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 next month’s water bill, which was fucking crazy.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Now if you don’t mind, may I ask a couple of questions of you folks?
I really appreciate the time you’ve afforded me here, and I’m super interested in the position, but I need to make sure that Georgia National Trousers Inc. is the right place for me. Yeah, you know, environmentally.
Okay, so first thing: I ride my bike to work. Is it going to be a problem for me to just kind of lean it against my desk?
Yeah, in the office.
I mean, it’s a really nice bike.
Don’t worry, it sort of folds up.
Into, like, a smaller bike.
Okay, yeah. The stairwell totally works.
Would you say the dress code here is pretty casual?
I’m not thinking anything crazy, it’s just I have this weird thing about shoes. I can do them for like ten minutes but after a while they really start to mess up my energy flow.
Now, part of my lifestyle is polyphasic yoga. Is that going to be an issue?
Weird, there’s like ten studios in Minneapolis.
Okay. So it’s this thing where you do yoga, but for only about four minutes every hour. Super not a big deal, I’m just going to need a soundproof space, nothing more than twenty square feet.
Well, that’s more for your comfort. Sometimes–not always–but sometimes it gets a little primal and I can’t really be held accountable for what my subconscious tosses out. I’ve been told there’s a lot of stuff about race, I guess?
But again, it’s just four minutes every hour.
Now do you guys have recumbent desks?
Who generally DJ’s the office soundsystem?
Really, none at all? Okay.
What about apple cider vinegar service? Is it delivered or should I just submit that as a reimbursable?
What about employee open mic nights?
Your aura is darkening, so I’m going to speed this up a little.
If I wanted to set up a sort of sunlight simulation chamber around my workspace, would that be a problem? I get super crazy seasonal affect disorder sometimes.
Um, my pet pug only has one eye, and so he gets pretty anxious when he’s alone. Can I bring him to work with me? He’s super in touch with his emotions.
If you were to express the work environment here in one Power Ranger, which one would it be?
That’s a Ninja Turtle, but I think I know what you mean.
Again, I want to thank you again.
Just one more question: if I were to just sit at my desk all day with Outlook open on one of my monitors, and quietly and steadily doing the low-level tasks that come my way, could I just coast through my days clock-watching and fucking around on the Internet, hoping that someone in the office says anything at all about a book or an album or a movie so I can re-engage that part of my brain again for just ten minutes, and maybe slip in a tiny bit of literary theory into the conversation, just so I can pretend for a moment that I hadn’t wasted years and thousands of dollars of someone else’s money in school developing analytical apparatuses that I’m starting to worry just ended up making me less happy and more alienated from society as a whole and left me with a whacked-out sense of esteem and a set of really oppositional and iconoclastic tastes?
I’ll start on Monday then?
1. In a lot of ways, Sufjan Stevens reminds me of my father.
2. Can you do that thing, where you drum along to the song with two pencils?
3. Don’t worry, it happens all the time. I always forget to tell people that I’m gluten free.
4. To be honest, we hired you because of that baja hoodie you wore to the interview.
5. While I do enjoy anime above all other genres, I will admit that I prefer the dubbed versions to the subtitled ones.
6. If this small-press literary journal is going to succeed, we need to stop organizing the issues around vague thematic clusters.
7. Okay, my blog is, on its surface, about organic food and maximizing our organizational potential, but really, I recognize it’s about howling existential dread.
8. We’re having a Twin Peaks and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne marathon.
9. As a Californian, I always say: whatever, it’s just a fucking burrito.
10. I’m sorry. I do not have any pictures of my corgi.
GloSymCoWee Has Started!
Total Collective Note Count for 2012: 239,264,288
The Foundation for Frivolous Endeavors is pleased to herald the kickoff of Global Symphony Composing Week! GloSymCoWee is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to symphony composition! Participants begin composing on the first Friday of November. The goal is to write an extended musical composition of four movements (or 48 minutes) by 11:59:59 on the following Thursday night.
Valuing sheer volume of sequenced sound over musty old ‘craft,’ GloSymCoWee is a symphony composition program for everyone who has ever thought fleetingly about composing an entire symphony but has been scared away by the years of theory, practice, and thought involved in the endeavor.
Let’s face it: anyone can write a symphony, as long as they keep putting notes on staff paper. It’s not rocket science! Remember that Mormon woman whose derivative erotic etudes, based on Liberace, were adapted for the London Philharmonic Orchestra? She’s a millionaire, now!
Our ultimate goal at GloSymCoWee is to devalue—no, democratize—formal musical composition to the point of shabby volunteerism, so that sad interns are playing behind Amanda Palmer for free. Make all of your friends sit through your meandering sonata, because you listened to some Sibelius once, and that pretty much qualifies you.
If all goes to plan, graduates of music academies will feel that their training was totally in vain, a quaint but common skill, fodder for the ‘hobbies’ section of their resume.
Because: the Internet and shit!