TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.


I had jury duty today, which means a lot of sitting in the jury room waiting to see if you are called to sit on a jury. Besides watching a bunch of crime shows (I'm not sure if this is supposed to inspire us or brainwash us) on the television bolted up on the wall I cracked open The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005. Flipping through the book I caught George Saunders' name and stopped, I guess Dave Eggers caught on that Saunders was a great living American writer before I did. It was a short story about a bunch of misfit kids and a couple of immigrant widows from Eastern Europe set after World War II. It was nice, but right after that was another piece by George Saunders called Manifesto, a press release from the PRKA. It starts out like this:

Last Thursday, my organization, People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction, orchestrated an overwhelming show of force around the globe.

At precisely 9 in the morning, working with focus and stealth, our entire membership succeeded in simultaneously beheading no one. At 10, Phase II began, during which our entire membership did not force a single man to suck another man’s penis. Also, none of us blew himself/herself up in a crowded public place. No civilians were literally turned inside out via our powerful explosives. In addition, at 11, in Phase III, zero (0) planes were flown into buildings.
— George Saunders

The piece originally appeared in Slate Magazine, you can finish it over there.

I'm joining up.

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Predators + Prey

Predators + Prey