Sequels Always Make Money
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Happy 4th Of July, America!
Subject: Postcard from PV
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 11:51:04 -0400
nice Neal Pollack ripoff
First I'd like to thank you for your brief yet thoughtful commentary on my work on Uber.nu. Nothing brightens my day so much as email from a reader. I sincerely thank you.
Fruitcake, you better realize that we live in endlessly referential times. The entire blog-phenomenon is representative of the manner in which we define and understand our world: by referencing our experiences with those of others. This is the only way in which we know how to establish meaning.
Which suggests we've become incapable of unique and independent thought.
Many people are capable of true creativity -- the problem lies in those who process those works. They refuse to, or have been trained not to, do the mental exercise necessary to appreciate anything creative. So they reference it with something they do understand, or have already been told how to feel about, and then file it away in neat categories.
"They sound like Blink 182. I hate Blink 182."
"That article was like Neal Pollack. I read on Amazon that Neal Pollack is really Dave Eggers and I hate Dave Eggers. This article sucks."
It's not your fault, fruitcake. You've been trained to do this. It all tastes like chicken. It makes you a better consumer. Decisions of Good/Bad come easily to you.
(Who am I ripping off now?)
Uber, Better Than You Daily is a niche market. A thing catering to a highly specialized group of people.
I know how you got through the door, but why did you stay?
The world used to have countless numbers of niche markets. Every town and village had its band, newspaper, microbrew. How many creative people had jobs at the local level?
Why are there so many damn miserable people in the world today, fruitcake? It's because the outlets for creativity have been commodified and minimized until I'm wasting my poet's soul on database construction, interoffice memos, Wal*Mart Tupperware displays, the Wendy's fry basket.
What once were viable paying careers have been relegated to the bastard realm of "hobby" by people who were too lazy to appreciate grass-roots creativity.
Sure, come stomping around in here with your homogenized boots, comparing this to every other stupid thing you've read. Dilute it with the rest of the milk.
I can't type words without becoming a rip off. I can't use the English language. I can't breathe air.
Of all people to rip off, though.
Neal Pollack ain't shit. I read that dumbass little book of his. I know all his Might shit. I'd like to see him throw down on me. I'll beat his ass.
Me ripping him off. How about him ripping off Mark Leyner. And Mark Leyner ripping off Hunter Thompson. Or what about Don DeLillo, and Don ripping off Tom Pynchon. Or Pynchon ripping off Baedeker. Or Baedeker ripping off fucking Herodotus.
"Nice Neal Pollack ripoff."
I want you always to look back on this time as being a time when those words came out of your [damn] mouth.
Yeah. So what. And if anyone wants to [fucking] hurt me for it, or dismiss me for it, I say Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers, finally, finally, finally.
And if the editor has any balls he'll run this damn article in zapf dingbats so you can figure out who else I'm ripping off.
James Stegall told you, fool!