Last night I heard David Byrne play at a benefit for the new McSweeney's tutoring center, 826NYC--it was so beautiful! But let me tell you about the rest of the event: Rick Moody read for almost 20 minutes (it seemed to me, I wasn't timing it, and you know, I'm not the hugest Moody fan so it might have seemed longer than it was), then Robert Coover for what seemed like the same amount of time, then a band I didn't know played too many songs, about 6 songs? A band fronted by a guy writer I didn't know.

Then Susan Choi, one of our darling Cupcakes and a fabulous writer, read from her novel, American Woman (which Dave Eggers introduced as "American Girl" but it wasn't as weirdly offensive as it sounds, he apologized and was duly mortified later).

Susan Choi was the only woman on the bill for the night and she informed us that she'd been told to read for ten minutes only.

Do I need to say any more?

The thing is, that I am really loving Dave Eggers right now for putting together 826 Valencia, the McSweeney's tutoring center in San Francisco, and for starting 826NYC in Brooklyn. It's so great--Eggers is not holed up trying to outdo Thomas Pynchon, attempting some masterpiece, expanding his ego through byzantine sentence structure, cruising on his Wonder Boy status. Instead, he's making up for what the other white guys, the Bad White Guys in our current administration, are pillaging from public school budgets. I find it so completely touching and inspiring.

They really need tutors at 826NYC--as little as two hours a month makes a huge difference. So click on that link and sign up, everybody! Plus, it's on 5th Ave. in Park Slope so you can then easily justify some fried macaroni and chees at the Chip Shop afterwards.


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