March 7, 2011 If a magazine exists long enough, it comes to be seen as a kind of public utility and one’s slowness in responding to the slush pile is greeted with the same irritation as a blackout or lack of hot water. As an aside, where did the phrase slush pile come from, and what does it mean? Bingham, with his typical knack for ingenious mispronunciation, always called it the sludge pile, which in many ways seemed accurate. We would launch occasional attacks on it, but it always seemed to grow larger, like primordial ooze which threatened to overtake the whole operation. — Nice essay from Thomas Beller on the end of Open City.