I’d never IM’d with John Carney before today; the first topic was the investigation of a joke I couldn’t remember. The joke involved an Indian, His Horse, and Said Horse’s Large Dick. I still don’t know what it is, but Andrew offered up a decent alternative. We spoke of our experiences Googling the joke, and how they were, at best, sordid. “Whatever you do, don’t image search it,” he warned. Sage advice, if I’ve ever heard any.
The second topic of conversation was Thomas Fleming, a guy who - according to Wikipedia - was noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a key intellectual of the “Neo-Confederate” movement. He’s the editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and is the ideological crack baby of Barry Goldwater and Ted Nugent. Naturally, this is somewhat in line with Carney’s sensibilities, and John Boy wrote an article for them back in the day, which you can download as a YM exclusive here.
Now, if you’re too lazy to download the PDF, the January 2004 article is about John’s foray into becoming a smoker - as a libertarian and general asshole, it’s his job to take up The Habit proceeding the Great Smoking Ban at the lung-ripened age of 30.
That’s funny, because I’m an asshole, and I occasionally read Esquire. And I distinctly remember Esquire fiction editor and writer-at-large Tom Chiarella writing the exact same article, entitled, of course, Learning to Smoke. Three years later. And I imagine he got paid, handsomely, for it.
Now, I’m not saying that Chiarella plagurized Carney, or that he even stole the idea from Carney. But, from Carney’s article:
On my way home that evening, I lit my ﬁrst cigarette. It took four matches. I learned not to try to light the cigarette in the sulfur but to wait until the ﬂames caught the cardboard match stem, and I learned to cup my hands just so against the wind. My lungs felt as if they were being pulled apart. My eyes watered. I kept spilling ash on my lapels and had trou- ble not burning my jacket. I experimented with a few different grips, settling on a cupped-in-the-hand style that not only kept the ﬂame away from my clothes but made me feel like Steve McQueen. Best of all, I didn’t cough.
And from Chiarella’s article:
My first: walking home the four long blocks from the school where I teach. I didn’t know how to hold it. My fingers, clamped on the little cigarette, looked porcine, oversized, poorly positioned. The smoke, ashy and light, filled my mouth, made my eyes water. I coughed on every drag, even though I barely inhaled. I covered all this up by walking fast, figuring I’d just look like a man with places to go, a busy man, smoking his daily fact of life, not a poser considering the small elements of style that obsessed me: Was the cigarette well lit? How deeply should I breathe? Somehow, I cared, like some dumbass kid in ninth grade.
Conclusion? An uncanny resemblance in certain areas. Questioning Carney - who’d never seen Chiarella’s article, delivered a near-perfect review: “He’s much more boring than I am. This goes on for far too long.”
Chiarella’s writing once came up in conversation, and my friend started telling me about his latest human-gerbil piece. As it turns out, he’d sat at a poker table with Chiarella towards the end of his experiment. “Yeah, he’s a fat fuckin’ slob, and he took up smoking for Esquire, for a month. He’s not doing it any more. He got rolled at the table that night.” Also, for the record, John Carney still smokes. Attaboy.
In the end, Advantage: Carney (again, you can read his article by downloading it here). Rule to remember? If it’s in a magazine, someone somewhere else has probably discussed it previously, in a much more entertaining matter, and in some cases, less words.
Me? I started smoking when I was 15: Kamel Red Lights. I’ve since smoked Marlboro Lights, Camel Lights, Parliament Lights, and in an attempt to quit smoking, Pall Mall’s. In high school, people were immensely turned-off by the habit, but by senior year, they were all smoking, and by college, they were doing fucking roll-o’s of Drum. I could quit now if I wanted - famous words, right? - but I kind of just do it to do it, now. It’s a good excuse to get out of a bad conversation, and it gives you something to do when you’re bored, pissed, or not in the mood to think of actual remedies to the issue driving you to smoke (or, inversely, it’s something to do while you think of a remedy to the issue driving you to smoke). The real thrill was getting away with it when you were under the legal age, and also, doing it when nobody else was. Also, driving. Driving and smoking and especially smoking while driving a manual transmission - now that's great.
99: Smoked for two weeks when I was twelve. Bought the pack from the vending machine in the police station. No shit.
Smoked Commanders my last quarter in college when I was dating an annoying smoker. I talked about non-smokers rights all the time. It infuriated her. She would exclaim: “But you smoke!”. I would explain to her I was a smoking non smoker. She had great tits; give me some slack.
I smoke Dunhills when I do. Sherman’s on occasion. Love their ‘mint’.
Krucoff: Except for the handful of times I’ve smoked a butt or two in a state of total intoxication, I’ve never been a tool of big tobacco’s death industry. Smoking cigs never made sense because it seemed like the biggest sucker draw in “will this make me look cool” teen accessory. And yeah, I was punk rock about things like that. On the other hand, drinking and drugs I understood. That shit fucked you up.
A man boards an airplane, and takes his seat. As he settles in, he glances up and sees the most beautiful woman he has ever seen boarding the plane. He soon realizes she is heading straight towards his seat. A wave of nervous anticipation washes over him. Lo and behold, she takes the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation, he blurts out, “So where are you flying to today?”
She turns and smiles, and says, “To the Annual Nymphomaniac Convention in Chicago.” He swallows hard, and is instantly CRAZED with excitement. Here’s the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen, sitting RIGHT next to him, and she’s going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs. Struggling to maintain his outward cool, he calmly asks, “And what’s your role at this convention?”
She flips her hair back, turns to him, locks onto his eyes, and says, “Well, I try to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality. “Really” he says, swallowing hard. “And what myths are those?”
She explains: “Well, one popular myth is that African American men are the most well endowed when, in fact, it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess this trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Jewish descent who romance women best, on average.”
"Very interesting," the man responds. Suddenly, the woman becomes very embarrassed and blushes. "I’m sorry," she says, "I feel so awkward discussing this with you and I don’t even know your name."
The man extends his hand and replies, “Tonto. Tonto Goldberg!”
Okay, I didn’t want it to come to this, but here we go. I’m almost positive someone told me a joke about an Native-American and a horse’s dick last night. I remember laughing heartily about it last night, and waking up this morning and trying to remember it. I couldn’t.
If you know this joke, you would be doing me a great favor by telling me the rest of it (or all of it). Because Googling “Indian” and “horse’s dick” when you’re not drunk is no fun. We won’t give you a stuffed animal, but I will buy a drink for you. I am totally serious about this.
Dashiell thinks the Palin pick is a brilliant move for McCain and says, “Listen closely, because this is the important part. Any and all conversations about Iraq, from now and until forever, begin and end with one statement from his running mate. “I’m a worried mother, and my eldest boy, my baby, is fighting in Iraq right now so that you can sit on your ass and eat salads.” End of discussion. Not even the “we want to bring him home now” defense is useless against the boy’s own mother. You can’t argue with a mom. You just can’t.”
Really? Can’t argue with a mom about a son or daughter in Iraq? You might want to ask Cindy Sheehan about that.
Dispatch from a Day Off: So this is what it’s like to be “self-employed” on a Friday, huh? Just woke up and I’m about to, in the words of Calvin Broadus Jr., get my “smoke” on. Crowdsourcing: does anybody know approximately how high one must be in order to tolerate the Brooklyn DMV? Meanwhile, I’m not sure exactly what it is Tyler's doing today, but I'm into it.
Here’s how John McCain (maybe) just won the election. What are his weaknesses?
1. He’s old.
She’s 44. (And kinda hot.)
2. He’s a rich bastard.
Her husband is somehow a fisherman, an oil man, and a steelworker all at the same. Fuck you, Amtrak.
3. He’s not Hillary Clinton.
She’s a mom, who shoots guns.
Listen closely, because this is the important part. Any and all conversations about Iraq, from now and until forever, begin and end with one statement from his running mate. “I’m a worried mother, and my eldest boy, my baby, is fighting in Iraq right now so that you can sit on your ass and eat salads.” End of discussion. Not even the “we want to bring him home now” defense is useless against the boy’s own mother. You can’t argue with a mom. You just can’t.
And (dear god forbid, no one wants this, so hopefully just suggesting it is a jinx, because lord knows, no one on the tv dares whisper it) if something should happen to her son while he’s overseas (anything bad at all; i don’t need to remind you of the possibilities) … they win. It’s over. Could anyone anywhere deny a grieving mother?
Even if nothing happens (and I truly hope he comes back safe), it’s a brilliant pick. I really think he’s going to win.
(P.S. Which brings up a legitimate non-partisan question: Should the son of a potential vice-president really being serving in a war zone? In the infantry no less? Especially if they win; wouldn’t he have to come home?)
James Powderly, GRL Founder, Detained in Beijing: “Would you say the interrogations were torture? Well, I think probably, a lot of people might disagree, even some of my other detainees might feel like what they received wasn’t torture. And relative to what someone might receive on a daily basis at a place like Gitmo it certainly is not particularly harsh. It’s kind of like being a little bit pregnant, we were a little bit tortured. We were strapped into chairs in uncomfortable positions, we were put into cages with blood on the floor and told we would never live, we were sleep deprived the entire time. There was an interrogation every night and they kept us up all day. They never turned the lights off in the cells. We were fed food that was inedible, we were not given potable water. Any time you threaten and take the numbers of family members and take down home addresses, there’s an element of mental torture there. There’s physical torture in the form of us having to sit in uncomfortable positions all day long and spending the night strapped to a metal chair inside of a cage. We all have cuts and bruises from that, and some of my peers were beaten up a little bit.”
Dear Tumblrs, Bloggers, Manhattanites, Brooklynites, Young and Old, etc:
I’m hosting a casual “meet the candidate” reception with free drinks for NY State Senate candidate Daniel Squadron on Tuesday, September 2 at 9:30pm at The Magician on the corner of Rivington and Essex in Manhattan .
The District he’s running for covers Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, western Williamsburg and most of Manhattan below 14th Street other than Greenwich Village. Squadron is a great candidate who’s ready to fight the incumbent disease we know as Albany politics. He has been endorsed by the New York Times, lots of local organizations, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Schumer and others. You can read more about him here:
With all the hoopla going on in Denver and Minneapolis, we have the opportunity to make change in our own neighborhoods here. This is an election where literally EVERY VOTE COUNTS. Corny? Maybe, but small increases in turnout can swing local elections.
Did I mention free drinks? Hope to see you there. Let me know if you have any questions. Sorry for the late start, he’s debating his primary opponent in Brooklyn earlier in the evening.
Okay. New musical idea. Springtime for Kitlers. It’s CATS meets THE PRODUCERS, except we take it totally seriously, and end up with something like LES MIZ meets THE LION KING. Now tell me I’m not on to some shit. The Parks Department is.
So that’s how you get 193 people to follow you. Goddamn. Also, we’re not anonymous. We meet the people we are “dark” to and throw charity benefits where they are sincerely the guest of honor, and then give them an open forum with which a civil conversation is had. Also, we like Alpacas. And we’re a linkblog.
Raise a, Guinness, I guess, to our stature as a ‘darker sort of blogging' declared so by a guy who obsessively cyber stalks women he doesn't know in hopes of fucking them. When pointing out what sort of massive, gaping assholes he is ranks lower than said behavior, well, you can keep your happy-go-fucky Tumblr. Dick.
Attention all Tumblrs, go comment on Rex’s post about comments. Given the total output of Tumblr posts, he thinks it would be interesting to see the percentage that’s just “put-downs.” It seems he has a very selective view. Plus, he’s talking shit about you.
Okay, I admit, I was wrong about treading water. This is better than Big Brother After Dark. Oh, and if we haven’t made it eminently clear, we do not give a ripe fuck what your feelings are. We just wish they were less accessible.
According to Google Reader, YM averages 123.2 posts per week. For comparison: Gothamist 207.4, Gawker 280.7, SoupSoup 235.9, Fimoculous 45.7, Brian Van 83.1 and Doree 19.4. (We apologize to Doree for including her in this company.)
Who ARE these people? Like, really, who the fuck are these people (other than Doree)? You know there’s a show about dogs on CBS called America’s Greatest Dog or something? Not about these ones - they’re actual canines, and at the end of each episode, a dog gets expelled from Canine Academy. It’s pretty compelling shit.
I mean, funny, yes. But: shouldn’t it have been soupsoup (or did she fuck him already?). And: the internet is free and our post count must exceed the rumored Big Unit, but fish in a fucking barrel! I appreciate someone willing to puke their bad thoughts all over the rest of us in order to facilitate cheap ire, but we’re really treading water on this front.
It’s been nearly five days since I’ve been online (read: on tumblr) and I feel like I’m in high school and have neglected to do a week’s worth of homework.
I might just give up on getting caught up.
Welcome Liz, our newest follower! (Hey, take a picture, it will last longer.) We feel like we’re in high school ALL THE TIME and hate homework too. Lucky for you, we don’t assign any either. We should warn you that some YM followers don’t last more than 10 minutes with this stuff. The question to ask yourself now, WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF?
In case anybody needs training: How To Write A YM Tumbl.
First, take on a meaningless issue that you feel unnecessary-yet-righteous indignation about. Attach a link on top of some kind of cheap, non-one-liner, landing anywhere between cute, marginally vulgar, and relatively ribald:
Because you’re a contrarian dick, and, despite your anti-authority leanings, you like to side with the establishment, so make sure to link to a Nick Denton owned page when you do this. Next, drive the “point” home - in this case, the Yankees, being bastards about not letting someone pee during the “God Bless America” in what’s probably some kind of isolated incident of overzealous authority - by adding a weak, unoriginal non-sequitur. Here, it’s the Yankees sucking at baseball, in addition to being bastards:
You can’t catch a ball or hit a line drive, either.
Finally, close it out with a semi-obscure link on top of something even less related to the initial issue at hand, one that does nothing to help the point at all…
Meanwhile, the second-lowest paid team in baseball has the third-best record:
And then, a dumb joke about balls and a book that sold better than anything you will ever write…
…hey, Billy Beane, you left your Moneyballs in Tampa.
All of this, paired with the fact that you’re actually a Yankees fan, make this post both infuriatingly dumb, hipocritical, and pointlessly ribald. Well done! You’ve both taken up space on someone’s dashboard, and wasted around 30 seconds of their time. PS: “PS” should be an abbreviation for “penis.” Har har har. Oh, also, pretend you’re someone else making fun of yourself, because you like to get ahead of the “news cycle.” Again: har har har.