Me Complaining and Talking About Myself Again

I like to write about politics and history, but I don’t think I’m very good at it yet. Maybe that’s why I do it on another blog, because I’m nowhere near as sure of myself on these topics as I am when writing about literature, and I wouldn’t want to ramble and stumble like that here. My latest foray is a four-part series on a pretty tough question: “what is genocide?”. The best entry point is here. I’m really not sure what I’m trying to say, but I think I might be on to something.

Beyond the above heavy depressing stuff, how about some Friday meme action? Okay, Bud and Jeff, here goes. Five things you didn’t know about me.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me.

1. I am incompetent at video games. My youngest daughter began regularly beating me at around the age of four. I also hate video games and I don’t understand why people like them. I am aware that this is especially unusual because I work in the technology industry, and yet still I hate them.

2. I love reality TV shows. Other than The Office, reality TV is the only TV I watch. I’m currently running with The Apprentice, VH1’s White Rapper (this is a GREAT, GREAT show) and Grease: You’re The One That I Want (well, what can I say? I’m a Broadway baby). I’m skipping American Idol for now, but you better believe I’ll be around for the final rounds. Go ahead and call me an idiot. Fortunately, my fiancee is an idiot too.

3. I like to walk a lot. I once walked from Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport to pick up my parents (this is a hike, especially if you forget to bring a map and get lost on the way). When I got to the edge of the airport I asked a maintenance worker how to get to the main terminal. He pointed me in the direction but told me to take a bus: “you don’t want to walk the whole way.” I said “I just walked here from midtown Manhattan, I’ll be fine.”

4. I am a telephobe. I often wish Alexander Graham Bell had never been born, not to mention that annoying Verizon ad guy.

5. I once wrote an anonymous article about a badly managed software project I’d worked on that was published in InfoWorld, the technology industry’s leading weekly newsmagazine. I was very proud of this, and I got an iPod Shuffle for it. I also enjoyed the opportunity to mock my former managers at a cable network whose name I’d better not reveal. I wish I had more time to write articles about software development as it relates to media and publishing. I’ve also been published in Time Magazine’s Netly News and on various online forums on subjects such as Java and AJAX programming.

Five things — that’s the meme. Catch it if you can.

16 Responses

  1. what is memeGreetings, I
    what is meme

    Greetings, I enjoy your website.

    My comment relates to the word “meme.” In the past year or so I have seen this term more and more. I used to think it was a French word that meant “same.” Now, apparently it is a word that rhymes with “theme” and is synonymous with “idea” but in a cool evolutionary biological context.

    I am becoming confused and somewhat alarmed at the transmogrification of this word.

    Interested in your observations.

    Backwards in the Midwest

  2. Hi V — Well, actually now
    Hi V —

    Well, actually now that you mention it “meme” is a pretty dumb word and I don’t know why I use it. In the online world it basically means when somebody posts a question or an idea on a blog and then other people start reproducing the idea on their blogs.

  3. Wikipedia says, “The term
    Wikipedia says, “The term ‘meme’ (rhymes with ‘theme’), refers to a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another. The phrase was coined in 1976 by the zoologist and evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins, who said examples of memes are tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.

  4. Simon, Randy, and PaulaLevi!
    Simon, Randy, and Paula

    Levi! The best part of American Idol are the early rounds. The appalling bleats and gyrations of self-deluded weirdos – now that’s good television.

  5. Bill, I know what you’re
    Bill, I know what you’re saying, and I have enjoyed American Idol in past seasons. But this year two new shows have shoved it out. The “Grease” show is pretty similar to Idol (in the early rounds) and has the benefit of better music (I’m really not into AmIdol’s kind of music). And this White Rapper show has come from nowhere to become my new favorite show. So something had to get knocked off the schedule.

  6. InfoWorld articleInfoWorld is
    InfoWorld article

    InfoWorld is still publishing those anonymous essays in each issue. I remember you said you would submit more of them, so maybe now’s the time for another one. Or maybe you have enough iPod Shuffles to last you for a lifetime.

  7. I have thought about it, but
    I have thought about it, but my current day job isn’t quite annoying enough at this point for another “expose”. And, the iPod Shuffle I got for the last article is still working! Maybe if it breaks I’ll get motivated.

  8. Failing at Failure, TV, Bus,
    Failing at Failure, TV, Bus, Pathop.

    1. I’m incompetent at being incompetent. I even fail at being a complete failure.
    2. TV’s good after it’s been syndicated, better on the DVD and best as a re-made Hollywood movie, e.g., Miami Vice.
    3. I do the bus because I’m without wheels.
    4. I am a pathophobe, i.e., I fear getting sick but I always wash my hands before eating and practice not thinking about pathophobia.
    5. I am the same as an anonymous With my success at getting any recognition or even any curiosity for my writing but so it goes. I keep writing because it’d be easier to quit breathing, to steal a line from Leaving Las Vegas.

  9. what does it all meanI for
    what does it all mean

    I for one, find the political/history blog more significant, more meaningful, than the literary blog. But I’m getting older, as are those around me. Was thinking about an upcoming high school reunion, and the question – so who’s passed away that I used to know? My father recently turned 90, a bittersweet milestone – the end nears. That same day, the last of his old gang died. She was also 90. But 65 years ago when they were they were all just out of art school with their Fulbright scholarships and Greenwich Village apartments, they were going to change the world. Now the question arises, what does it all mean?

    I think about that; think it ought to mean something. People see life as a retreating from something they didn’t make. A corrupt system that is so big and complex that you mostly just ignore it and try to get by. Find comfort in the little things. That means something, I suppose. But you can’t continually retreat and feel like you’re winning. I want every word written, every action taken, to mean something. And not just little meanings, but to strive for the big meanings whenever possible.

    I think of Heidegger’s prescriptive – don’t think in terms of the little forerunner questions – try to find the ground, the absolute, to the question, to the answer.

  10. I’ll read anything. Cheap
    I’ll read anything. Cheap Vegas matchbook covers. Recipes. Adult billboards in Florida. The NY Times. Hotel rules and regulations. The Star. Liquor bottles. Cigarette package warnings from the Surgeon General. Maps to Cannes. Someone stop me.

  11. Meme It1. I’m in love with
    Meme It

    1. I’m in love with more than one person.
    2. I don’t fit in. Never have and never will.
    3. I went to film school, and did nothing with it.
    4. I secretly want to be an actor. I know I’d be great at it.
    5. I’m a Bible scholar.

    (Hmmm, that was quite liberating.)

  12. You’re a bible scholar?Tell
    You’re a bible scholar?

    Tell me more … I’m intrigued that you’ve been writing on LitKicks for years and I never knew this.

  13. My Five1. When I was born, my
    My Five

    1. When I was born, my skeleton was backwards. By what can only be described as a miracle, my vital organs were also backwards, so all they had to do was pull the skin around.

    2. I have a doctor’s degree. The thing is, it doesn’t belong to me. I found it in a real doctor’s office when I snuck in there one night, looking for a mean fix.

    3. I love myself, but I’m not sure if I reciprocate.

    4. I’m writing a novel with a 50,000 word title. The novel itself will be a slimmish volume.

    5. I can’t get enough of that funky stuff.

  14. Bill, the idea is to list
    Bill, the idea is to list things we don’t know about you …

  15. Mm-mm! Recreational
    Mm-mm! Recreational narcissism!:)

    1. The bibliography on my CV lists among other things the three lines of mine that appeared in the c. 900-line ’24-Hour Poem’ in ‘Action Poetry’. It does this _purely_ for the prestige. I can’t believe I’ve owned up to that. Here.

    2. I’ve performed a little. Once – disastrously – during the Edinburgh Fringe once – for c. ten cumulative seconds – in an award-winning half-hour student film and once in an advert made by a friend in an – unsuccessful – attempt to get onto the books of an ad. agency. In a perfect world that _might_ amount to one-third of an Equity membership for extras.:)

    3. I worked briefly as a journalist in France. And if you think that means I published anything you’re mistaken.:)

    4. I have been in/formally rejected for post-graduate study eight times! To balance that out though: without applying for it I won as an undergrad a two-year bursary in Philosophy. I can’t work out what either of those things means. Taoism possibly.

    5. I’ve been photographed sloppy drunk altogether too many times. For anyone’s taste.

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