Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Vagina Monologues for the Blogged Set. Some girl called Chris Hampton (a.k.a Uffish) is putting together a production of bloggers moaning about their sex-lives. The list of participants surprisingly does not include Eurotrash, the blogsphere's expert on bad sex, but does include Bazima, FTrain, Choire, Kiri, Andyschest, Moufa, Saran Warp, My So Called Strife, Doctor Grosz and Uffish herself.

Relax. The name of the piece--"Worst. Sex. Ever."--does not mean the audience will be expected to watch these people sex with each other. They're going to talk about bad sex. Maybe not even with each other but with other people, who won't be in the room to defend themselves.

Shit. I'm off to the bar now for a glass of whiskey while I try to remember how many of these folks I've fucked.

Friday, January 23, 2004

DC Blogging: While everyone's taking notice of the launch of Wonkette--think Gawker in an alternative universe of ugly people spending your taxes--let's not forget Swamp City--think Wonkette but younger, drunk and lacking any sense of social responsibility.

Where's Eurotrash: She's over here mainlining vodka and fighting hobbits while upsaid does its now monthly crash-thing.

Update: Eurotrash is back.
Eurotrash: 1.
Hobbits: 0.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Manhattan Transfer Goes to College: Newsweek's decided to ruin a bunch of college kids' lives by making them into junior league political pundits. One day, as they pick the locks on their leather wrist restraints while Ann Coulter has slipped into the bathroom for another hit of Oxycotin, they'll look back and remember that this all started because they fit some Real World post-adolescent cliche like "Alex P. Keaton Republican."

I spent my college years doing much more drugs productive things, like composing useful guides for my fellow students.
How to Succeed in College.

1. Always assume you are the only one who really understands the class materials. Treat the opinions of others dismissively. Act annoyed when asked to participate in group projects. Seize control of any such project but do not contribute much beyond a domineering attitude. Why should you take up the slack for everyone else?

2. Come to classes late and leave early. Your professors will understand you are very busy, although they may miss your insightful contributions. Try not to wander far, however. This works best if you are just outside the classroom before class begins and there again when it lets out.

3. Try to talk as often as possible in class. During discussions try to speak more than anyone else. Don't be afraid to interrupt lectures with your opinions. You should especially break-in whenever your professor starts to really get going. Ask simple questions to make sure everyone else in the class is following the lecture. It's only fair.

4. Classrooms are good places to eat. Make sure the meal you bring requires a fork and a knife, and a spoon as well. Chopsticks are even better. The professor won't mind when you place your pen and books on the floor to make room for lunch. Foods with strong aromas are appropriate because they remind other students that they're hungry and encourage them to eat four squares. Pickled fish works well. If you forget to bring a drink you should wait until the middle of the class before you get up. This way you won't miss anything important. After class leave all your leftovers and other paraphernalia on the desk. What is the custodial staff for anyway?

5. Your emotions are all that matters. Make a point of expressing them at every opportunity. When a book makes you happy it's important to let everyone else know. "Interesting" is a very informative word to use when discussing literature. "Offensive" is even better. No book, no student's opinion, no professor's lecture should ever offend you. When offended you should let everyone know, hopefully for two or three classes in a row. If anyone else speak during your narrative of offendedness they are trying to "silence" you. They need to be taught to respect difference. "Sensitivity" toward your opinions, your experience and your needs is the duty of everyone else.

6. When writing papers about politics, philosophy, literature, biology, geology or the conditions of juvenile delinquents in South America there are only two possible theses: 1) the test resist hegemonic systems of dominance and 2) the text is complicit in hegemonic systems of dominance.

7. Everyone is curious about your personal life. Sit near a friend and discuss in detail your latest adventures with drinking, girls, boys, drugs and police. Weekends demand extra attention. Talk about your plans on Thursday and Friday, and the disastrous results Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is your choice. (Hint: a good bet here it to talk about the adventures and plans of your friends.) If you are sitting near a stranger you should talk to them. They are really curious about your life. Don't let the lecture interrupt you. What you are saying is much more interesting. You already know this stuff anyway. Or else its too trivial to bother with. No one else will mind your talking—they'd rather listen to you anyway. If anyone turns to look at you be sure to shoot them a nasty look so they know they're getting too nosey.

8. Insist that every analogy is exactly appropriate in every detail. If someone compares a pack mule to a truck remind them that pack mules aren't unionized like the Teamsters. They've obviously forgotten this.

9. In classroom discussions, latch onto the first thing you can that allows you to move as far as possible from the subject matter. Books were written a long time ago, and your opinions are made up right now. Obviously opinions are more important. When discussing literature, never talk about the characters, the plot or the technique. The more emotional a discussion gets the better.

10. Lads like lasses with speech impediments. A Long Island accent is ideal. Try to fake one. Otherwise talk in a high pitch squeal that constantly degrades into a whine. Suck on your teeth a lot. Wear lipstick that smears on your teach, and always leave lipstick on your straw, glass or cigarette. If you can't manage a squeal, try ruining your voice by smoking.

11. Lasses like lads with drinking habits. Habits like passing out, vomiting, and getting into fights are good. Long black outs are better. Complain of hangovers often and carry a flask. Do kegstands, funnels and shot-gun beer. At parties get into a stumbling, slurring, blurry eyed state as soon as possible. Stay that way all night. Or all semester if you can manage it.

12. Lads and lasses of more peculiar persuasions should reverse these recommendations. Lads looking for lads should develop speech impediments, while lasses who love lasses should drink nearly all the time.

13. The library is a good place to socialize.

14. Never bring a pen to class. Other people will have extras. Don't return the pen when class is over. Why would anyone need more than one pen anyway?

15. Never lend anybody a pen in class. They'll probably just steal it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bailing out the President: Dick Cheney is pacing around your office like the tiger he has tattooed on his ass stalking an elk through the high grass. (The tattoo was gift of Princeton alum George Shultz after a long night of coke and ecstasy with the Kuwaiti royal family and three former Miss Wyomings following the first gulf war. Dick still doesn't know it's there, and you're not about to tell him.)

"He just says these fucking things," Dick says. "I think it was Karl's idea. Fucking asshole. These guys never even read the files I give them."

You remind yourself that this is your fault. If you hadn't got drunk Sunday night you'd be enjoying a quiet morning—dodging calls from media moguls, asking your secretary to fetch the Stepford files from the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, and sipping anis laced lattes. But last Sunday was a night ending in 'y' and you decided it would be a good idea to get palatic. Somewhere in the midst of your seventh martini, the bartender at Marion's tapped your shoulder. Closing time. You knew what that meant—slide off your stool, stumble outside, turn left, and tumble down into the Slide for another cocktail.

The rest of the night is unclear but you woke up at half-past three Monday afternoon with a business card on your dresser bearing the name "George P. Bush." It was stenciled in very expensively raised ink, so you called the number. The next day the vice-president is in your office.

"Look, Dick, I think I can help," you say. You wonder if you'd sound more reassuring if you'd done one less line this morning.

"That's what the fucking other guys said about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Some asshole puts Iraq in his axis of evil speech, and before you know it we're blabbering on about chemical weapons in the desert. Why would Saddam Hussein need chemical weapons? No-one's bothered him for ten years, and he started it last time."

"So you made up the Weapons of Mass Destruction?"

"Don't be an idiot. That was Miramax. They came up with the whole thing. Promised they could get it done. Then time comes, we're rolling through the desert, and that fat fuck Harvey is all moaning about being behind schedule and over budget. Wants to know if we can put the weapons in a sequel that we'll shoot in Iran or Syria or somewhere."

Your secretary walks in with coffee. She's wearing that red leather skirt with the fishnets and manolos again. You've got to get the vice-president out of here now.

"Look, Dick. We can do the moon thing no problem. President said 11 years? I'll promise you six. We'll use the old lot in New Mexico where the shot they last moon landing. It's not a problem."

Dick's smiling. It might be the Ritalin you had your secretary put in his coffee but you think it's because he trusts you. You've been recommended by the President's nephew. You did so well covering up the whole Britney overdose incident by writing the faked AP wire story about it. You've got the best drugs and the hottest secretary. Fifty-Cent borrowed your watch when he was on Saturday Night Live last week.

Dick leaves. You hit the intercom. "Uhm, Gloria, can you come in here a moment? I need the Stepford files."

Sunday, January 18, 2004

"Dreams come true; without that possibility,
nature would not incite us to have them."--John Updike.

Insipid. Someone needs a good dose of Thomas Hardy and Evelyn Waugh. Dashed dreams, broken hopes, working on Sunday night when your friends are engaged in sport: that is the way of the world Mr. Updike.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Bailing Out Salon.Com: The best thing about your office is that it has a door that you can shut. The worst thing is that the windows look east. East is the direction the sun comes from in the morning even when you are too hungover to be exposed to anything brighter than the red light on your desk phone reminding you that you have voicemail.

You aren't listening to voicemail today. You knew that the moment you picked yourself up off the floor of Grace at 6:45 this morning. Today was going to be hard enough without actually talking to anyone.

The phone rings. It rings again before your assistant answers. You count out nine seconds before the intercom buzzes.

"I've got Jann Werner on the phone, Mr. Wakefield."


"Jann Werner. Editor of Rolling Stone."

"Christ. Does he want a job? What's he doing these days?"

"Maybe you should talk to him. I think he's still editor of Rolling Stone."

"They don't still publish that do they?"

"I'm not sure. I think so. It's one of those that puts Britney Spears on the cover."

You're pretty sure that Rolling Stone went out of business sometime in the early nineties. You can't imagine what he could be calling you about if not a job, and then suddenly you can imagine. You remember exactly what he's calling you about. He wants to give you $200,000.

"Tell Jann I'm in a meeting until next Tuesday."

Three days ago you were throwing up off the back of someone's boat when you felt a hand on your back. "Are you okay?"

"Does this look like okay to you? Christ. Where'd you get that stuff? It's like something left-over from when George Bush was doing lines at Yale and decided that someday he was going to fuck up Iraq."

Jann laughed and then went and found a towel for you to wipe off your chin. The sun had just dipped down over the Palisades and was throwing Orange Alert across the sky. After the boat docked in the 57th street boat basin, you went for cocktails with him at Petrossian. He said he wanted to help out with Manhattan Transfer. You had no idea who he was, so you told him you weren't hiring. He said he was looking to invest not work.

This might be good news to most struggling internet ventures but investment would be disastrous for ManhattanTransfer. The purpose of Manhattan Transfer is an elaborate tax-shelter. It eats through hundreds of thousands of dollars a year—mostly spent on researching Manhattan decadence with Elizabeth, Maccers, Eurotrash and Hereitype. These losses are then used to off-set gains from other ventures. Investment at the level Jann was talking would destroy the loss-making potential of the blog.

The intercom buzzes again. "He says he's going to hold for you."

"Fuck it. Here's what to do. Transfer the call to David Talbot. His number is in the 'Internet Bust - Do Not Invite' rolodex. He'll take anyone's money."

"Will do."

Crisis averted. You pull the blinds down over the Manhattan skyline, pop a kgb pill, and go back to ignoring your voicemail.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Plan B:

ManhattanTransfer: Fuck. My plans for tonight just got cancelled.

Swamp-City: So what are you going to do tonight?

ManhattanTransfer: Well, I've got a back-up plan.

Swamp-City: What's that? Sit in a bar and drink until someone seems interesting?

ManhattanTransfer: Slut. You make me seem like some kind of drunk.

Swamp-City: Okay, fine. Sorry.

ManhattanTransfer: That's okay. I'm just feeling sensitive. Someone just told me I have a "degenerate online profile" and rejected the dive bar where I offered to have drinks with her.

Swamp-City: So what are you going to do tonight?

ManhattanTransfer: Sit in a bar and drink until someone seems interesting.

Paris for President:
"Despite the nasty fallout over her adult home video, Paris has emerged even more popular than before. She's become America’s new sweetheart with her new sitcom, The Simple Life. The woman could turn Watergate into a fundraiser. The show's producers are dying to get the Hilton heiress to sign on for a sequel. Will her sidekick Nicole Ritchie be involved? No. Did that end their friendship? Naw. Paris got mad diplomatic skillz."

The Brownroots Campaign has begun over at Swamp City.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Drunk Sluts' Guide to Suriving Business Trips: Instant classic.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Gawker-gate: Newsday is reporting:
"Federal court officials are looking into how supposed details from the secret questionnaire issued to prospective jurors in the Martha Stewart case ended up posted on a chatty hipster Weblog."

It's the Federales! Quick, make the intern hold all the drugs!

The Ballad of Choire Sicha [So good I almost refused to link to it.]

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The Only Thing I'm Good For: A friend writes:
You know what I just realized? I never call you unless I can foresee that we can go drinking shortly thereafter. Like, if I think to myself, "Maybe I should call Manhattan Transfer.... But no, I'm all booked up for the next week, so no drinking," then I decide, "I'll just call next week." I believe that this may be partially responsible for the fact that we never hang out unless it's to get shitfaced. Of course, that's not to undercut the value of our individual propensities toward overindulgence.
I'm definitely going to be telling that story to a bunch of strangers in a twelve-step program soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Hitch's Law-Breaking Bender: Swamp City reads the reports of Christopher Hitchens sitting on a milk crate, taking up two seats on the subway, bicycling with his feet of the pedals, feeding pigeons, and smoking in bars and a restaurant and asks:
Doesn't that sound like a normal day in the life? Minus all the booze and passing out of course.

The Magazine Horde: Ben McGrath's Talk of the Town piece on magazine horder Patrice Lumumba Moore is nice work. I particularly like the crisis management guy who helps people deal with "abnormal clutter" (we call those people interns around the MT offices). Even better--the gratutious swipe at other Conde Nast properties (Vogue, Lucky) who seem to be inflating their circulation numbers by not actually charging subscribers.

But Ben nevers lets us know what we're all wondering: in that massive horde of magazines, were there any Carter-Anderson era issues of Spy magazine? When they get rid of Moore's clutter, we want to be there to pick up the good stuff.

Monday, January 05, 2004

You Can't Afford Our Fees:

Dear Abdul Rahim,

I appreciate your invitation to defraud your Nigerian customers but I must decline. The terms you offer are simply unacceptable. Why on earth would I split the $15 million evenly with you? Feel free to write back when you have a more realistic offer.

Best regards,

P.S. People probably don't write you back very often, Abdul. I'm sorry if you're lonely. But I was inspired by hereitype.

Your Tax Dollars At Work: Swamp-city avoids the tired cliche of a year in review and moves directly on to what's New In 2004.

"Already interns and entry levels scoff at using friendster to pick up boys and girls - instead creating fakesters to fool all those still picking up boys and girls on friendster. Reminding us that mockery is a key factor of modernity."

Also, the main purpose of internet dating is now to go out insane people who make excellent subjects for morning-after blogging.

Britney Gets Married: It seems like only yesterday that she was widely rumored to have overdosed.

Britney: No Overdose. Just Over.


"Verizon nationwide four-one-one. Make progress everyday. What listings?"

Cornell Medical Center, please.

"The number you have requested is ------. To automatically dial this number for an additional charge... "


"You have reached the New York Presbyterian Hospital Cornell Medical Center. Press one for the Emergency room or ambulance. Press two for all other services."


"For information about a patient press 1."



Hi. Was Britney Spears admitted for a drug overdose last night?

"Hold on...Hello?"

Hello. Was Britney Spears admitted for drug overdose?

"Hold on...No. I'm sorry. She's not here."

What do you think of her new album?


She's got a new album. Called In the Zone. Do you like it?

"I don't really care for her."

Who do you like better?

"What do you mean?"

Uhm. Britney or Christina?

"I'm not really into either of them."

Who do you like?

"Well, let's see. Mary Jane [Blige]."

Who would win in a fight?


Britney or Mary?


But she's not there either, right?

"We don't have any celebrities. Try the other hospitals."

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Oh Behave. Just got a google hit for "tmftml good looking?"

Manhattan Transfer vs. 2003: A Recap.

The Line Up.
2003--gigantic, endless, mean-spirited and evil year. In his corner: capitalism, neoconservatives, mad NASA scientists, Michael Bloomberg, Ohio, the Yankees, and a billion Chinamen.
Manhattan Transfer—dissolute reactionary on a downward spiral. In his corner: whiskey, decadence, the Bulgarian bar and some very dangerous people.

Round 1.
2003 Fires Everyone Who Works in Finance and Media Who Wasn’t Fired in 2002.
Manhattan Transfer survives the slaughter only to discover that his job, like, totally sucks.
2003: 2
Manhattan Transfer: 1

Round 2.
2003 Continues War Against Terrorism By Not Actually Fighting Any Terrorists.
Manhattan Transfer responds by refusing to give a fuck about politics ever again.

2003: 1.
MT: 1.

Round 3.
MT Creates a Very Funny Website Warning Americans about the Danger of Space Spiders.
2003 Blows Up the Space Shuttle.

2003: 1
MT: 1.

Round 4.
2003 Shuts Out All the Lights.
Manhattan Transfer gets drunk with everyone else in New York City, makes out with girls and decides that we really are indestructible.

2003: 1.
MT: 1.

Round 5.
2003 Bans Smoking.
Manhattan Transfer starts smoking.

2003: 1.
MT: 1.

Round 6.
2003 Crushes Every New York Sports Team.
Manhattan Transfer responds by refusing to give a fuck about sports ever again.
2003: 1.
MT: 1.

Round 7.
2003 drives my friends to sobriety, or exiles them halfway around the world.
Manhattan Transfer responds by making friends with a far more deadly gang.

2003: 2.
MT: 4.

Round 8.
2003 gets drunk and dies on December 31.
Manhattan Transfer gets drunk and survives to fight another year.

Final Score
2003: 9
MT: 11. The Champion!