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Thursday, January 6, 2005

Nightmares and Dreams

Dave Eggers was attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign when his mother died of cancer. Shortly thereafter his father passed away and he was not able to complete his final semester. He wrote about his loss in a book that sold millions of copies and won truckloads of critical acclaim. Time Magazine, The LA Times, the New York Times all agreed that A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was the best book of the year 2001. A feature film based on the book is in the works.

Now he manages a website that regularly publishes short pieces that are submitted by authors that range from relative nobodies to established authors. I submitted a piece to mcsweeneys once. Bastards.

Anyways, here's a bit from an unnervingly funny piece titled "I Was Not Invited Back to That School" written by John Moe. The narrator is giving a "motivational" speech in a high school auditorium. It's about dreams:

Do you dream of being the most famous and successful artist in the whole world? Well, that is a dream! Where will that magical journey take you? Perhaps to a cubicle in the design department of a major food conglomerate where you're staying late again to work on more mockups of packaging for a new sort of extreme macaroni 'n'

cheese. The mascot of this new brand is supposed to be a "radical rasta surfer," and in previous meetings you have been told that all your presentations looked" too monsterlike" (when you emphasized the "radical"), "too druggie" (when you emphasized the "rasta"), or "too confusing." They also nixed the idea of the character surfing on the goo from macaroni 'n' cheese while also refusing to let him surf on water or nothing. But he's still supposed to be a surfer.

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