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This Week In ‘What Now’: Kelsey McKinney, Restaurant Dreams, and More

Only in our exclusive newsletter!

The Discourse Blog starling shouting, "What Now"

It’s Friday, and the best part of Friday: our weekly review of our What Now newsletter!

We’ll show off some of this faaaaaaaaaabulous stuff in a moment, but first, a reminder: What Now is our newsletter that we send out exclusively to our Steward tier members three times a week. It contains:

—Exclusive interviews with good, smart people (like this week’s guest, Defector’s Kelsey McKinney!)

—Our Group Chat mailbag where we answer your questions about whatever you want

—Our take on a lot of news we couldn’t get to on the website

—Rafi’s “Man, What the Hell?” weekly news roundup, which now lives in What Now.

—And more!

You can get all of this if you subscribe to our Steward tier. It’s just $10 a month or $100 a year, and in return, you get What Now in your inbox, plus access to all of the stuff on our website, and the ability to comment on posts, and a link to our private Discord server. WOW!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE AND GET WHAT NOW IN YOUR INBOX FOR JUST $10 A MONTH!

OK let’s get to it!!!!

On Monday, Aleks talked to the iconic Kelsey McKinney about her new novel, Taylor Swift, the media, and more:

So it sounds to me like you’re kind of just kind of miserable for a very long time. And then one day, you get a package in the mail: it’s your book. 

It’s hard because I think a lot of people—a lot of writers in particular—talk about the writing itself as very miserable. And I have never felt that way, like I like to write. And I find it very cathartic. And sometimes the things that I write are bad, but that is not emotionally upsetting to me, I just throw them away. It’s not the writing itself that is horrible as much as it is the process of making something that other people can read that is horrible, right? So both the publishing and the refining of an idea. When you’re just writing on your own, you have something that you like and that makes sense to you, and you have one other person read it and they’re like, ‘None of this dialogue makes any sense to me, I have no idea what’s going on.’ So you have to redo it. I feel like that kind of editing is a transition from thinking about your own work as for you—that you want—into thinking about your work as something that other people consume. And I find that process very challenging, mainly because you kind of have to let go of what you want the book to be in order to let the book be what other people need it to be. 

On Wednesday, Aleks told us which restaurant he wants to go back to:

So it sounds to me like you’re kind of just kind of miserable for a very long time. And then one day, you get a package in the mail: it’s your book. 

It’s hard because I think a lot of people—a lot of writers in particular—talk about the writing itself as very miserable. And I have never felt that way, like I like to write. And I find it very cathartic. And sometimes the things that I write are bad, but that is not emotionally upsetting to me, I just throw them away. It’s not the writing itself that is horrible as much as it is the process of making something that other people can read that is horrible, right? So both the publishing and the refining of an idea. When you’re just writing on your own, you have something that you like and that makes sense to you, and you have one other person read it and they’re like, ‘None of this dialogue makes any sense to me, I have no idea what’s going on.’ So you have to redo it. I feel like that kind of editing is a transition from thinking about your own work as for you—that you want—into thinking about your work as something that other people consume. And I find that process very challenging, mainly because you kind of have to let go of what you want the book to be in order to let the book be what other people need it to be. 

And on Friday, Rafi said “Man, What the Hell?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!” about, among other things, this:

Some Change is Gonna Come

Having had to fight through idiotic layers of HR bullshit to get a final paycheck after leaving a job, I can absolutely empathize with now-former hot rod repair shop manager Andreas Flaten, who quit his gig at Peachetree City, GA’s OK Walker Luxury Autoworks this past November, and only now got his final paycheck of $915 in wages owed — all, according to an Instagram video posted last week by his girlfriend — in pennies.

To make matters worse, Flaten believes the pennies, which were dumped in a pile at the end of his driveway with a note reading simply “fuck you,” were covered in slick, sticky steering transmission fluid.

According to Flaten, it took several hours to the approximately 500 lbs of copper up his driveway into the garage with a wheelbarrow, which eventually broke from the effort.

That’s it! See you next Friday—or, if you subscribe right now, Monday in your inbox!