1. Why am I still keeping this blog? Is it some grand experiment in narcissism? Not so grand, anyway. I’m not Andrew Sullivan, masturbating into a napkin at dinner and posting the results for my many ideologically-pansexual followers. But then people pay him somehow for this. How does this happen? How do you make money at a blog? Frankly I haven’t figured out how anybody makes money at anything since being taught about economic profit through one flickering eye in 2006. Spoiler alert: in the long run there is no profit. Mind: blown.

2. One one day last week, six people here using the search term “good looking black boys.” Six people. I will give you six dollars if you can tell me how this would happen. I will give you six more if you can model, given the exponential growth rate of Internet use, how long before it makes everyone a pedophile.

3. Incidentally, the British spell it paedophile, and say it like pee-dough-file. Which both looks and sounds appropriately more virulent than our version, which, like most American language, is carefully scrubbed of hard edges and meaning.

Rather more incidentally, enjoy this highly-offensive example of how little important people know about the problems they froth over. And marvel at the fact that, fifteen years later, a satirical news report seems ever so slightly tame.

4. Besides the above, how do you know you live a morally-dubious existence? When your job gets shit on by Street Sense. Honest to God.

So much for Doing Good Work. Though of course I was mostly in it for the money. Wonder with me why I don’t have very much of it.

It might hurry me along the path to goodness if I had a real name. It’s been months since someone has called me by my name. Most days at work I’m Mr. Walder, Walderburg, Waldrich, Wallburn, Walker, Walter, Wilbur, Wilburn, Wilder. Or Mr. Roberts. Or Mr. Stiffenburg.

Mr. Stiffenburg. That was from a girl I spoke to some dozen times in three days; as her frustration increased she wandered further and further from my actual name until by the end, when I’d decided not to pay her while I still had a pulse, I was addressed only gutturally. I’m fairly certain I now exist only as a specially-designed symbol of hatred in her diary, like the little whip Gladstone drew whenever he beat himself for beating himself.

5. Strange things happen to me when I’m in Dupont Circle.

While I was standing on Eighteenth Street yesterday, shortly after walking past this

On which I will offer no further comment

a school bus trundled by. Inside loud music blared and three dozen people holding various mind-altering substances were engaged in what might charitably be called dancing or, more accurately, aggressive gyration. People waved at me as they went passed. Twelve hours later, I’m still not sure what they were waving.

I suppose this wasn’t as bad as the man on Sixteenth Street the week before. I was going on my merry way when I ambled in range of a homeless beggar. He turned, looked straight at me, and laughed. Explosively.

As I rushed past him I could only wonder to myself: How did he know?

Then I saw his little green bib and copies of Street Sense. And I smiled smugly to myself because, of course, there is no profit.


I recently moved into a new apartment, in the process of which I regained a roommate from this past summer who possesses, along with baking skills and a robust liquor supply, a copy of the first season of The West Wing. Moseying my way through it I saw – though it had lingered as a distant memory – the now-ubiquitous Dr. Cuddy engaged in a bizarre career lacuna in which, sandwiched between undergrad and a brilliant subsequent career as a doctor medical school and a hospital administrator, she went to Georgetown Law and became a hooker to pay her way, slept with the Deputy Communications Director of the White House and lived in an inappropriately-posh townhouse for someone in her station. It was a decade ago, so perhaps it was the wrong side of Dupont Circle at the time. Anyway as in addition to being a club princess in the 90s Lisa Edelstein has been in perhaps every television show on air (and some not) I didn’t think it worth making hay.

What had not lingered in my memory, however, was the sight of Glee’s own Principal Figgins as the much younger Indian Ambassador to the United States in an episode inappropriately entitled “Lord John Marbury.” (It is inappropriate because only the second and later sons of marquesses and dukes are titled “Lord Firstname Lastname” – in the show his senior title, if memory serves, would be Marquess of Needham and Dolby and therefore he’d be called Lord Needham, as would the episode, which is entirely beside the point.) Incidentally, in the minute or so he is featured Indian Ambassador Figgins was considerably more reasonable than High School Principal Figgins ever was. He was probably forced to resign in disgrace after railing about the dangers of Muslim vampirism.

Now, I know all about social media.  I’m on the Facebook, I read the Twitter, I blog, and under my bed is the President’s nuclear football which I came by via – well, never you mind. The point is I’m a pretty tech saavy guy. I am also as poor as America is gullible, so today I’m devoting my considerable(y) mental powers to the discovery of new and exciting ways you can make the surge in social media work for you. Why, you ask? To be honest, entrepreneurship sounds like a lot of work.  I’d rather print out this time-stamped blog post and after a good five years come after you in the courts and give your clock a hardcore cleaning.


Because I’m very relevant and hip I saw Valentine’s Day the second weekend in March. And let me tell you, I loved it. It was like The Devil Wears Prada crossed with The Shining. But the entire film was very old-fashioned. Everybody was getting each other flowers and going out to dinner and having phone sex. I mean, phone sex? 1995 called. It wants its $19.95 back.

So I figured I’d create the new phone sex. However several exhaustive(ing) searches of the internet lead me to believe that somebody else already has. Again and again and again, in fact. Perhaps everything that can be invented already has – but then I thought, “Hey, there are things that make money that don’t involve sex.” Like pizza. Mostly.

So I turned my attention to amore instead, and asked the question twitterpated young men and women have for millennia: how do I monetize love? But of course, the answer was in the question. It’s easy peasy titty squeazy.

People are always sending their beloveds little notes. Cards, candygrams, valentines. But why express yourself when you can e-xpress yourself???? That’s where my twittergrams come in. Nothing says “I love you” like an unrelated third party saying “I love you,” and the strict requirement for 140 characters or less means that you get all of the romance with none of the hand-wringing over saying the perfect thing. There simply isn’t room!

You can identify yourself (unless you’re Greek – the names simply use up too much of the available space) or you can be an anonymous suitor routing your love through an intermediary like a drug lord engaged in a complex international money laundering scheme. And believe you me, nothing says eligible bachelor quite like money laundering. Add to that a variety of messages, from a classic “I love you!” to a spastic “LOVE YOU!” to the internet-age “luv u” to custom messages with a little more personal flair. What woman could resist a man who whispers, “I wanna be with you so much we cycle together”? What man can stand the temptress who coos, “I love you like Jerry Jones loves himself”?

Baby’s first Facebook picture!

I have a very fat friend called Rich Myslinski. He’s like the Bill Belichick of up-and-coming free-market conservatism. (You may notice I’m using a good deal of football metaphors today. It’s because the kids are all into the footy. Do they call it that in this country?)

Now my fat friend Rich has a family, as many people do, and as recently as fifteen years ago this came to include a sister. The other day his mother wondered aloud to him whether she should be allowed to sign up for a Facebook account. Rich, whose heart is as big and distended as the rest of him, told them that yes, a Facebook account would do her no harm. But he was taken aback by her next question: should she take his sister to have her picture taken for it?

Why, yes. Yes she should.

You know working parents this day in age have so much to worry about. Kids grow up so fast, and they’re making choices every day that go far beyond what children faced in the simpler times of their youth. Decisions they make at age 16 can effect the rest of their lives and nowhere is that more true than on social media. So often, though, our little angels just don’t realize this. Do you want this to be what your child shows society?


But the culturally sensitive people of the modern day will realize that child or not, a Facebook photo is a really specific creature, requiring just the right mix of verve, playfulness and reserve to paint a delicate picture of the complex milieux of your life. Your profile pictures need to show just enough individuality to communicate your key life-message without Facebook deleting your account for suspected pedophilia. Do you think this photo strikes that delicate balance?

Not unless you're Ellen DeGeneres

That’s where my professional Facebook photography firm can help. Our trained professionals know exactly what to do if you want a picture that says “A student,” “bored housewife,” “slightly-creepy high school teacher” or “GILF.” Only people from the internet generation can truly understand what you need to give your social networking profile that extra bit of oomph, which is why we employ no one but under-25s with absolutely no training in portrait photography. I can make your Facebook shout “Friend me!”, your YouTube cry “Subscribe!” or your Twitter squeal “I’ve got twats!” Because real class doesn’t come from the inside. It can only be bought. Just ask our celebrity endorsement:

QUILF Rania of Jordan

A dating site for armchair political extremists

Is that an IED in your pocket?

Two uses of the internet predate all others: clandestine communications between the undesirable and clandestine communications between the unmarriageable.  Why is it that we’ve still not combined the two? Thanks to the Tea Party and Pennsylvania’s own Jihad Jane, the venting your shrill frustration with the political process in a consequence-free environment has never been easier – or hotter!

Sure, you could meet that special someone at a rally of the urban proletariat or a secret meeting of the local Klan, but with the economy knee-deep in recession many of us just don’t have the time for the kind of rabble-rousing that makes both the Earth and your knees shake.  NutNet can not only ensure that your love life doesn’t suffer the same isolation that comes with the righteous conviction that the government is controlled by a Papist plot. It can also enhance the strength and durability of your revolutionary vanguard by creating cadres of like-minded cells distributed all over the country and the world! And with the increased potential for future little black blockers, this is one specter of Marx that everyone can get in on.

Good luck, go-getting Yankee capitalists! My lawyers and I wait with bated breath and bared fangs.

I’m glad to see that during my absence literally tens of people have found their way to my blog.  Today, that included people searching for “furry rape” and “Van Hool Portugal.”  Well done, sirs.

There’s a great deal I’d have liked to have written about, but I’ve been distracted by the hateful business of maintaining my hateful existence (on a level of income which I have the sneaking suspicion is far more than I need but far less than I require). So perhaps one or two notes on the past month:

1) I am greatly pleased that the loss of Martha Coakley means I won’t have to hear from Bob Menendez for awhile.  Perhaps the Senator from MTV is unaware (or perhaps it’s his counterpart from the film Casino that’s allergic to listening) but in order to motivate people to defend a majority it’s important to do something with it. This is even more important when rather than defending an actual majority you’re attempting to hold a completely arbitrary number that’s going to be fucked up by Ben Nelson anyway. (I have just quoteD from Fox News. Occasionally they do get the sense of things right.)

They'll never take our health ca-oh

It’s rather like the film Braveheart. Remember when they’re fighting at Falkirk, and the infantry are slaughtered when the noble cavalry just trot off at the crucial moment?  That was health care. Somehow it shouldn’t be hard to figure out why in the next battle the infantry won’t fall over themselves to rescue their lords and masters.

2) That having been said, I never thought 2010 was going to be as good as everybody assumed – and now I don’t think it’s going to be as bad.  Think of it what you will but our electoral system is well-insulated from popular anger. Systems matter.  So far, precious little has changed, whatever the result of a quite-inconsequential by-election.  Ask British Labour how much by-elections change.

3) On a related note I am coming, alarmingly, to think that Glenn Beck is asking the right questions. Terrible answers, to be sure. But right questions.

4) Chip Corbett sent me this article for comment.  2000 words later I’m still working on it. Suffice it to say, however, that once I got over my gentleman-and-scholar’s indignation over the death of the liberal arts I couldn’t help but laugh at the whingeing – wonderful word, no? It’s whining with a more aggressive spelling – liberal arts people who didn’t understand why nobody wanted to study them anymore. It is in fact because nobody wanted to study liberal arts in the first place but before it was necessary as part of the process of buying your way into a higher social class. (This is the point of college unless you’re already part of the upper class, in which case the point is basically gay sex.) I even had a long-winded but sadly appropriate comparison with the 19th century British officer corps. I can expound on this in conversation.

Long story short: people don’t want to study liberal arts – especially philosophy – not because their heads are filled with some airy capitalist stereotypes but because those stereotypes have never been truer than they are now. To quote scripture: physician, heal thyself.

5) I don’t care what anyone says, and I realize this is a distinctly minority opinion. But the only academy award that Inglourious Basterds will win, or deserve to, is Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.

Incidentally, Christoph, if you’re reading this – like, I don’t want to be weird. But I think we’d be really good friends. We could get an apartment. Or something. Call me.

6) While I’m a bit disappointed that Ke$ha turned out to be white, it does make sense given her association with Flo-Rida and of course my enthusiasm is undampened. This may make me a bamma. If so, I’m fucking Obamma.

7) All joking aside, Obama is also a bamma.

8 ) It’s really too bad that there isn’t a national conference of clotheshanger manufacturers in Washington in early February.  I think it would do a lot for their collective visibility.

9) Brett Favre is really annoying when he does this:

This is not unlike the other 23 hours of his day; however it’s doubly-irritating that the song has approximately 12 words and he still fucks it up. This is not unlike another notorious fuck-up

I think the moral of the story here is get your facts right or you’ll end up being raped by a furry on a Van Hool bus to Portugal. (A suggestion which will almost certainly result in my being a target for a Keith Olbermann special comment.)  How ironic that tonight the purveyor of that violence will be Saints.

No brains November

12 November 2009

There is apparently some phenomenon whereby people across the country find an excuse in every single arbitrary temporal phenomenon to take leave of their senses and create a hideous fad.  (Generally this is college students, as they are the only ones both underoccupied and overstupid enough to embark upon such fetishes.)  What am I talking about?  Today, No shave November.

I'm getting ED just looking at them

I'm getting ED just looking at them

What is no shave November?  The fact that you ask fills me with bile.  Essentially, come November you don’t shave.  That’s it.  The point of it to the best of my knowledge is to drive me still closer to the inevitable mental breakdown that began when I didn’t get a Power Wheels at three. They were awesome. Katie Gardner had one. I didn’t. I didn’t even have one of those stupid plastic cars you pedaled around in yourself like a fucking Flintstone. Seriously, I could’ve just walked. It was indoctrination into car culture. Fortunately Captain Planet deprogrammed me.

How serious is “No shave November”? Check out the beginning of this post by a self-identified participant:

Yes, it is time for me to earn some more points to my man card.

And now my eyes are bleeding.

This gentleman goes on to describe “NSN” and even provides a helpful video of his 2008 effort in case you’ve never been to a bowling alley or sexual assault trial and so don’t know what an unkempt mid-twenties Caucasian man looks like. (Though, since he may have linked here, I don’t mean to imply that this unkempt mid-twenties Caucasian man either bowls or sexually assaults. But I don’t know that he doesn’t. Why won’t he tell us? I’m just asking the question.)

Incidentally when I went to search for this episode of South Park to use as a comic aside I got a post on the Atlantic blog about the episode, which complains that

it starts off quite violently, with a shooting at the school that resonates a bit differently in the wake of Ft. Hood.

This is unadmirably ridiculous. Not once when watching the episode did I make that connection, nor did anyone else watching with me; and the idea that an actual (and deplorable) massacre at a US Army base has any relationship to a man mistakenly shooting dead a nine year-old boy because he confused him with a forty year-old trucker who’s sleeping with his wife, or that a person would or should feel some sense of connection between the two, is not just ludicrous. It’s not just actually insensitive. It’s anti-comedy. It’s the sort of connection Glenn Beck himself would make, which sort of proves that South Park‘s point is not exclusively about Glenn Beck.

The worst part about No shave November is that invariably the people who participate with the greatest vigor are those who have the least capacity for facial hair. (If I lacked moral objections, this would be my fallback position.) At the adjacent computer – not the girl working on a program for the first meeting of the “Lusty Lady Book Club,” which is pleasantly to feature Lawrence and Dangerous Liaisons, the other one – is a kid my age who looks like Timothy Hutton. In the late 1990s. In his made-for-TV movie about Aldrich Ames. That’s bad.

And indeed, within the space of a week, a crowd of otherwise normal-looking men (and one must imagine some very questionable women) are suddenly sprouting similar patches of SOS pad all over their faces.


You know. This guy.

Why do you do this?  Why? It doesn’t make sense. It’s not right. Why do otherwise normal people suddenly look like that evil security guy in Richie Rich after Professor Keenbean sticks a burlap sack with sticky solution over his head. Remember that guy? In Richie Rich? Do you even know what I’m talking about?

Whatever. It’s immaterial. What happened to our morals – our values? Why can people walk around all day long not shaving their beards and looking ridiculous and getting Power Wheels and nobody does anything?

So here’s what I’m going to do. (Because I’m a citizen. It’s my duty.) I’m making a new tradition. I’m making Forced Relocation February. I’m making a list of everyone I see participating in No Shave November and I’m going to have them deported to Greenland. I have this power. Citizen-power. Obama said I can. And I do.


This will be a much more wholesome tradition than stupid No Shave November. It will bring us together, as we slide the burlap sacks over the (awkwardly-bearded) faces of those to be moved. It will be constructive, socially. We’ll get to do this together and the deportees will get homes. And health care. In Greenland. And Greenland will, I don’t know, maybe get a soccer team. And I will get what’s mine. At long, sweet last. You hear that, Katie Gardner? MINE.

This whole “where were they then?” idea requires a little bit more follow-through than I’d initially anticipated.  But I just stumbled on John Oliver as a used car salesman in the premiere of Green Wing, so there you go.

To think, this was 5 years after he was in the Footlights.  I’d better start holding out for my 30s now.

(Incidentally, the episode’s here.  Gratis Hulu. He’s in the first three minutes.)