Monday, May 02, 2011

Found: One Nutjobber, A Little Brevity-Challenged

As part of my near-constant running monologue, I said “oppositty” out loud this morning and immediately earmarked it for further exploration, as you can well imagine, considering the almost-tactile fabulousness of such a verbal slip. Wildly enthused, I twisted it around on my tongue coolly, jabbing at various pronunciations, at varying volumes, in various locales, refining my plans for its eventual usage; I stroked it, comforted it, mollycoddled it until I had shaped it into “oppocity”, the ingenious foundation for what promised to be an incredibly clever blog-post contrasting cities I don’t live in with the qualities I find most enjoyable within the one I do, culminating in a tournament of oppositional juxtapositions that would eventually reveal the city to which I have the least reason to dwell, or my most “oppocity”, if you will. It turned out, however, that I not only didn’t inherently know very much about my own city, much less any other (thus necessitating research, which, ugh), but also that “oppocity”, as written, looked as though it was meant to rhyme with “atrocity”, which I felt to be contrary to the overall tenor of my proposed post. I also simultaneously came to the conclusion that my idea was actually pretty dumb – really, truly, spectacularly dumb, especially in retrospect – and viewed the decision to abandon the project as less a failure of creative fortitude than it was a triumph of mercy, figuring instead that “oppositty” was of more comedic value if simply used as a replacement of “opposite” in random discussions with soon-to-be aggravated friends.

The truth is that the etymology of “oppositty” is not nearly as interesting as inventing a series of conversational points that would allow me to orchestrate a dialogue heavy with dichotomous blather so that I could ultimately call my girlfriend at work and say, “Hey, honey – did you know that the hypotenuse is the side oppositty to the 90 degree angle in a right triangle?” Phile Not Found is like that: when one feels compelled to explain the joke – less a funny ha-ha, in this case, than an overwrought attempt at cleverness – it probably isn’t very funny, and exponentially less clever than intended. Or, one is talking to idiots who are incapable of understanding anything, much less the contrived inventiveness of a title like Phile Not Found, and judging from the About Me page I’m guessing Ms. Nanobeagletwonames presumes she’s engaged in the latter.

Our intellectually-ambitious blog-author uses a photo of a galaxy as “a constant reminder to be humble” on that About Me page – not because of some capitulation to the majesty of another unfathomably expansive universe extant entirely separate from our own that dwarves her (and everyone else’s) comparatively meager existence, but because she’ll “never be as smart as the folk who devised the instrument that took that photo”, which kind of makes me wonder why she uses said galaxy-photo and not one displaying the camera that took the picture itself... and though I imagine that aesthetic considerations such as these are to be applauded in some cases, despite the fact that, in this case, they seem a mite self-defeating in light of the above-mentioned and spurious justifications invoked in representing oneself as a galaxy, I prefer a more logical progression of symbolic personal-identification in my blogs.

I mean, obviously, right?

So, why this need for reminders of humility, you ask? Well, quoth the brainiac: “Sometimes I feel like I’m the smartest person on the internet”. This, needless to say, is an unfortunate turn of phrase, not only because it opens the door for petty nitpicking, but also because she misspells “suffix” not four sentences later – a pretty catastrophic faux pas when combined with the above assertion, even if made ambivalently, that colours any reading of the blog with the stain of arrogance. For instance, this is a research paper slapped up without regard for context, this is unnecessarily and almost startlingly condescending, and this contains a dialogue that reads

Someone: So, what degree program are you two in?

Me: I'm in Computer Science, and he is in Computer Engineering.

Someone: Oh, what's the difference?

when it should probably read

Someone: So, what degree program are you two in?

Me: I’m in Computer Science, and he is in Computer Engineering.

Someone: Ah.

Me: You see, the difference is―

Someone: Mm-hm. No, that’s great. I’m super, like, happy for you guys. Oop – gotta run.

This is prefaced with a warning that should be applied much more liberally, and though each one of these is heaving with salient points, they retain the faint but unmistakable sneer of adolescence, as though her personal awakening to the terrible manipulations of culture is one shared by the collective at this precise moment in time. As a fellow Canadian atheist whose worldview leans heavily on iconoclasm, I understand. In fact, I believe that a lot of the irritation I feel when reading this blog is a direct result of recognizing my own predilection for pomposity, for the irrational need to prove my stupendous and otherworldly intellect to the faceless masses of subterranean dolts who plague the interweb like a rotten pastiche of herpes scars, and this realization gives me pause; not enough to retract any of my criticisms, mind you, but enough to allow me to see Nanoo as, perhaps, a younger, more computer-savvy me... minus, of course, the staggering bravado and mind-blowing creativity that is so clearly evident in the construction of ideas such as “oppositty”.

If I, then, am forced by my own logic to use my 34-year-old self as a case-study for this 21-year-old student (which I am – shut up), I would have to conclude that her metamorphosis from self-absorbed youngster to slightly wince-inducing writer to absurd deconstructionist incapable of maintaining any kind of writing routine due to both the prevalence of a nineteen-month-old daughter and the delusion that any sort of prolonged concentration is feasible whilst warding off sippy-cup attacks and an alarming preoccupation with the movie Madagascar is a distinct possibility.

In that Phile Not Found is not horrible, I am awarding it one star:

I would also like to represent myself thusly:

This is not because I regard myself as a much-beloved marvel of form/function synergy, or equate myself with the manifest and intrinsic artistry emblematic of a freely-galloping horse, but because I know I’ll never be involved in anything as fundamentally useful as those ensconced in the horseshoe-manufacturing industry are.


  1. Though, typo noted. Thanks. :)

  2. You spell "suffix" wrong.

  3. Sometimes I forget comment sections don't work like IM. GOGO COMMENT NUMBER THREE.

    I took a bit to chew on your words in the hopes that I'd absorb them better. Still working on the first two paragraphs, but I think I've got a handle on the rest.

    It's really interesting to me that you took such... offence at my About page. I did write it in an unusual fit of self-confidence, mostly sick of describing myself in insecure and cringing terms. It's actually not a very accurate picture of my personality and your dissection of it really brings that to light. I'm anything but cocky/self-important... to the point that I'm in therapy for being terribly neurotic and self-conscious. :P I'll be reworking my About page soon, then, and hopefully it won't come across so... abrasively.

    By the way, I totally agree that the blog name is all kinds of lame. :)

    And I'm totally not procreating. So what should my next step in metamorphosis be? Perhaps I need a coffee shop, an Apple laptop and a perpetually half-finished novel...

  4. Know what I like, Nano? I like that your template doesn't look like every other submission, and it does it without being offensive.

  5. *sigh of relief*

    I'm glad it's not offensive. Sometimes I worry about the rainbow barf and people's sensibilities. I've put a shameful amount of time into tweaking my layout, trying to make it not look like a Blogger blog...

  6. That's the best part about being in the catbird seat as reviewer here at Ask: I can begin a review with two paragraphs of tomfoolery and then attempt to twirl the mess into a review like I knew what I was doing. You should see what I left out.



  7. I love how this turned into Jobber self-analysis.

    But I feel a little bit oppositty about the blog: I like the slightly condescending tone. Sometimes you just can't hide your fucking disdain.

  8. This review was the most satisfying thing I've read in a long time.

  9. Seriously, I feel like I just ate something that had a whole stick of butter in it.

  10. Far out NJ - that review was a task and half to read. I need a nap.

  11. Yes - "tomorrow" means "several days later"...

    Nannyinfinito: I think it's interesting that you found my take on your About Me page interesting, in that you appear to be an apple calling yourself an orange; the fact that you didn't see the picture you were painting with your self-description is infinitely more interesting than it ever was abrasive.

    My own preference, for what it's worth, would be for you to try some more abstract writing, the kind of stuff that exists outside the constraints of empirical testing and the theory-proof-conclusion construct. I think you might take your audience to some interesting places if you, just once in while, allow yourself to be wrong. Again, just a suggestion... from a reader ultra-biased towards the crazy.

    I think I'm going to come visit your blog again, which is kind of a big deal in that I fucking hate things. And if that doesn't count as a pat on the back, well, I guess I've lost all concept of spatial relationships as they pertain to metaphors, which is entirely possible, considering that I have no idea what that even means.

    Shiner: I did the same thing during your last review, in re: self-analysis. I ultimately thought better of posting a 2000 word comment, though I guess a comment of any kind would have been good, eh? Wait - I'll be right back.

    Blues: You made my day. Actually, that comment made my last couple of days.

    Grumpy: That was, in all honesty, SEVERELY edited down; it was twice, maybe twice-and-a-half as long. I guess I was all stopped-up with review-juice. Ew. Also, apologies.

  12. Wrong on purpose?
    Does not compute!

    (I'm glad you're not constipated with words anymore. As much. :3 )

  13. Man, I hate it when I write a good 2000 word review and I have to cut it to hell.

  14. I'm all reveling in my brilliance and innate ability to tell people to fuck off, and then BAM! Editing.

  15. Have you guys considered posting unabridged editions of your reviews somewhere?

    'Cus with the whole unemployed thing I wouldn't mind having more things to read.

  16. Well, here's my little corner of the interweb, nano:

    A little quid pro quo; feel free to tear me the fuck apart.

    And yes, everybody, I just did that.

  17. Did I do it right?

    I thinged on your thing as a comment. It was there but now it's not so I hope you just removed it instead of it being eaten by Google.

  18. Um. I have not removed anything from anywhere.

    Also, you "thinged on my thing"? Are we actually at that point in our relationship?

    Because, hey: thing away.

  19. Thing-thinging is classic.

  20. HUM.

    The thing I thinged was kind of long and I'd rather not have to rewrite it because it won't be as sincere the second time. Mebe check your spam comments and your email (if you have email notifications set up) and hopefully it will surface?

    >:( Google!!!!!!!

  21. Got it. Well done, my dear. I will respond (thing) more fully (thingy) over at the thing.

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