McSweeney’s Issue 33
The San Francisco Panorama
Well it arrived in December and I’m not even halfway through reading this one time only newspaper iteration of McSweeney’s Quarterly. Subscribing to a real newspaper that comes even every week seems overwhelming. But this is a great paper. Unlike the usual quarterly with its depressing/disorienting set of short stories that I never get around to reading and then feel dumb for not liking. Always driving and thinking or eating and fighting or ending with pithy surprising descriptions of something or other… not hardly ever funny in the way that makes you laugh- more funny in oh my god I can’t believe he lost his arm or that woman will be trapped in that marriage forever hahahaha?
Anyway the Panorama is not like that. It is a newspaper and therefore comprehensible and fairly positive and active in outlook. For instance, it features a two page spread wherein Chip Kidd redesigns the Amtrak ticket so that it is comprehensible but can be printed using the same machines that spit out the garbage ticket you get now. A small useful piece to help the reader think about design while waiting for the train, instead of behaving like a short story character and slumping disconsolately against the wall in “Penn Station” watching a homeless person fight with a guard while snarfing krispy kremes. The sports section was pretty weak- like an afterthought. My favorite article so far is by Mary Williams, An Oakland Girl’s Unofficial Guide to Antarctica. Something for every interest, a great comics section (go Gabrielle Bell!) a 96 page book review etc. etc. Buy one now.
In classic Eggers fashion, the message is- you could start your own wonderful local newspaper. An insert gives the manifesto and a detailed print run and costs and timeline for publication with the hope that the medium will survive if it can commit to great journalism and reinventing itself.
I like to think of my little blog as a general interest magazine, that’s why I include reviews, photos, poems and reportage and editorials (on my life). So my readership is fairly limited to my Dad and a few faithful friends. I would like to get some other folks with more diverse perspectives to contribute to the Museum Club blog on art and museums. Let me know if you would like to be added as a contributor.