Archive | April, 2013

Cooked

22 Apr

BOMB

What I think happened is, the older brother had talked to the younger brother about building a bomb, and the younger brother was like, yeah sure, Islam, and maybe he was smoking weed at the time. Then one day the older brother came over with an extra backpack and said, here, you have to do this, and the younger brother didn’t really want to do it, he valued human life and stuff, but he’d talked so much shit to his friends and on the twitter that he was able to think, in that moment, hey, it’s really just a simple matter of moving an object a few feet, give or take, from point A to point B, and just leaving it there, not even really doing anything, not even looking inside the backpack, it had seemed so small, and weighed so little, and his older brother, who was always kind of a fuckup and a kook, had probably just filled the backpack with a few dozen nails and a computer chip that wasn’t connected to anything and spare parts from an old car and a few tennis balls stuffed with matchsticks that would just kick up some smoke.

Of course what really happened is, the older brother and the younger brother had gone to the big race in Beantown, maybe they had taken the subway, or the T, or whatever they have there in Boston, and they’d dressed in silly costumes and left the backpacks inconspicuously aside a crowd of people, which happened to include an 8-year-old boy, this point being clarified on the news for maximum sadness, and the bomb had gone off, and instead of smoke there was fire, there was chaos, there were people running towards and away from the chaos and fire, there was a cop shot, a car jacked, all of it culminating in the younger brother’s blabbing on the twitter that very night about his being a “stress free kind of guy,” which, good for him, that quality will serve him well on Death Row, where there is sure to be a lot of stress, on his soul, on his stomach, on his digestive tract, all the way down to, or perhaps beginning with, his anus, although it is admittedly difficult to reconcile such a purportedly stress-free ‘tude with such a bloody senseless loss of life and limb.

What I think the younger brother should do is, he should take what really happened and flush it down and away like a dirty bath. Because it doesn’t belong to him anymore, if it ever did, it belongs to us now, and so does he. What he should do, moving forward, because things must always move forward, even in death, which is the ultimate forward move, is he should allow us to write this story for him. And when we do, as we have already begun to, he should smile a bit savagely and give us his best Charlie Manson grin and nod his head and say yes, yes, that is how it happened, I was the mastermind, my older brother the pawn, I hate America and don’t understand Americans and really despise your burgers and fries and your sporting events and your turbo-charged cars and brightly colored running sneakers and those star-spangled banners you just loooove to drag through the air after things like this happen, because if he does this, if he lets us have this, then surely the more religious of us will say, we should allow this madman to live, some things are so pure they must be preserved, and the kooks and the fuckups among us, the nutbag and nitwit contingent, will even lobby for him to go free after a certain measure of time has passed, although, for the vast majority of us, which is to say those of us who were not burned in or around the fire, it will be enough to read about his execution some years from now, and to smile savagely for maximum impact, to take our marching orders from Big Brother, in this way showing him the nature of our mercy.

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A Game of Trolls

1 Apr

AGNI

Yesterday was Easter. I drove with my parents to New Jersey, where most of my family lives. We were driving past a heavily wooded and vaguely menacing area called the Pine Barrens, when they started talking about the Jersey devil, a small, dragonlike creature that apparently inhabits the woods. I thought they were fucking with me, until I looked it up. “Nasty little bugger,” said my dad.

Easter is, of course, a children’s holiday. A time of bunnies and candy and colored eggs. For the adults, we had the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones.

Over at Huffington Post, Arts Editor Michael Hogan has a blog post up recapping the episode. I found the piece to be affable, if punchless; it passed the time as I gave my grandmother her pills and sat down to eat my breakfast. But, since you can’t do shit on the Internet without the trolls crawling out of the woodwork, the comments section is a veritable free-for-all of geeksnark. A sampling:

allenmarion:

It’s unreal that you get to write a recap blog post with out [sic] even a basic comprehension of what is happening on the show and in the episode itself.

Worlsc:

The “Knightsguard?” Face palm. This is your job. Can you at least find someone to watch with you who has read the books?

khops:

Why someone who has never read the books and can barely follow a storyline gets to write a recap of this awesome show I will never understand. “Knightsguard,” honestly.

PhxJustice:

Joffrey & Margaery aren’t married yet. They are only betrothed to each other. Please pay attention if you are going to write about the series.

That last point is pretty legitimate. A significant source of tension in the King’s Landing story arc derives from the possibility that Sansa may still marry Joffrey (as illustrated in the Blackwater episode, when Cersei frostily tells Sansa that she’d better learn how to use her pussy as a weapon “if you ever hope to be Queen”). If Joffrey was already married, Cersei would have no use for Sansa, and would likely have her shipped off to Harrenhal.

But these commenters aren’t merely criticizing the errors Hogan made in his haste to publish the piece in the few hours since the episode aired. They’re questioning his right to review the series in the first place.

Because–great God in heaven!–he has not even read the books! How could Hogan, who never even picked up A Storm of Swords, possibly examine the subtlety of that scene in which Jon Snow tricks Mance Rayder into accepting him into the wildling army? Why does he “get to” write these recaps?

Said the trolls. The fun continued on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 4.19.59 PM

Look, it’s not unreasonable to expect an executive editor at a major news outlet to avoid these sorts of mistakes. An editor shouldn’t need an editor. (And I think Hogan is nerd-baiting a little bit here by admitting that he hasn’t read the books and is using A Wiki of Ice and Fire as a reference.) But to argue that he–or anyone–is incapable of producing a serviceable recap because he or she hasn’t read the voluminous source material on which the show is based, is ludicrous hyperbole. He’s qualified because he’s an upper-level editor at HuffPost and he wanted the assignment. Believe me, those are all the credentials he needs.

(Note: I’ve been wanting to use that awesome rejection slip from AGNI–with the badass monkeydragon on its letterhead–since forever, and what better excuse than the GoT premiere? I’m trapped in Philadelphia until tomorrow, I am full of ham, and I think I may be acutely withdrawing from various substances. So, there you have it.)