The Daily


Vote for the Daily (or Else)

April 23, 2014 | by

daisy ad

A still from Lyndon Johnson’s notorious “Daisy” attack ad, 1964.

You may not have known it, but The Paris Review is nominated for two Webby Awards: one for best cultural blog and one for best “social content and marketing” in arts and culture. The winner of the People’s Voice award is determined by popular vote; the deadline is tomorrow at 11:59 P.M.

We’re honored by the nomination and we hope we can count on your support, but we’re not one to beg for votes—we’ve run a clean, dignified, gentlemanly campaign, free of pandering, slandering, smears, and slurs. But what has that gotten us? Four percent of the popular vote.

Fuck the high road: we’re going negative.

As of this writing, Mental Floss leads the cultural blog category with 66 percent of the vote. They are, on the face of it, an upstanding publication. Their site currently features a video of an amoeba eating human cells alive; ours, by contrast, features a video of our associate editor being smacked in the face with a bag of water.

But who are these people, really? Can you trust a periodical whose title puns on dental floss for your cultural blogging needs? What does it mean to be a Flosser? We asked our friends at Urban Dictionary, and the answer will astonish you:

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There you have it. These people are, by their very definition, unreliable. So how did they come by a whopping 66 percent of the vote, you ask? Easy: in flagrant breach of Webby campaign decorum, they ran a constant advertisement on the bottom of their site. The Daily would never stoop to such lows; we never advertise.


But it gets worse—the Flossers’ gall knows no bounds. A very reliable source indicates that they’re gaming the system:

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Your choice, then, is clear. To quote another levelheaded campaign ad: these are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.

Vote for The Paris Review on April 24. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.




  1. Roachbeard | April 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    There is an ever-increasing gap between the tone and content of the magazine and this daily blog.

    I’m afraid there is desperately little to separate this site from other hip sources of culture. I’m sure that’s the point in hiring the young blood that have effected this, but it’s all a little sassy for me.

    And the “Comments Off” thing? Just because you edit this site shouldn’t mean that people can’t be cranky about looking here for news about literary culture and instead getting wistful reminiscences and quirky moral lessons. They’re often good and surely represent you faithfully to the world, but they also may seem alien to many longtime readers of the magazine.

    Again, the new blood. If one grumbles, one is probably stuck, outmoded. It’s always been this way, I’m sure, but I’m discouraged by the incestuous present-day Ivy League/New York world of belles lettres. It just seems so meager and glib compared to the literary cultures of past decades.

  2. Samuel Edmonson | April 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Agree completely with Roachbeard. Except for the “outmoded” worry — serious literature and great writing is never outmoded, and I deny any who disagree. I do look at my old, old copies of the Paris Review (Kerouac! Burroughs! Miller! Hemingway!) and continue to hope that TPR, online and off, will find and nurture and present such literary outlaws and talent — they must exist, somewhere, but you won’t find them promoted by all the “hip” usual suspects.

    Right now the literary blogosphere is all the same, MFA hipsters and a dangerously intolerant narrow lock-step mindset.

    Let’s do better, and forget all the childishness and the meager back-patting navel-gazing same-old of “literary” social media. Caelum videre iusset, et erectos ad sidera tollera vultus.

  3. Samuel | April 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    To Roachbeard and Edmonson,

    I like cats. But I’ve never owned one. Would I like cats less if I bought one from the chubby kid down the block selling them out of a box? Should I maintain the mystery and longing? I don’t know. But maybe you do. Since you seem to know so much.


  4. none | April 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Samuel at 5:53, not sure what you are trying to say? But hopefully this post will have continued comments/discussion.

  5. Roachbeard | April 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Yeah, I’m not getting you, Samuel. And I don’t know what kind of knowledge you think I’m laying claim to. Basically, I’m just moaning about my perceptions of the tone of this site.

    To be fair, I read it every day and encounter lots of good writing. I just want it to be something apart from Flavorwire or The Awl. I think I’m probably just complaining about young people.

    And I don’t agree with Samuel Edmonson about the quarterly print version. I don’t love everything in it every time out, but I find it to be of a very high quality. That is my (admittedly incoherent) complaint about the daily blog–it’s not the magazine.

    Kind of regret my comments. But I don’t “know” anything, or have any idea what you’re on about with the kittens and the kid. Please explain.

  6. Samuel | April 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I don’t get myself most of the time. So it’s okay, Roachbeard. This blog is about survival. Adapt to the times or die. That’s what the Paris Review faced, and faces still. So do most publications, but especially specialty ones like the Review. The blog and its many inane posts are vital to keep the PR relevant in an ever changing environment.

    This doesn’t really answer what you brought up, it only answers the question in my head that I wanted to give an answer to.

    As to your disheartenment at the content of the “blog”. Remember that it is a blog and not a quarterly. You have to constantly be coming up with things and publish them every single day. So a lot of rubbish kind of ekes out. It’s hard to be witty and profound three or four times a day, even with an entire staff. Growing inanity is only the natural result. Hopefully it just leak into the quarterly.


  7. Samuel | April 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    *just doesn’t leak into the quarterly

  8. Marianne | April 28, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I must say that I enjoy both the Review itself and the blog. They’re different mediums, so are naturally different beasts. I read the blog almost every day, and Sadie’s daily correspondences are almost my favourite part. Please, carry on!

  9. John | April 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I enjoy both and that they are different. Why bother subscribing to the magazine if they were identical? I did think that the video of the associate editor being hit with a bag of water was juvenile. If videos are to be posted, I would prefer interviews with authors and artists, or productions of the stories depicted in the magazine. It would be a major undertaking, but would be worthy of George Plimpton’s legacy.

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