Dear John D. and Catherine T.

TV writer <

a title=”Laura Moran” href=”” target=”_blank”>Laura Moran has YET to win one of the MacArthur Foundation's $500,000 dollar genius grants.  

She decided to write a letter to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to see just what THE F#CK is going on… 


October 2, 2012
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
140 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60603-5285


To the Anonymous Board of Nominators and Selection Committee and Whoever Else Might Have A Say in Handing Out the Money;

Hey guys! What’s up?

Hey, so I see you awarded the 2012 MacArthur Fellowships “Genius Grants” today. I read all about it on The New York Times website. Yeah, that’s right. I read The New York Times. The paywall doesn’t dissuade me. Okay, it did, for like 4 years. But then I realized I could write it off.

I listen to NPR and read The New Yorker, too.

Oh, so while I was reading (and clicking through fucking Ralph Lauren ads), I noticed I didn’t win. What’s with that?

It’s really too bad because The “Genius Awards” are pretty cool— $500,000 handed out to about fifteen randos a year. Not for anything they’ve done in the past, but, as you so proudly state on your website, “rather [as] an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential.”

You guys really made some strong choices this year. I mean, Benoit Rolland! As in Benoit Rolland, the “stringed-instrument bow maker [who] experiment[s] with new designs and materials to create violin, viola, and cello bows that rival the quality of prized nineteenth-century bows and meet the artistic demands of today’s musicians.” His work influences me daily, and by daily I mean never.

Then there’s geriatrician Dr. Eric Coleman. He runs the Care Transitions Program, which trains nurses and social workers to help patients and their caregivers manage issues like medication use and organizing appointments.

Okay, okay. I think I can help with this. Step 1: buy one of those giant medicine things.

There. Done. $500,000 PLEASE!

And then there’s Natalia Almada, a 37-year-old filmmaker from Mexico City, who is known for “not relying on conventional techniques, like interviews with experts or even a linear timeline.”  That's on you, John D. and Catherine T.  That is on you.

And there’s some broad who is a “flutist and art entrepreneur in Brooklyn.” So she’s a “hipster and hipster in hipster.” I didn’t know we were handing out a fuck-ton of money for that nowadays.

Okay, now back to me.

Supposedly the MacArthur Fellowship is “designed to support people, often unrecognized, who are expanding the boundaries of knowledge and human interaction.” Coincidentally, that’s my twitter bio.

But seriously, how much more could I fit that definition? I am most definitely unrecognized. Can’t argue that. I constantly expand my boundaries of knowledge. I look up words on urban dictionary at least once a day. And they almost always turn out to be terms for weird gay stuff. And then I go one step further–  I tell my friends the terms for this weird gay stuff, thus expanding the boundaries of others around me. And I interact with humans constantly. I get drunk most Saturday nights. Sometimes at bars; sometimes in my apartment. And no, not by myself. My boyfriend and cats are almost always present.

But really, I think the larger issue here is that I need the money so badly.

So, 2013?


Laura Moran

P.S. I know you don’t have a say how the Fellows spend the money (which seems like a really bad idea) but maybe you could just casually mention to “conceptual photographer” Uta Barth to buy a fucking smile. She just won $500k.



One Response to Dear John D. and Catherine T.

  1. Ray Beeze says:

    Just wanted to congratulate you for writing something funny, for a change. I mean, yeah, it was penned by someone else, but, like, outsourcing. Amirite?