M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, April 04, 2002  

I’ve decided to get myself a MacArthur Genius Grant.

If you haven’t heard of these, here’s the deal. The MacArthur Foundation gives you five hundred thousand dollars.

That’s it. That’s the whole deal. You don’t request it, you don’t apply for it, you don’t get nominated, you just get it. Because someone at the MacArthur Foundation thinks you’re smart or talented, and they want to help you do nothing but be smart or talented full-time. It’s a ridiculously, almost suspiciously simple thing to do with half a million dollars.

For years, I’ve assumed that a Genius Grant, a.k.a. a MacArthur Fellowship, would always be on my list of Things I Deserve But Will Never Get. Because while my genius is certainly towering and undeniable, it tends to shine most brightly in the little corner of the world I’ve set aside for it. Yeah, that’s it. So I never really expected anyone at the MacArthur Foundation to notice the one-man mother lode of intellect and ability that is I.

All that’s going to change, though. A very good friend of mine, whom I’ll refer to by her self-chosen pseudonym of BuenaOnda, was recently accepted into a prestigious graduate studies program at the University of Chicago. Obviously my lovely wife Trash (also not her real name, and also self-chosen, I swear to God) and I are terribly proud of her, even though we’re sad that she’s moving to Chicago and abandoning us.

Last night I saw BuenaOnda at the bar and she told me she’s pretty much decided what her course of study is going to be. I don’t really remember the details, because it ended with “job at the MacArthur Foundation” which was tantamount to waving a five-hundred-thousand-dollar check under my nose. Does that seem like a leap to you? Well, maybe that’s why I’m getting the Genius Grant and you’re not. I supported her career ambitions before; imagine how much I’m behind her now that I know she could wind up deciding who gets the Genius Grants. Of course we’ll still miss her, but now I’m going to help her pack.

posted by M. Giant 12:52 PM 0 comments


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