The prestige of having been employed in the same entry level job for seven years (without promotion) has lead many of our readers to seek my advice in career matters[1]. Traditionally I answer via private correspondence, mostly with biting personal commentary and ugly sexual innuendo, but a recent wave of joblessness amongst my cohort has convinced to disseminate my wisdom in a more public fashion.

My time in the business world has taught me exactly one thing: context is more important than content. Being able to frame information in a self-constructive fashion is the entirety of the battle; master the spin, and you win.

Let us examine a few common errors of phrasing and context and explore stronger alternatives.



(Originally posted at SAM THE TURTLE)

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(Originally posted at SAM THE TURTLE)

I do not have children but my friends do. Children are, by their nature, quite stupid and prone to dying. My friends are very tired and would prefer their children be alive and smart, but often settle for alive. Eventually the kids start talking and demanding answers to questions of such volume and frequency that it breaks the human mind.

I do not have children, but I have answers. As a public service I have decided to dig into the backlog of questions that my friends are too exhausted to answer, and  fill the gaps in their children’s knowledge . Each parent emailed me a list of queries and promised to read my response to their child in full, without editorial interference. I do not believe in speaking down to kids so some of the terms and concepts may go over their heads, but I’m confident that the essential truth will make its way through.


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Judge a society not by its heroes, but its monsters. A culture’s heroes speak to the best of its ambition, but it is the monster that teaches their children the hard lessons of caution, temperance, and tolerance that a parent might be too tired or drunk to articulate at the end of a long day. So why not have a monster teach it? I still can’t piss outside, such is my fear of “Sinjin The Cruel Moth what snatches up rude boy’s peepees”.

It is thus that we begin our series examining the history, menace, and broader cultural connotations of each nation’s monsters. Let us begin.

Loch Ness Monster


(Originally posted at SAM THE TURTLE)


 A pile of old rags strewn across a log, or, a dirty Scottish plesiosaur too stupid to find the ocean? In the darkest of legends, if they can be believed, a guy was once down by the lake and saw it kind of swimming around…and then it left, only to be seen by another guy a few years later. Each time it was seen it did a little less, until those who were drawn by its antediluvian malice were condemned to stand by the shore, with not much going on, until they got bored and bought an over-priced souvenir.

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Response to a tragedy

December 20, 2012

Response to a tragedy.

Infectious Smile Dating Service.

I communicate poorly with women I’m attracted to. I’m an impactful speaker at’er, and savvy reflective listener, but proper two-way exchange is dodgy at best. Something in the demand and expectation narrows the channels. So, in lieu of grownup conversation, I tend to express my intentions or dissatisfaction via bad poetry. Usually in a public forum. While wildly ineffective as interpersonal tactic is has provided me with a deep well of shame to plum for literary edification. Let us examine:

The following is a roughly chronological rundown of questionable verse written in the last half decade.

Let us prepare our palate with something appropriately bitter.

A blameless life

I wonder what would it be like

to lead a blameless life

and have my brittle pieces cut

but never fall

What was I trying to say?

“You do thoughtless things and never hold yourself to account for them”

Though it amounts to: How about that, you’re the nameless antagonist in poem you will never read…who’s pathetic now!

What was actually going on

 This falls under “Fuck you, you made sad so I’m going to slander you from the bully pulpit of an obvious poem that I don’t have to be accountable for” school of narrative verse. See the collected work of Mr. Trent Reznor for further reference.

Technical merit:

Not as bad as I remember. Nice cadence, flows well, efficient, conveys the inner state. Good effort linguistically, poor effort dignity-wise. As a general rule the person writing accusatory poetry lost the relationship on all cards.

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Beaten by Entropy

December 14, 2011

My name has been stolen. Or at least my sites name has. Japanese cyber squatters made off with it while I was planeward bound to the tropics. This is why I don’t leave the country. The individual pieces remain, but feel somehow disconnected and unclaimed. The memories of a man erased. On a technical level my links are busted and google has forsaken me, but more troubling is this sense of a dispersed locus of being; an idea that somewhere in the heuristic tangle of bad punctuation, prose, angst and running jokes a vestigial personhood had formed and been lost. Damn.

I translated the front page of the new Beatsentropy [1], it felt very much like google stalking an ex’s new boyfriend. It appears to be an employment scam for aspiring Japanese sex workers. Or perhaps I’m being unfair and it’s a genuine recruitment center, I’d feel better about that.

An Exceprt

“Miss sex work

Speaking of high-paid jobs, sex is the best.
However, many of the girls’ work in sex is disgusting! “I think that.
So, what’s bad manners because of work.

Nantes sex but not a boyfriend can” “do not want to touch a stranger!” I think that many people think.

Such feelings can certainly understand that, if you’re really looking for high-income part, this is not the better part.

For example, my friend has sex with Miss Gotanda.
And $ 10,000 in revenue each month in the city of Gotanda.
In the same college may be very bright child.
Gotanda is a city child is

Though I appreciate the absurdity and beat poetry cadence of my usurper I can’t help but feel wronged by Miss Gotanda’s hunger. While arguably classier than many of our posts, it lacks the wit and profundity of our profanity. And why the hell is a Japanese company stealing such an esoteric English phrase for their name? I shudder to imagine the context that Beats Entropy has been hamfistedly translated into. Jerks. I guess I’ll have to think up a new name.

[1] I haven’t felt so bad since that time I discovered my arch rival A.J. Valliant, the albino Irish soul singer. Though, maybe, in this time of deepest woe, we can mourn together. Take it creepy AJ


Beats Entropy:Irony Scale

March 31, 2011

At some point clarity lost its legitimacy to subtlety, and ironic disaffection and apathy became the cultural currency of the hip. Never having been hip, or subtle, it is hard to say when which gave way to what (which actually is hard to say), but the end result was irony becoming the key social moderator. About the same time reading became not so popular, which is a bit of problem when your locus of cool is a fairly slippery esoteric concept. What are the retro clad and bearded masses to do?

In an effort to keep the smug barista and spoken word poetry industry from grinding to a halt Beats Entropy is going to drop a little knowledge.

Let us define our terms:

Irony= when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect or contrary to some intrinsic quality (real or inferred).

Things entirely devoid of irony

It gets dark at night

Surrender is a word of French extraction.

Ugly people are often sad

Now I could get all fancy and suss out all the gradations of irony through a series of complex logical syllogisms, but we both know that sort of academic hokum proves nothing. The only legitimate method of exploring such a topic is a peer reviewed, toast backed, scale from 1-20. Let’s get down to business.

Beats Entropy Irony Scale:

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While I am not a religious man I believe that faith is the largest part of self:  identity is pulled from gossamer strands of supposition woven into an assumptive web strong enough to suspend disbelief. An overstatement? Quite possibly. Overwritten? Most assuredly. But the point stands: Empiricism is the lazy man’s retreat. True understanding of the world must be derived first principle through a combination wit, intuition, and rhetorical hustle. Proof is artful transmission of belief, nothing more.

It is with this mind I present you: Logically unsupportable beliefs I have…and stand by.

Let’s get down to business.

The Claim: Coffee keeps milk from spoiling

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An Apology

January 20, 2011

This girl once said that I could only see women as hopeful shapes on the horizon. That up close I saw too little of myself to hide my disappointment. I’m paraphrasing a little. A proper transcription would be artlessly and unfair.  It stung. I hated feeling solved and ordinary. I suspect she wanted me to argue. To push for something that left us less diminished.  And I would have, but I couldn’t understand that she was asking, tell me why I’m different. And she was.

The first night gone

January 4, 2011

Last night I reached and turned in a clockwise search for the borders of our bed, where soft skin and cold feet set the limit to my sprawl. But there was none, no limit and no center, so I spun and wondered at the space. The time it took to sleep and the rise of unfamiliar springs against my back; how light she must have been.

Last night I reached and turned in a clockwise search for the borders of our bed, where soft skin and cold feet set the limit to my sprawl. But there was none, no limit and no center, so I spun and wondered at the space. The time it took to sleep and rise of unfamiliar springs against my back, how light she must have been.

Last night I reached and turned in a clockwise search for the borders of our bed, where soft skin and cold feet set the limit to my sprawl. But there was none, no limit and no center, so I spun and wondered at the space. The time it took to sleep and rise of unfamiliar springs against my back, how light she must have been.

I rarely go out. The dictates of my gym job and domestic inertia keep me in a fairly tight home-work orbit. This Halloween, however, I grew a fine old-timey moustache for my Turn of the century Irish Strike Breaker costume and felt the need to show it off in unfamiliar confines. My buddy Ben suggested crashing a stranger’s house party, I obliged.

The first half of the night was pleasantly unremarkable.





The conversations were light, bouncy, and forgettable. Until I met Chris(1); a young man enjoying a brief island of freedom between recent and forthcoming incarcerations.  I learned of his legal woes in a fast moving five minute chat that began as workout advice, transitioned into recounting of his troubled youth, and culminated in the revelation that he was soon to return to the joint for continued indiscretions.

A better (or less lubricated) person would have taken that moment to bid him good luck and started up a less challenging conversation with the stocky lass in a cruelly unaware Strawberry Shortcake costume. But I was drinking. And I like to give advice. So I confided in him a largely fabricated criminal past and proceeded to advise him on how to survive in prison…which in the moment I felt wholly qualified to do.

It went as such.

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False Horizon

September 6, 2010

I watched this thing on ADD. It’s long, and irrelevant for most, but it shook me.

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Tree Killer

June 17, 2010

I’ve been asked to murder my tree on the grounds that it is too tall and a foreigner. While I could bring myself to fell a towering Dutchman, or Dutch Elm, this particular tree has done me great kindness and asked nothing in return. Sally, however, feels differently. Read the rest of this entry »

I used to be pretty good at this. Writing, that is. The ability has atrophied a little these past few months. It’s not just that I’ve barely written or read; I’ve barely thought. I have been so immersed in the physical being of others and my own, whole levels of processing have fallen into disuse. I told a dude at the mall that a calliope was a word that sounded like its meaning…which I suppose it is, but not in the definitional sense he was looking for. A subtle error, but the sort of semantic minutia I used to excel at. Read the rest of this entry »

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