Older, Grayer, Sober: Aging Alongside the Jackass Dudes | Literary Hub

When I was 26, I took part in a weekend-long skate contest with a team of about ten other skaters. The contest was a New England version of Thrasher Magazine’s iconic “King of the Road,” in which groups of skaters are sent around the country with a list of tricks and tasks to accomplish scavenger-hunt-style while they travel around. The one I participated in was called “Search and Destroy” (a nod to Thrasher’s slogan “Skate and Destroy”), and it was the wildest weekend of my life.

To begin with, we drank while we drove. Not drinking and then getting in a car, but getting in a car and then opening a beer. The skateboard brand Anti-Hero used to sell these covers that wrap around beer cans to make them look like Cokes or Mountain Dews. We brought 11 cases of Budweiser, a couple handles of Jim Beam, some champagne, and so much weed that our trip technically constituted trafficking. There’s a photo of me in one of the vans (our crew was big enough to require two vehicles) taken from the other van. I’ve got a big shit-eating grin on my face (I was probably tipsy), and I’m holding the sliding door open, while we were driving on the highway. You can see our Budweiser-can-shaped cooler and my friend Mike holding a beer with one of the Anti-Hero covers on it. Continue reading…

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7 Anthologies to Broaden Your Perspective | Read It Forward

Books, as we all know, offer views into other worlds, journeys through unknown territories, engagements with unheard points of view, intimacies with the unfamiliar, and confrontations with the oppositional. They are transits into the other, guiding us—sometimes comfortably, sometimes perilously—through a world too big for us to travel in one lifetime. Through books we become voyeurs, co-conspirators, sidekicks, tag-alongs, psychics, and quantum leapers. They are our windows looking out over everything.

Anthologies go even further: they present a symphony of voices, ruminating on a single subject, a common theme, a unifying thread. They acknowledge in practice the truth that no one author can write the story for an entire group, so they collect disparate yet connected pieces to hint at the bewildering complexities of some of our most pressing issues. They amalgamate work from myriad backgrounds into, if not a representative whole then a satisfying unit that scratches at the idea of representation, like puzzles pieces that when put together form another, larger puzzle piece. Anthologies bring together writers and thinkers into a volume, and by doing so bring together readers into a necessary view of distant horizons. Continue reading…

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.30.23 AMIn Search of the Real Truman Capote | The Atlantic
Music for Chameleons is Capote’s most idiosyncratic book, his flat-out weirdest, but it’s also his most honest, and, in many ways, his best. It’s a shaky testament to a complex figure, and the battle with himself that he would never quite win. It captures Capote’s vast range, his uncanny ear for speech, his fascination with crime and process, his unprecedented access to celebrities and criminals alike—but most of all, Music for Chameleons captures his heart, hidden just below the pages. He wasn’t a saint, but he needn’t have been. Capote was a true artist—his blood was ink—and artists are more beautiful than saints, anyway.