Today brings some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the 2008 MacArthur Fellows--those lucky few who receive what's usually called "Genius" grants--have been announced. The bad news is that The Lonely Seagull has been completely overlooked YET AGAIN. Obviously, this is a miscarriage of philanthropic justice.
Sure, Wafaa El-Sadr might have "developed a multi-pronged approach to treating some of the most pressing pandemics of our time" but has she written a short and witty humor piece that's appeared in our magazine? No.
Don't even get me started about Diane Meier, "a geriatrician who is shaping the field of palliative care and making its benefits available to millions of Americans suffering from serious illness." Show me the limited-distribution, independently-produced literary magazine she's started.
The MacArthur Foundation obviously doesn't care about independent, original thinking in the arts. They prefer the super-popular tabloid hogs like the flashy Nigerian-American writer Chimamanda Adichie and celebrity basket-weavers like Mary Jackson. Why not just give the grant to Martha Stewart or Stephen King?
Maybe next year the MacArthur Foundation will get its act together and start writing checks to some really deserving people.