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Call for Rants

Call for Rants:
OUTBURST
A virtual soapbox for
Journal of Mundane Behavior

There you are in the shower, in that fuzzy “what’s-my-name-again?” state that characterizes every morning’s brief eternity between the 7 a.m. alarm and that first cup of coffee. You’re reaching blindly for the shampoo, just like you do every day, and suddenly, without warning, like a brief bit of cosmic illumination, the subliminal mantra strikes: water, rinse, repeat. And you’re still half-dreaming, so you’re not sure whether you do or do not see an infinity of people across North America falling into that semantic trap and watering, rinsing and repeating forever, just because it’s early, dammit, and they haven’t had their coffee yet. People don’t show up for work. Offices never open. Kids, unsupervised, run wild in the streets. Whole infrastructures collapsing. Government, what government? Is it the shampoo that did this? the instructions on the bottle? your own casual coffee addiction? Is this the apocalypse? Is our future to be determined by the unshowered, the tea-drinking, the insomniacs, the bald?
Write it up and send it to “Outburst.”

“Outburst” is a subsidiary of the Journal of Mundane Behavior. Its purpose is to provide a forum for editorials, public essays, creative work and constructive rants about mundanity. We envision this forum as a place where you can present your observations about the disturbing, humorous, and otherwise noteworthy ways in which the mundane impacts, interacts with, informs and otherwise enters into or interrupts our lives.

What distinguishes “Outburst” essays from the JMB articles is this: they are shorter, relatively informal, and explicitly non-academic. The essays will be posted to the website in a timely fashion, so responses to contemporary events or trends are especially welcome. We hope that this forum will enable a wide, varied and colorful range of style and tone which should complement the JMB’s more formal articles. Further, we hope that these essays, as well as the more formal articles, will introduce ideas, concerns and issues which can be explored further on the JMB’s chat-site, MundaneTalk.

Criteria for Submissions:

Papers, when submitted, should be in accordance with the following guidelines. Questions or inquiries should be sent to the Outburst Manager, John Schwetman, at jschwetm@d.umn.edu.
1. Because one of the significant aspects of “Outburst” essays are their brevity, essays should not exceed 1,500 words.
2. The author’s name, institutional affiliations if relevant, snail-mail and email addresses should accompany the essay. We will post essays anonymously upon request.
3. Files should be submitted to JMB’s Managing Editor, as an attachment, preferably in Microsoft Word 97-98 format. Windows-based files are preferred. If you are unable to attach a file to an e-mail message, please contact the Managing Editor to find another means of transmission. Because of the on-line format of the journal and a lack of resources, paper versions cannot be accepted.
4. Please make sure that papers are spell- and grammar-checked and in publishable format.
5. No multiple submissions please.
Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Essays must be free from profanity and from racist, sexist, homophobic and otherwise derogatory remarks pertaining to race, class, religion, nationality, gender.
Essays should present a coherent, well-worded and effective point.
The essay’s relevance to the issue of mundanity should be clear.
The essay’s contribution to our understanding of mundanity should be original.
For a sample Outburst essay, click here.

© 2000, Journal of Mundane Behavior. Permission to link to this site is granted. All copyright permission and reproduction requests beyond "fair use" must be approved jointly by Journal of Mundane Behavior and the individual author, and should be directed to the managing editor.