Friday, July 16, 2004
Via Corrente and Dan Froomkin, a preview of The Future Dictionary of America, coming from McSweeney's:
Contributors include [Dave] Eggers, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Franzen, Wendy Wasserstein and more than 100 others. Proceeds will be donated to "groups working for the public good in the 2004 election."
"The dictionary was conceived as a way for a great number of American writers and artists to voice their displeasure with their current political leadership, and to collectively imagine a brighter future," reads an introductory note from the editors, who include Eggers and novelist Jonathan Safran Foer . . . .
In homage to Vice President Dick Cheney, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides invokes the "Cheney Effect," reserved for "the manifestation of personality changes brought on by the reception of a transplanted organ, usually the heart."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is the basis for "rumsfeld," defined by Vonnegut as "one who can stomach casualties." Attorney General John Ashcroft inspired novelist Robert Coover to coin "ashcrofted," when one is "removed from or disqualified for public office on grounds of religious delusions."
Cartoonist Art Spiegelman contributes "ralphnadir," which is "the lowest point in any process," so low that the process must be changed.