I'm a reporter with SWJ and rather than, you know, like,
read your fucking book an all, I thought I'd
e-mail you and get you to do my work for me. OK?
So like either tell me everything about yourself and the
book, especially things like whether you are able to be
jerking someone off with one hand, while writing it (the
book) with the other hand? -- or else answer this one
question: 'Now that Understanding Mediocrity (this is
you speaking, get it?) is just a fucking box, just a
unit, just a fucking piece of merchandise, just product,
just another fucking SKU or whatever, I have come to
realize..... (and then fill in the rest).
Thanks. And Please answer this today as my deadline is
Street Wall Journal, or whatever
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my
new book, "Understanding Mediocrity: Inside Wired and
Suck," or whatever.
As you probably know, even if you haven't read it, it is
about my travels in the Himalayas or wherever, to find,
you know, the ancient reclusive shamans with the
esoteric knowledge of either the secret language of cats
or the secrets of "early reincarnation" -- which is when
the soul leaves the body years before its actual
Though I went on this quest for purely spiritual
reasons, I was also fairly sure I'd be able to at least,
cash in on one of these esoteric secrets or
other, in the event that neither was able to, you know,
like, save my fucking ass, beyond a reasonable doubt.
In my search, I fell through many black holes, and rode
too many compression algorithms too far in the wrong
My first lead took me to Ivory Tower, Texas, where James
Austin had written "Price and Prejudice," and where I
had scheduled an interview with the One-Minute Vampire
who came in from the cold, or whatever.
I turned on the tape recorder:
"I was born in Ivory Tower, Texas," she began, "Where
James Austin wrote 'Price and Prejudice,' and where
Faith Crapshoot started the world famous International
House of Panic Attacks. So just shut the fuck up, and
mind your own business. Interview Over."
Abruptly, she got up to leave.
"Wait a minute," I said to the One-Minute Vampire, "I
have travelled all this way at great risk in order to
learn either the language of cats or the secret of early
reincarnation, or at least, how to find some reclusive
esoteric Himalayan shaman. But, if you're in a hurry,
I'd settle for knowing, you know, the true nature of the
Self or whatever. You know, I mean, the Self that's
left when you subtract Nature and Nurture."
The One Minute Vampire returned and sat down.
"These ideas I am about to give you," she said, coldly,
"Are simply for selling and re-selling. They are not in
any way to be used for believing in, living by, or
trying to understand."
"Of course," I said "I understand completely."
"And you understand," she continued, without missing a
beat, "That once you hear what I have to say, you'll
have no choice but to be, from that moment on, the
biggest fucking asshole you can possibly be.
"And that once you're in that competition," she went on,
"You can NEVER opt out -- and only by destroying every
one else first, in a most vicious and brutal fashion,
can you seemingly rise above it all and enter the
hallowed Hall of Fame of the top 10 most utter fucking
assholes of all time."
I nodded, and the One Minute Vampire took out her CDA,
and held the tiny screen so we both could see it.
"Once upon a time, I was, like you, a totally empty,
totally soulless person who wanted to be a more
effective manager" she said, "And so I went looking all
over the world for a world that was like that, where
thinking about it automatically eliminated it, so you
didn't have to think about it anymore.
"And, like you, I have interviewed many One Minute
Vampires and many One Minute Assholes, and then some.
And everyone of them gave me the same fucking answer."
I was ready to hear the answer, but she stopped abruptly
and stared silently off into space.
"I'm ready to hear the answer," I said, trying not to be
too intrusive, yet, well, you know...
Without moving or changing expression, she started
talking -- unquestionably to me, but without ever
turning or gesturing in my direction.
"Wyatt Arp, the famous sculptor-sheriff," she began,
"Had just kidnapped the moon, and was working on the
ransom note he'd send to the Sun:
"'If you ever want to see your fucking earth's moon
again,' he wrote, 'Then leave US$120 billion dollars in
unmarked bills, small denominations, in the phone booth
on a corner to be named at a later date. No bait money,
"But then he got hung up on which phone booth to use for
the drop, so he called his good friend Sonny Bono, for
"'Fuck the Sun,' Sonny Bono said. 'Blackmail the
fucking galaxy, man! They've got all the bucks!'
"'But they care less,' Arp said, 'And are less likely to
pay at all.'"
But, before she could finish the story, she broke down
laughing and had to be carried out by Janet Reno, in a
So now I just had to wait there, in this fucking Texas
town, till the next mystic shaman or whoever came
through with the answer to the search I couldn't even
remember what it was about anymore.
So while I was waiting there, with nothing happening,
and nothing better to do than read some recent issues of
Wired and Suck, I was suddenly inspired by the "whole
new world" they presented, and so, instead of writing
the book I had intended, called, "How to Blow Yourself,"
I wound up writing this book, instead, about
Thank you for giving me this golden opportunity, which
I'm sure will bring many showers of possibility, hope,
-- Marsha McLuhan
Thanks so much for the timely response. Unfortunately,
because of, you know, like my editor an all, I was only
able to use the part about the hand job. But we both
really enjoyed all the other stuff, too.