Reductio ad socialmedium, or, The Book Report I Should Have Written

The Misfit caught up with the grandmother and her family on a dirt road in South Georgia.

The only substantive difference between Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and National Lampoon’s “Vacation” is the illusory theme park ending and maybe Christie Brinkley. Remember that moment you thought we might see tits? Remember the disappointment when you didn’t?

One question: Would Christie have made it in the age of Instagram, or would she have gone full thot? The answer is, there is no answer. Sally forth to reality.

The reality: John Candy’s security guard character was an escaped homicidal mental patient who slipped through the cracks and got hired at Wally World. He killed the Griswolds, every last one of them, then drank their blood and curled up for a nap in a bumper car. He gets a life sentence, sentenced to being studied by frauds who pretend his brain is some kind of worm farm so they don’t have to work for a living. This carries us back to the actual reason the Misfit killed the grandmother.

The reason is, there is no reason. Unfortunately for her, she was born too long before social media.

She would have been a good woman if it had been someone there to shoot her for Instagram every minute of her life. Too bad her sackless son wasn’t packing.


When you Outlaw Biology, Biologists Become Outlaws. Or, Sales as a Fish/Bicycle Proposition.

I’m better than somebody. I’m sure of it.

There’s no sin greater than lackluster performance. Ask any sales guy. He’ll tell you. He knows because he’s been there. He lives there, right at that point between stud and dud. The end of the month approaches like Cthulhu for these motherfuckers and their credit lines. Ever try picking up clients in a Pinto? An old minivan? Yeah, sure, they’re shallow, venal, crass, but they wear it well. You’re just as shitty but you distance yourself so that your hypocrisy drips. Dribs and drabs. You don’t want to spend holidays with them and neither do I, but they’ll ride a rope bucket down into the coal mines because you and I won’t. Black lung eventually, sure, but Beemers and high performance in the meantime.

Why? Because they’re doing the ungodly shit that you are not willing to–essentially paying them so that you can perform lesser, simpler, easier tasks while they prostrate themselves before the filthy mammon that you pick at like the small cleaner fish that follow sharks for their scraps, that clean their teeth. A cheesy apartment and bad clothes are the price you pay for being above it all.

I don’t like it anymore than you do, gentle reader, but I accept the fact that I am not willing to enter that fray although I have wing-manned my share of sales calls. I prefer ownership, exploiting the workers, and a different kind of chicanery, and, sure, I condemn their subterfuge, but how is that worse than the wife lying to her husband about her personal trainer or the music minister? Or the father lying to his children about Santa Claus? Dad never touched the babysitter because the babysitter sees him dripping pizza bagle onto his v-neck undershirt.

It’s true. Everyone likes to give the sales guy shit until payday.  Everyone shows up for payday. Purple-haired HR Karen drags every sales guy behind their back and peers at them with distain down her long fluted nose. Except at night she draws a warm bath, balances a box of wine on the edge of the tub, lights candles and rubs one thinking about the purple-headed meat hammer she is certain Kevin from Sales is pounding some airhead blonde with right now–some ignorant tart who doesn’t Evelyn Waugh was actually a dude before that kind of shit was cool.

Karen instinctively knows that out on the frozen tundra her nipples would be permahard from the cold and she’d be fodder or turn whore real fast. Her shadow has standards, and she adorns it with Prada and Louis Vuitton–or shitty chic if she’s a true believer–but she knows the game is self-loathing and buffering predation with aggression or compliance, whichever works. Hers is a raw pragmatism at a level the average dude can’t even conceptualize. It’s not on the radar.

The upshot? Free markets only care about blue hair and muffin tops when you outlaw biology. And when you outlaw biology, biologists–anyone who follows the actual science–become outlaws. So go ahead; hate the sales guys. They’ve earned it, plus commission and residuals. But don’t lie to yourself. You don’t hate the pyramid scheme; you just hate that you’re at the bottom with the other plebs when you know in your heart you deserve better. You’re different. You know their hearts are different but you don’t understand why.

In theirs, they feel the stress they’ve chosen pushing bad actuarial numbers. They know they’re paying a price. It’s a long countdown. The rocket explodes on launch, but you don’t sleep any better than they do. The real buffer is that upteen thread count sheet set and luxury mattress. “I need a sales department like a fish needs a bicycle”, but where do those bicycles end up? In the drink where they become clusters of artificial reefs, old Schwinn Stingrays and quaint, elegant Motobecanes encrusted with barnacles, blue crabs and ghosts in the spokes, leaching acceptable levels rubbers, paints, and adhesives into the precious waters where aquatic life celebrated in the abstract pisses and shits. An acceptable level of toxicity, and someone is brokering the fish and bycatch. Someone is selling the glory of it all.

You think those guys are unwashed barbarians. They don’t think of you at all.