Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Nature of Evil, if We're Being Honest With Ourselves

(Hipster Acquaintance Who Dan Doesn't Even Really Like Or Care About walks past Dan without saying hello or even acknowledging that he knows him)

Dan's Interior Monologue: HATE HATE HATE that motherfucker! That dude is pure EVILLLLLLL!

(Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, killer of 13 soldiers and wounder of 24 others, walks toward Dan)

Hasan: Hey Dan, what up bro?

Dan: I'm good, I'm good. How 'bout you?

Hasan: Doin' alright, though I've had a rough couple weeks

Dan: Tell me about it- my fucking DVR didn't record 30 Rock and it's not on Hulu yet

Hasan: Ha, exactly. Alright man, I'm gonna grab a Stella before they run out. Tell Rich I used Seamless for the first time the other day!

Dan: Will do! Later

Dan's Interior Monologue: LOVE that guy. Such a fucking HOMIE!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scene from Berger Household, 1988

(Young Dan is wearing his favorite Mets t-shirt)
(Jerry, a family friend, leans down to pin a BUSH-QUAYLE '88 button in Young Dan's shirt)
(Young Dan recoils)

Jerry: Whadoo we have a Dukakis fan over here?

(Jerry leans in again to put the pin in)

Young Dan's interior monologue: Of course I'm not a Dukakis fan, you think I'd support that spineless communist, interrobang. What I'm concerned about, you buffoon, is that this pin is going to create a hole the size of the federal deficit under the Democratic Congress in my most prized garment

Young Dan's OTHER interior monologue (Herman's Head style): Would you chill out, first interior monologue? The holes from those pins close up after you wash them

Young Dan's interior monologue: No they don't, that's just vile propaganda spread by the pin lobby! Oh dear god, he's about to... nooo... well, there goes my favorite shirt. Who needs a Mets shmata? Have to stop saying shit like that, not everyone in the world is Jewish
Young Dan (giving big thumbs up and smiling): Thanks, Uncle Jerry! Thousand Points of Light!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Young Mother Teresa in 2009

(I run into Young Mother Teresa at Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan)

Me: Teresa, long time no see, how's the helping the sick and the poor racket these days?

Young Mother Teresa: Oh, no. I grow tired of missionary work. No room for advancement or 100K+ salary. Just a thing to do right after college. Looks good on resume - ees proto-Teach for America. And economy very bad right now. Taking LSAT. Want to go to solid regional school. Get firm job. But I steel care about poor- Simpson Thatcher has great pro-bono program, I swear...
(wistful beat)
Sorry, can't chat - in the middle of practice Games section.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The 'Buster

In this age of BitTorrent, Apple TV, Netflix DVD mailers, and even Netflix streaming, you'd think that a reasonably with-it mid-twentysomething like myself would take advantage of one of these technologies when he wants to see a movie. You'd be dead wrong.

As shameful as it would seem to be to admit, I still go to Blockbuster. Their entire business model has imploded, H. Wayne Huizenga has had to sell the Marlins, and yet there I am still paying my $5.43 (plus late fees). As I'm sure none of my readers has been to a Blockbuster since the Social Security "reform" fiasco, let me share with you the marvelous human ecosystem that still thrives in the harsh environment of the few remaining Blockbusters -- who knows, maybe you'll even stop by one of these days:

Mid-30s White Man-Child (Employee)- In some amorphous supervisory role but still not the manager. Very knowledgeable about movies but not interested in helping you, preferring to sulk as he considers his station in life. The oversized dark blue polo shirt, tent-like khaki pants, and white sneakers contribute heavily to his man-childness.
Benefit: Makes you happy you're not him

Late Teens Black or Hispanic Guy (Employee) - Extremely eager, energetic. Clothes actually fit (sorry man-child you can't blame anyone but yourself). Very helpful.
Benefits: Helps you find movies. Restores your faith in the American economy's ability to deliver decent jobs to minority youths after it was crushed by The Wire

Late Teens Decent-Looking White Girl (Employee) - Totally disinterested in the job. Totally disinterested in you.
Benefit: Get to meekly say "Thanks a lot" really fast to her
Children and the Elderly (Customers) - Of course have no idea what NetFlix or BitTorrent is, so see Blockbuster as only choice.
Benefit: Cute, cuddly, blissfully unaware of classical liberal economics
Mid-30s Successful Black Man (Customer) - Only wants things on Blu-Ray. You would think if he is technologically savvy enough to have a Blu-Ray player, he could figure out another way to get movies, but I shouldn't be talking.
Benefit: At least someone else reasonably close to my age goes to Blockbuster
Teenage to Early 20's Athletic White Girl (Customer) - A mainstay of any Blockbuster. Almost always come in groups, often wearing some sort of athletic gear like yoga pants. Have amazing bodies. Their disdain for NetFlix and BitTorrent as too 'alternative' drives them to the 'Buster.
Benefits: Liven up the place, elicit Lester Burnham-like fantasies in man-child employees

20's to 30's Casually-Dressed White Guy - And here's where I fit into all of this. Through a unique combination of laziness, impulsiveness, impatience, and a secret technological incompetence that he would never admit in public, 20's to 30's Casually-Dressed White Guy has yet to master Netflix, BitTorrent, or even iTunes. So when he needs a movie, it's off to Blockbuster.

At the end of the day, you may scoff at me and my compatriots and marvel at the ease with which you procure movies. But what you call a transaction cost, I call... Paradise