With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

BREAKING NEWS! SCANDAL! WAR! (with congratulations to George Saunders)

The MacArthur Foundation has done it again. Each year they give 500,000 dollars to a class of fellows who are deemed highly creative and original. This fellowship is nicknamed the genius grants.

They have announced their 2006, geniuses and guess who is not in the list? ME! Again? Is that fair? Is Life fair you may ask. I know the answer, but until my genius is recognized I refuse to tell. Perhaps my genius will finally be recognized when my peops at the John D. and Catherine T. Micky-D Foundation finally give me props. This letter is one step to that happy state of affairs.

Dearest MacArthur People:

So I guess you are wondering why so many people are viewing your webpage? And what is this delightful blog that keeps directing traffic your way? Allow me to expostulate.

As an amateur genius I have taken great interest in your announcing of the Genius award each year. You can imagine my surprise when I found out for the fifth year in a row, I have been excluded (I didn't hit amateur genius status until I was 22. Obviously, I don't blame you for lack of support before then.)

I had big plans for your money.

Like Sartre’s famous rejection of the Nobel Prize I was going to compose a witty rejoinder to your acknowledgment of my previously amateur but now professional genius. Unfortunately, due too your uncouth maneuvering and posturing I am forced to renounce my plans to renounce your prize; do a complete 180 and actually start begging for the prize money only to finish off with a triple Ollie.

Obviously working in obscurity makes my life relatively difficult. On the other hand, by drawing attention to my obscurity I run the risk of being viewed as a Hypocrite (from the Greek Hypothalmus which means someone who has or possesses or is Hypocritical.)

But I will run that risk in order to speak the truth! I am willing to take $100, 000. That is only 10 percent of the usual 500,000 dollars you usually pay your geniuses! But I won’t even tell anyone that you paid me less. More bang for your buck. And believe me, you need to think about what exactly your $$$ has been going towards.

I have been analyzing at great length the accomplishments of one past recipient, David Foster Wallace. Partly because I have a non-sexual male crush on him, but also because I think it demonstrates why I would be a good candidate for an award.

After extensive research I have found that Mr. Wallace, has apparently usened your money to write works of just a few lines.

I have been way more producitve without the money! Think how much more productive I will be if you give me money so I don't have to work, sometimes up to ten hours a week!

Anyway, since I know you just hand out genius grants but aren't exactly geniuses yourselves I have included this little chart which compares me and David Foster Wallace.

I suppose the matter is settled then!

Perhaps out of a sense of consistency you feel like you need to either award me the full five hundred thousand dollars or nothing at all. Permit me to just put this out there: If you give me the full five hundred thousand dollars in 2007, I will tattoo the back of my head with “The MacArthur Foundation.” This arrangement would be mutually beneficial. I would get to live like a genius, and you would get free advertising in addition to fulfilling your important task.

Yours Sincerely,


P.S. I have been an adjunct at like 9 schools!

P.P.S. If genius is really 99 percent perspiration then I'm covered in sweat!

P.P.P.S. Don't wait until I'm too old and delusional to do anything with the money. Cough, Cough--William Gaddis!

P.P.P.P.S. But really good job on George Saunders. If you couldn't find a picture you just weren't trying hard enough.


Rachel said...

Of course you love the title ... you'd be crazy not too. I hope to have this work of genius finished soon. And by soon, I mean Friday.

QuillDancer said...

Justin, I am certain your quest for genius status qualifies you as "certifiable."

Justin said...

Rachel, Maybe we'll end up splitting the genius prize! J.

Justin said...

quilly, And to think I saved you a slice of cake. j.

Pepper Medley said...

That was a really great little chart. You should send it over to the fellows at The Fields Medal. I have it on good authority that one of their prizes has been vacated...and they give a lot more money.

They make the MacArthur winners look like big not good users of genius.

Clearly you were robbed.

Justin said...

pepper, I didn't think the fields medal gave out more money. Do you know the going rate? I mean that would be cool too, except I'd have a hard time not wearing a medal around everywhere I go.


QuillDancer said...

Justin, why were you so quick to assume I didn't mean "certifiable genius"? Btw, your MENSA application was about to be approved, but because of that little slip they are reconsidering.

Comrade Kevin said...

J. You are a lot like the blogger version of Andy Kaufman, an unrecognized genius of your time. You've been through the Latka on Taxi stage and are well into the Pro-wrestling stage (as your frequent villianous remarks and spars with Macho Man Randy Savage shows). Its only a short matter of time before you die and R.E.M. writes a song about you. Then, then will your genius be truely recognized!!

bitingblondewit said...

Maybe it's your use of the word "usened" that's keeping you off their list? Perhaps if you included a little note explaining that true geniuses often, um, create their own words, they'd reconsider and give the spot you so clearly deserve?

Justin said...

Quilly, how do you know that I didn't mean a slice of poisoned cake? And that by your acknowleding my certifiable genius I was feeling a certain amount of remorse over my plans to send the cake? Huh? J.

Justin said...

Comrade K: Actually even better then R.E.M. is Gypsy Parade is working on a song dedicated to my genius! Yes, yes: THE Gypsy Parade. I can hardly wait. J.

P.S. When I fully reach Kaufman status will I be allowed to visit your blog?

Justin said...

bbw,Here is a pithy saying which I think fully defends myself against your attacks: You can take the blogger out of the ghetto but not the ghetto out of the blogger.

In my hood, if you don't usened made up phrases you get cut like a fish.


Bud said...

Can't win em all but I will be pulling for you in 2007.

QuillDancer said...

Nicely done, Justin. You obviously realized that my second question was the intelligence test. You passed. Your quick and clever answer has been scored and evaluated. The committee wants me to congratulate you. You are slick, evasive and coi -- all the earmarks of a prime political canidate.