Unlike fairies, who come back to life when you clap your hands, or angels, who get their wings when a bell is rung, fledgling Web sites go through the opposite metamorphoses. Shortly after inception, the little URL sets about justifying its existence, such is the glut of clutter on the Interwebs. Site www.therumpus.net (set to fully launch later this month) is no exception, and professes the very glut to be integral to its coming into being: "We want to introduce readers to things they might not have heard of yet," local author Stephen Elliott writes on the beta page. The Web was supposed to diversify content and so far it hasn't." Whether the site will deliver remains to be seen, but things look promising. Overseen by Elliott and featuring a team of writers including Rick Moody, Jerry Stahl, Michelle Tea, and Steve Almond, the frequently updated site functions as both an aggregator and a source for original content about culture, sex, and the murky other. Just like the Internet, The Rumpus Raiser pre-launch party offers ribald humor and scantily clad women, serving up comedy by Bay Area native Margaret Cho; burlesque and live music; and readings by Daniel Handler, Jerry Stahl, Lorelei Lee, and Ali Liebegott, all presided over by Elliott.
Wed., Jan. 14, 7 p.m., 2009