Pawnshops Got Owned


Last Thursday, Pawnshops Vs. The Future happened. Five delightful readers shared work with us that was at times painfully comic, humorously uncomfortable, and sometimes just painfully uncomfortable: a composer feeling adrift in her own little Alaska of an artist colony, a strange netherworld of possible, multiple Julian Assanges, the tedium of food factory work and the curious friendships it can forge, a woman trying to decide whether she needs something more or something less than a no strings attached sexual relationship, and a mother who accidentally fingers her severely disabled child.

We opened the night with this quote from Elissa Schappell, which we feel kind of sums up what The Disagreement is all about: “Oscar Wilde said, ‘If you want to tell people the truth make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.’ That’s all I want to do. Tell the truth and not die. My characters use humor for protection — to deflect pain, diffuse awkwardness, beat back their demons. They use it like a shield and a sword. It’s no different for me as a writer. I use the humor to protect and expose both my characters and the reader. I use it to disarm the reader into letting down their guard. The laughing reader doesn’t feel the knife until it’s in his chest. The reader who is laughing at something they don’t think they should be laughing at, but wants to, needs to laugh about, experiences a catharsis. I’d argue that’s more valuable than providing someone with an orgasm. It’s much harder to provide a catharsis for the reader. The ability to laugh in the face of terrible trauma and pain is empowering, and you know what, it’s human.”

Please come again for the Fucking Filthy vs. Fucking Pristine on May 9th, when Marie-Helene Bertino, Elizabeth L. Davis, Thaddeus Rutkowski, and a reader to be named later will entertain you with tales of the human body in all its ridiculous and foul glory.

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From Top to Bottom: Katherine Carlson, Cliff Benston, Rebecca Bates, Reineke Hollander, and Kate Hill Cantrill.