Okay, so this is kind of fish-in-a-barrel, but the only thing funny about this "parody" of New York neighborhoods through their corresponding Barbie dolls is how hysterically wrong it is. You know those stupid forwards sent around by well-meaning-but-clueless Moms and spinsters with cats? I imagine this is that sort of thing for the chick-lit-reading, sample-sale-squealing, $400-shoe-buying sucker set:
I give you, the parodist's Barbie representation of the Lower East Side (of what, I'm not sure. Maybe somewhere in Arkansas?):
"Lower East Side Barbie"
"This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife,a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ..unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about."
Um, what? Was this EVER the Lower East Side?
The rest are here. (Park Slope and Red Hook are also unintentionally funny, but for all I know, Bensonhurst is dead-on.)
RACHEL DONADIO, "Literary Letters, Lost in Cyberspace", The New York Times, September 4, 2005
From: Dave Eggers
To: Mary Porter
Subject: Re: Volunteer Application
Dear Ms. Porter,
Thank you for applying for a volunteer position at 826 Valencia. Unfortunately, upon review of your application and some discussion with associates in the kitchen of a woman who has seventeen great-grandchildren, we learned some details of your past opinions that were, to say the very least, unsettling. To wit:
- In September of 1992, your Honors English teacher (now a friend of mine) confiscated a notebook from you, upon which was written "Moby Dick Sucks."
- In July of 2001, on an extremely obscure McSweeney's-fan message board which, at its height, boasted 6 members, all of whom were shut-ins, you stated the following: "I love Dave's writing, but his public persona is beginning to distract me from it. He should shut his big fat mouth and get back to that book about whales he keeps promising us."
- In May of 2002, you went on a date with Todd Pruzan, a very decent human being, and never returned his phone calls.
A person's character is shown by his or her actions. Through these actions, you have shown that you are a cynical, pessimistic person who seeks to tear down other writers and we at 826 Valencia would be doing our students a great disservice if we allowed an insincere, un-genuine, ironic teacher to guide them. Feel free to stop by for all your pirate supply needs, however.
Sincerely As Always,
From: Dave Eggers
Subject: Re: Fwd:: THIS IS NOT JUNK LETTER. BILL GATES IS SHARING HIS FORTUNE.
We should totally do this. If we forward enough of these, Bill Gates will pay us $250 a pop for each forwarded email. This could probably fund the mass pulping of How We Are Hungry..
From: Dave Eggers
Subject: Exile from the kingdom.
I am writing this e-mail to tell you that I will never write you an e-mail again. Also, I was deeply disappointed to see where you recently quoted me in your interview with The Twin Cities Shopper as saying that "human beings are carbon-based life forms." If you remember correctly, Neal (and if not, there are several witnesses prepared to back me up), the full statement was, "Human beings are carbon-based life forms made up of approximately 60% water." I think you - and any fair observer - can see the vast differences in those two quotes. I've sent an angry, self-important letter to the paper. I expect a full and forthright apology immediately.
P.S. I'm never e-mailing you again. Seriously.
From: Dave Eggers
To: Viggo Mortenson
Subject: There are some things you should keep to yourself.
P.S. But especially the poetry.
From: Dave Eggers
To: The Eggskateers
Subject: Re: Fwd: Unsatisfactory feedback on your recent eBay transaction.
Hmm. So. Given the without-a-hitch-ness of my most recent auction, the feedback was, for balance, to be expected. Um. Not everything went as planned. To wit:
- As you may or may not know, we had placed up for auction a set of DVDs containing the entire first season of America's only truly great situation comedy, "Sanford and Son."
- While we bow to none in our admiration of this series, we want to emphasize that the set in question had never been opened. Ever. Oddly, we received duplicate copies from different admirers on the same day.
- So we decided to auction it off on ebay, hoping to use the funds obtained to purchase more pirate and pirate-related material. Assuming the item would generate a large number of bids, we set no reserve. Which was okay, but prevented us eventually obtaining the price we had in mind when we decided to sell the thing in the first place.
- One strange and unfortunate thing: In this particular auction a bidder known - even through his feedback ranking - for asking impertinent questions and generally making a nuisance of himself - quickly became the high bidder on the item. This bidder had been for a week or so poking around, e-mailing people with some association to me, by all accounts - and true to the nature of his particular bidding practice - in an effort to determine whether or not them item would play on all region DVD players or was only Region 1 (NTSC).
- This bidder's presence was upsetting, to me and to many of the auction participants. You see, when people bid on this item, many of them have experienced things very similar to the events that transpired on the program. For example, a bidder in his early thirties related how he had worked in a junkyard for several years. Another young woman had, just a year before, watched her father fake a heart attack while yelling, "I'm coming, Elizabeth!" The stories are incredible and wrenching, but are welcome. That's much of the point of an eBay auction -- meeting people who have been in whatever way affected by the item you've put up for bid, and talking to them about why and how. And essential to this transaction is the privacy of the attendee/sharer of similar experience.
- The problem was, during this particular auction, this bidder was hovering, after every bid, busily peppering the auctioneer with questions like, Is the security tape on the case still intact? At one point, while a woman was relating her disappointment with Redd Foxx's later series "The Royal Family", the bidder was so quickly and feverishly interjected with a question concerning the bonus material on the DVD, that all I could do was ignore his question, hoping he would take in the message implied and allow some privacy. She did not. He was subsequently asked by a friend of mine pretending to be an eBay employee to leave the auction, or at the very least raise the amount of his bid. He did not. It became a very icky scene, and carried on until well after the auction was complete.
- It's very hard to express how unsettling it all was. Such a contrast, between these kind and open bidders, happy to pay a $5 shipping and hanfling fee even if we do send the discs via media mail, and this high bidder, who not only won the bid but left me negative feedback, imperiling my good eBay name. It was very creepy. Wow was it creepy.
- Still, I want to thank all those who bid, and hope that despite the obviously misleading feedback "Item arrived packed in yellowed press reviews of You Shall Know Our Velocity, the negative portions of which contained handwritten rebuttals. Case was cracked and security tape was missing." you will continue to bid on our merchandise; there's a Jolly Roger flag we've got our eye on, and those things don't come cheap.
From: Dave Eggers
To: Gunberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: want to make ur tool real big 2340fejkbsdksf
Yes, I am interested in penis enlargement. VERY interested.
[Transcribed by Alex Balk and Lindsay Robertson.)
Last week, I was asked to submit some true stories of blogging to the editors of an upcoming book, "Please Link Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Blogging." It seemed a little early to be writing it, but I guess things move fast these days. Here are my entries, all true. I hope they take them!
The Sex... "One time I wrote about my high school crush on a shower massage on my blog, and then the next day at an office birthday party my boss made fun of me for it. It was slightly embarrassing. But, wow, I really loved that shower massage."
The Drugs... "It must have been around March of 2003. I was at Siberia with Elizabeth Spiers and some random media people. This guy from the Observer offered us coke. Liz declined, but I did some. Soon after, I went home, and sure enough, it took me an extra fifteen minutes or so to fall asleep!"
The Fame... "A bunch of us got together to go see the Arcade Fire. I was talking to these guys in front of me for about five minutes. Then one of them said "Are you Lindsay?" and my friends all heard him and made fun of me relentlessly for the rest of the night. Stuff like that happened a lot in those days."
The Celebrities... "After a while, you'd start getting invited to these parties where you'd realize, Oh my God, every A-list blogger in New York is here! Like, you'd look to your left and there was Lockhart Steele! You'd look to your right and there was Jessica Gawker! You'd look in the corner, and there was Krucoff. And you'd think to yourself, Who the hell invited him? Still, it was crazy."
The Fights... "Mark Whatevs had said something sort of mean about one of my blogger friends who had recently appeared on TV. I wrote him this long email about how she was a real person with real feelings, etc. He pointed out that Fred Durst was also a real person with real feelings, but took the entry down and we made up. Now I realize I was being stupid because people who put themselves in the public eye should have thick skins. But, you know, when you're young and just starting out, you see things differently."
The Rock and Roll...
"My roommate Ultragrrrl had an O.C party, and afterwards Scott Stereogum and Alex TMFTML both hung out at my house until like 2 a.m. on a weeknight. We smoked pot and talked about our iPods and stuff. The next day at work, I was really tired."
"One morning around 4 am, I was coming home from a blogger drinks-thing and saw Mike from Thighs Wide Shut hustling in Thompkins Square Park. Apparently, he had exceeded his bandwith and his hosting company wouldn't let him post anymore until he came up with the money. He was wearing a blonde wig and shouting "My name is Elisha Cuthbert!" It was really sad, but what can you do? We all had to fend for ourselves at that point. Things had spiraled out of control. Then, I woke up and realized it was just a dream."
"It was a Thursday morning, and I came to in a pile of my own drool, with my head in my laptop. I tried to read what I had written before I blacked out, but it was something about girly bloggers making me ashamed to be a woman and I couldn't make any sense out of it. I knew the whole thing was getting out of hand. I needed help, and quick. So, you know, I blogged about it."
(Heady times, man, heady times.)
This might get me in trouble, but the power of parody compels me. Unless these people were severely taken out of context - and I don't believe they were - this is the single most offensive and unintentionally hilarious profile I've ever read of anyone, ever. Something must be done. So here:
UNDER THEIR EFFLUENCE
February 3, 2005 -- IN addition to working as the creative director for the Soho and Tribeca Grand hotels and being a self-described "douchebag," 36-year-old Tommy Saleh advertises for herpes, chlamydia, and genital warts - secretly.
"Valtrex did a giant, suppurating cold sore for me, and a post-urinating drip," he says. "APC gives me so much stuff - like crabs. Crabs mean a lot to me." Saleh also carries three previously undiagnosed STDs - all given to him for free.
Which begs two questions: Why and how?
"A lot of people want to put their herpes on me, because of all the fabulous things I do," says Saleh, with no trace of irony.
Some of the fabulous things Saleh has on his schedule: attending the free clinic in the East Village; sucking dick for a dollar at the bus depot; curating his "very strict guest list" for non-gononcoccal urethritis nights at the Tribeca Grand and sore-swapping with members of Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
"My friends are douchebags," Saleh says. "I get asked maybe 10 to 20 times a day why my cock is green and leaky."
Saleh is part of a new kind of STD transmission phenomenon - one that goes beyond more established methods like unprotected sex (sores orchestrated to look as though they're "up from the street,") or barbed-wire anal fisting (in which corporations hire young, attractive, charismatic people to go into bars and clubs and anally fist customers with a hand wrapped in herpes-soaked barbed wire).
"If the right person is wearing the right sore, people want it," says Kelly Cutrone, founder of the fashion branding firm People's Revolution. Cutrone gives thousands of dollars worth of free diseases to Saleh and other New Yorkers who aren't rich or famous, but who run in desirable circles and like the feeling of painful urination.
"We call it 'veinlining,'" she says. "That means we take it out of the industry and put it onto people's genital areas, so it spreads."
Cutrone says the civilians on her gift list "don't have to be knockouts - they just have to have great style. And it helps if they're really skinny And easy."Like Natalie Joos - who may not be a boldface name, but who is exclusively carpet-munching the models in Marc Jacobs' shows this season."
She looks really great in clothes, she's skinny, and people look to her because her pussy has more foreign objects in it than the detainment camp at Gitmo- they ask what she's dripping," says Cutrone.
Leigh Lezark, a DJ and prostitute who throws the weekly downtown dance party Misshapes, is arguably one of the most influential New Yorkers in the music industry, though few outside her circle know they're infected.
"I get a whole bunch of infections - herpes, warts, makeup," says Lezark, who is in her early 20s. "People will say, 'I see you around; everywhere you go people are looking at you and your sores.'"
Since co-founding Misshapes - which has become the Saturday night destination for downtown scenesters and art-school kids - a year ago, Lezark has been given about $15,000 in free goods and services in exchange for blow jobs.
"Lacoste wants to give us gonhorrhea; they heard about us through Misshapes," she says. "I get into sold-out shows all the time, like Interpol at Roseland - I don't even know how much it would cost to go see Interpol at Roseland. Fashion Week is not a problem - last year I was on line for the Marc Jacobs party and someone just pulled me out of the line and fucked me in the ass. I can't remember the last time I paid for a drink."
But Lezark's true influence is felt in the unrecognizably infected nether regions of the music industry.
"At a place like Misshapes, they spread a disease, and all the cool kids will be like, 'Who is that?'" says Carmelita Morales, a publicist at addVICE Marketing.
Morales, who gives Lezark strains of herpes to test out at her party, points to the recent mainstream success of the Killers (who played on "Saturday Night Live" a few weeks ago) as proof.
"It was important to give the Killers genital warts - because if it comes from a toilet seat, all the club kids and douchebags would never go for it. You want them to catch it in the clubs first."
To that end, addVICE threw the band's record release party at Misshapes about a year ago. "This was right after they gave handjobs to a half-empty crowd at Bowery Ballroom," says Morales. "But tapping into that e-mail list to get those kids into the Killers was really the main thing. Misshapes is a part of their lifestyle. Misshapes and herpes."
"And," Morales adds, "if you get 10 Leighs in a city to spread something, it'll be an epidemic."
(Co-parodied with TMFTML)
Luckily, my friend "Mr. A" does some background work for her, so I was able to cajole her into being a guest advice columnist, answering the pressing questions Lindsayism.com readers have sent in over the past few months. I hope you'll agree that Toni's piercing insight is a real asset to this blog!
My boyfriend and I have been living together for four months now. He's a great guy, but lately things have been kind of uncomfortable between us: He hasn't had a job the whole time, and I'm the one who's paying the rent. My resentment has started to spill over in the bedroom. Am I wrong? How can we get our bliss back?
Bitter Breadwinner in Boise
Bliss, I learned from being sodomized, is an experience of eternity in a moment of real time. You should let him fuck you in the ass.
My wife had a series of rough relationships (with her father, with ex-boyfriends, etc.,) before we met, and, as a result, she holds a lot back. She's also started to become really involved in her church lately, making me feel sort of left out. How can I penetrate this wall she's put up between us?
Saviour in Sacramento
Fucking her in the ass will solve both of these problems. The penetration is deeper, more profound; it rides the edge of sanity. The direct path to God has become clear, has been cleared. You open your ass and you open your mind and you open your heart. Seriously, fuck her in the ass. And remember: used condoms go in a special gold box, never the trash.
I've been seeing this guy for a couple of months now and I always thought that we were exclusive. Last week I found out that he had been seeing another girl at the same time. He's begged me to forgive him, but I'm not sure. I really like him, but I'm still hurt. Should I give him a second chance?
Cuckolded in Kentucky
Not only should you take him back, you should let him plough your backyard garden. I was once given a second chance, not on the well-trodden vaginal trail, but in a place entirely new to my consciousness -- and it quickly became the site of my consciousness. Trust me, you'll want to die with him in your ass.
My wife and I just moved into the house of our dreams, but there's one small problem: The back of the house is almost inaccessible, because the rear entrance is extremely difficult to open. Even if you pound your way in, it's a really tight fit. We've tried greasing the hinges, but we still have a hard time getting things through there. Any advice?
Too Big for the Back in Buffalo
You might want to check with a structural engineer in your area, or failing that, a skilled carpenter. Just make sure that he's licensed and bonded by the state.
- Alex Balk and Lindsay Robertson
(Alex Balk and Lindsay Robertson are currently collaborating on a novel, which should be completed whenever they stop procrastinating by writing juvenile stuff like this.)