For the characters of Chris Ware's astonishingly ambitious comics project Building Stories, leading lives of quiet desperation is surprisingly noisy business. Plaintive, regretful and bitterly self-recriminating thoughts play on shuffle-repeat inside their heads, like a mordant Litany for the (I Wish I Were) Dead:
"Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the end of the world."
"At that point I was starting to get acquainted with the unfairness of life and learning it was better not to expect anything rather than set yourself up for disappointment."
Author Robin Sloan has spent time on both sides of the digital divide, both as a short-story writer and an employee at Twitter — where he described his job as "something to do with figuring out the future of media."
At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.
This week's challenge: A study out of Norway found that couples who split the chores equally are 50 percent more likely to divorce.
Listen as Kenn Michael, host of Musings speaks to Kate Scuffle, co-founder of Selkie Theatre about their upcoming performance "Occupy Your Mind" a provocative new piece crafted by the New York City Theater ensemble with The Civilians from Occupy Wall Street interviews. Occupy Your Mind is directed by Selkie's Artistic Director George B. Miller and will be performed at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley for two shows only on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13 at 7:30pm.
Things go wrong in most stories. It would be a dull plot that did not include an upset, a setback or an obstacle.
But it takes a special kind of reversal to turn one of these plots into a black comedy. Often it's a tiny slip that becomes a vortex of disaster; sometimes it's a growing avalanche of humiliation.
But it's always hewn from the stuff of everyday life, which we see transformed into a minefield using only the slightest shift in perspective. And it allows us to laugh while giving thanks it's not happening to us.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 8:11 pm
Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction. The new judge this round is thriller writer Brad Meltzer. And the new challenge this round, participants had to write a story in 600 words or less that revolved around a U.S. President--fictional or real. Nearly 4,000 storied were submitted. Host Guy Raz presents one of the favorites selected by our readers, "No Down Time" by Fiona Von Siemens of Los Angeles, Calif. You can read the full stories below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actress Queen Latifah, whose credits include Living Out Loud, Chicago, Beauty Shop andthe new Lifetime TV remake of Steel Magnolias, the movie she could watch a million times is 1989's Steel Magnolias.