I personally have no hunger for posthumous recognition—I would, quite frankly, prefer not to be considered even at the present moment—but should you be disposed to desire that your name live on long after you have vanished from the earth you could attempt to create a great work of art that inspires generations not yet born and resonates so directly with the human soul that thousands of years after your passing people will still speak in stunned tones of your timelessness. Or you could try to invent something so vital and revolutionary that the humans of the future will mark time through a categorization that divides the era that preceded your creation and everything that came after it. But both of those seem like longshots even for the most intelligent and resourceful of the species, and, let’s be honest, that’s not you. You’re reading this on Tumblr, right now. You don’t frankly have a lot going on. But fear not. All you have to do is, right at the moment before you expire, look at the people around you and say, “I wish I spent more time at the office.” The wiseasses and know-it-alls of the future will guarantee your immortality.
Okay, I am obviously biased here, but I have to insist that you buy Choire Sicha’s Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City. Yes, he’s my business partner, yes, we’ve known each other for over a decade now, sure, at this point we’ve spent so much time together either “supervising” the other or working as a “team” that we pretty easily anticipate moods and reactions and opinions before they occur, but even if I had never met the man I would tell you that this is an incredible book and if you’re going to buy any book this year, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be Very Recent History.
Why? Well, it’s an amazing story that gives an unusual but remarkably incisive perspective on the Way We Live Now and the changes that our New Economy have made in the lives of so many young people. What Corey does really well is stick with a group of kids who wander around New York (I guess this is kind of a spoiler: although the city is never named, I can tell you from my inside information gleaned spending time in business meetings when we were supposed to be talking about work but he was all, “Blah blah blah my book my precious book,” the city is New York. Also, the character of “the mayor” is based on Mike Bloomberg. You heard it here first.) and try to negotiate the minefields of youth, romance and penury in an age when the old certainties have been blown away. There is also an alien invasion at the end (which really helps, because the third act is SUPER drag-assy, so when the flying saucers show up you are all, FUCK YEAH BITCHES THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT) to keep things extra real.
But, most importantly, you should buy this book for the innovative narrative style Sithlord chooses to tell his tale with. The man is well-respected, and deservedly so, around the web for his keen voice, but no matter how much of his work you’ve read (and trust me, even his bitchy emails are in the same whiny, declarative-laden voice, so much so that you have weird dreams about hurting a person with actual punctuation, to the extent that you have priced out what making a very sharp exclamation point to stab someone with would cost; it is surprisingly expensive) you will not expect the masterful way in which Kourtney handles the challenge of relating an entire story from the perspective of rescue cats. I’d say “there’s a reason no one has done that before,” but it would be wrong, since clearly it was just waiting for the right person to come along and do it, because, man, those cats sing. Like, they are literally singing cats. It’s astounding.
Anyway, enough of my gushing. I don’t want to embarrass him any further by talking about how great the whole book is (and breezy; I read it in three minutes, cover to cover, and two of those minutes were spent trying to decode people’s placement in the acknowledgment pages, which, you know, go fuck yourself), so just let me say it: Cherry Soda’s Very Recent History: A Bunch Of Stuff That Happened To Some Guys A Couple Years Back is the book of the summer and probably the book of the year.
And, in all seriousness, you should buy it. It’s pretty goddamn great.
Ugh, I wish I’d remembered how sad “Spider and I” always makes me feel before I posted it.
So I have developed some weird kind of dyslexia where I misread words and rearrange them etc., which manifested itself in my initially reading this title as Most Evil 90s People. I guess what is most disturbing in this scenario is that I took issue with the placement, not the selection, of the people on this list.
10. John Grisham, class hack
9. Norm MacDonald, newsman
8. Matthew Perry, actor/inflector
7. Elizabeth Wurtzel, straight white girl
6. Hugh Grant/Elizabeth Hurley, Labradorman/assassin
5. David Carson, grunge artist
4. Ted Kaczynski, bomber/sartorialist
3. Claudia Schiffer, bb
2. Courtney Love, widow
1. David LaChappelle, maximalist
Please be excited for this brave new world. It’s going to be great.
“It’s not like these hordes of cicadas suck blood or zombify people,” says May Berenbaum, a University of Illinois entomologist. Adds Berenbaum, “Not that that’s something you should worry about. I can’t even imagine why I brought it up. Okay, gotta go!”