Wednesday, November 26, 2003

This Modern Life Against Reality: One of the more annoying features about modern life is that we have to pretend to believe so many things that are unbelievable because they are not true. For instance, we're supposed to pretend that jokes about people with foreign accents and habits are not funny. Of course they are. Also, we're supposed to pretend that free-range food tastes better than the steroids-n-cages version. So it was nice to read someone admitting that the most popular turkey in America, the Butterball, tastes much better than the politically sound alternatives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Turkey And Gravy Flavored Soda: No, really.

Friday, November 21, 2003

KGB Pill Haiku
Chalk white little pills
Glasses of murky poison.
Morning came too soon.

The gold-toothed tranny
bats his lashes at Eurotrash.
The Path never comes.

Where's My Head? If I lent it to you last night, please return it. I'm having trouble functioning without it today.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Ultimate Spam: "Down size your debt while upsizing your penis."

All Sully, All the Time: "Girls aren't artists, Mick. They're art students."

Sully's Desk Job:

"Ugnh. I think I drank too much wine this afternoon."

Where were you?

"At my desk."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Paris Hilton Sex Tape:

Sully: I can't see it.

MT: Just stare at it. Your eyes will adjust.

Sully: Why does it look like that? Did they film in Iraq? Where's Jessica Lynch?

MT: So you see it now?

Sully: I can't see shit. I think it's like those paintings with all the little dots that supposedly become battleships and fighter-jets if you stare at them. That's bullshit. I've never seen fuck-all. I think it's a big joke just to make you stare.

MT: So, uhm, the Paris Hilton sex tape is a big joke on you?

Sully: Yeah. And I'm really pissed off about it.

Losing Touch: I'm so involved with contemporary media culture I may be losing touch with the broader culture.

1. Yesterday on Gawker I read about a ranch called Neverland getting raided. Someone named Michael Jackson lives there. I was convinced that Jackson must be a magazine mogul or a famous author whose work had slipped my mind. (Oh, please, the King of Pop is so not part of contemporary media culture. Pop itself is now historical culture.)

2. Reading Frank DiGiacomo's article in the Observer today I came across this "When Vice President Thomas Marhsall said 'What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar,' he may have been imagining Britney and Paris." I thought: Whoa. They fired Gavin McGinnis from Vice!

The End of Envy: It's the publication party for former-friend "Brad" 's novel (former friend because he's published his novel and our friendship didn't survive my envy). I'm telling Sully about D-Nasty's "I Would Like The Most Blinged Out Towncar Available."

Sully: "Holy shit. That's a perfect description of Brad's girlfriend--smells like nicotine and has Jimmy Hoffa in the trunk."

Ah. Sully. Melts envy instantly. I think Brad and I can be friends again now.

Lost Umbrella: I left an umbrella in the West Fourth Street station, on the uptown F platform. No reward. If you find it, keep. It's going to rain tonight and I just thought I'd let you know where you can pick up an umbrella.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

For My Foreign Friends In Danger of Deportation:

Maybe you can call these guys.

Yellow Dog Update: A week or so ago I began to suspect that the new Martin Amis novel, which was getting wolfbagged by reviewers, might actually be very good. I'm a contrarian by nature, and experience has taught me that even when my instincts lead me astray, being wrong and contrary is at least fun. So I was preparing to love Yellow Dog.

Now I'm not so sure. TMFTML has pointed me toward a Christopher Caldwell review which succeeds in defending the novel and making it sound both very porny utterly boring. I was hoping for The Elementary Particles meets Vanity Fair meets Everyone's Burning meets London Fields and Caldwell describes The Book of Virtues meets Real Sex, Part XIV.

Bah. Now I'll have to read the book myself and make up my own mind.

Smoker, Drinker, Horse-Player: My journalist-mentor Tony sends a letter from England.

Awful about the smoking. I am definately not in NYC couldnt contenplate a pint without a cig. This is one area were I can join forces with thre pure rightists, when the do good liberals think it is their mission to force us to live longer etc.

I always made the case that as a smoker, drinker and horse player I was the most ecologically sound and the mostt heavily taxed.

Think about it, we degenerates of the habits only consume natural and replenishable resources, grain, water, tobacco etc. We keep horse in a grand stylke, if we didnt bet on them they would not exist, we are limited consumers of bullshit goods such as TV's sterios atc, since we spend so little time at home, we share those Items ala, juke boxes etc.

Even our consumption of the rain forests is limited since we share the same bar stool withother instead of the liberal home makers who have more chairs trhan they will ever have asses to sit on them more tv's than one pair of eyes can whatch, tons of plastice nonsens that goes into them. wE DONT HARDLY EVER COME INTO CONTACT WITH WASTED PACKAGING, SINCE OURE DRINK COMES IN THE SAME GLASS USED BY THOUSANDS, oUR CIGS DONT REQIRE PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS ETCE ETC. (IGNORE THE CAPS, IT IS JUST MY CLUMSY FINGERS)

Thats another gripe, I think the button designers are from the effeet mob, thay make them so smaall we who have real fingers, stumps, bang two or more at the same time, mi9biles are the worst case of this.

back to ecology, the only case against us is that we exhale smoke. The acid rain etc dont come from smokers it is the factories providing for the indulkgent consummers, I guss it s okay if the chinese choke to death making snaekers for the healthy joggers etc.

An example in the UK, soon after returning I trook a double decker bus to our Lake District, a National Park, we had a 15min stop onb the journey during which the driver and I stood outside had smoked several. The irony, he and I were the only ones on the bus, as we approached the National park , as far as the eye could see there were cars crawling along, bumper to bumper, all beltching exhaust fumes, all driven by the environmentalist who insisted me ad the driver couldnt smoke on the bus. And so it goes on.

jhell if I dint smoke would they take me to court fore destoying my finger nails? See you have got me going.

To answere your question currently in Blackburn England, planniing to spen three months in Lithuainia, trying to do some good, but thats tough since all the programs are western driven and they dont take into account countries without the resources cant implement programs that in the west are fully funded from taxes collected from an advanced economy etc etc. Plus they would dream of thinking that those folk might have got anything righ.

A best example was running into a bunch of Scandinavians running an expesive EU funded program, to introduce walking to the poor of Latvia, Ok we in the west are so attached to our cars and stuff ourselves with more food than any body needs, so we haqve cardiac risks etc, but in the town where these folks were introducing the program, the number one transporttion is walking, and the folks have a problem getting enough to eat not too much.

Same goesw for western Gender programs, gender means "womens" when it cdomes for funded projects. They spend fortunes in the Former Soviuet Union, Dont seem to notice they had equal employment long before their western sisters woke up. Plus with the collapse of the Soviet system the most impacted are the men, since it is the heavy indust5riewl and date manufacuring jobs that have gone to the wall, what new jobs there are are in the service sector, where women are trhge majority. resiult alcholism and suiced has rocketed among the male population who have no hope oif work, lost their role as family head etc. But that doiont stop the western sisters from having their gender programs, which I repeat means womens programs.

When I go over there I usually spend most of my time fighting the highly paid Western consultants who aare happy to make their fees and dont givce a shit if what they are recomending will ever work. I go in a volunteer capacity, which means survival money, but a fredom to shout the truth.

Oh I dont apologise for my typo's I never mastered tipping, and I dont see the need to worry when eeeing froiends. Ask your mum and dad about when they wanted to sponsor me on a typing course, I was the first person employed by Newsday who couldnt type, used a yellow pad, they might recall I tried to get on a course at the wymca, but they wouldnt let me cause I was a fellow. Hope this gives you something to chew

on regards, --Tony

Monday, November 17, 2003

Emergency Underwear: I was a bit confused by something someone wrote in my "comments" section so I went to google to find out what "emergency underwear" could be.

--Dutch scientists have developed underwear that calls an ambulance if the wearer has a heart attack.

--From back in the day when we were all sure Y2K was going to, uhm, what did we think it was going to do? Anyway, here is Y2K Readywear: Underwear in a Can.

--Infrared rays make molecule movement so active that they activate the cellular function. So they faciliate blood circulation & metabolism, prevent from growing aging, soothe fatigues resulting from stress.

--Not sure what to make of this: work's going more smoothly - the days don't seem quite as endless as they first did. i got a rash on my ass from wearing g-strings (emergency underwear) so i finally did laundry yesterday. course, i'm still wearing the clothes i've been wearing for three whole days now - but i bathed tonight so i'm sort of clean. hmmm...probably shouldn't make mention of those things in public...too late. i've been dreaming of robots.

  11/17/2003 08:44:00 AM

Sunday, November 16, 2003

A Wish Upon A Star and a New Word: The first time I see a star tonight I'm going to make a wish that everybody I spoke to last night was too far into the sauce and candy to remember anything I said. I was.

Also, I've invented a new term. I've combined knackered with the name of a truly dangerous woman. How am I feeling today? "Maccered."

  11/16/2003 07:02:00 PM

Friday, November 14, 2003

The End of Snark As We Know It. The last known snark sighting occured back in August, according the the Believer's snarkwatch. Welcome to snark free America.

  11/14/2003 02:27:00 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2003

That Did Not Just Happen, Part III: Now that I've had my fourth cup of coffee, I've checked back with Gawker and it's still true: it's making eyes at National Review. Or at least, with Donald Luskin. And its not just Gawker. The Kicker was at it last night too.

Or do I have this backward? Maybe its weirder that National Review is publishing Graydon Carter blalking.

  11/13/2003 12:46:00 PM

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I Would Like The Most Blinged Out Towncar Available:

"So you want like a stretch?"

"No. But I'm saying that some cars have Jimmy Hoffa in the trunk and smell like old nicotine. And some have the little DVD players and smell real new. And if you find that it comes down to choosing, I'm all about the blingety-bling-bling."

D-Nasty negotiates with the car service.

  11/12/2003 10:22:00 PM
Policy Statement on Conde Nast Fashion Index: I've received multiple requests for updates on the Conde Nast Fashion Index, many suggesting that I provide this feature daily. This is not going to happen. The Index will be updated only when there is a material change in apparel. Manhattan Transfer is not about to become a full-time Conde Nast blalker.

Besides, that position is already filled.

  11/12/2003 10:15:00 PM
Good Times at the Paris Hilton: Obviously the editors at Smart Money have a sense of humor. Hilton Hotels doesn't even make it into the story until the sixth graf.

[Ed--I feel it only fair to sound an early warning. There's a limit to how much of this sort of thing is acceptable. If it rises anywhere near the "Total Recall" hysteria, it will be banned altogether. ]

  11/12/2003 07:33:00 PM
Paris Hilton's Phone Number: 33(0)144385600.

  11/12/2003 03:41:00 PM
Cell Phone Interuptus: Sully, the master of all things downtown, reports the following:

"So last night I'm out at ---------, and don't put that in your blog or the spot will be ruined, and I meet this girl. One thing leads to another, we're making out in the bathroom, and I feel this weird vibrating thing going on. It's her cell phone. She pulls a Paris and starts chatting with her friend, who is crying because she just got dumped. Killed the whole thing. Damn, yo."

Pulled a Paris. A new term is born.

  11/12/2003 03:25:00 PM
Prince Charles' Gag: Jared Paul Stern in today's Wall Street Journal:

"Britain's royals have a servant problem. The late Diana's butler, Paul Burrell, caused a ruckus with his book of reminiscences. And before the dust had settled, Prince Charles's ex-valet became the source of oddly-worded accusations that the prince had been involved in an untoward "incident" with a servant (the subject of a gag order). "

Gag order. Heh.

  11/12/2003 12:19:00 PM
Rush "Oxcotin" Limbaugh: Does anyone know what radio station carries the Rush Limbaugh show in NYC? What time it plays? Do they have an internet feed?

Have no fear. I'm not actually planning to listen to Rush. He's in jail or rehab or something, anyway. Matt Drudge is going to be sub-hosting today, and Camile Paglia is his guest. Sounds at least mildly diverting.

  11/12/2003 11:24:00 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

How to Make a Hydrogen Bomb: Very reassuring to have this on the interweb.

  11/11/2003 08:41:00 PM
Conde Nast 5:15 Smoke Break Fashion Index:

12 black coats
4 tan coats (one with fur collar)
2 white coats (1 with hood)
2 average inches of coat hem above the knee
1 pink coat
1 forest green coat
1 hounds-tooth coat
1 long white scarf

  11/11/2003 05:36:00 PM
Rampant Contrarianism? Am I the only one who suspects that Martin Amis's new novel Yellow Dog, which has been mercelessly mocked and panned by reviewers, might be quite good?

  11/11/2003 04:01:00 PM
Over's Over: Is there anything more over than things being over?

Over is officially now over.

[No more of this. I win.]

The Kicker on media scandals that are over.
Gawker: "Everything is Over."
The Kicker: "Everything's Over" spreads to middle-America.

  11/11/2003 03:49:00 PM
Bad Date: I can't help thinking about Bridget Harrison's stories through the looking glass. Thus:

I have a couple of friends who are convinced I should be dating more. One of them set me up with a pretty girl named Bridget the other night.

We met for drinks at Marion's. She was a writer and, like a lot of writers, she likes her drink and her drugs. After her third martini, she confessed to drinking 10 shots of tequila at a party last Saturday, after fortifying herself with a few lines of coke, and then throwing up on the F train on the way home. Not exactly typical first date conversation but at least she wasn't dull.

It got really strange when she told me she was trying to go on one date a week, in part to find a boyfriend for New Year's and in part as a gimmick for her paper. I was the fourth date, with six more to go.

I laughed. "You're not really planning to write about this are you?" I asked.

She nodded. "Oh definitely."

"So, uhm, here I am, actually on a date with you. No ulterior motives other than the usual ones. But for you, this is, well, a job?"

She took the top off her martini,* and then took the bottom off. "That's right. So you've got to be interesting or else I'll have to pull a Stephen Glass and make some shit up about you."

Since I had no interest in playing a role in her tabloid version of a reality dating show, I decided our date would come to an early close.

"Look. I'm not really up for this," I said. But she wasn't taking no for an answer. I wasn't getting out of here without giving her a story.

"Well, here's something. I run a website called Science Wars, its about real life menaces that seem like their right out of science fiction. Space spiders. Witch doctors who commune with Saddam Hussein and create giant scorpions," I told her. (Note: I'm not really crazy. I just play a crazy person at Science Wars.)

I've never seen horror and glee so perfectly mixed on someone's face. Once she had the goods, convinced I was a complete maniac, she was ready to say goodnight. She had her story, so she was happy.

The odd thing was, as I helped her into a cab, I had the impression that she expected a good night kiss from the man she was planning to exploit as a nutter in tomorrow's paper. I just shut the cab door, and headed toward Avenue A and the Library Bar.

[Originally published on Gothamist's comments.]

*N.B.: Manhattan Transfer is currently accepting offers for product placements when specific drinks are mentioned. The generic martini referenced above could become a "Kettle One martini", for example. Rates are negotiable. Product-as-payment offers will be considered.

  11/11/2003 03:30:00 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003

Losing My Virginity to Eurotrash: The fabulous Eurotrash makes the first "comment" in my new, old-school "comments" section.

[Scroll down to Witnessing Something I'm Not Supposed To]

  11/10/2003 10:11:00 PM
Denial of Service Defense: Everyone acts like there is no way to keep information from spreading on the web. Nonsense. There's a very effective way: the denial of service attack directed at websites containing the objectionable content. It's not technically difficult to carry out. It may be illegal but if your daughter's privacy was at at stake, you wouldn't let something like that stop you. Would you?

  11/10/2003 09:55:00 PM
Good luck, sailor. I hope you (domain: navy.mil) found what you were looking for after you stumbled across Manhattan Transfer with this search.

  11/10/2003 09:21:00 PM

Sunday, November 09, 2003

"Comments": I know, I know. Elizabeth Spiers took down her comments. Gawker only had them for a like day. The Kicker never went in for them. They're so summer 2003. Well, now they're old school. I'm keeping it real. Partying like we did during the recession, back in the day when it was possible a Democrat would get elected president, Iraq would become a democracy and the unemployed masses had plenty of time to post comments to blogs. Comments are back, and sizzling with with retro-cool irony. So ironic, in fact, I'm going to refer to them as "comments."

  11/09/2003 10:02:00 PM
Working Weekend Couplet:

Times Square--
Sunday streets empty,
Windless chilled air.

Milk pollutes coffee
clenched in hands where
ice melted in whiskey.

  11/09/2003 09:18:00 AM
Witnessing Something I'm Not Supposed To:

"What are we drinking?"
"Whiskey, silly boy."

"If I go to Serbia will you come with me?"
"Of course. Cab or subway?"
"To Siberia."
"No. Not Siberia. Serbia."
"Oh. Yeah. Sure. I'll go."

"Was that girl Swiss?"
"Probably. I get swarmed by them here."
"She just stole our ashtray."

"I think we should steal this sign."
"Free shots if you get naked? What would we do with that?"
"Make it the house motto."
"We don't live together."
"Fuck. Leave it then."

"I think I'm witnessing something supposed to."
"What's that?"
"Stupid people talking."

"Lately I've been feeling self-destructive. No. Not self-destructive. What's the right word?"
"No. Self-destructive. That's right."

"Walk up ahead, okay?"
"I've got to throw-up. A gentlemen would walk up ahead to the car so a lady can in private."
"Maybe you shouldn't be driving if you need to throw up."
"Don't be ridiculous. Who ever heard of not driving on an upset stomach?"

  11/09/2003 03:27:00 AM

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Now Read This: Clay Waters once haunted a lot of the same divey bars in which I used to spend so much of my time. (No, really. I've reformed. Honestly.) The other day I ran into him at the Princeton Club. It seems I'm not the only one coming up in the world.

Our lad Clay's written a campus mystery novel that everyone should go out and buy.

  11/08/2003 05:59:00 PM
Party Pictures: I hadn't seen this before, so presumably many both of my readers haven't either. It's from the blog-gathering at the Shahel lounge last month, and comes to us courtesy of Libertarian Samizdata.

Don't recognize the woman in the foreground. But from left to right, that's Paul, Elizabeth and Ken. I was was there also but was afraid being photographed on the Upper West Side would ruin my reputation.

  11/08/2003 05:24:00 PM
Crash Strategies Please: I want to crash the screening of The Master and the Commander at the New York Yacht Club on Sunday night. Why? For ones, special screenings are the new black and I haven't been to one. (What about Kill Bill? That was an opening. Pay attention!) For twos, I'm deeply curious what parties attended by right-wing cranks like Bill Buckley and Taki are like.

By the way, I'm very qualified. I even learned to sail this summer. (How? It's easy: yachters tend to be older gentlement who are flattered by interest shown by young men in their sport. Bonus: they're not all perverts!) Except that I don't own a blue blazer and I haven't worn khakis since those creepy Gap ads made it seem like everyone had to wear khakis or else.

I'm taking suggestions on how to crash the screening. The winning entry, gets to crash with me! (Bonus: win a place on my very exclusive blogroll. Harder to get in than Soho house.)

(Question: why all the random bolding? I'm not sure!)

  11/08/2003 12:45:00 PM

Friday, November 07, 2003

Slightly Adjusted Look: Turns out people couldn't find my list of links since they were all the way at the bottom of the page. I've moved them up now, as you'll notice if you shift your eyes slightly to the right.

  11/07/2003 11:24:00 AM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Don: Picked up Edith Grossman's new translation of Don Quixote on the way to work this morning. I've just read Cervantes' Prologue, and it is fantastic in Grossman's translation, which is certainly the lightest and most modern I've attempted.

It begins with a very subtle joke: "Idle reader: without my swearing to it, you can believe that I would like this book, the child of my understanding, to be the most beautiful, the most brialliant, and the most discreet that anyone could imagine."

But why should we believe it when he won't swear to it? We shouldn't believe it. In fact, he admits a bit later that the book isn't his child, but his step child.

This looks very promising.

  11/04/2003 03:48:00 PM
I Call Bullshit: On hating Vice Magazine. Ever since the New York Times hit piece on Vice, people have been grasping for ways to put Vice down. It's like, "Oh God. They're not very liberal are they? I'm going to pretend they're not funny anymore."

Now even our beloved Low Culture is joining the mob. Okay, we'll admit there may be a couple of meta-media references in the latest issue but who cares? It's not even worth describing the ways in which Vice is nothing at all like Brill's content. If you can't see it, you need to rinse the snark out of your eyes.

The latest issue of Vice has bits that are funnier and bits that are more intelligent than anything else anyone's doing these days.

Take the review of the new Minor Threat DVD.

Have you been to a hardcore show recently? It’s all kickboxing displays, repressed homosexuality, and bands that still hold a torch for evil dwarves like Ray Cappo. And how about all the fanzines that still begin with “I’m sorry for the shitty quality of this fanzine”? How about the coat-hanger girlfriends who still use daddy’s car to drive the singer of the band to the show? Holy cock sauce, dudes. Fuck you all.

So even though Minor Threat mistakenly invented all that stuff, they’re still one of the greatest bands in the world, and this DVD is totally essential. If you’re a new hardcore kid and you haven’t seen this, you should buy it and then kill yourself.

The fashion and drugs bits are good too. And then there is the interview with Amy Chua, which paints a clearer picture of the world than a year of whatever it is everyone else is reading.

(I'm sorry. Feeling grumpy this morning. It's election day. Anything politicized in New York automatically becomes so boring it provokes rage.)

  11/04/2003 01:53:00 PM
Attention TMFTML: Toss out your Sunday papers.

  11/04/2003 10:51:00 AM

Monday, November 03, 2003

Halloween's For Lovers: Halloween in NYC hasn't been for the kiddies in a long time. Gothamist reports that a significant number of kids stay home from school to avoid getting pelted with eggs by their wicked classmates. The Halloween parade has long been dominated by not-so-family friendly types.

This is not particularly troubling. In fact, it's a relief from the continuing trend toward the juvenilizing of our culture. Every week the censors announce another thing we can't do because it'll teach the kids bad habits. Something's got to give somewhere, and why not Halloween?

The debauching of Halloween was on full display on Craig's List today, when some poor lass posted her "Thankful MC with the Worst Lay Ever." There's plenty of horror in the post--names forgotten, doors unlocked, unnecessary compliments, drunkeness, unknown substances slathered without invitation--and then there is this:

Your cell phone rang. As you ineptly tried to masterbate me, you sat up, looked at the phone to see who was calling, all the while keeping up your ridiculous, "oh, god....oh, god..." I will make mention that again this happened in the dark. If I have ever had a hot desire for male meat more purely extinguished, I can't remember it. I distinctly suspect you were sending a text message.

The expected response was not far behind when one poster responded: "You dirty Slut...you filthy hoe..." and so on.

This provoked Thankful's defenders:

Your clear problem with this woman's sexuality is disturbing.

i'm sorry that dirtbags like him give the rest of us a bad name.

Why so hostile? Is the story hitting a bit too close to home? Been there, done that, to your eternal embarrassment... is that it?

The original poster even responded herself. (Oh, just go look yourself, I'm tired of cutting and pasting the links.)

The final word was had by someone who figured out just what was motivating all the lonely Craig's Listers to leap to the defense of Thankful:

Almost as funny as the original post are the follow-on postings from guys who clearly haven't been laid in years. Here is a summary of their thought process:

1. This girl is funny; she also has sex with strangers
2. Hey, I'm a stranger - maybe she would f*ck me!
3. But wait - she will clearly not respond with the usual 'let's f*ck' proposition
4. Maybe if I seem very sensitive, and respectful of female sexuality, and throw in a few bits about how literate and funny she is, but NOT explicitly tell her i want to f*ck, she will contact me! Yes, passive aggressiveness ALWAYS works when picking up chicks! (well not always, but it SHOULD)

(With apologies to Amy Blair.)

  11/03/2003 11:49:00 PM