Who Do I Have to F**k to Get a MacArthur Grant?

Well, they were handing out the $500,000 checks last week, and once again, my mailbox was emptier than an agent’s promises. The news release notes that "award recipients are chosen on the basis of the originality and creativity of their work, according to the foundation. The new MacArthur fellows were told of their selection last week, but the list was not made public until today. They were nominated and chosen through a secret process. There is no way to apply for the awards, and nominees are not interviewed by the foundation . . . "

Now, I wouldn’t complain if it was only scientists and researchers and their ilk getting the sponduliks. But get a load of some of this year’s winners: Lydia Davis, 56, short-story writer and professor at State University of New York, Albany; Osvaldo Golijov, 42, music professor at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.; Angela Johnson, 42, children’s novelist and poet, Kent, Ohio; Tom Joyce, 46, blacksmith and artist, Santa Fe, N.M.; Peter Sis, 54, illustrator, New York City; Sarah Sze, 34, sculptor, New York City; Eve Troutt Powell, 42, history professor, University of Georgia, Athens; Anders Winroth, 38, medieval history professor, Yale University; Daisy Youngblood, 58, ceramicist, Santa Fe., N.M. . .

A blacksmith? A ceramicist?! I’m not asking for much. Just a measly half-a-mil is all, and I could quit my lousy job and turn out a book every two years or so . . .


[sub]A man can dream, can’t he?[/sub]

There’s actually an entire committee which decides these.

Ya gotta do tha group thang to get the big change.

A committee decides? You mean who gets the grant?

Just remember…it’s not who you know. It’s who you blow.

Hey I would be willing to take the team for one.

or was that “take one for the team?”


It’s this guy with a pipe. He said he’d return, so he should be back anytime now.

Do you have to apply for one first? Or do they surprise you with a big check like the Publishers’ Clearinghouse Prize Patrol?

Hey did you see the full-page ad in the NY Times yesterday protesting the winners of the Nobel Prize (the guys who won for MRI research)? The ads asks you to protest to the Nobel committee. I kid you not.

You actually have to f*ck me.


In case you want your proposal to have correct grammar.


I’m sure those people had some kind of talent / recognition / fame / accomplishment / skill, etc. If you were expecting a MacArthur fellowship, why would they give you one? (You never did state that).

Heck I’ve been waiting for my check too. I thought my exhaustive research in developing the artificial appendix would have warranted such an honor.

This woman seems a strong candidate for next year, if Canadians can win, and if the mouse droppings don’t disintegrate in the meantime.

I can’t speak to the genius of the winners, but Aliza Amihude certainly fits any definition of genius I can think of. The simple elegance of mining your own shower drain to make a living, what can I say? Beautiful.

I suggest you consider ways to involve body effluents in your career path.

Eve, I’ll be honest. F*cking me will not get you $500,00. But, it will make you feel like a million bucks.


Hi. My Name is MacArthur Grant… Who wanted to do what for me?

“MacArthur Grant is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green money flowing down…”

Where was I? Oh. Not to be immodest, but I do possess a wee amount of talent, recognition, fame, accomplishment, skill, and etc. Published four moderately well-received biographies of llong-forgotten show-biz figures. And if I didn’t have to goddam work nine-to-five at my boring copy-editing job, I could be turning out much-needed bios of Vernon and Irene Castle, Mae Murray, Louisa Lane Drew, Eva Tanguay, Bert Savoy . . .

I’ll nominate you, if that makes you feel better.

Hint: Douglas (“corn cob”) Mac (“I shall return”) Arthur

Special bonus clue: I’ve yet to get my big writer’s advance on “Great Swiss Naval Battles” so don’t hold your breath.

Well, John D MacArthur does have living relatives…