mind of the author.”
“What's an author?” Download asked.
“It's someone who's not you who wrote the book.”
“But I'm special,” Download said.
“I know you are,” Ruthie said.
“My dad and teachers say I'm a superhero. I'm the specialest little guy alive. What if this book thing makes me into someone else?”
“You don't have to worry about becoming the author if you read her book,” Ruthie said. “But if you focus on the words, Download, your life may change just a little.”
“Your life may change just a little,” Download mimicked her sarcastically.
There was a huge clatter from the hallway as my fellow aging librarians burst in with their wheelbarrows, quickly grabbing any books they could with their shaking hands while Robbie Pearlmutter of America's Last Bookstore fought them off with his cane. In the corner, Download had already figured out how to open the book and had placed his little index finger on the first word. He traced the word backwards and forwards, finally opening his mouth, like so many children before him.
“The,” he read, holding on to his Brain Nozzle for comfort. And then his mouth formed the rest.
Gary Shteyngart, Link
I'm sure Steve Jobs will be introducing Video Sprays soon. iSpray! (but no porn!)
"A Commercial for Abortion" -- I've always used that phrase as a nickname for The Family Circus.
David Schmader, Link
I started the description of the relationship between girls exactly at moment in which it’s most threatened — when the expert intimacy best friends have cultivated with each other gets transferred to boys. Nothing more tragic than that transfer of intimacy “resources” has to happen between women. Though obviously there are exceptions, it’s safe to say that the pattern is the rule. Friendships between girls don’t crash and burn, they tend to disintegrate. Men are the beneficiaries of all that work.
I cooked my wife a one pound hamburger. "It's like Infinite Jest," I said, "You don't have to finish it. Just tell everyone it was great."
By the way, Infinite Jest was great.