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.

Advertisements

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.

7:15 – Alarm goes off. Lie on sofa-cum-bed-cum-home while contemplating calling out of work with bad hangover or plague. Used both excuses this month. Get up.

7:25 – Shower. Sit under hot water while ruminating on the emergence of the white-collar wage slave as a new underclass. Brush teeth in the shower in an attempt to shave valuable seconds off morning routine.

7:40 – Out of shower too late. Scour room for correct black belt. Upon failure put on brown belt and wear glasses with unfashionably thin black rims in an attempt to make up for it. Curse my choice of lightly-stained shirt and third-wear pants out of single twitching eye.

7:43 – Miss L2 bus as I exit building.

7:45 – Stare at bus schedule pensively while deciding if the additional $.95 to take the metro is worth getting to work on time. Do this until the next bus in fact arrives. Congratulate myself on being so decisive.

8:30 – Work starts. Just now changing buses at Lafayette Square. Think bitchy comments about political elites on issues of the day I don’t understand. (Oil spill, financial services reform, Armenian genocide etc.) Hope no one sits next to me on the X2.

8:40 – Stew all the way through Chinatown about crushed hopes.

9:00 – Arrive 30 minutes late. Check e-mail, Facebook, news.

9:30 – Check work e-mail. Examine paperwork for jobsites I didn’t know existed.

9:32 – Close work e-mail.

9:40 – Leave to get coffee and bacon egg and cheese croissant.

10:10 – Return with coffee and bacon egg and cheese croissant. Uncap coffee and blow on it. Try to save portions of croissant to go with coffee. Fail.

10:35 – Take impudent phone call from person interested in free labor. Engage in second bitter anti-capitalist mindrant while explaining that twelve hour days, while economically desirable, contravene guidelines and goals of program, law, Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

11:00 – Tab between Facebook, gmail and YouTube as I stare into the distance. Imagine that I look very thoughtful, penetrating and majestic. Fantasize about leading potential future dictatorship with accompanying fashionable clothing paid for by other people. (Masses recently released from capitalist oppression?) Wonder if all Communist regimes must have the same color red. Prefer burnt orange. Unsure of the symbolism of burnt orange. Research.

11:40 – Begin processing paperwork from yesterday.

11:42 – Someone trips over dangerous extension cord hooking my computer up to inconveniently distant electrical outlet as the outlet under my desk continues to be mysteriously non-vital. (T+ 3 months, 1 week, 2 business days.) Dangerous extension cord finally breaks and is rendered unusable.

11:44 – Complain to superiors about dangerous extension cord and continuing outlet injustice.

11:50 – Accuse co-worker of stealing back-up extension cord. Co-worker uncomprehending and incredulous. Coded passive-aggressive conversation about missing cord, general job performance, life and family history. Resolve to satisfaction of neither.

12:00 – Look for new extension cord.

12:04 – Grow frustrated and steal extension cord from unoccupied computer.

12:24 – Unoccupied computer apparently not so unoccupied. Convince myself that I am a more important part of the organization. Play dumb.

12:30 – Restart paperwork.

12:35 – All paperwork done improperly. Return to original senders with questions. Confident this will be the last I hear of it.

1:00 – Seethe over Michael Lynche being voted off American Idol.

1:05 – Co-worker calls with work question. Spend 30 seconds on this. Spend subsequent conversation on injustice of Michael Lynche expulsion. Expound theory of ethnogeographic voting patterns preferring contestants from the rural Midwest and South living in economically depressed and racially homogenous areas. Complain about my hometown’s lack of spirit. (Think better re. economic depression and racial homogeneity.)

1:20 – Corrected paperwork returns. Horrified.

1:40 – Relief as corrected paperwork evinces further errors. Return to sender.

1:47 – Someone has come into the office and begins to sing in a suggestive fashion. Co-workers are applauding. Subsequently they begin a heated discussion about the taxation of prostitutes.

1:55 – Angry participant misdirected to my desk as a result of colleagues’ sex worker summit. She is seduced by obsequious apologies and officious civil-servanty manner into thinking the mistake was hers.

2:10 – Another call. Mother. Witness and reflect mutual anger about Michael Lynche. Offer unqualified legal opinions about defaulted mortgage.

2:43 – Get mother off the phone in time for kickoff of major soccer match.

3:03 – French team highly disappointing. Begin sorting backlog of other paperwork.

3:05 – Papercut requires immediate emergency medical attention.

3:10 – Convalesce. Write a blog post as part of healing.

3:13 – Abandon blog post. Begin desultory Gchat conversation with infrequently-seen friend. Conversation fails as weather, job and future plans occupies barely five minutes including typing time and friend does not watch American Idol. Fail to muster passion for philosophy, international relations and all other topics.

3:30 – Go for a walk.

4:00 – Missed three goals and a red card.

4:10 – Angry phone call about site visit. Say calm, reassuring things to complainant while I scribble increasingly vile profanities on my notepad. Caller placated by the time I reach the lower intestine.

4:30 – Frantic e-mail from superior regarding statistics for which no one has the necessary information. Write 300 words explaining this in lieu of “No.”

4:50 – Concerned about increasing backlog of work, initiate time and motion study of my working day. Determine that most productivity lost is a result of repetitive attempts to placate angry callers. Resolve to cease answering phone.

4:52 – Decide I am a servant of the people and time and motion studies are in any event part of the edifice of capitalist oppression leading to escalating white collar wage slavery.

5:15 – Inadvertantly stay past closing time, missing parade of punctually-departing employees past my desk. Angry at continued exploitation by bureaucratic capitalist superstructure, resolve to come in late tomorrow as a retaliatory gesture. Congratulate myself for being fearless standard-bearer of the revolutionary vanguard.

5:16 – Leave.

Lady Gaga: 1337 h4X0r

20 April 2010

We all know that Lady Gaga is talented, bizarre and beloved by homosexuals and my mother alike. But did you know that she was also a total video game nerd?

Check this from her new video with Beyonce, “Telephone”:

ph33r my paint sk1llz.

Astute video game connoisseurs will recognize tiberium as the sinister evil-inducing credit-creating seriously creepy element that drives the Command and Conquer franchise. My friend Rich thinks it was probably inserted by a rogue nerd, which is possible despite the arty faux-Tarantino feel of the video. But I prefer to think Lady Gaga, the Chad Ochocinco of music, enjoys a chance to sit at home and get her h4x on – and wants us all to know it.

UPDATE: From fat friend Rich:

meta-cyanide is a Dune reference. it was totally a rogue geek. she’s our age and dune is before our time

Maybe – but he knows it, so why shouldn’t Lady Gaga? I get the sense she might have had a lot of time to watch TV in high school.

1. A sure sense of intellectual and moral purpose.

2. The lifelong pursuit of education in unexpected and innovative ways.

3. Unparalleled cultural relevance in every field of endeavor.

Adult illiteracy.

Courtesy of the denizens of 12th and Franklin.

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.

Twittergrams!

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?

Maybe

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.