Monday, March 29, 2004

An Interview with Joe Scarborough, Whipped Pansy:

NRO: Who would win in a fight — you or Bill O'Reilly?

Scarborough: I don't fight.

NRO: Are you sure?

Scarborough: Positive. My wife would whip up on me if I did.

[Meghan Keane, National Review Online]

How To Deal with Your Girlfriend

Most men will probably spend at least some portion of their adult life in the company of someone who starts calling herself a “girlfriend.” You find yourself getting introduced to people as a “boyfriend.” The main purpose of this is to confuse you. This “girlfriend” person is likely to be neither a girl nor your friend. Girls are those pretty things that you make out with in bars because they want your coke and whom you will never call no matter what you say while you’re tugging down their sorbet hued hip-huggers. Friends are the ones who pretend that you really don’t have a drug problem but put you in a cab at five in the morning even though you’re pretty sure you know a spot that’ll still serve you and you believe you aren’t that drunk yet anyway.

The girlfriend is the opposite of these things. She doesn’t want your drugs. She doesn’t think you’re funny and she is honest about how embarrassing you are when you’re drunk. She isn’t excited when you call because she wants to know where the fuck you’ve been for the last three days.

A girlfriend isn’t the worst thing in the world (the worst is that thing called “work”), but that college t-shirt she still sleeps in has got disaster written all over it unless you take the right measures. And what’s worse, there are at least eight types of girlfriends, and each require you to protect yourself in a different way. To keep you safe and sane through this girlfriend period, I’ve created this guide on how to deal with each type of girlfriend.
The Type: The Buddy. She’s trying to blur the lines between friend and girlfriend, as if she was one of lads and just out for kicks.

How to Deal: Invent a hobby. You don’t want her fucking with the shit you like to do, so start doing something you don’t care about. This is what culture was invented for. Museums, theater, music, literature—we came up with all that shit to keep the women from fucking with things we care about—mostly sports and drinking.

The Type: The Blogger. Writes about her life on a blog. Has a cute but wholly-derivative psuedonym for you. Eventually she will shred every last shred of your dignity.

How to Deal: Get your novel published. She will hate and envy you forever since blogs are just novels for people too lazy to even pretend they are writing novel.

The Type: The Control Freak. Perhaps the most dangerous kind of girlfriend. The Control Freak will attempt to take over every aspect of your life. If you are not careful, you will find yourself unable to perform even simple tasks without asking “honey-baby” for permission. A few years later you’ll be her flying monkey commuter taking Metro-North for two-and-half hours from the place in Connecticut where she fucks the tennis pro and doesn’t let you use salt on your food. Then one day you’ll try to electrocute yourself by sticking your cellphone into the toilet on the train.

How Deal: Bombard her with information. Tell her everything you do that is not remotely interesting to her. When she asks how your day went describe what the floor felt like when you put your feet onto it as you got out of bed. Leave out any detail that is not utterly pedestrian. If you lead an interesting life you should dump her. Short of that, just make up boring stuff. Read blogs if you want to know what people with boring lives are like. You may be able to short-circuit her control mechanism with the sheer volume of data.

Bonus How to Deal: When she interferes with your life, do not become defensive or combative. The word here is deceptive. Let her control every aspect of a life you’re not actually leading—fake jobs, phony friends, family crises that don’t exist. If she tries to make you stop wearing the leather jacket that you think makes you look like James Dean, you should…actually, you should stop wearing that fucking ratty thing. But you get the idea.

The Type: The Funny Girl. Ha. Ha.

How to Deal: I only date dim girls because I like to be the bright one. If you’ve fucked up and wound up with a girlfriend who is witty you’ve got to try to dull her sense of humor. This is why we invented valium. Medicate her to the other side of the bell-curve and it’ll be like you’re dating a tri-delt again.

The Type: Together Girl. She’s got her shit together, and she knows it. She’s going somewhere and therapy has got her over her resentment of being the basketball team’s fuck-puppet in high school. You just look like a clown in her presence.

How to Deal: Even the most well adjusted girlfriends can be ruined by the simple introduction of heartless decadence. Encourage her bad habits, or invent new ones for her. Introduce drugs, after-hours parties and porn into her life. Self-destruction is the new self-improvement. Once she’s fucked up enough, dump her because you really need someone who is less of a basket case.

The Type: The Scenester. Always at the v.v. hot clubs and beautiful people parties.

How to Deal: Unless you own a record company, she’s fucking someone else, my friend. Just let this go on. Who cares? When you want to dump her, just tell her you know about the blowjobs in the games room of Soho house. She’ll probably believe you because her drug problem has dulled her memory.

The Type. The Nymphomaniac. She just cannot get enough.

How to Deal: Oh, fuck off. This isn’t one of the problem categories.

The Type: The Fitness Girl. It might be nice to wrap your arms around that tight body but you know she’s secretly a fat chick waiting for marriage so she can exchange her gym membership for a few more chins.

How to Deal: Medicate her out of her fitness routine. Martinis, drugs and late nights will destroy her will to improve herself. Don’t feel bad about this. Self-destruction is self-improvement for honest people.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Yes, I know. I'm sorry. I'm really not that bad when I'm not sober, though.
There is sometimes a dreadfully earnest, ponderous style to the New York intelligentsia. You see it in the writing and you hear it when they discuss worthy matters in a worthy tone. As the conversation shifts to the philospohical paradigm de jour, so do their voices. New York writers do not discuss. They declaim at each other, they intone, like Roman senators addressing the forum. Then their voices go back to normal when they pop out to buy a sandwich.
Eurotrash, formally on this but I can't help suspecting it is really just an attack against all her New York friends. If I promise not to discuss Austrian Economics at brunch anymore will you lay off, ET?

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

From the Folks Who Brought You Weapons of Mass Destruction:

The conservative magazine National Review devotes a third of the main feature pages of its latest issue to contributing editor David Frum’s defense of his book (co-written with Richard Perle) An End to Evil. This is really unfair. A defense of An End to Evil would require a lot more space than that. It would, in fact, require an entire alternate universe in which Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. In which Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were better at assessing external risk than Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Martin Sheen. A world where Judy Miller could get her facts straight.

The key to Frum’s argument is that the survival of civilization is menaced by terrorism, and that anyone who denies this hates America. This is foreign policy from the perspective of a speed freak in the midst of a moral panic. Frum’s is the voice of the paranoid leader of the kids in River’s Edge proclaiming that if they go to the police with the news that the fat, sweaty kid had murdered their friend the communists will take over the world.

It’s also the same voice that David Brooks hears inside his headwhen the President speaks. The voice says that fear equals truth, and belligerence equals security. Tony Kushner call your office, this is Angel Dust in America's Foreign Policy.

“Our manager’s crazy, he always smokes dust, he’s got his own room at the back of the bus,” someone once said. Those were the days. Today the dusted managers are in the Pentagon.

A sensible, conservative response to terrorism would be forumulated under the influence of booze or perhaps that perfectly acceptable conservative drug, opium. And it would sound like this: “Bombs kill and panic the panicky. But they do not undermine civilized society unless that society wants to be undermined. The destructive potential of these bombs is not remotely ‘mass’, nor is the threat comparable with that of the Blitz or nuclear weapons.”

That quote is from Simon Jenckins’ article in the Spectator. I’m not linking because it requires registration but if you’re in the states the issue is probably still on the newsstands.

[Earlier on Manhattan Transfer: I am a War Employee.]

As It Turns Out, Smack is a Perfectly Acceptable Reactionary Drug.

From the latest issue of the American Conservative:
"I have my full fair share of drunks who won’t stop destroying themselves and everyone around them; speed and coke freaks who wind up in prison because they won’t stop cooking, dealing, and acting out; potheads who squander their God-given potential in delusional hazes; barbiturate users wallowing in the pathos of their petty neuroses. Such things are about life and human weaknesses, so let God sort them out, I say. But with some of my opiate patients, something else is going on, and I began to connect this to the fact that opiates, unlike liquor, speed, coke, and pot, have remarkable, powerful, unique, and irreplaceable medical efficacies."

Or, as the right-wing playwright Jean Cocteau wrote: "Everything that we do in our life, even when we love, we perform in a rapid train running to its death. Smoking opium means getting off the train."

Because, you know, Kung Fu is really fucking easy.

According to Alva Noe of the University of California, Berkeley, ''While there is every reason to think that philosophical method and rigor, when applied to life's problems, can lead to growth, emancipation, improvement, et cetera, philosophy is very, very hard. How many people really get a life turnaround from practicing kung fu or tai chi?''

Over to you Overserved.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Very, Very Gay

One of the most disappointingly underutilized web resources is veryverygay.com. It picks on that little hobbit fellow but leaves the rest of the universe untapped. We deserve to know who else is very, very gay. Is Jude Law very, very gay? How about that guy who played Lloyd Dobler? Okay, I know that pretty much everyone you read about in the gossip pages being a couple with someone from the opposite sex is very, very gay.

But what about those people Page Six is afraid to write about? That is, what about the New Outsiders?

Overserved. Works in a jewelry shop=gay. Spent a lot of time in the Orient = gay. Has a “friend” who is an artist =gay.

Overserved is very, very gay.

Maccers. Has been sober at work three times=gay. Knows Scottish fashion photographer phenom=gay. Wakes up at five-forty-five in the morning to go to the gym, breakfasts on a banana then throws up =gay. Knows the best salad place near Union Square=gay. Has special relationships with her doorman, personal trainer and her fruit man=gay.

Maccers is very, very gay.

D-Nasty. Pretends he is in prison =gay. Has a penchant for poetry from the far east =gay. Once wrote “I now feel like escargot and a cheese plate” =gay.

D-Nasty is very, very gay.

Eurotrash. Her father thinks she is gay=gay. She is always having her period=gay. New Jersey residency= gay.

Eurotrash is very, very gay.

Elizabeth Spiers. Is a journalist=gay. Got a lot of “I thought you were a gay guy” emails while at Gawker=gay. Photographed in leather boots beside Bazima = gay. Is not naked on the internet, ever=gay.

Elizabeth Spiers is very, very gay.

Hereitype. Has dainty hands=gay. Considers herself the “aunt” of Gawker . She went to Spain=gay.

hereitype is very, very gay.

ManhattanTransfer. Gets sentimental about losing women to crooked national leaders= gay. Rejected by the New Yorker=gay. Gets socks for Christmas, and likes it=gay. Archives broken on blog=gay. Wrote a whole post claiming everyone he knows is very, very gay=gay.

ManhattanTransfer is very, very gay.

You. Read blogs=gay. Read entire posts about who is gay=gay. Notice the condition of your nails while you type=gay. Are thinking of making a comment by clicking below=gay.

You are very, very gay.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced:
I play in a band
We're the best in the land
We're big in both Chelsea and France
I play one mean guitar and then score at the bar
There's a line of chicks waiting for their chance
So come on now honey, I'll make you feel pretty
These other gals mean nothing to me
Let's finish these drinks and be gone for the night
'Cause I'm more than a handfull you'll see

So kiss me I'm shitfaced
And I'll soak and I'll soil their ground
in the trousers she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

I can bench press a car
I'm an ex football star
with degrees from both harvard and yale
Girls just can't keep up
I'm a really love machine
I've had far better sex while in jail
I designed the Sears tower
I make two grand an hour
I cook the world's best duck flambe
I'll take the pick of the liter
And girls jockey for me
I don't need these lines to get laid

So kiss me I'm shitfaced
And I'll soak and I'll soil their ground
in the trousers she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

I'm the man of the night
A real ladies delight
See, my figure was chisled from stone
One more for the gal then I'll escort her home
Come last call, I'm never alone
I own a house on the hill with a red water bed
It puts Hugh Heffnor's mansion to shame
With girls by the pool and italian sports cars
I'm just here in this dump for the gain

So kiss me I'm shitfaced
And I'll soak and I'll soil their ground
in the trousers she kissed me
And I only bought her one round.

So kiss me I'm shitfaced
And I'll soak and I'll soil their ground
in the trousers she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

Ahh, fuck it. Who am I shittin'?

I'm a pitiful site
And I ain't all that bright
I'm definitly not chisled from stone
I'm a cheat and a liar
No women's desire
I'll probably die cold and alone

But just give me a chance
Cause deep down inside
I swear I got a big heart of gold
I'm a monoganous man
No more one night stands
Come on, let me take you home

Ah, yes, it's The Dropkick Murphys.

Monday, March 08, 2004

How To Preserve Your Heart: a 12-Step Program:

1. Your heart has been torn out but you cannot just shove it in the freezer where you're keeping your liver for a day when you be more responsible with it.

2. The heart is a delicate organ. Without proper measures it is prone to freezer burn, which can lead to hardness, cracking and breaking.

3. Preservation requires marinating in whiskey for several hours.

4. This will also help sterilize the areas around the heart, including and up to your mind.

5. Never throw out the old ice. The second glass of whiskey should be poured over the remains of the first. The third over the second. The fourth over the third. The fifth over the fourth. The sixth over the rest of month, until it stops hurting so goddamn much.

6. Avoid the temptation to take your heart out and examine it. It will look blackened, dead and broken. This will make you panic. Ignore your heart. Forget it. Eventually it will work again, providing you keep it in a cold, dark place for long enough.

7. Have I mentioned cocaine? No? Good. Stay away from coke while you've removed your heart. It is no good for the heartless.

8. Speed, diet pills and kgb pills are even worse. You need to feel down, hungover, dead while you try to preserve your heart. That pain in your head and where your heart used to be means you are still alive and might survive this.

9. Forgive and forget. Fuck that. You really aren't going to forgive or forget, so why pretend? You feel empty because you've lost something important. You're drunk, and a bile producing organ has filled the void where your heart used to be. Hate, hate, hate. You're going to anyway. Might as well turn your faults into principles.

10. Get a job or a hobby. Never mind the hobby bullshit. You're not going to like anything for a long time, especially not knitting or rescuing plastic bags from urban trees. Jobs are good because they suck. They give your hatred an object. (Hint: Try to avoid wondering whether things would have worked out better if you'd had a better job--of course they would have, but thinking about this will make you postal.)

11. Back to drugs. Remember when you were stupid enough to believe you and your friends wouldn't get completely fucked by your chemical dependencies? Well, it's time to return to the faith. Nothing will get you through this like good drugs, great nights and awful days.

12. There is no step twelve. I'm sorry. You're basically fucked. You cannot preserve your heart. It's broken, it's been cut out and you can try to freeze it but it's not going to work. I was only trying to make you feel better when I said it would work again. Look. You're a drunk, you've spent money you don't have on drugs you cannot afford and you've got a bad attitude at work. Welcome to the world--we've been expecting you.

[Dealing With Life After Dumpage--Maccers]

[Choire Sicha's Non-Expert on Broken Hearts--The Morning News]

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

...is the new chicken soup:

T: I feel awful. Like death. I'm not going to work today.

M: Oh, baby, I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can bring you to make you feel better?

T: Mmmm. Yeah. Lots of money.

If This Were TMFTML, I'd Have Worked In Something About Cocks or Blowjobs:

The Jayson Blair public relations blitz, once thought to be an extensive tour of television programs such as Dateline, Today, Larry King Live, The View and Hardball, is entirely fabricated. According to credible sources, the disgraced former New York Times reporter is not doing anything to promote his book and is planning on using the publicity budget from his publisher to get poluted at Siberia.

In addition, the book, "Burning Down My Masters' House," will be not actually be reviewed in The New York Times Book Review after all, according to Book Editor Charles McGrath, who had said last week he was unsure if the paper should give the book any attention. "We decided to review it," McGrath said. "But we cannot actually find a copy. We're beginning to suspect the book doesn't really exist at all, and that Jayson just made the whole thing up."

When reached for comment Mr. Blair gave a detailed description of his experience appearing on the View, which isn't scheduled to be filmed until next week. "Oh, yeah. Sorry I sort of made that stuff up. But I had you going, didn't I? The Blair-man's still got it! Do you know where I can get any more gear?" Mr. Blair said from where he sat on the bathroom floor of his favorite Port Authority hangout.

Mr. Blair later explained that he didn't see the point of actually writing a book when he was most famous for not doing things. Also he hadn't got around to buying a lap-top to write on. When pressed on where he had spent the advance from his publisher, which included a technology stipend to buy a lap-top, Mr. Blair was already making out with someone who said they knew a guy who had a phone number of someone who could get this guy from 140th Street to deliver.

"Look, I'm going to be a bit busy for awhile. If you want more on me, go read the great series I just wrote from Haiti," Blair said.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Haiti Celebrates 200 Years of Democracy: The neo-Federalist architecture of the Knickerbocker Club is not exactly your taste. It's too derivative and a bit pompous in the wrong sort of way. But Franklin Delano Roosevelt is insisting.

"I won't do this anywhere else," the late President says from the eighth circle of Hell. "It has to be the Knickerbocker or else why bother, really?"

You can hear the click, click of his cigarette holder against his molars. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge. How are you going to tell FDR that they have banned smoking in New York City?

"Fine, Frank. We'll do it at the Knick. I'll call the others."

Your assistant struggles to dial Strobe Talbot's phone number. The keypad is difficult for her to reach with her legs shackled to your desk. Lately, you've been trying the Secretary thing but it isn't really working out. You're not really a sadist and she's not really a masochist. As she dials you wonder whether the ashtray will fall off the back of her head before the glass of scotch tips into the small of her back, and you realize the problem might be her beauty. She's too pretty to hurt.

"Strobe, Frank wants to do this thing at the Knickerbocker club at 3. Can you make it?"

"Motherfucker. I'm supposed to be meeting with the motherfucking Russians to see what we can do to put an end to Putin's inane crackdown on the Oligarchs. Doesn't he realize that in a democracy, the Oligarchs get to run things? Moron."

"This is important. Dnasty is going to be there."

"Really? Fine. Fuck the Oligarchs, then."

You're planning a party to celebrate 200 years of Democracy in Haiti. So far you've got FDR, Strobe and D-Nasty on the planning committee.

"This is going to be a good party," you tell your assistant. She turns to you to smile, and the shackles jingle.

The porter hands you an envelope as you enter the cards and games room in the cellar of the Knickerbocker club. You hit the exacta in the sport of kings yesterday, and you can feel the bulk of a few inches of currency as you insert it into your pocket. You worry it may break the line of your suit. Maybe you should ask the porter to have the envelope delivered to your apartment, or just left with the club to cover the dues.

Dnasty has a glass of 18-year Oban between him and the Stratego board. It is only 3:20 in the afternoon.

On the other side of the cardboard game board sits Franklin Roosevelt, who was the President of the Untied States before he died. You've arranged for his return to help you plan a party celebrating 200 years of Haitian democracy. Before he was President, Franklin was Secretary of the Navy and helped write Haiti's constitution. You felt he should be honored at the party. He still smells slightly of sulphur and you wonder with Chris French will be able to get the stench out of his clothes before this Friday.

Franklin's face is contorted into a frown. Dnasty's beating him badly in Stratego. You want to tell Dnasty that he should let the dead President win his first game back from the underworld but nothing smells as nice to Dnasty in the afternoon as victory. Except scotch. Or money.

Dnasty is winning so easily that he's hardly even paying attention to the game. He's sending someone text messages on his phone. Over his shoulder you see him typing the words, "and a bitch ain't one." Dnasty, you think, you can't use your phone in here. Even to send text messages.

Strobe Talbot walks in just behind you. It's time for the meeting to begin. You set out the order of speakers, with Strobe and Franklin speaking first as representatives of the many American officials who have helped foster the thriving democracy that is the Republic of Haiti. You'll speak next, introducing Dnasty. Dnasty gets top honors, and will unveil MassiveBank's new program granting foreign internships to heavily armed-Haitian rebels.

"I've seen these guys, sleeplessly waging war fueled by nothing but cocaine and the promise of power and wealth. These guys have a future in investment banking," Dnasty says.

You can see Franklin's pupils contract as he looks over your shoulders. Alcibiades is pushing his way past the porter into the cards and games room. He's drunk, obviously. His robe is stained with God knows what. You look pleadingly at the porter: please don't tell the board about this.

"You're fucked," Alcibiades slurs. The rebels have taken Port-au-Prince. Aristide, that gentle, bespeckled prince of Haitian democracy has fled the country, has fled. He's gone to the Central African Republic.

"Why the fuck would anyone go there?"

"He tried to go to South Africa but got turned away," Alcibiades explains. Alcibiades knows the perils of foreign adventures, having failed so disastrously with the Sicilian expedition. That was the end of his career in defense policy but he still makes a good living on the college speaking circuit.

"Shit. The Central African Republican is a complete shithole. It's like fleeing to, uhm, Haiti," you say.

Dnasty has captured Franklin's flag. Franklin violates house rule number four by using his cell phone in the club. It's a six-six-six area code but you don't recognize which circle of Hell has a 475 exchange. "Ike, they fucked me. And they're still fucking up Haiti. I'll be back by dinner. Shall we say eight?"

Dnasty empties his Oban, and then tries to explain where the Central African Republic is to Strobe. "Okay, you know Mediterranean Avenue? That shitty little property right next to Go in Monopoly. It's like that, only you never get to pass go, and if you ever collected $200 your neighbors would get together to kill you and devour your innards."

Your phone rings. It's Eurotrash. You won't answer the phone in the club but you don't have to. She's with Maccers in Public, already drunk at half-past five. You can't wait to join them and raise a glass to this latest chapter of Haitian democracy.

Monday, March 01, 2004

The Blondes Win: I didn't write anything about the Great Anonymous Blogging debate because, you know, who gives a shit? But this morning's dust-up over the fate of the Kicker pretty much lays into the grave the hoary notion that the...[Note to Ed.: What's the opposite of an Anonymous Blogger? Ed: a Vanity Blogger. Note to Ed: Heh.]...Vanity Bloggers are inherently more credible.

Blogging is as blogging does, and it's probably best to judge the credibility of a blog based on its track record for accuracy rather than a metaphysical assumption regarding the identities of the authors.

Fair warning: if you're looking for accuracy, truth or a grounding in reality, look elsewhere. As I've said before, I really am making all this shit up.

[Oh, yeah. Link via TMFTML. Shit. Don't want to get into that debate either.]

The New York Times Takes Itself Off this InterWeb Thingy: The absence of the entire New York Times from its website is the first visible sign of the influence of recently installed ombudsman Dan Orkent. That's right, the miracle of the entire content of the New York Times, free, daily, on your desktop is no more. We imagine the decision to take down the website went something like this.

"Hey, Punch, can I have a raise?"

"No. Fuck off. Who let you in here?"

"Uhm, I'm Danny. The ombudsman."

"Ombudsman? Is that yiddish? Can you get me an egg-cream?'

"No. I do something like represent the interests of the readers of the paper. You told Bill Keller he could hire me."

"Are you still here?"

"The thing is, this job is a lot harder than I thought it would be. See, I discovered that someone's been giving away all our stories on the Information Superhighway. This means that lots of people can check, and double-check stuff, and that our stories don't just disapear into the recycle-bin each day. Sort sucks and I want more money."

"Hold the fuck up. Someone's giving away our paper on the internet? Who?"

"I think we are. I'm not sure how this stuff works but that's what I've been told."

"Oh. Somone's definitely getting fired over this. Does Leslie Gelb still work here? Time to put that shit to a stop. Get me a pretzel with my egg-cream."

Hegel once said that whereas medieval man began his day with prayers, modern man begins his day with the newspaper. And post-modern man began his day with the New York Times on the web. We've entered a new era.

Update: Some have speculated that the New York Times itself may have been shut down, and that Jason Calacanis has offered to give Bill Keller a blogging position in exchange for fifty percent of the equity and his own laptop.

Update II: Uhm, nevermind. I was just typing the wrong URL into my browser.

[The Moral of This Story: Do Not Remove Organs Until the Patient Is Dead]