Saturday, February 26, 2005


I am a roadie for Queens of the Stone Age. Posted by Hello

Tell Jerome to put out some more crescent wrenches. And stop leaving five minutes early every day. You work until 4:00 and that means 4:00, Timmy, not 3:55. Posted by Hello

What have I done with my life? Posted by Hello

That new cashier is one foxy lady. If she didn't have two kids already, I would make my move. Posted by Hello

Where did I put my clipboard? Goddammit! Posted by Hello

We haven't sold any of the purple extension cords all month. The boys in Albany aren't gonna like that at all. Posted by Hello

Heil Krauter. Posted by Hello

Fascism? More like 'Stache-ism. Posted by Hello

World War II is gangbusters. I think I will invade Russia now. Posted by Hello

World War II did not turn out to my liking. Posted by Hello

This is what I want my mugshot to look like

I'm shaving my beard on the installment plan this week. Coming soon: hardware store manager circa 1981 'stache and ... The Hitler. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Now you're cooking with gas

Ever since I had to fend for myself in this world, I'd say about age 18, I haven't exactly been a dynamo in the kitchen. All through college, I didn't know how to cook a damn thing and I wasn't interested in learning. I got by on Taco Bell, Arby's, Amigo's, Burger King, Subway, Mr. Goodcents, frozen pizzas, hot dogs, Lunchables, deli meat (including the mysteriously monikered Old-Fashioned Loaf), cheese, the occasional apple, orange, and banana, and lots of beer. This may explain why my metabolism and cholesterol levels went berserk shortly after I moved to Austin, but it doesn't explain why it took me so long to get into cooking. Cooking always seemed vague, mysterious, and difficult to me. It seemed to me something that required specific skills, training, and aptitude I lacked, like being an airplane mechanic or a lion tamer. I could make scrambled eggs and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, but I could do nothing else. Or so I thought. Really, my problem was that I was lazy and ignorant, that I had gone to college strictly to meet girls, drink a lot, and increase my record collection and see live music, that I wasn't interested in learning anything I didn't already know. It would be nice to go back in time, give a little more of a damn, and eat less Arby's, but I guess I have to make up for that (or pay the price) now. A few Christmases ago, I got a salsa maker at my aunt's house at the big Christmas Eve get-together. It had a vegetable chopper, jars, spices, and a recipe book in it. When I got back to Austin, I started making a different salsa every weekend. It was fun, I was gaining kitchen experience, and it was easy. When I quit my job in December, I made a deal with my wife. Since my unemployment was voluntary and since she would have to put up with a drunken lazy ne'er-do-well until I got a new job, I agreed to do the grocery shopping and most of the cooking until I once again joined the workforce. I've discovered something strange about myself since then. I love to cook. I love it a lot. Tonight I made a carrot/habanero soup that took about 2 1/2 hours to prepare. I had to buy a couple of things I've never bought in my life, such as leeks and sweet potatoes. I didn't even know what the fuck a leek looked like. It tasted awesome. I'm really happy about my newfound love for cooking because it means that I'm still capable of surprising myself, which is a nice feeling. If somebody had said to me, even six months ago, that I would be making a carrot/habanero soup, I would have told them they were making a very odd statement. Because that's a weird fucking thing to tell a complete stranger, isn't it? That's just odd.

Awards shows and also I made an awesome sandwich

About the sandwich: Orgy of deliciousness. Get your bread, put a piece of Swiss cheese on top, throw some ham on there, some pineapple slices, some basil leaves, then another piece of Swiss cheese. Melt some margarine in a skillet, then grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden. This sandwich destroys. Make it and you will believe. Don't thank me, though. Thank Martha Stewart and her food magazine my wife subscribes to. What can't that woman do (besides unclench her asshole and lighten the fuck up, I mean)? By "that woman," I'm referring to Martha Stewart, of course, and not my wife. Whew, dodged that bullet.

I'm going to watch the Oscars on Sunday. I watch the Oscars every year. Why? I don't know. For some reason, I'm compelled to watch them every year, and I'm entertained. I used to watch the Grammies and the American Music Awards and the Golden Globes when I was a kid, but I haven't watched these, or any other, awards shows for years and I haven't wanted to. I tried to watch the MTV video awards a few times in college, but I got bored and sleepy. Awards shows, in general, nauseate me. Celebrities are gross, rich, and needy. They have hollow, empty souls. They are attention vampires and creepy weasels who despise us while simultaneously hungering for our affection. And the most nauseating fucking thing of all, they need to get together for expensive, ever-proliferating ceremonies where they reward each other with shiny little statues and congratulate each other for being rich and famous and not one of us poor plebes. AND THEY EXPECT US TO FUCKING WATCH. "Hey, celebs," I say smugly back to my television before turning it off. "Fuck you, jerks. I'm not going enable your orgy of self-congratulation." But I'm powerless in the face of the Oscars! I can't look away! Why, god, why? It has nothing to do with my love for movies. The Oscars have as much to do with the art of film as John Stamos has to do with Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Don't believe me? Check out this hot streak of Best Picture Oscar winners for the years 1994-1998:
1994 - Forrest Gump
1995 - Braveheart
1996 - The English Patient
1997 - Titanic
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
The first three are turgid crap and the last two are entertaining crap. But they're all crap. And they all mean business as usual, congratulating us for what we already know. People are told the nominated films are the best of the year, and people believe it. What choice do they have? In most parts of the country, the public isn't given one. The studios think we're idiots and put low-brow garbage like "Fat Albert" and "Man of the House" and high-brow garbage like "The English Patient" and "Saving Private Ryan" and whatever the fuck else usually gets an Oscar nomination in every cineplex in the country while great, original, interesting films show for a week in an art theater in big cities and college towns if they're lucky and nowhere if they aren't. Why do studios and corporations despise us so much? If people were actually given a choice, if every movie was given the same distribution and ad campaigns, I think things would change. Maybe not a lot, but at least a few steps forward. What's the difference between a movie opening strong, then tapering off, like most mainstream movies do now, and a more difficult film opening slowly, then gaining momentum? There isn't any. But the latter situation is never allowed to happen, unless it happens by accident. I saw a great movie last year, "Crimson Gold," an Iranian film about a pizza delivery driver who snaps. I think a lot of people I know would really like it. It's exciting, unusual, not too cerebral, not too slow, and I think a lot of people could relate. It played at the Alamo Drafthouse for one night. In a lot of cities, and probably in every small town, it never played at all. You won't see it nominated on the Oscars. Meanwhile, "Forrest Gump" and "Saving Private Ryan" play in dozens of theaters in every city in the country and most of the world. No wonder so many people like those two films, when the competition is even several tiers lower and they're never given a chance to see something better. So fuck Hollywood and fuck the Oscars. But I'm a hypocrite. Part of me watches so I can fuel my hatred of the modern Hollywood system, the cult of celebrity, and the mediocre, sentimental, patronizing, expensive shitballs of film that get nominated (though I happen to like a lot of the movies nominated this year, go figure). Part of me watches so I can make fun of moments like Halle Berry's hysterical, caterwauling overreaction to her win, Nicole Kidman's inarticulate, sanctimonious speech when she won ("I think the Oscars are important because art is important" or "aht is impohtant" as she pronounced it) and Billy Crystal sucking ass as host last year. But I guess the main reason I watch is because it's a bunch of famous movie stars and directors in one room and it's a spectacle. I like to huff and puff about integrity and art and the cancer of celebrity culture, but I'm a pop culture whore, too. My taste in art and entertainment is mostly for the small, the personal, the noncommercial, the archaic, and the weird. These are all fine qualities, but they do lack glamour. Every once in a while, I need a little glamour. So I'm still going to watch the Oscars, and I'm looking forward to it.

P.S. Can someone please kill Barbara Walters already? Her pre-Oscar interview show is a vomitorium of ass-licking. I know she used to be a serious journalist, but last year she interviewed Shrek. Any journalist, especially one who's interviewed Arafat, for chrissakes, who spends twenty minutes talking to a cartoon character in a barely disguised shill for an upcoming movie is no longer a journalist. She's now a publicist. Have some dignity. Have some dignity.
P.P.S. Dear Al-Qaida,
For your next terrorist attack on our soil, may I suggest flying a plane into Joan and Melissa Rivers? No innocent people need to lose their lives, and you would still be making a statement about destroying our culture and way of life. Can you please do this before they take to the red carpet Sunday night? Thanks. Oh, and when you're done, please disband. I'd appreciate it.
Your friend,
Tony Danza

Listening to: Salamander by Doug Gillard and the first three Flaming Lips albums

Monday, February 21, 2005

Zap! Splurt! Zort!

One of the big problems with being unemployed is trying to wring a little meaning out of the weekend. How can you look forward to that break in the routine when you no longer have a routine? The answer: Create a mind-numbing, thankless routine of your own! Here's how I spend my average weekday: Drag ass out of bed at noon. Eat cereal. While eating cereal, watch another horrible episode of MASH. After contemplating Alan Alda's perpetual liberal outrage, peppered with sub-Groucho one-liners to help the medicine go down, take a shower. Spend as long as you want in the shower because you're not late for work. Run errands. Sometimes eat lunch. Sometimes skip it. Look for jobs on Internet. See jobs you could get but don't want. See jobs you want but can't get. Figure out how many more months you can coast. If you spend exclusively on rent, bills, and food, maybe you could coast six months. Think about all the music you want to buy and restaurants you want to eat in. Get tired of coasting. Look for more jobs. Find nothing. Listen to music. Wife gets home from work. Cook dinner. Eat it. Hang out with wife. Wife goes to bed. Get some writing done. Listen to more music. Read. Drink. Play Sims 2 or Hoyle Casino on compute-bot. Go to bed at 4 a.m. Repeat until Friday.

Hey, everybody, check this out.

Listening to: Oh No! It's Devo by Devo. I've always liked this album, but tonight it sounded like the greatest music ever made by man, machine, or man-machine. Will it ever sound as good again? Oh, the fleeting happiness of existence. Such is life.
Currently reading: Poachers by Tom Franklin
Movies watched:
On the big screen: In the Realms of the Unreal (Jessica Yu)
On video: Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu)
The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak)
Dreams (Akira Kurosawa)
The Bad News Bears (Michael Ritchie)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Working for the weekend: Job 6

Summer came around again and I decided to rent an apartment and stay in Lincoln. I finally made more than one friend and had something to do with my free time, and the homesickness for Bridgeport was gone, never to return. I found a junky little basement apartment that was relatively cheap. It was ugly as fuck, I had no furniture except for a three-legged chair and an air mattress, the bathroom had no door, but it was my first apartment, and I loved it. I needed a job. My parents were helping out with the rent until I found a job and my "walking around money," as Ray Smuckles calls it, was zero. I tried hard to find a job. I scoured the want ads, filled out dozens of applications, dropped them off, and sat around the apartment, waiting. The phone did not ring. I repeated the process. The phone did not ring. I repeated the process. The phone did not ring. I repeated the process. The phone did not ring. I repeated the process. The phone did not ring. Will I get tired of typing the same two sentences before you get tired of reading them? Answers in next week's USA Weekend. Was I that unemployable? I was having the worst luck of my life, to date, in finding a job. My parents were getting tired of covering my ass, and I was tired of getting my ass covered (though I have no current problems with receiving handouts. If you'd like to chip in, leave your e-mail address in comment form under this post. I will get back to you about receiving the handout. Thanks in advance.). Desperation led me, once again, to telemarketing. But don't worry, everybody. Dry your beautiful eyes. This would prove to be the shortest rest stop on the trail of tears that is my resume. I worked for this telemarketing "outfit," as my father refers to every business, for a whopping three days. Three days of pain, misery, and degradation that made the Vietnam War look like a blowjob and a refreshing glass of cider. (At least for me. Vietnam was extraordinarily easy for me, due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops four years before my birth. Thanks, America. You're alright.) The advertisement for the job taunted me for about a month. I knew it would be easy to get. My financial woes and freeloading could end, and I could buy books and CDs again. But I would have to put the enormous veiny swollen member of phone sales back in my mouth and swallow its bitter issue. After two and a half months of unsuccessfully looking for a job, I got on my knees. (Why is this post so phallocentric? Could it be the surplus of vodka in the apartment, rendering all dick jokes hilarious? Answers in next week's "Cheers and Jeers" in TV Guide. Prediction: jeers.) I drove to the building's location. It was a strip mall in a part of town I'd never been to before. This part of town was hideous. I saw lots of children in the neighborhood, and they were all phenomenally ugly. This sentence should mean something, because I think most small children are cute and adorable and refreshingly honest and spontaneous and all that other bullshit. These kids were monstrosities, however, born from some colossal mutation in a genetic code apparently confined to a single zip code. The other businesses in the strip mall included a sporting goods store, a toy store, and a bail bondsman. They hired me without an interview and told me to start right away. The office had lots of empty carboard boxes stacked around the very small room. This should have been a sign. What kind of a sign, I don't know, but lots of empty boxes scattered haphazardly around a room sends me some kind of signal. My interpretation: Your paycheck will bounce. Run away. Fast. My boss had a mustache. (Another boss with a mustache or goatee? What the fuck? This would be the final occurrence of that particular coincidence. All my future bosses were either fully bearded, clean-shaven, or women.) I was given a script and told to sit at the only empty phone. The other three phones were occupied. Yeah, that's right. Three phones out of four. For a job that had been advertised for a month before I applied. My stomach dropped. At least I was selling something that didn't make me feel like a worm: tickets for a charity dinner for the fire department. This also seemed odd, however. The dinner was a month away, but the job was advertised as an ongoing, permanent type of gig. What else did they sell? I was never told.
I remember very little about two of the other three telemarketers, except that they were middle-aged women who kept to themselves. The third guy, however, was a titanic asshole. He looked like he was maybe ten years older than me, and he had a mullet. I bring this up reluctantly and feel it's important as a means of physical description, but, please, can we think up another word for "mullet" and stop laughing about it? The word "mullet" got to the "show me the money" stage at least two years ago, and is more nauseating each day. People lacking in wit, timing, humanity, and interest throw the word around constantly, hoping for a quick, empty, undeserved laugh from their peers. The word is boring. The jokes are boring. Move on to something else. (I suggest dick and fart jokes. Timeless, baby, timeless.) Anyway, this guy hit my shitlist the second the first night's shift ended. He leaned over to me, and said, in a silky radio-friendly voice that completely contradicted his redneck metalhead look, "Hey, Josh. Listen, Josh, you're doing real good, but just a quick word of advice. Josh, you need to just slow down a little bit. You're coming at 'em just a little bit fast, Josh." First of all, anybody who doesn't know you intimately and uses your first name liberally is a complete piece of shit as a human being and is only out to sell you something, abuse you, steal your identity, and/or attempt to control your life. Stay away from these people. Secondly, he was not a manager or a boss. He was a fellow co-worker. Maybe I was reading the spiel a little too rapidly. Maybe he was right. Let's assume everything he said was right on, down to the four references to me by my first name. He's still a cocksucker who needs to have his face beaten into pulp by a steel pipe. The next two days were the same. The morning before my fourth shift, I got a call from a grocery store I had interviewed with a week earlier. They offered me a job, starting whenever I wanted. I quit the telemarketing place over the phone via answering machine message, the only time in my life I've dropped anyone or anything over the phone. They retaliated by never sending my paycheck. I called back several times. No answer. I finally got through. They told me they sent the check and that I should have it within the week. I never got it. I drove down there, to pick it up in person. The boss' wife gave it to me. It was already addressed. They'd never mailed it. I cashed it immediately. Amazingly, it didn't bounce. No more telemarketing for me.

I watched these movies last week:
Fast Company (David Cronenberg) The DVD also had Cronenberg's two early shorts, Stereo and Crimes of the Future, on it. These are probably the three weakest Cronenberg films, the first one because it has none of the themes that dominate the rest of his work and because it's kind of a silly, exploitation script, the latter two because they're early, naive, and pretentious attempts at what he would perfect later, but all three are full of interesting shots and ideas and are worth your time if you're as fanatical about his films as I am.
The Disenchanted (Benoit Jacquot)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston)
Palombella Rossa (Nanni Moretti)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Working for the weekend: Job 5

My incredibly sexy days of burger-flipping behind me, I was back at school with not enough disposable income and lots of music I wanted to buy. I saw an ad in the college newspaper for a telemarketing job. It paid fairly well for a shit job and I got to set my own hours. I decided to apply. I had no idea what kind of degradation awaited me.
The telemarketing company's offices were in a large, cavernous building full of escalators, rental space, and other businesses' offices. The building smelled like rubber. I don't know why. It was always kind of dark until you reached your destination. I don't know if the building's owner was trying to lower his electricity bill or what, but the only comfortably lit areas were the occupied offices. I had to ride the escalator up to the second floor, get on another escalator, ride that to the third floor, then go through three pairs of glass doors and a reception area, then another glass door, to get to my workstation. That's a long time to think about how shitty the next few hours were going to be before you even got to the place that was going to make those hours shitty. I felt like I was willingly walking into an ambush. "Just turn around and go home," my inside voice told me every time I stepped into the building.
Guess what I sold over the phone? NASCAR videotapes. I could make a lot of easy jokes about the people who watch NASCAR, the people I sold these videotapes to, but I'm sure you've heard it all before. Anyway, I hate to make sweeping generalizations. Okay, I'll do it anyway. The average NASCAR fan is a moron. Also, most of the people I called were drunk or had already purchased the videotapes and complained about how shoddy they were.
The telemarketing company (whose name I can't even remember) supplied us with helpful cheat sheets so we could lie convincingly to the customer. These sheets had the name of every NASCAR driver, his number, his nickname, and his hometown. We were to use these sheets as follows:
Me: Hi, I'm calling you to sell you this terrible fucking NASCAR videotape. I hear it's a real piece of shit. You're a jackass who has previously purchased other terrible items from us. Please overpay us now. You will get your shitty video sometime in the next 78 weeks.
Sucker: Well, it sure sounds good, but I don't know...
Me: It's got the NASCAR seal of approval. Say, who's your favorite driver?
Sucker: There's only one driver in NASCAR as far as I'm concerned, and that's Dickless Todd McGinty.
Me, looking furiously through my notes for McGinty's information: Yeah! Dickless Todd! "The Sodomizer"! Number 48! Alright, you and me are on the same page. He's my favorite, too! Watching the race on Sunday?
Sucker: Hell, yeah. I'll take 25 tapes.

There were many things to hate about this job:
1) Talking on the phone for hours is not really my bag.
2) Selling things is also not really my bag.
3) NASCAR, in addition, is not one of my passions.
4) The turnover rate was so high that anyone who lasted a few months got promoted to manager, or "team leader" in the asshole vernacular common in demeaning work, if they wanted the promotion. Team leaders were unbearable creeps. They were super-extroverts, loud, obnoxious, prone to yelling things like "Come on, team. Let's sell!" If you sold a lot of the worthless garbage, incentives were offered. These incentives were supposed to make things fun! and exciting! and improve office morale, while bringing us together as a team. Anyone who tells you things like these deserves to be stabbed in both eyeballs and set on fire. Incentives were often an extra five dollars for the shift, getting an extra break, shooting Nerf basketball for ten minutes every hour, candy bars, Cokes, etc. One team leader didn't grasp the concept. Her incentives were shit. One of them was a chance to contribute to a list of the top ten reasons why she was a ditz, pasted on the bulletin board. Another incentive was an opportunity to work an hour of overtime. What the hell was wrong with her?
5) They were convinced that when we sold a lot of product, we had discovered some magic new technique. They would hover around us and ask us lots of questions about what we were doing and why we thought it was so successful. Then, they would make us stay late and keep selling. We got overtime, but I've never really given a shit about overtime. I figure that when I work later than my schedule dictates, you're stealing valuable living time from me that I will never get back. On the flipside, when we had a slow night, they seemed to think we were purposefully fucking with them. This was usually followed by a lecture and a disgusted look. If we were really having a slow night, we would get sent home early. They didn't dock our pay, though, so I've never figured out how this was supposed to make us feel bad. Send me home early every night, jerks. Idiots.
6) The big boss man looked like he was in his early thirties, with short brown hair and a goatee. Every day, he walked around the floor a few times, looked at us with contempt, and walked back into his office. The whole time I worked there, I only saw him wear four things: a dark suit, a brown sweater, a white t-shirt with an elephant on it that said "Bob Dole for President," and a white t-shirt with an elephant on it that said "Nebraska Republican Party." Both elephants were starred and striped.

My last day on the job came as a surprise to me. I wasn't planning on quitting. I was bored, selling useless NASCAR shit as usual, when an announcement was made. We were done selling NASCAR videos. We had a new client, and here were our new scripts. Now, we were promoting the Republican Party and calling random homes, urging them to vote for the Republican Party candidates. I am a lot of things, not all of them good, but I am definitely not a member of the Republican Party. I didn't feel comfortable shilling for them for pay, and I was pissed off that they didn't ask if we had any objections and hadn't told us during the job interview that we might be shilling for a political party. I sat there for a minute, wondering what the hell to do. I called several numbers, and got yelled at by a lot of people who shared my political leanings. I distinctly remember one man yelling, "You're a worthless cocksucker." "He's right," I thought to myself. "I'm definitely sucking Republican cock if I keep making these calls." I got up and left. No one noticed (there were a lot of people working there). The next day, I didn't come to work. They called several hours after I was supposed to be there, asking me why I didn't show up. "I quit," I said. They didn't sound surprised. Not even slightly. About 15 people quit working there every single day.
Telemarketing sucks.

I watched these movies last week:
The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)
Gang of Four (Jacques Rivette)
Yaaba (Idrissa Ouedraogo)
Lost and Found Video Night, Vol. 2 (various)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ice vs. Fire

I was looking at craigslist today, seeing if any exciting job opportunities had been posted, and I stumbled across this beauty:
Please click on it and read it.

I decided I had to reply. Here is my reply (please read craigslist posting first):
You believe your rather large inheritance will be enough to produce a formidable ice-army filled with cold-blooded ice-sidekicks. To this I reply, what an ice-joke! You see, I have also recently inherited an incredible fortune, from not one, but 12, deceased and massively wealthy forebears. They died in suspicious circumstances while attending the Super Bowl halftime show, but that is neither here nor there. The purpose of this missive is to challenge you, once you assemble your team of ice-warriors, to a dangerous and ridiculous extreme battle challenge in the park near my apartment. If you accept this challenge, I will reveal the park's location in an e-mail sent at midnight on the next full moon. Oh yes, ice-nuts, here's something else you should know. My group of sidekicks likes to play with ... fire! I am known as The Inferno, and my fiery group of playmates includes such worthy fighters as Fireball McGee, Hot Pants Mendoza, Matchstick, Firecracker Tony, The Electric Blanket, Chinese Firedrill, Spicy Meatball Visconti, the indie-rock band Hot Hot Heat, The Roman Candle, Burner Left On Too Long Wilson, and Huge Motherfucking Explosion. Do you accept the challenge? Are you and your sidekicks ice-cold enough to put out this fire? Bring the freeze, my friend, and we'll bring the heat. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I look forward to your retort. Have a pleasant Valentine's Day.

The Inferno

I sure hope he replies.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

What sucks worse? Having a job or not having one?

I started the job search this week. Still haven't decided whether to go to grad school or not, but I'm going to have to get a job either way. My life is kind of directionless and fucked up at the moment, but I'm definitely glad to be free of my last job. Regardless, looking for a job sucks. Will I ever be able to have a job that doesn't crush my zest for life? No, probably not. Could I use the word "job" more times in one post? Yes, but I certainly did use it too much. I watched some movies recently. I don't feel like writing about them, so I'm going to give them a numerical rating based on a scale of 1 to 10.
On video:
I watched Wetherby (David Hare) three weeks ago, but I forgot to mention it. 7.0
The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, William Keighley) 7.9
Little Vera (Vasili Pichul) 7.0
Day of the Dead (George A. Romero) 8.5
Black Rain (Shohei Imamura) 8.0

On the big screen:
Vera Drake (Mike Leigh) 9.0
Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood) 9.5

Currently reading: Banvard's Folly by Paul Collins
I really like this book, but I've got to admit something. I talk a lot of shit about the McSweeney's writers, most recently on this blog, but this guy is one of those McSweeney's writers. That's tantamount to me saying I really liked an album on the Saddle Creek label (my other arch-nemesis). Collins' book is a little different, though. It's historical nonfiction, for one thing, and it's direct and passionate instead of clever and ironic. Dave Eggers has a couple of blurbs on the book, he supplied the cover art, and he was the first publisher to take any interest in Collins' book (the first two chapters appeared in McSweeney's after getting rejected elsewhere), so I suppose I have to give Eggers a little credit for helping to make this book possible. However, one of Eggers' two blurbs about the book illustrates exactly why he nauseates me so much. Check this out:
"If you read (Collins') sublimely odd, frequently funny, and better yet, thrillingly factual book I will softly pet your furry pets, though my skin says I am allergic."
What a douchebag.