No Happy Nonsense

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern No. 65: Plundered / Various Authors

February 4th, 2022 | Quick Thoughts

McSweeney's 65: Plundered features works dealing with the lasting legacy of colonial violence in the Americas. McSweeney's is always kind of hit or miss, there's usually one sort of showstopper issue per year, which without question was issue 64, The Audio Issue, so this was more of a "regular" issue of fiction and non-fiction around a theme as opposed to something that would really push the boundaries of what printed media can be and do.

That said, I still really enjoyed this edition. Sophie Braxton's Flat Earth Society had me cracking up at the weirdness of jobs and interviews and how easily they can be flipped on their head with a prodding question or two, while also dealing with your roommate throwing acid on her girlfriend's face, and then the acidified girlfriend lives with you in your apartment.

Worldly Wonders by Sabrina Helen Li tells a tale of an amusement park that puts on interactive displays and art pieces related to continents and countries around the world. As a worldwide disease starts to spread, the China exhibit is sealed off with the workers inside, forced to live with their filth and waste. I remember it being beautiful, in a sort of haunting, fever-dream kind of way. I'm probably too dumb to understand the allegory or metaphor of the world it creates compared to our actual world, but that's okay. I don't always need to "get it."

McSweeney's; it's a hipstery kind of book club once every 3 months. I dig it.

Filed Under: Reviews