A Christmas Carol was published by Chapman & Hall on December 19, 1843. So here is a version acted out by LEGOs.
“What is an activist? I’ve never really understood. Is it somebody who votes? It’s going to set you apart from a lot of the populace if you do…. There are also professional activists. That’s their job. They’re involved with an organization. They have an agenda. That’s their job. That’s fine. I’m not one of those people, although I’m frequently called upon to front this or that. And there’s a very good reason for that: I don’t have a job, so I can’t get fired. So people like me, who are freelancers, are often called upon for that reason. So you’re put in that position by the mere fact of having the freedom—which it is—not to be subject to the strictures of your place of employment.” - Margaret Atwood on being a political writer and scholar on the frontlines of activism, a description she dismissed.
A few months ago, an author named Marie Calloway became instantly internet-famous by publishing a story titled “Adrien Brody” on Tao Lin’s Muumuu House website. The story told of the protagonist’s affair with what appeared to be the editor of a famous New York magazine named like a letter, a mathematical sign and a number. Many people found it scandalous. I didn’t.
Here’s the story that picks up where that one left off. It’s called “Jeremy Lin”. I don’t really know what it is, but I read it all the way through, in one go, which is much more than I can say for most 11,000 word stories out there. So, here it is. Enjoy!
“Jeremy Lin” by Marie Calloway
I emailed Jeremy Lin a story that I wrote at the behest of my friend. Not soon after, he emailed me back with this reply, “I liked it, if you make the capitalization normal and send it to me I’ll publish it on the website of my publishing company, muumuuhouse.com.” A few minutes later, he sent me a follow up email, “I got an idea. I’m going to France on December 3rd because they’re translating my books. If you are in Paris from December 4 on 7:45AM until December 10 on 5:45PM, you can stay in my hotel room with me. But you have to ‘cover’ the entire trip, as if you are a journalist, in the style of all your other pieces, then get it published somewhere. (I’ll help you find a venue). If I were rich I would pay for your plane ticket but I honestly have like $300 right now. But I am willing to pay half the amount of your plane ticket later, when the piece is published. I’ll pay $700 of the ticket price after the piece is published. The piece should be at least 10,000 words.”
I replied, “Okay, I edited the story so the capitalization is standard. I have attached it to the email. As for Paris, I’m interested but I might have trouble getting the funds. I’ll keep you updated. Thank you very much for your interest in me and my writing of course. I feel very flattered.”
“No Problem. Sweet re: Paris. Sweet re: story. I will post it in one to seven days.”
We emailed back and forth, fixing technical details in the story. Then he published it on the Muumuu House website. We arranged to chat on Gchat one afternoon about Paris.
“Hey. I feel like I was in a really social mood when I thought of the idea, now I feel like it’ll be way too stressful,” he typed.
“Okay. I probably couldn’t get the money anyway.”
NO. MARIE CALLOWAY WILL NOT SULLY THE NAME OF JEREMY LIN.
That’s NY Times journalist Chris Hedges in an interview with The Progressive. He keeps going:
That’s precisely the process that’s happened. We have been very effectively pacified by the pernicious ideology of a consumer society that is centered on the cult of the self—an undiluted hedonism and narcissism. That has become a very effective way to divert our attention while the country is reconfigured into a kind of neofeudalism, with a rapacious oligarchic elite and an anemic government that no longer is able to intercede on behalf of citizens but cravenly serves the interests of the oligarchy itself.