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-Sincerely, Todd & Adam

By now you have probably heard President Obama’s speech about the shooting at Umpqua community college in Roseburg, Oregon. But if you haven’t, you absolutely should. It is a powerful, important speech, and maddeningly, may nevertheless have no effect whatsoever on the political stalemate created by gun lobbyists and seething 2nd Amendment freaks and a cowardly, greedy congress. His weariness and anger are palpable, the weariness anger of the seemingly most powerful man on earth, aware that he has very little real power to prevent this plague of insanity from continuing indefinitely. He brought us back from the brink of economic collapse, he passed massive healthcare reform, and he found Osama Bin Laden; he is an exceedingly capable, just, and effective president, and a decent, highly intelligent man, and yet when confronted with the real stinking, deep rot at the heart of the American Legacy, it is too much for one man to change. This is a coalition of massive historical, cultural and political forces that conspires to crush the spirit of its citizenry, and then arm them with ungodly powerful weapons  with which to take out their fury on the rest of the populace.

The President is right. Our thoughts and prayers are nowhere near enough. In fact, fuck our thoughts and prayers. I’m not sending any more worthless fucking thoughts and prayers. Fuck me even writing this. This is a fucking war. We need a mandate. And we need to fight. We need to demand a change. We need to burn fucking shit to the ground if that’s what it takes. Pry it from your cold, dead hands? Gladly, you worthless piece of garbage. Not one more? Right. There will be thousands more. Thousands upon thousands. It will never end until we make it end. What are we gonna do? What are we really gonna do? Wait until it happens in our school, our church, or our streets, to our friends, our families, and our children, to actually do something?

There is probably more up to date information by now, but this shows the 4chan threads where the shooter posted about his intentions, received tips and encouragement on how to do it, and afterwards was rife with celebration.

Yeah, we started out so serious and heavy. You can’t blame us really, though.  Now, we want you to stay mad, we want your blood to keep boiling, but we also know it might need just a little cooling so it won’t fry your engines just yet. We need you. So here is an exceptionally smart, funny and well-written review of The Walk by Alex Pappademas at Grantland.

Zachary Cosby’s horoscopes at The EEEL work on so many levels. Part poetry,part guided meditations, all spun through a matrix of post-Castaneda mysticism and O.G. Willy Wonka.

These poems by Loma (Christopher Soto) are the most visceral brand of confessional we’ve seen in we don’t know how long.

Cathy Park Hong gives us her “response to the New Yorker outdated puff piece on Kenneth Goldsmith” and we can’t thank her enough.

Moonsick Magazine Issue Five features beautiful work from choir members Anna Meister and Meggie Royer along with a heap of other great stuff.

The fine folks at Nostrovia! Tavern are showcasing the talent of choir member Sam Rush.

Did you know there’s an asteroid named Psyche? Don’t lie.

We can’t stop coming back to this poem by LB Thompson and art by Ellen Wiener.

Rachel Eliza Griffith’s amazing, gorgeous essay on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Part of Pen’s recurring series of essays about banned books.


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