Thursday, May 20, 2004

I Have Been One Acquainted With The Blog: It was half-past eleven on Sunday and the red light indicating voicemail blinked challengingly from my phone. I had already had five meetings. It was the four days before the close of the sale of the consumer products division of a well-known public company. The division that makes things that prevents scents from arising where nature thinks scents should arise and hairs from growing where nature thinks hair should grow.

Only Monika Koslowski, my secretary, was permitted to disturb me with double espressos and gentle encouragement. “Do not forget the three o’clock conference call regarding European takeover regulations,” she had reminded me. I had authored a piece for the Wall Street Journal about the Future of the Failure of European Takeover Law, which argued that Public Choice theory and Austrian Economics showed that not only was a unified E.U. takeover regime unwise it was also unlikely. This had brought me respect from practitioners of international financial law and vexed the proponents of E.U. harmonization.

It had been an hour since my last espresso. I felt my soul melting into my Aeron chair. I needed Monika but she wasn’t answering the intercom. I wandered into the hallway, to Monika’s desk. She was looking at something on the interweb, and oddly enough it wasn’t her rankings in Tetris. Only two weeks ago she had stormed into my office cursing about someone called “Flora Fanatucci” who had displaced her in the top ten of North American online Tetris players.

“What is that?” I asked her.

“It’s a blog,” she said proudly, her heavily made-up eyes sparkling in the fluorescent lights.

In the hours that followed I found my strength returning as I studied the blogs and lived, in their digital sphere, the decadent lives of the bloggers in their ever moving drama of trivia, gossip, lust, self-and-substance abuse. If found a respite from the heady world of high-finance, of movers-and-shakers, of Men-In-Full. I escaped into a world of self-abasement, where every accident of fortune and misfortune was chronicled in detail that would have stunned the, uhm, otherwise, err, unstunable. It was a beautiful feeling. I know now that my life was by contrast a dull thing, with its promise of a successful career, its blousy young blonde women who dreamed of leaving their jobs in advertising and returning triumphantly to Darien with husbands and children, its one-hour brunches followed by tennis and memberships in reputable social clubs. I am aware of a life all around me of dark enrichment, in which every moment is a tiny, vicious little spike of evil humor and in which every love affair has the decency to turn out badly.

Sitting in these belligerent pinstripes, I dream of the blog life, the blog world; dream of being a part of it. I dream of eating brunch with Elizabeth, Maccers and Eurotrash. It is often brunch in blogosphere. I have on Diesel Jeans and a t-shirt with the word ‘Homewrecker’ inscribed over the face of a well-known actress. The bearded Scottish waiter is brining us another round of watermelon mojitos. Or perhaps my thoughts wander over to Café Felix: D-Nasty is leading the patrons in a Hey Ya! inspired conga-line that snakes through the tables attracting glances through the large windows from those who are not fortunate or European enough to be having brunch with us at Felix. Or perhaps I am not at Felix, either. I am lazily picking at an exquisite omelet that I will not eat because I am skinnied up on diet pills at the Four Seasons where the Week is holding a conference on the subject of lying to our lovers.

It is brunch. I am in Provence, not the one in France but the one on MacDougal Street. We are planning elaborate theme parties that will never happen. We have lifted our Bloody Mary’s toward the sky. “To decadence!” I say. Maccers glass is raised the highest because of the extraordinary shoes she is wearing.

Ah, blog dreams! How dear to me now are the Ritalin Readings. I have studied each one, such that I feel I was there. They are perfect little ink-stains. No. Not ink-stains. They are the pen-drawings the girls used to do on their jeans and on their converse. The Hipster Blogger Lindsay Robertson stands before a crowd, her shortened blonde locks casting a halo around her animating face. She is prepping the audience for a very short reading by an even shorter young woman. Anonymous Outsider lurks in the shadows, anonymously outside. Lockhart Steele and Blubox are entertaining a group of young women who can only be described a bevy of, uhm, young women.

I live the lives of other people in my fancy: I have a huge dog and a smaller dog and I live in Kentucky. All I know of her is that her dogs eat her dates and that she often wakes up surrounded by porn and whiskey. It is all I know and yet it is enough; for lying on her carpet near her unmanageable pets she embodies perfection; and I know about it, and it is mine.

It is brunch. I am with hereitype and Overserved in Schillers Liquor Bar. It is brunch. I am with Ash, who is being mistaken by the waiter for Johnny Knoxville. We are eating sushi for brunch. Or I am with Maud Newton and Terry Teachout. Terry and I are disputing which year of the American Mercury was the periodical’s apex. Or I am with SAC, eating brunch in his car, and we are planning to Crush the Bots.

All over the blogosphere it is brunch! It is brunch at the Applestore. Nick Denton is perched upon a stool; he is telling us that no-one will get rich from blogging. Jason Calcanis tells us that only he and Nick Denton will get rich from other people blogging. Jeff Jarvis, who is the moderator, tells a joke that the audience finds very funny, especially the girl to my left with a stylized New York City skyline imprinted across her ample bosom. It is brunch in the many-roomed mansion of Uncle Grambo in Detroit. I have walked out to the pool with Peabs to smoke Meth, which is what bloggers do in the Midwest. And now I am swimming in the pool for we have smoked all of our meth. I am not wearing any clothes at all. It is brunch in Los Angeles. I am on the lot of Universal Studios. I feel ashamed that I am taking up so much of Lindsay Lohan’s attention. It is that mysterious time which is neither breakfast nor lunch. I am in the Lower East Side apartment of trust fund baby Andrew Krucoff. There is a bridge which connects his apartment on the east side of Suffolk street to his apartment on the west side of Suffolk street. The eastern apartment is uncluttered and spare, as if torn from the pages of Wallpaper. The western decorated with ironic clutter, as if lifted from Welcome to the Johnson’s. It is brunch at Soho house, where a woman in a leopard print shirt is exposing her breasts to me. It is brunch in the blogosphere. I am lapping burgundy off the small of the back of a young woman who has a blog about handbags. It really is brunch in my office. I am transfixed in front of my laptop, considering whether to eat all or just half of the grapefruit I have brought into the office. I am wearing my belligerent pin-stripes. I cannot help wondering why Elizabeth Spiers has been so hard on someone called Graydon Carter? For it is brunch. I said, Brunch. Monika! Bring me an espresso!

[No apologies to E.B. White]