Archive for July, 2012

July 23, 2012

Master Oatmeal: Promoting literacy and reforming breakfast nation-wide

Fellow Oatmeal Party rank-and-file!

Look what time it is (12:00am on Monday, July 23rd). We are a mere week away from our FOURTH submission deadline! (***Sunday, July 29th!***) We are also in the thick of Master Oatmeal’s whistle-stop presidential campaign, which is going as smoothly as warm apple butter on whole grain toast, or, some may say, as the Oat Express traverses America.

Master Oatmeal has been doing some big things for our nation this month. We sent him off with a cross-country coach ticket for the novel and winding Oat Express, a bottle of bubbly and some fine dessert oat pancakes tucked into his insulated lunchbox. On said train, he has been distributing Word of Oatmeal pamphlets, pontificating atop empty seats and planting literary seeds in the nooks and crannies of this lovely land of ours.

At every stop, in every little town (especially those that specialize in oat agriculture), he hops off and enjoys a slice of apple pie, then hosts a reading (of Oatmeal Magazine, of course) in a bookstore, followed by a writing workshop with his fleet of tutors. He will not sleep as long as the United States sheepishly cedes to its ranking of 46th most literate in the world! Master Oatmeal is the literary pioneer who, wild turkey quill in hand, will lead us all to a brighter, more educated nation — to the America of that oft-referred Tomorrow. In addition to his main push for education and literacy, he emphasizes the importance of healthy communities: he cooks everyone a big pot of flax-rich oatmeal before he skips town and continues along the campaign trail, gracefully leaping aboard the Oat Express, waving his handkerchief and blowing kisses from his open window. His campaign can be mapped by trails of spilt oats.

He has exhausted his carrier doves, flooding the Oatmeal HQ mailbox with delightful postcards in which he describes adorable children’s tales about vegetable detectives and neurotic dinosaurs. Here is one of those postcards (he’s also learning how to water color):

 
In any case, back to Votemeal matters. WE HAVE A FLASH FICTION CONTEST UNDERWAY! This is your chance to write a manifesto for anything. Anything! The deadline for that is Saturday, August 4th.

We also want your non-flash writerly bits! Tell us what you think about political systems — the kinks, the occasional beacons of *hope*, your run-ins with The Law. Let’s match the airs of modern day with a sizzling, politically charged fourth issue! But also, as always, send us anything you’ve been working on, regardless of political content. We’ll make a luxurious home for it.

That’s all for us. We will be your trusty poll watchers, drooling over the Votemeal results as they crowd our inbox. And surely you know that we have experience with watching pots boil and oats congeal. That is an integral part of the beautiful, beautiful process here in Oatmeal Headquarters. Send us your pieces by next Sunday, July 29th!

Rock the Votemeal!
Master Oatmeal’s Campaign Managers

July 17, 2012

And now a brief interlude…

We’d like to turn your attention to a campaign that our Berkeley friends have been working so diligently on this past year.

Michael Newton-McLaughlin, Tim Maloney, and Shahab Najafi are behind the project City of the River Within, a film that raises awareness about urbanization in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. What started as a masters thesis project in the City Planning Department at Berkeley has turned into a full-blown feature length film.

As their website says,

The film bears witness to narratives of hope and conflict as graffiti artists, community residents, park-goers and activists labor to see a more vibrant, hospitable and equitable city. Their stories compel us to reflect not only on Vietnams’ self-determination and sustainability, but our own future in an increasingly urbanized world.

According to their current kickstarter campaign, they’ve already raised $1,275 of their $8,000 goal, which is their last push towards the final goal of $20,000 needed to complete postproduction. But this benchmark goal of $8,000 is drawing to a close on July 29, giving them less than 12 days to reach it.

We here at Oatmeal, with all humor and puns aside, think this is a project worthy of your attention. Plus, we think the whole kickstarter thing is ingeniously democratic and something that Master Oatmeal wholeheartedly approves. So take a look at the trailer, see what it’s about, and then makeakickstarteraccountsowecanaskyouforsomemoneylater.

Got that? OK.

City of the River Within from Tim Maloney on Vimeo.

To donate to the project, or learn more about City of the River Within here.