O U R V O I C E
'I N T E R V I E W'
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Back in early April, we submitted comments to Cathy Hong of the Village Voice, in response to an email asking about mcsweeneys.org. The full text is provided here.[My original submission contained several typos, which I have amended.]
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3 Sets of Answers in search of an interview; apologies to Pirandello, numerous TNYRB articles, and undergraduate papers on John Guare.
Part I. What We Know
1. The mcsweeney.org site was live on April 7, 2000, a date of no significance except for the organizations that garnered meager revenues for the commercial trade that was required to launch the site.
2. On April 7, 2000, mcsweeneys.com and mcsweeneys.net were still a single entity.
3. The quality of what we have published to date is, charitably, uneven, and that is not intended to be a parodic or satirical comment on the material at mcsweeneys.net, which we enjoy regularly. They can't all be home runs.
4. Our proofreader cannot be held accountable for grammar and spelling errors on the site; though we have a staff proofreader, a professional, they have yet to proofread anything on the site. Or, rather, they have read most of the site, called and yelled about all the typos, but not specified any so that they could be immediately rectified.
5. This was not started to specifically be a parody, satire, or homage.
6. We are nonprofit in the most literal sense only.
7. The top level domain suffix 'org' has been available for registration to the general public for many months now.
8. We do not know Gus van Sant.
9. That the one-note joke aspect of this effort has already crested.
10. We intend to continue this effort.
Part II. What We Do Not Know:
1. Why so many people 'appear' to be angry with us.
2. Why several people have many, many Hotmail accounts.
3. What Erving Goffman was talking about, but we think name-dropping him here would be a helpful dissimulation.
4. If anyone has actually seen our site, save for the aforementioned handful of people with many, many hotmail accounts.
5. What the people responsible for mcsweeneys.net think of mcsweeneys.org, save for the comments made on their site.
6. Why mcsweeneys.net was integrated with mcsweeneys.com, excepting the comments posted on the two sites, respectively (all comments have been since excised). Nor do we know why this merger was suspended.
7. Why The Trial of Billy Jack is not recognized as triumph of landmark independent filmmaking.
8. The people whose names appear throughout the mcsweeneys.net site, save for the always exciting and intriguing David Gergen.
Part III. In More Straightforward Terms
There aren't real casual connections between the events last week and this involving the entity generally known as 'McSweeney's.' We were not immediately involved in the McSweeney family's generous offer to maintain a site with content that readers generally recognize as McSweeney's-esque. In point of fact, their content did appear to come directly from mcsweeneys.net and it has since returned. So the content was not merely McSweeney's-esque, it was McSweeney's content. We are not making this effort for the same reasons that McSweeney's exists, though we aren't not either.
As what we are doing aspires to be McSweeney's-esque, for it to be so means we must strive to create as closely as possible the conditions from which McSweeney's arises. As we helpfully stated in Part II, Item 7, as we do not know who is responsible for mcsweeneys.net, so it is very hard to do this. In fact, impossible. On the other hand, what we produce is not merely McSweeney's-esque, it is, by definition, McSweeney's. So we need not necessarly strive to be, or to be anything else, parody, satire or otherwise.
There are lots of juicy post-modern formulations and manifesti we might quote from here "destabilization of authorship" "slippage of signifier" and the latest buzz words, gloss, fetishization, whatever. This act is, and this is the point, in its entirety. It may not be that simple, but because it is, we are unable to speak in terms any more elaborate, because then we would not be speaking of, or about, but near, or retrospectively. Anteriorly. This is not an effect of the Hiesenberg Principle, but because the essence of the gesture is not about what it is.