Few publications are as difficult-to-define as Apology. Conceived and edited by Jesse Pearson, formerly of Vice, the quarterly’s two editions so far feature a photographic spread of teddy bears, an ode to the endangered semicolon, photos from Ryan McGinley, and a conversation with Jackie Collins. It’s a “literary magazine plus,” as Jesse puts it, and a “general interest magazine for those whose interests aren’t general.” We called up Jesse to ask him what he’s sorry for.
The first line of your first editor’s note is “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, and you should be sorry too.” How likely are you to apologize for the below misdemeanors?
Overeating: I always crave different junky foods. This is incredibly painful, but for this issue, it’s been Cheetos. It’s so disgusting how they cover your fingers in orange dust, but they fulfill a comfort zone for me right now.
Sarcasm: I never apologize for sarcasm if it’s well deployed, unless it’s knee-jerk. It’s a sign of critical thinking. Sarcasm and pretension are both unfairly maligned.
Jaywalking: I’m a New Yorker so I would never. It’s a way of life.
Cutting in line: I never do that. I would apologize profusely. I’m very into small social niceties.
Library overdue fines: I have a couple things that I took out in 2002. In theory, I’d apologize profusely, but in practice… One book is about the ghosts of presidents and the haunted White Houses—I had a big ghost period—and George Plimpton’s sports writing. The longer you go, the more shame you have.
Writing in library books: That’s pretty bad. Even though I’ve stolen, I wouldn’t write in them.
Using the EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY door in the subway station: Again with the social niceties. I don’t know if it’s a fear of transgressions, or if I think it’s the glue that holds society together.
Double dipping: I think there’s nothing wrong with it. That makes me George Constanza-ish. If I would shake hands or kiss you on the cheek, I could double dip.
Riding your bike on the sidewalk to avoid traffic: Horrible! I don’t mind when delivery guys do that; they earn the right, but when civilians do it, that’s a problem. (And I ride a bike almost everyday.)
Wearing your sunglasses on the subway: I vacillate on that one. It depends on the mood. If I feel pissy, they stay on. I am definitely unapologetic. On other days, I feel a little douchey.
Want to buy a copy of Apology? (You should.) Details here.