November 24, 2007

Man it's a trip how the world keeps turnin'

If someone would have told me ten years ago-- as a high school senior-- that I'd be making well over a hundred thousand dollars a year as a 26 year old, I'd have been a little dubious.

And if someone would have told me one year ago-- as a Manhattan lawyer-- that I'd spend the lion's share of 2007 living in a shopping mall in Charlotte, North Carolina (and driving a Chevy Impala), I'd have been outright incredulous.

But if someone would have told me one week ago-- as a self-respecting human being-- that I'd spend the night before Thanksgiving backstage at an Evanescence concert?


November 14, 2007

God fucking god dammit

Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo is publishing a book of poetry based on email spam. Well, bunghole, you're a little late to the game. Ever hear of...CERTAIN FUCKING BLOGS???

But as long as he's stealing my awesome ideas, I think he should promote his book by hosting a series of Poetry Spams all over the country.

That's just what I think.

November 12, 2007

No country for chinamen

While I've been working in Charlotte, my employer has generously put me up in a shopping mall. More precisely, a corporate housing park adjoining a shopping mall.

My neighborhood's centerpiece is a P.F. Chang's restaurant. In my 6+ months in Charlotte (no shit), I've run, walked, or driven by this restaurant hundreds of times. But last weekend was the first time I paid any attention to its full name: P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

Now, China is a noun. Bistro is a noun. Juxtaposed, the two words don't make any sense. Presumably, what Paul Fleming (P.F.) and Phillip Chiang (Chang; rather obviously sic) wanted to connote was the idea of a Chinese bistro. Why they didn't just use "Chinese Bistro" is anybody's guess.

(Not that "P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro" would be totally accurate, either. But at least it's coherent. And I'm willing to admit that "P.F. Chang's Bistro Serving Food that One Might Charitably-- in a Moment of Postprandial Narcosis, Perhaps-- Call 'Chinese-Inspired'" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.)

These days, every time I look at the sign, I can't help but think of the word "Chinaman". Am I the only person to make this connection? I won't go so far as to accuse P.F. Chang's of racism, but isn't it amazingly stupid to name your restaurant after something that evokes a well-known racial epithet? Especially when you have to butcher the English language to do so?

That's all for tonight. Please join me next time for another episode of Painful and Turgid Discourses on Stupid Shit that Nobody Else Could Possibly Care About.

November 2, 2007

An old fashioned rant

(1) I sure hate the internet. The latest thing to piss me off is user-generated content. Web 2.0 or whatever you assholes call it. You know who has consistently dumb ideas and opinions? Users. It reminds me of those asinine discussion sections from college and the Socratic Method in law school, where lazy professors decide that letting their ignorant students discuss complicated issues is a better use of everyone’s time than actually bothering to teach anything. I realize I sound like a stuffy old ivory tower pedant, but fuck it: I’m a stuffy old ivory tower pedant.

I suppose I don’t care that these comments features exist per se; I certainly don’t bother reading them. What really worries me is how has begun posting user comments on the front page of its site, as if these uninformed, barely intelligible opinions are somehow their own form of news. Appending these comments to the end of an article is one thing, but advertising the comments as an independent reason to view the site is something else. What’s most depressing is ESPN’s tacit admission that its only goal is ad revenue. It’s only a news organization to the extent that news reporting attracts advertisers. If hosting a forum for amateur teenagers who can’t spell to discuss their thoughts on Human Growth Hormone and call each other douchebags turns out to attract more revenue, then I guess that’s what sports fans can look forward to. Fuck me.

(2) I think the makers of my Sony Ericsson W810 cell phone are anti-Semitic. My auto-text feature doesn’t recognize the word “bagel”. On the other hand, “Hitler rules” always pops right up.

(3) I’m the only heterosexual male vegetarian I know (unless my brother is a vegetarian again. And still heterosexual).

I don’t know what to make of this.

(4) Speaking of the internet, the OTHER most infuriating thing of all time is how pretty much every site now features video content of stuff that has no need for video. recently introduced Slate V, some bullshit video feature that includes a weekly animated Dear Prudence letter and response. The video adds absolutely nothing to the feature: the columnist simply reads the letter over an animated dramatization of the letter’s content, then stares at the camera and gives her answer. It’s just like the print version, except it takes longer and I have to worry about having the right flash drivers and pissing off my colleagues in the next office. Isn’t that awesome? ESPN, Yahoo and CNN, to name 3 of my least favorite daily sites, all do the same thing. Now if I’m browsing the web for FILTHY INTERRACIAL BUKKAKE FACIALS, then obviously I wouldn’t mind a video or two. But if I want to know which of my decrepit running backs to start in my fantasy league, I don’t want to wait for a stream of some ugly nutsack being interviewed by some other nutsack. Just feed me the fucking information.