It turns out that checking my email and playing the guitar on the edge of my bed isn't generating as much revenue this quarter as I'd hoped, so it's time to drum up a gig. I'm tired of designing web pages, brochures, and logos for people who think they need to reinvent the wheel ("what if the text ran right-to-left, and you had to read our website in a mirror?"). I'm sick of getting forty dollars a pop doing blind tastings of freeze-dried coffee or letting college students measure my nipples throughout a showing of Bambi. It's time to take the low road.
That's right: I'm going to write a boorish, controversial column for the local paper. It will be cranky, it will provoke, the opinions will not be carefully considered, and, most importantly, it will run counter to the delicate sensibilities of precisely the sort of person who gets so ruffled that they end up giving me free advertising. It should gain notoriety in no time, and then be syndicated throughout the English-speaking world, hopefully at a hundred bucks a throw.
Here are some of my warm-up exercises. I've chosen especially divisive topics because, like I said, this isn't about doing great work. It's about bringing people apart.
There’s simply no need for it anymore. In this enlightened age I can buy meat from a cow that was pushed in a pram, wet-nursed by Thora Birch, and flown to Santorini for private pronking lessons. In the wild, this same animal would have been trundled off by a peckish eagle before it had traveled the distance from the womb to the grass below, so what’s there to be upset about? People who can’t stomach the idea of humane slaughter ought to see how inhumane nature is when it’s outside of our control, where Temple Grandin has no say over which end of the emu the dingo pack tears off first. As for the vegans, the vegetarians can start with them — they are no doubt fairly easy to digest, being composed mainly of wadded yarn and rhubarb poop.
WATCHING WOMEN PLAY TENNIS FOR THE FIRST TIME
It’s like watching Sylvester Stallone make a sandwich: every action so alien, so unsure...so much wasted movement, so much looking around for approval...your frustration eventually mounts so high that you are forced to leave and wait in the car.
THE COLLAPSE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
I, for one, am happy to see the little MP3, that Phylloxera of the phonographic industry, bring Big Music to a halt. More great music has been written than you can ever hope to hear in your lifetime, so stop being fooled by this year's soulless, calculated retreads. And all this tongue-wagging about musicians finally recording for love of music over money is fine and good, but as long as I’ve got my Who Sell Out and White Album, you can keep that amazing new chord progression that no one's ever heard before, and those clever lyrics about a certain condition of the heart.