The Chatner

The Chatner

A newsletter about rejiggered literary classics, transmasculine underpinnings of the plucky heroine, and the failure-limits of graciousness, from table manners to family estrangement.

42 emails
Every few days

Latest Emails

Why is Mr. Wilson Barking?

He is in the kitchen, and I am in the kitchen, but Im standing behind himFive In MorningFridge door is openHe has finished drinking water and doesnt know what to do next Open in app or onlineWhy is Mr.Daniel LaveryMar 28SaveListenPreviously in Mr.Wilson coverage: He carries a monastery with him; the

4 days ago

Succession's Tom and Greg Dialogue Generator

One of the many very fun elements of the very fun television program Succession is the endlessly-generative exchange between Tom and Greg.The above example is, I think, about as good as fake Succession dialogue gets, while also managing to express the basic formula, whereby Greg opens with one of th

5 days ago

Questions People Have Had For Me Now That A Third Dog Is Here

third dog Open in app or onlineQuestions People Have Had For Me Now That A Third Dog Is Herethird dog Daniel LaveryMar 21SaveListenPreviously in this series: Why you should consider second dog.Things older Italian men in my neighborhood have said to me about my dogs.Things kids have said to me about

1 week ago

"20,000 Years in Sing Sing"

Another successful find from my recent trip to Freebird Books has been an early edition of Lewis E.Lawes 1932 memoir, 20,000 Years in Sing Sing.I cant get enough of that chummy, let me give it to you straight, folks style from autobiographies of the twenties and thirties.Those two decades are my fav

1 month ago

Travel Tips for Visiting New York in 1920

This weekend I unexpectedly stumbled onto Freebird Books on a walk along the Red Hook waterfront.Inside I came across a copy of Valentines City of New York Guide Book, an old illustrated manual that the citys Common Council originally published annually throughout the mid-1800s, then later revived b

1 month ago

The Best Books I've Read By Accident This Year

Most of the books Ive read in the last year or so have been entirely new to me.Id guess roughly 90% were the result of an offhand comment from someone on Twitter, more often than not someone I didnt know or even follow, casually unlocking a new-to-me and seemingly designed-for-me imprint, subgenre,

1 month ago

Dear Prudence: The Column: The Book Is Out April 4th

I want to be right all of the time; in my natural condition and given the option, I would choose the warm satisfaction of self-righteousness over happiness ninety-nine times out of a hundred.I recognize this impulse is at best maladaptive and have the necessary system of pulleys and emotional riggin

1 month ago

I Am Not A Crank: We Need Middle-of-the-Road Toilet Paper

A simple request, from a simple man; one I believe is eminently achievable with one or two minor adjustments.I dont call for a major overhaul of society, or for a lot of hard work from anyone (Not that Im afraid of a little hard work, so long as its really just a little and I can be sure of a hot me

1 month ago

City Slickers is a Reverse Cain and Abel

Previously in Cain and Abel coverage: If Cain asks me to go anywhere with him, I wont ask questions.Ill just hold his hand and go.The story of Cain and Abel is the story of the first murder, of the early rupture between settled farmers and nomadic pastoralists, establishes the Old Testament motif of

2 months ago

Remittance Man

I have a new short story out this month, Remittance Man, in a strange fiction anthology called Mooncalves, courtesy of NO Press, which is run by my old pal John Thompson.It also features stories by Sasha Geffen, Brian Evenson, Ernest gnym, and Chelsea Sutton.You can Open in app or onlineRemittance M

2 months ago

What "When Harry Met Sally" Owes To "The Odd Couple"

As the name suggests, an open-plan house flows from space to space with minimal barriers between the living areas or no barriers at all[previously] public and private spaces in houses were divided up and closed offWith central heating from steam radiators, rooms were no longer dependent on fireplace

2 months ago

Predicting Yellowstone Plot Points Based on Years of Grandma TV

Here is my best guess, without either watching the show or checking out the IMDB page, of what Yellowstone is like, based solely on previous knowledge of Kevin Costners whole deal and a few city-bus ads.Secondary sources include all the shows my grandmother Verna and my great-aunt Earline watched wh

2 months ago

Difficulties of a Viking-Era Detective: Slewdunnit

HOW DETECTIVES FARED IN SKANIA IN THE TIME OF SIGFRED AND HALFDAN It was the the third year since restless men had rowed west with the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok to evaluate the riches of the kingdoms of Mercia and East Anglia.There many kings and great men paid them not to return, and so they profited

3 months ago

Now You Read Now You See Me

Listen now (64 min) | Longtime readers will be only too familiar with my longstanding affection for the 2013 close-up magic movie Now You See Me (its got the heart of a heist movie and the brains of a heist movie trailer as described by a child), and my repeated threat to write a no-props adaptation

3 months ago