Write for SLATE.

(738 words; posted Wednesday, Nov. 27; to be composted Friday, Dec. 9)

Write for SLATE
     We make the following announcement with some trepidation: We are looking for a few writers to help produce some of S
LATE’s features. In particular, we’d like to find regular writers, on a part-time basis, for “The Gist,” “Summary Judgment,” and “Assessment.” The reason for posting this opportunity to S LATE readers is that our own readers–we hope–are familiar with what we’re up to. So, if you need an explanation of these features, you’re not the person we’re looking for. But all of them (along with “The Week/The Spin,” “In Other Magazines,” “Varnish Remover,” etc.) are what we call “meta” features–efforts to summarize events and/or describe how the culture is digesting them. We hope they add up to an adequate, if not comprehensive, “take” on what’s going on in the world and what’s being said about it. Enough to get you through a dinner party, perhaps, or a Senate race in a smaller state. The qualities needed, apart from writing skill, are an omnivorous appetite for politics, policy, and/or the arts, and a talent for intelligent condensation. We have a feeling some frustrated lawyers may be what we’re looking for. But–whoever. If you’re interested, send a brief summary of who you are and which feature interests you to Put “Write for S LATE?” in the subject line. And don’t pester us. (Following these instructions exactly is the first test.) Our fear is that we will burden ourselves with a mountain of applications, and raise and dash a lot of hopes. But let’s give it a try. Years ago, the NewRepublic discovered Charles Krauthammer–then a practicing psychiatrist, now a distinguished and fearsome conservative columnist–this way. Whether that demonstrates the success or peril of the method depends, we guess, on your point of view.

Interior Redecoration
     Check out the newly redesigned ” Fray,” our reader-discussion forum. (You need to register, for legal reasons, but it’s a free-to-all free-for-all until February.) We hope you’ll find the retooled version easier to use, nicer to look at, and more conducive to stimulating debate. The plush chairs, in a subtle tweed pattern, and the faux-marble wallpapering throughout, give this day spa for the mind an atmosphere of quiet luxury; while the fountains, pools, crystal chandeliers, and grand staircases all say, again and again, “Here, at last, is a place where ideas can be exchanged at the highest level.” (The sound, however, can be turned off.) Everything in “The Fray” has been designed to delight the eye and elevate the senses. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about the clientele. Only kidding. Delighted to have you.
The Name Game
     Everyone at S
LATE has been having a ball with David Sedaris’ method–described in the Tuesday, Nov. 26, entry of the S LATEDiary“–for determining one’s stage name and drag name. You can play, too. We’ve created a thread in ” The Fray” on this weighty subject (after registering, enter this URL:, and will publish some of the better examples in the next “Readme.”
Monkey Business
     In less than a week, more than 1,000 S
LATE readers took the time to fill out our online Reader Survey. Many thanks to those of you who did. For anyone who would still like to participate, the survey will be posted through the Thanksgiving weekend. Meanwhile, a team of trained but grossly underpaid chimpanzees is busy tabulating the results. Should you wish to vote twice or otherwise skew the survey, e-mail a suitable offer to Put “Bribe a Chimp” in the subject line. We’ll report some highlights from the survey results in a few weeks.
Turkey à la SLATE
LATE is posting a full week’s complement of articles and features on Wednesday this week–instead of drawing the process out until Friday–in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume daily postings Monday, Dec. 2. But, starting next week, the bulk of each day’s postings will occur the evening beforehand, rather than at noon PST (3 p.m. EST), as happens now. There will be more details about our new schedule in next week’s “Readme.” Meanwhile, best Thanksgiving wishes to all our readers. The mood is getting very festive around Microsoft. Just the other day, a couple of plump, live turkeys were delivered to Bill Gates’ office, courtesy of the Windows 95 Appreciation Society of Canada. He looked at the birds and, well, we don’t have to tell you what he said.–Michael Kinsley

Michael Kinsley is editor of SLATE.