Woohoo, it's out! Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture

Ad-nauseam-avatar At long last, the book Jason and I have been working on for a couple of years is now available for purchase: Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. You will like it.

We have also erected a website, where you can see the table of contents and read the foreword—by the superfine New York Times Magazine columnist Rob Walker—and preface. 

Much to my dismay, the book does not include an index but I am fast at work correcting the matter (which is to say, making one myself) and will post it shortly. 

Posted by carrie on June 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Interview on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show

Jason and I were on Brian Lehrer—um, without Brian Lehrer—today talking about Ad Nauseam. You can listen to it here if you like:

Posted by carrie on June 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ad Nauseam Reading for Lit Crawl NYC

As part of Lit Crawl NYC, Carrie will be joined by fellow contributors to Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture for a reading at Gallery Bar this Saturday night. Here are the details:

FSG Presents: Ground Up & Consumed

Featuring Michael Idov and some of the nice folks who contributed to Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture. This is an evening about the American Dream, how it woos you, and how it can bite you in the ass.

Gallery Bar
120 Orchard Street between Delancey and Rivington
Saturday, 5/16/09
8PM - 9PM


DAMIAN CHADWICK is a writer and comedian based in New York. He writes for the Upright Citizens Brigade house sketch team Gramps and performs around town with the long-form improv group Sherpa.

GAYLORD FIELDS, the senior editor at AOL Music, has previously worked at Rolling Stone and Spin. He also currently hosts a free-form radio program on WFMU in Jersey City every Sunday evening. 

CARRIE McLAREN is the editor of Ad Nauseam. For over a decade, she published Stay Free!, a nonprofit magazine focused on American media and consumer culture. Her latest venture is Adult Education, a monthly "useless lecture series" that she curates for Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

MICHAEL IDOV is a staff writer for New York magazine and the editor in chief of the literary quarterly Russia! Ground Up is his first novel, inspired by the author’s own failed attempt at opening a coffeehouse. 

I'll be there.

Posted by Charles Star on May 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Our book is coming out! Our book is coming out!

Cover-imageAt long last, the book Jason and I have been working on for a couple of years is due out on June 23. That book would be Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. Some of it was previously published in some version in Stay Free! and some of it is original to the book. 

We'll have more to say about it later. But if any writers out there are interested in reviewing it, please email me at brooklynite282 at gmail and I'll have our publicist send you galleys.

Posted by carrie on April 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Still on hiatus

SexyJane wondered if the Open Letter was the appropriate posting after a three month hiatus. I wonder if she would have preferred that we simply post the explanation.

Say hello to our son, Sidney McLaren Star. Born free on July 19, 2008 and going to Stay Free!

Posted by Charles Star on September 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Live on Satellite

Plug alert: I am going to be interviewed at 5PM today on "The Blog Bunker" at INDIE TALK 110 on behalf of Stay Free!

A quick too-late-to-matter Google search shows that the host is Joe Salzone, a twentysomething conservative and Paulite. As it happens, I'm reading Ira Glass's New Kings of Non-Fiction, specifically, Host, David Foster Wallace's essay on conservative talk radio. I'm a little wary about being forced onto the defensive but I figure I can hold my own.

In any event, I'll be talking into a microphone that will disperse my thoughts into the ether and I'll do my best to entertain.

UPDATE: The taping was fun, the host is not confrontational and I think it went well, even if I was a little stiff.The show will be rebroadcast tonight at 11PM. If anyone listens, feedback would be nice. Here is my own feedback to myself: "Be funnier."

Posted by Charles Star on April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Adult Education: Tuesday, Jan. 22

Microsm_4 A gentle reminder that the debut of our new event series, Adult Education, is just around the corner: Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Union Hall in Park Slope (Union at 5th Ave.), at 8 pm. The topic for the evening is Microgenre. Hope you can make it!

See our previous post for info... or visit our Facebook and MySpace pages.

Posted by carrie on January 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stay Free! presents "Adult Education"

Adult Education Stay Free! is pleased to announce the launch of Adult Education, a monthly series at Union Hall in Park Slope. Each program will feature 4 or 5 speakers presenting brief lectures that use visuals of one stripe or another (kind of like "show and tell" for grown-ups). Each show will have a theme and each lecture will tie in loosely to that theme. Stay Free!'s own Charles Star will host.

To be kept abreast of forthcoming themes and events, see our MySpace and Facebook pages. Here's what we've got so far:

Tues., January 22, 2008
Union Hall (Union & 5th St., Park Slope), 8 pm

On YouTube, there are scores of toddler's expressions after sucking on lemons. Entire groups of flickr photos are organized around photos of people wearing sweatshirts, photos of painted trains, photos of body hair. You could fill a small bookshelf with fake children's memoirs. In this show, we discuss several examples of what we're calling "micro-genres."

Liz Clayton: The Architecture of Converted Fast-Food Restaurants
Paul Lukas: On Elevator World, American Jails, and other obscure trade magazines
Heidi Cody: First National Icons: Native Americans in Grocery Brands
Jim Hanas: On meta-tourism: photos of tourists taking photos
Russell Scholl: On TV Commercials for Personal Hygiene Products

Tues., February 12, 2008

Union Hall (Union & 5th St., Park Slope), 8 pm

This will be the first in our series of "hybrid" themes, where we combine two dissonant topics and ask writers to come up with a lecture that somehow manages to incorporate both.

Daniel Radosh: The Quest to Develop Kosher Bacon
Mikki Halpin: Sexual Violence in the Domestic Pug
Jeffrey Kastner: A Brief History of Animals on Trial
Carrie McLaren: Animal Hoarding as Social Ill: Beware the Cat Lady

Posted by carrie on December 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

My new blog: Hawthorne Street

In my continuing effort to start projects with little hope of breaking even, I've started a new blog: Hawthorne Street. This one is focused on my neighborhood (Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn), as well as old-house restoration tips. I'll also be writing out urban issues there (transit, public space, architecture), since that stuff doesn't really seem to fit here.


Posted by carrie on November 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Stay Free news

I haven't been blogging much lately for the usual reasons, but also because Jason and I are working on a Stay Free! book. The book will be published by Farrar, Straus and Girioux and some of it will have appeared in the magazine in one form or another. We're working on new material in order to flesh out a thesis of sorts. We haven't agreed on a title yet, but it's going to be about how consumer culture is toxic, makes people stupid, and gets us to believe that bad things are good for us. If all goes according to plan, it'll be out in 2009.

My second bit of news to report is that we're going to be starting a monthly event series — tentatively called "Adult Education" — in early 2008. Each show will feature four speakers lecturing on an aspect of a chosen theme.... kinda like (we hope) the Little Gray Book series, but with pictures and more of a "social studies" than literary bent. I haven't yet sought a venue, so if anyone knows of a good bar that would appreciate such an event, let me know. (It should be easily accessible by subway in either Manhattan or Brooklyn, and have a performance space that fits about 100 onlookers.)

Posted by carrie on November 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4)