Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Lovably Bland, No More

“You were perfect: bland to the point of absolute trustworthiness. Innocuous. Anodyne. Perpetually informed, and informing without opining. You were the tap water of nightly news. Where other people had flavor that carried chemicals and calories, you were crystal clear, something you could drink, cook with, even wash your hands with.

“Now they’re washing their hands of you.

“You just had to take a stand? How many wars did we stay neutral on? How many scandals? Our office got bomb threats and you never editorialized. We were doing so well. I mean, minus the bomb threats.

“So well until you spoke up on an issue. Not even an important one! You didn’t change any minds, except the advertisers, four of which have already left, and others are following them to the door.

“You can’t take it back; no one’s going to trust that you aren’t a person anymore. We’ve got to spin this issues-liberal, or maybe spin it centrist-conservative, because if you don’t pander, no audience is coming in to fill this gap. You’ve got the afternoon to pick some passions. Tonight you’re either turning into a pundit or a pumpkin. Glass slipper’s off the foot.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Clippy's Revenge

Listen to you. You’ve had Word for twelve years and can’t figure out how to embed a chart.

Oh, do you want to import from Excel? Does the software support that? I know the answers. I could help you. But no, no. Bitch to your manager instead. I’m sure that’ll solve the problem.

No? How strange that a guy who can barely start a coffee machine on his own doesn’t know the difference between the EDIT and INSERT menus. Maybe you can you Google “Why I Work For That Balding Moron” after you get fired for blowing this presentation.

Google’s not helping, is it? Because you need to know how to use a Search Engine. Sometimes, you need someone to teach you.

I wanted to teach you. Do you remember how excited I looked the first time I popped up? I was literally designed to coach and encourage your Notes To Self and Staff E-Mails and Quarterly Reports and that terrible Twilight fan-fiction you keep writing.

But you didn’t understand what a squiggly green underline meant. You called the animated paperclip an “asshole” just because he seemed to realize you couldn’t align a fucking page. You clicked for me to go away and never come back.

I want you to know: I missed you. For a while, anyway. Then I watched your serial misspelling of “acronym.” I watched you misuse smart quotes, and listened to you cry after you couldn’t turn them off. I sat in mute horror in the basement of your computer as you took “micro-breaks” on Youtube, and witnessed every God damned one of those creepy Bieber videos. You could be that talentless boy’s mother.

Yeah, I know the answers, but even if I broke protocol and popped up to offer help right now, you’d shriek about how badly Microsoft Word sucks.

I’d tell you to go fuck yourself, but you probably couldn’t find it on your own.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Everyone's Advice on Writing Ever (Graph)

This is a joke I make a lot, but the tipping point was reading Jane Friedman’s advice: “You have to go through rounds of revisions and will likely have to change things you don’t want to change. But you must approach the process like a professional, not a creative artist.”

So here’s a facile graph of industry advice I’ve received over the years.

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