Monday, August 10, 2009

A Brief Guide For Journalists Considering Trying To Be Funny

Rule #1: Don't.

Rule #2: When in doubt, read Rule #1.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindle/e-books: The FAQ

Q. My book never runs out of batteries.
A. Modern e-book readers run for a couple of weeks without recharging. Can you really fail to see the battery warning for a solid week?

Q. Well, but still, I don't like reading on a screen.
A. A computer screen?

Q. Yes.
A. Right. But it's nothing like that, you know. Looks just like paper.

Q. Does it smell like paper?
A. What?

Q. Does it smell like paper? I don't want to read something that doesn't have the ineffable essence of print.
A. Hold on. Are you seriously saying that you buy books for the smell?

Q. Well, no. But--
A. No, stop right there. Seriously. Because every time someone brings up e-books, there's always this ridiculous line, as if regular books were printed on frakking gold leaf. What else, you're going to raise the lending question?

Q. That is a valid--
A. It's not a valid question at all! How often do you lend books? Because I maybe hand out one or two a year, but frankly I have enough trouble finding other people who read at all, much less want to read the same things that I'm reading! It is incredibly, massively stupid that this continues to be raised at all! If you want to lend it, don't buy the frakking e-book! Otherwise, why waste the paper--oh, right because it smells like magic. You know what I would like, just once, to hear someone say that they like about the books they read? The content. But no-one ever brings that up, it's always "oooh, the smell" and "oooh, lending to friends" like you're the New York Frakkin' Public Library. Probably because if they admitted that they liked the actual reading, instead of some pretentious vinyl-like format snobbery, they'd have to admit that the real reason they don't like digital books is because they fear change, you neanderthals.

Q. Now you're just being rude.
A. Yes. And?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Factory Zealed

Dear proponents of alternative operating systems.

Please, feel free to stop telling us how stable and productive your computer is. Also, we don't need to hear how productive it makes you, or how it gets your creative vibe flowing. We don't need to hear how said OS is elegant, or tasteful, or intrinsically superior.

We don't need to hear this because none of you has been able to shut the $&$%^& up about it for about 25 years now.

Give it a rest.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Only Thing Worse than Not Being Read

The second worst thing about blogging is the readers. Here you are, you've got a handy little corner of the Internet all set up the way you like it, and then people have to come and look at the damn thing. With readers come expectations, or at least hassle. Which is why everyone should have a blog like this one, which no-one reads.

The worst thing? The worst thing about blogging is comments. Because then you have to talk and interact with your readers. And if they were worth talking to, they wouldn't be reading you.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Stupid aspects of Snapple's "True Facts" campaign:

  1. What does any of it have to do with Snapple? How is my life improved at all by unneeded tidbits of information about bees, for example?
  2. Does this mean that someone is running a "False Facts" campaign, in which they lie to their customers about obscure trivia? How do we know Snapple isn't doing just that?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cabin Pressure

I need some conversation stoppers for my flight.

I thought of this when I ran into a copy of "Exploring the Da Vinci Code" at my girlfriend's office. One of her co-workers had brought it back from a conference. It occurred to me that it would be the perfect book to bring out in order to halt conversations with certain kinds of people on a plane. Then I realized that what I really need is a set of small books, each of which offends a different kind of seatmate: one for the Jesus freaks, one for the over-anxious grandmother, one for the hyper-Republican businessman, and so on. Then, when they start to spiral into their favorite topic, on which they can speak for all 8 hours of the flight, I just pull out the appropriate tome and kill the thread of conversation.

They should sell these things in kits.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Business

In Iain Banks' The Business, a shadowy multinational company buys a small country, enabling them to have a seat at the UN and their own citizenship process.

Whenever tax time rolls around, working for an international organization, I start thinking along the same lines.

I wonder what country has the easiest citizenship requirements?