Steven Christopher McKnight
Disillusioned twenty-something trying to meander his way through this abject mess of a world. Aspiring garden hermit. Future ghost of a drowned hobo.
Scheming and Thirst for Power: Steven McKnight's Post-9/11 Literature
I’ve written—albeit not well—since I could first clutch a pencil in my little ravioli fist; my mother tells me stories about how before that even happened, I would sit on my grandma’s lap and tell her stories. I have no idea what these stories were about; nobody will tell me. Obviously there is material there that I can use now, and it’s a shame it remains inaccessible to me. That being said, those years are over, and there’s no use mourning something I don’t even remember, right?
Bird Heist? Bird Heist.
You duck into an alleyway, check behind you. Sirens shriek through London, but none of them are nearby enough to make you worry. It took them twelve minutes to catch on; a little less time than you were hoping for, but still enough. You set your squirming backpack down, peel off your thick hoodie, the baggy cargo pants you wore over your normal pants, chuck them into a sewer grate.
In his study, James Nightingale wondered what there was to live for. Sex was out; he wasn’t very good at it. Love, too, was not the answer, because James Nightingale was very much the kind of man who conflated it with sex. It was probably the reason why he wasn’t very good at either. Finding nothing to live for in these precious few seconds of thought, James Nightingale resolved to live only as long as it took him to die, and not a moment longer. He shuffled through the papers on his desk, unaware which one he was looking for, but believing somewhere deep inside himself that one sheet had to be the right one.
Things I Have Asked ChatGPT To Do
Honestly, I didn’t know what ChatGPT was until I had to grade students’ papers and learned that some university students, during their time in college, will ask the AI language model to write papers and essays for them. This confuses me greatly; if you’re going to dig yourself tens of thousands of dollars into debt, why would you spurn all of the low-risk practice work necessary to being a competent worker in your chosen career field? So, naturally, in order to gain some insight into ChatGPT, I spent some time playing with it. Here are some of the things I’ve asked it to do.
- Top Story - June 2023
Electric MeatTop Story - June 2023
Content Warning: Portrayals of sex. The airport buzzes soft and grating in your ear; the security line inches along. It’s not a crowded day, mind you, but there are fewer security agents than usual herding people through metal detectors; some stomach bug going around among the staff that you’ll never know about because you’re not on the inside. So you scroll through your phone, and every 30 seconds, you grasp the handle of your rolling luggage and glide it two feet down the line, on a floor that’s always a little sticky. The handle crackles against the tips of your fingers. You sigh.
Four Things I Learned After Three Months as an Amateur Dividend Investor
This is going to make anyone with even a little bit of education in economics shiver cold shivers. I am but an artsy boy, and a poor artsy boy at that. Never have I felt more unnatural than when I say things like, “I am putting money in the stock market,” or, “My money is making money.” It feels unholy, like I’ve somehow broken a sacred covenant with Dionysus himself to live out the rest of my days in abject bacchanalian poverty. But, alas, here I am, accruing spare wealth when I can manage it by vibes alone. So here’s what I learned.
- Runner-Up in Tall Tail Challenge
Leave the Window Open On Your Way OutRunner-Up in Tall Tail Challenge
I loved the sound of a million wings flapping inside of her, even if it drowned me out. “It’s a medical device,” she would lie, and I never wanted to see right through it, but something inside me always did. And maybe it was when she said things like Did you know that you can buy 1500 live ladybugs on Amazon for two dollars? or when she told me Insect screens give the illusion of freedom but stop just short of the real thing, but I started having my suspicions early on in the relationship that she might be a bunch ladybugs in the mantle of a person.
Was Henry Spencer a Good Father?
Graduate school is rough, so to distract myself from the eighteen pressing deadlines, I’ve been on a Psych binge for the past several weeks. I just watched the third movie for the first time; somehow I missed it when it came out. So now, in the quiet interlude between finishing one series (emptiness, despair, directionlessness, nothing standing between me and the responsibilities of graduate school) and starting the next one, I find myself desiring to dive deeper into the characters that made my formative years so colorful, and my current years so adept at procrastination. Namely, one character whose arc I am always willing to praise is that of Henry Spencer, protagonist Shawn Spencer’s father.
“I’m worried about what this means symbolically,” said I to myself when the crow landed beside me on the park bench and said, “Your hubris will get the better of you in due time,” like a schoolteacher divulging the moral of a fable to a classroom full of six-year-olds. The bird’s attention fluttered between the spaces around it—the scant bright scarlet leaves hanging overhead on the tendrilous maple branches, the baby in the stroller being pushed by its mother on the gravel walking trail, a miscellaneous piece of trash placed in the grass by a miscellaneous human who may or may not have happened to be myself—but I digress. Though its attention was splayed among the world around it, its words were meant to bite me and me alone. Who else could it have been talking to? No one else was in earshot.
The Worst American I've Ever Met
I’ve been waiting for a good time to write about this; as an essayist, perhaps I wanted to find a good thematic through-line to assign to it. But, I don’t think I want to wait for inspiration to strike anymore. Here’s your thematic through-line, Steve: there are some real stinkers out there in the American expat community. I’m going to tell all of you a story about a man I met abroad, a man who at one time I thought could only exist in the microcosm of sitcoms and sitcom-adjacent media. Let me tell you, dear reader, about the worst American I’ve ever met.