Wednesday, December 10, 2008
BloggerFrank Kaufman awoke one morning after a night of uneasy dreams to discover he had 513 comments on his latest blog post. His laptop was balanced on his belly, and he had difficulty rolling off this back. His mother, not known for Sunday morning patience, yelled upstairs to her son that if he didn’t get dressed and come down soon she would spray him with insect repellent again.

The blog post had caused a ripple in the blogger community. The night before, there had already been 121 comments before Frank, at 2:36 a.m., finally decided to go to sleep. In the blog post, Frank had attacked another blogger for looking like a “douchebag” in a recent photo he had posted. The photo showed an adolescent male with a notable amount of hair gel sticking his tongue between two of his fingers which formed a V. The “V” was meant to symbolize the female vulva, both anatomically and semiotically.

The “douchebag,” one Pavel De Kouchkovsky, was from Warsaw. He moved to the United States when he was still an infant. Pavel lived in Ohio with his parents. Frank had nothing against immigrants, or “douchebags” for that matter; he simply incited an online provocation in order to get attention. True, Pavel did look strikingly like a “douchebag,” but he was young and inexperienced with women—thus the unrealistic, almost endearing fascination with the vulva.

When Frank finally came downstairs, his mom smiled and slid an omelet on his plate. “Mom, I made the Internet crazy,” he said. “What do you mean dear?” his mom asked. Frank wanted to explain to his mother about his generation. People commented to know they existed. These comments were imperative to the authentication and historicity of not only the blog post, but consciousness itself. Things had changed, and were changing.

The 513 comments could be divided into two groups: those who agreed that Pavel was a “douchebag,” and those who thought it was mean for Frank to say something like that, and that he in turn was actually the “douchebag.” The commenters, all of them strangers yet having quickly established alliances, also called members of the other party “douchebags.”

Frank’s laptop was recharging in the wall, which made him feel calm. He dug into his omelet and eyed a squirrel through the screen door. The squirrel didn’t even know what the Internet was, let alone have an ostentatiously formatted blog. The only comment it could ever make was “nut.” “Animals are fucking stupid,” Frank said, which compelled his mother to smack him, and ask why he would say a thing like that.

Jimmy Chen is an only child, and only a child.

Big-Name Writer's Writing Seminar I've called you all here today to because I miss Bradley Whitford and I need some hacks to write scripts for a new politically oriented sitcom where all the pretty actors endlessly bicker with each other and make inane social commentary on world affairs.
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