Tricky Wicket

Evoking a crisp country morning, with wool at your chin and the smell of wet hay.

What Do Ya Do

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Oh my gosh what a loaded question.

Well, I don’t really work the traditional nine-to-five. Like, how can I put it? I don’t have health insurance. Or, like, pay taxes ha ha. Don’t tell the IRS!

Right, here. Let me do that for you. I don’t use my real name on Facebook.

Oh yeah? I don’t really go to that part of town that much. I don’t know why.

Ah, no! Not yet. I don’t eat factory-farmed eggs. Or gluten! When I’m being good, at least.

Well, I definitely don’t eat fast food. Except for Taco Bell, sometimes? And Five Guys. And In & Out Burger, obviously, if I’m in California.

Definitely, but I neeeever go into the EDM tent. Yeah, I’ve never really gotten the whole dubstep thing? Wub wub wub ha ha.

Huh, yeah. I don’t buy CD’s anymore.

I heard that song on the radio, I think! When I was changing channels. Yeah, I didn’t listen to it.

I’ve heard people talking about that show! Apparently it’s super good! I don’t have cable, though. Just not a big sports person. News the same thing.

Right the thing is I don’t totally subscribe to the whole gender biiiiinary? I wouldn’t use that word, no.

Okay well it’s not really a band. Or a political collective. And we’re not just about this one initiative either. I haven’t really been to a meeting in a while. That’s not fair. They aren’t really meetings. No, not practices.

Ha yes. I totally stopped wearing a watch!

The thing is I never really got the whole zombie thing. Or the vampire thing. Or the superheroes—my God the superhero thing just left me cold, because I didn’t really grow up reading comic books.

I don’t know if I really feel comfortable being “from” anywhere. I’ve moved so many times…

And this whole paralysis, this retreat, of feeling unable to be “for” or “about” anything in particular? Maybe it comes from a sheer exhaustion of being bombarded with cultural offerings that feel like retreads, advertisements in disguise, or just lazy schlock? Or maybe it’s feeling like any step I take in life serves to fulfill the familiar choreography of the insanely developed, perpetual, and safe-guarded shell-game of a capitalist endeavor, no matter whether I’m currently playing the role of the consumer or the crusader? So maybe I’m in a slow, dull death spiral of turning off to the world at large and end up spending my hours walking alone among trees and snakes and tall grasses–because that’s pretty unquestionably great stuff right there–and otherwise just generally just keep to myself because why bother with all the disappointment anyway?

Oh no. I totally saw True Detective. It was soooo good.

Irony Blues

Really

[But not really]

I mean

Really like ha

 

I wouldn’t

I mean,

Not like that

 

It’s just you know that thing?

Like that but not.

 

Really.

Trickless Wickets III

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1. Grandma, don’t be a dumbass. They aren’t called recipes anymore. They’re called food hacks.

2. Girls? I’ve never heard of it.

3. Can you do me a solid? Please don’t tell anyone you saw me running this marathon. I’d like to keep it quiet.

4. Yeah it’s really good to meet you. Yeah. Hey, let’s not talk about work tonight! No it’s just been a super long day! Um, I’m in the media field, I guess? … I write for a website. You’ve probably… Okay, fine, fuck: I work for Buzzfeed.

5. 8 Fucking Judgmental Assholes I Met At A Party Last Night Who Won’t Return My Texts.

6. Honey, if you’re going to the farmer’s market can you grab a big bag of zucchinis? I want to store ‘em at the back of the crisper, let those fuckers liquefy, and then throw them out.

7. Do you guys have any novels about the intellectual and sexual escapades of fifty-year-old American Jewish males? You do?! I can’t believe my luck!

8. No, there’s not really that much to know. I mean, it’s just bartending. I make people drinks, for Christ’s sake. It’d be pretty silly for me to take it really seriously.

9. Americans shocked to learn important man acts like every single man they have ever met.

10. Honey, if you’re going to the mall, can you grab me a copy of The Antonio Gramsci Reader? If they don’t have that, just a large bag of wedding-cake-flavored popcorn.

Trickless Wickets II

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1. Smithsonian announces acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s home-made sriracha caddy and Eli Whitney’s paintings based on pop-cultural puns.

2. First Annual Social Justice Through Social Media Conference reports 240,000 Facebook likes, no attendees.

3. Friends not sure if baffling, vapid status updates constitute elaborate subject-centered performance art.

4. Local man awarded Pulitzer Prize for Music Blog Comment Section Argument.

5. Liberal art student’s carefully-hidden class affiliation revealed through lavish Spring Break photos.

6. Let me tell you, in a rambling, half-recalled fashion, about this study I read third-hand that suggests correlation but not necessarily causation. At a potluck.

7. Oh, don’t mind me. I’m only here ironically.

8. Keep calm and eat cupcakes! Ha! Ha! Ha! Nom! Nom nom nom! Get it? It’s like that poster! I am so very lonely.

9. I’m finna Google Glass this kale.

10. Do you have any mid-century modern cats? We sort of have that thing going on and we don’t want her to clash.

Denny’s Baconalia Is So Late Roman Empire

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I mean, it’s even called baconalia. 

Status Updates

Portrait of man with beard, ca. 1855

We were living in penthouses wildly partitioned by a begrudging Hasid who wouldn’t shake the female tenants’ hands but patiently used our parents as guarantors.

We were living in ancient shotguns next to the lady who called for her cat at all hours, both on the way to and on the way back from the bar.

We were living in that same cheap house near campus, having a Whole House Meeting about lowering the water bill, which was fucking crazy last month.

We were avoiding conversations about hearing back from graduate schools.

We were avoiding conversations about our novel.

We were joining LinkedIn for some reason.

We were running marathons.

We were skipping huge boring sections of The New York Times and The New Yorker and The Economist.

We were becoming social media consultants against our sense of irony, and wondering what the equivalent must have been twenty years ago. Typing, maybe?

We were teaching, because it was the only thing anyone would let us do, and crumbling under the weight of it, quickly or slowly.

We were handling personal errands for people our parents’ age and tweeting about it.

We were saying “it’s not paid, but it’ll be good for my resume.”

We were avoiding the documentaries in our Instant Queue.

We were talking about our friends’ cocaine habits.

We were, apparently, not joking about the whole Ron Paul thing?

We were telling ourselves that it was okay that we weren’t making art, as long as we were living it.

We were telling ourselves that it was okay that we weren’t making art, as long as we were making a living.

We were living extravagantly, raising questions among our peers about the source of our funding.

We were starting blogs, telling everyone about the blogs, and abandoning blogs.

We were living in a tailor-made city with fourth wave coffee shops and offices with more perks than colleges have.

We were getting fat, according to Facebook photos.

Trickless Wickets

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1. Local Man Awarded MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship For “A Couple of Chapters of a Sci Fi Thing.”

2. Mom! You’re Really Going To Be Proud! I’ve Developed A Reputation As The Edgiest Rape-Joke Comedian On Campus!

3. Henry Darger’s Tumblr.

4. n+1’s Slush Pile: “Why The Pokedex Presaged Today’s Entire Intellectual Situation.”

5. Honey, Grab My iPad. The New York Times Did An Article About Irony.

6. Your Musician Friend Explains Why Your Favorite Band Is Tooootal Shit. No Offense.

7. Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s Kickstarter.

8. Guy at Party Knows the Difference Between Android, Droid, and Nexus. Is Enthusiastic.

9. No, It’s Funny. I Don’t Have Any Pictures From My Trip To Iceland.

10. OK, But Have You Heard Gangnam Style On Vinyl?

11. Things Are Really Heating Up Here On Google Plus!

Fear Not, Fellow Sailors. Our Journey Has Just Begun!

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Assembled ladies and gentlemen of the Gaslamp Society For Love and Craft,

I know what lies deep in your heart.

I know what lies deep in your heart because it lurks in my cockles as well.

Some nights, I will admit, when I slip off my brass monocle and set it atop my leather-bound copy of The Time Traveler’s Atlas, a pang of ill humor may quaver through my organs. That is the dread quivering of doubt. It is the slow and gnawing prickling of a life devoted to a passion that demands ever more from my soul, drinking my energy and sapping my youth.

You have felt it too. Even the most devoted among you knows it and its insidious creep, like a fog atop the streets of London.

For how can I account for the long nights spent in my tinker space, straining my eye through my brass jeweler’s loupe to better adorn my cowboy boots with ornamental and dynamic gearwork? What if all of the practice sessions, perfecting the sound of my klezmer Clash coverband, were in vain? Has my zine app with its period-accurate printing-press typeface and its tintype gif-conversion, been an orderly but wasteful inkspill, meaningless in its infinitesimal trickle among the milky, cold expanses of the greater and uncaring universe?

Cast away your doubt, comrades, for it is a cruel devil’s trick, no more substantial than that fleeting thought I have had about moving out of my parents’ pool house. It is the monkeychatter of a society in the lustgrip of shimmering self-love, of a society who would rather round the edges and sand down the bolts that made our history great.

Steampunk is not dead. It has only just begun!

I look around at you and see such innovation.

Julio Vernez and his Steam Punk Santa Sleigh! Behold his robotic reindeer: Dashon, Dancilus, Truax, Prancibus, Vixit, Tardis, Lolita, Etsy, and Amanda Palmer!

Mary Shelley Duval and her charming Victorian Teacup terraria!

The Zombiedroid Parade, with its lumbering automata and their taste for brain-cogs!

These are not the products of some fad, ye assembled.

They are the very articles of greatness!

What we have here are pure expressions of ingenuity, of consequence, of consideration.

Make no mistake about it. In such a young field, we are the Titans. Our struggles will become legend, as the heroes of old. The battles we have discussed–Thaddeus Q. Tesla’s rightful battle to mount his mechanical spider wheelchair on Portland’s city buses, or the Permitting Wars that beset the Zeppelin Waterpolo LARPers of Cincinnati–those very battles will fallow the fields for future warriors. Our names will ring out at  Burning Man and at Comic Con.

The charming songs of future music-box houses will praise our deeds!

And someday we will gain the greatest honor! We will ascend, as the Olympians did, to the very peak of our craft, our greatest hope: to show up in the background of a Katy Perry music video!

Going Viral

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare forsooth, forthwith, and with malice aforethought that heretofore in the above matter pertaining to privacy, by the authority vested in me by the state of Louisiana, the Pelican State, that my copyright is attached to all of my personal odors, doodles, witty status updates, blogercise videos, etc. [as a result of the Balfour Declaration). For commercial use of the above, the prior written consent of Major League Baseball is commanded by Der Kommisar! 

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of The Imperial Royal Guard. By the present mimeograph, I notify Facebook that it is verboten und ungezogen to skywrite, shadowpuppet, performative dance, or derive butt pleasures against me on the basis of my profile and/but/so its ingredients and shameful bits. The aforementioned prohibited also apply to employees, friends of employees, havers-of-one-night-stands with employees, etc., c.f., w/r/t., under Facebook’s mindspell or operating thetan. The content of this profile is super serial and super secret. The violation of my privacy is punished by laws (NCC-1701: Search For Spock and the Writ of Mandamus).

Facebook is now a constitutional monarchy. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this modified version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your Farmvilles, your pictures of Thanksgiving dinner, and that one video of your dog wearing a hat. You’re just asking for it and may God have mercy on your soul.

Job Interview Sketch, Take Two

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A: Can you tell us why you want to work at Georgia National Trousers Inc?

B: Well, I noticed you guys have a drink machine.

A: Yes, we do. In the break room.

B: Right, and drinks are 75 cents. At my old office they were a dollar. I figure I can save a lot of money on Diet Dr. Pepper here.

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