Dirty Words

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Paper, plastic, or come again?

Mildly subversive or just plain juvenile, David K. Wheeler, a writer and bookseller, knows exactly what he’s doing when he asks if you’re in need of a “sack.”

In other words, Wheeler says: “I couldn’t help but notice you’re buying books; do you need supplementary masculine material to make it all the way home?” It might be perceived as challenging a man’s manhood, or the very existence of it thereof, but Wheeler argues that offering a woman a “bag” isn’t too far removed from calling her a spinster.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly NSFW, Wheeler does make some good points about the mutability of language, the influence of digital publishing, and that “vulgarity is there whether you like it or not, like Amazon.”

Whether or not you agree with Wheeler, at least he’s got the balls to say something.

You can read Wheeler’s essay, “Nuts to You,” at The Morning News.

What would Bukowski say?

Walt Whitman revised Leaves of Grass until he was on his deathbed, fortunately he didn’t live long enough to see his poetry peddling denim. Following on their “O Pioneers” campaign, Levi’s is launching a new, global ad featuring Bukowski’s “The Laughing Heart.”

You can read more about the ad campaign at PSFK (that is, if you give a shit).

Speaking of which…

MTV does give a shit. So much so that they just launched an aptly titled charity network to prove it. To promote Give-A-Shit.org, MTV has a promotional video of actress Nikki Reed saying, “we make real change happen, by making it a part of our daily lives. People all over are shitting their way to a better tomorrow.”

Although MTV is deploying shock value in the name of a good cause, Alex Goldmark writing for GOOD magazine says it isn’t good enough. “The site is a fun read, aimed at the laziest of the lazy in getting them to take that first baby step toward action — a tweet — but really, it doesn’t help anything much at all.”

You can read the rest of GOOD’s response and learn ways to really make a difference by clicking here.

— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. Feel free to call him out on his initials.

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