I am about to try something really new. I’ve said that before, but this time I definitely totally mean it.
Lately, I have been getting messages from friends (Allan) about an essay of mine that appeared in Kill Screen Magazine, Issue 3: Intimacy. People, this thing was published in April. Come on.
Obviously I think you should buy the US$15 magazine, which is still available. I know a lot of people get irritated at the idea of spending that kind of money on printed media, which baffles me, but some people believe everything should be online for free. They’ve gotten used to a certain type of accessibility, and I guess that’s OK.
There are a lot of reasons you should buy the magazine, though. For one, it isn’t that old, and it’s a really good issue, and $15 isn’t that much money, and you will have this magazine forever, unless you lose it. For two, we need to support print media right now. (This is very much like a plea I meant to post back in April.) For my own part, I was already paid for my contribution to the magazine, so just buy the magazine, already. For another, we owe the person who ably and singlehandedly edited the piece, writer Chris Dahlen, because he really did do most of the work. Without a good editor, I A) would have given up, or B) would have written something much longer/shorter/worse, but probably just option A.
I wrote this essay, “All the Spaces Between Us,” very specifically for Kill Screen Magazine. It had occurred to me to pitch it to Chris one night in the car, I think in October 2010, when I was going down the highway. (This is how the magic happens, you guys.)
I realized I had some things I wanted to talk about, but if I wanted to go all the way, all-in, I’d have to write for print. That’s because the printed word affords you a freedom you don’t really get with Internet writing. Everyone can see Internet writing and then pass it around, so you have to watch what you say. Plus you don’t want to experiment with putting your whole soul on the line for strangers, and then here comes Joe Dickhead in the comments, picking it apart. Listen, Dickhead! That’s what college was for! OK!
With print, though, people have to pay for the privilege of taking your writing seriously, and because your writing isn’t very muscular anyway, a lot of people are going to flip past your essay. That’s a very freeing feeling, to know that a lot of people won’t stop to read, or else they will get exhausted and stop reading before you ever start making your Very Important Points.
What this all means is, if you can put a humiliatingly personal essay behind the wall of a garden—that is, if the reader has to pay for it, wait for it to arrive in the mail, flip to it, and then stick with it, which, these are an awful lot of hoops—then you are free to say what you like, because all the readers you never even wanted to read your essay already got weeded out. See?
For awhile I’ve thought about just posting the first two sections of the essay right here on this website. The parts about Second Life, sex, and avatars might be interesting to a lot of people who play in virtual worlds, I reasoned, but I chickened out anyway. Or maybe I think the sections about neurology are more important, and I worried that just putting up a chunk would somehow undermine everything.
But I haven’t yet convinced you to spend $15, and that’s fine. And that’s why I’m going for it!!
For a nominal fee, I will let you have a copy of my essay! I know, what a jerk! And I know that not everyone will want to pay a tiny fee, and that is why I feel so liberated!
For 99 cents—that’s the cost of one measly MP3!—here’s what you will get:
- ~15 real-life pages of the overwrought written word
- which comes to about 8,500 written words, actually
- in .pdf form
- set in Garamond!
And that’s all I can promise.
Once you have it, maybe you can print it out and pretend like you are having the Full Magazine Experience. Maybe you will even decide that you would like to read it in Kill Screen instead, with the glossy pages and all the strange and wonderful paintings that José-Luis Olivares made for it, and then you would like to go spend those 15 hard-earned dollars I was talking about before. Or, possibly, none of those things will happen, you’ll get bored with the essay, and then you will have 750 KB of dead weight on your computer.
And there you have it! That’s my idea of a sales pitch!
So here it is. You may download it for 99 American pennies. (Don’t worry: payment processing eats up 56 of those pennies, I have discovered.) I’ve never done this before, but it is pretty easy to get ahold of me if there are any problems.