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michael "OC" clarke
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m. melting object
Saturday, December 21, 2002
A More Intellectual Medium
Unlike the mindless "content" offerings of television, the World Wide Web -- especially via the hot new phenomenon called "weblogging," "blogging" or, to it's most avid practioners, "shit slinging" -- has proven a much more thoughtful, intellectually penetrating medium. For instance, on Ad Hominem yesterday, I wrote: "I saw you flip me off in your blog. Hope you saw my reply." Soon after that appeared, Ross Mayfield posted the picture at the left, with a note saying "Hey Chris, right back at you." Of course, not being one to be outdone, I am returning the two birds of paradise on the right (that's his big toe; probably; though hmmmm). Did mass media ever accommodate and support this high level of intelligent exchange? Never. But then Mayfield goes and screw's everything up with an actual attempt at reviewing Gonzo Marketing, the gist of which is where he writes: I fear the world in which too many people read this book. Well, Ross, you can rest easy, as the fucking thing was published five weeks after 9/11 when all anybody wanted to hear about was anthrax, the Taliban and the evils of Islam or the beauties of Islam or some such obfuscatory sleight of hand about a part of the world that's knee-deep in camel shit. My theory is that the whole thing is a plot on the part of commodities traders who have shorted bat guano. You laugh, but history will bear me out. On a stretcher most likely. Christ, what did I ever do to deserve any of this?
To make matters worse, or better (I'm having trouble with differentiation in this area), I get a call from Marek J, the insane Polish Nigerian. First he is screaming at me in some Eastern Bloc accent -- a piece of cake for him -- about not meeting my collective's Fortran 77 production quota. I say Comrade, we cannot eat compilers. We must have more tractors. Then he becomes a Spaniard going on about something or other I didn't quite catch. As he is living in a state of neo-Dallas-Warsaw minimalism, his apartment has this godawful echo, made worse by an extraordinarily bad cell connection. This madness soon deteriorated into retellings of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther routines, Monty Python recaps, scenes from Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and ended in a longish rant about how Marek feels about meta-neologisms built around the word "blog." Jesus Jumping Christ, he says, what next? Blogiverse, blogaria, blogosphere, blogiston (rhymes with phlogiston; but he didn't say it; I did; so dibs on copyright and give me none of this "fair use" horse puckey; I'm with Eisner on this one), blogarithm, blogaratsum, blogadogadingdong -- his voice is rising, cracking -- BLOGOSITY, BLOGOPHILIA, BLOGAHOGOLISM, BLOGABLAVATSKYITE... He's ranting, panting, losing it. I'm laughing so hard my lungs are about to explode out through my nose. STOP! MAREK! Listen to me. Can you hear me? FUCKING STOP THIS NOW! He stops. Thank God. But not for long. What about BlogJob, he asks. Then explains that this is when you tell people you've added them to your BlogRoll and ask them to add you to theirs. "I just gave you a BlogJob, man, so how about you give me a BlogJob." The technology will never catch up with Marek. He is so ahead of his time, he is living in GMT+352,864,912. We appear to him as mere mutant weasels through the wrong end of a radio telescope. Aricbo is tracking his multiple personalities. The KGB has given up. NSA is perplexed. "Who is this Marek J?" they're all asking. The secret is so closely guarded that not even he knows.
And this was going to have been a productive evening working on that damn interview for Frank Paynter, who it now appears has hosed my first interview question by posting that Mr. Natural strip. Jesus, jump the gun whydoncha, Mother Superior... and right here my computer crashed. Again. This has been happening a lot lately, thanks to the superb protection afforded by those fine software craftspersons at McAfee, may they all rot in hell forever. I uninstalled all their shit two days ago and took out the disc to reinstall Norton Mega-Everything 2005, but got interrupted by a phone call. Right after the latest BSOD crash incident, I said to myself OK enough that's it, I need to reinstall that Norton crap right now. But now the disc is missing. My office is maybe 12 X 18 and everything that's come into it in the last two and half years is still here, in no particular order you could say. So finding a CD in this chaos is a good three-year job. Entropy. Fuck it I said and put on Remain in Light. So far so good.
In the middle of some part of the above, I got another call from an old friend in Japan. As I am fluent in Japanese (and 2,368 other distinct natural languages), I cannot transcribe precisely what she said. But it was something like "I have found a good bathroom here. But it is not traditional. There is no bath." Excellent, I said. This makes me wish for you the purple congratulatory clouds, as it is now the end of this solar cycle and I love you more than the nine moons of Jupiter viewed with good nitrogen-filled Japanese fogproof binoculars with Bak-4 prisms and multi-coated lenses from the summit of Mt. Fuji. It doesn't translate well, but she understood me perfectly.
And you may ask yourself: well, how did I get here?
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