Sunday, September 26, 2004

NYTM REMIX. I am saddened to report that all references to alicublog have been edited out of today’s New York Times Magazine article on bloggers. Fortunately I obtained an early draft copy from the trash outside the reporter’s home, and have below reproduced the omitted copy:
I knocked several times on the green steel door of Edroso’s Williamsburg apartment before a loud, phlegmy voice bade me enter. I found the author of "alicublog" -- a little-read website devoted to politics, the arts, and bitter denunciations of the buy-back policies of local bars and clubs -- in his tiny bedroom, nestled between a closet and a bookshelf stuffed with volumes of 19th-century literature and old issues of Black Tail, and pounding furiously on an ash-smeared keyboard.

"Oh, it’s you," he said, not taking his eyes off the screen. He jerked a thumb toward his bed. I pushed aside empty bottles of vodka and Astrolube, and a copy of Commentary, and took a seat.

"Another death threat," sighed Edroso. "I answer every one personally. I say, ‘Look, motherfucker, here’s my address, here’s my schedule, you come over anytime and we’ll settle this like men.’ I told that pussy Josh Marshall to do likewise. As fucking if."

"Josh Marshall’s a friend of mine," I said.

His head swung around and his eyes burned into mine. "November 6, 2002, Red Rock West," he said evenly. "Tell Marshall I haven’t forgotten."

He finished off his pint bottle of bourbon and tossed it into the pile of empties at my feet.

Edroso moaned. He had just called up Wonkette’s site on his computer. "You know what you need to get ahead in this business?" he shouted. "Tits. Tits out to here." With both hands he gestured a few feet from his chest, then looked down and drew them in a few inches. "No, here," he said, and flexed his fingers. "Yeah, that’s better," he said with satisfaction.

I asked him what the impact of blogs had been on our national discourse. Edroso folded his arms and looked thoughtful for a long time. Then he started snoring. I josted him awake and, after telling him who I was and what I was doing in his bedroom, repeated the question.

"Before blogs," he said, "tendentious cranks such as myself had no outlets for our ill-informed opinions, besides Letters to the Editor and soapbox rants at parties that were winding down. Also we could not count on our reputations as fuckwads to extend much past the physical borders of our respective communities." He broke the seal on a fresh pint of Jim Beam and took a long swig. "But now," he continued, "we can all write Letters to the Editor round the clock, and see them published immediately, unedited and misspelled. And at three in the morning, we can get drunk by ourselves, and vomit forth our prejudices without having to yell ‘hey, where ya goin’?’ at people who suddenly decided they have to get home before the sitter gets nervous. And our names are curses on the lips of people who never even met us. " He raised his bottle grandly. "To technology!" he roared. "All hail the mighty microchip and modem! All hail the --" He looked at me, surprised. "Hey," he said, "who’re you?"

"So," I said, edging toward the door, "you would say that blogs have no real political impact?"

"I dunno," he said moodily, rising and rubbing his face with both hands. "What do I know? If I had any real talent, I’d be performing spectrographic analysis on George Bush’s dental records, or spending my disposable income on LexisNexis instead of on porn and Doritos. No wonder they never invite to their parties! No wonder the resumes I send to The Washington Monthly always wind up on The Smoking Gun!" His body shaking, his features contorted, he cried, "Christ, what a fraud I am!" and tore the keyboard from its port and hurled it to the floor.

While I fished bits of plastic from my hair and clothes, Edroso stared down at the smashed unit. "Shit," he muttered, and, opening his closet, pulled a fresh keyboard from a shelf apparently stocked with several of them.

"It’s after midnight," he said, plugging in the keyboard. "Gotta see what that asshole Lileks is doing."

No comments:

Post a Comment