My latest paranoid nightmare is that some dumb bomb or comet or sunspot is going to come along and wipe out all our hard drives, discs, wires and gizmos. Some of us here would be worse off than the dinosaurs -- it would mean we'd have to get REAL jobs, the kind where you have to leave your house and push around actual physical objects larger than keyboard keys. BUMMER!
But in the meantime, I'd like to report to my fellow SubGenii that, despite what common sense tells us, it is actually possible to have a GOOD DAY. Yes! For I had a good day yesterday. I couldn't believe it! Nothing broke, and everything worked. Well, my wife's car's brakes went out, and it cost $200 to fix 'em, but that was HER machine for a change. I DEPEND for my psychological well-being on knowing that my gizmos WORK, even if I don't really NEED them at the time. Of course, 90% of my heartbreak could have been avoided had I just gone out and bought a DECENT MODEM 3 months ago.
But that's what I did yesterday, and when I got it home, MY GOD IT WORKED!!! No "shall I proceed despite IMPENDING TERRIBLE ERRORS?" warnings. Suddenly, after all that anguish and snowcrash-course all-nite book-learning and modem-string-guessing sessions, I HAD PPP ACCESS! I COULD "P" FREELY! I was HOOKED IN! For 50c a DAY! PRAISE TEXAS METRONET, WE'RE ALL DEVO!! I COULD as of that moment TELL AMERICA ONLINE TO GO FUCK ITSELF!! (Although I will keep the AOL account just to keep DOING EXACTLY THAT for a little while longer, before they throw me off.)
By the hoary pubic beard of Wotan, AIEEEE!!! I am NO LONGER a mere infamous, handsome, fit, studly literary-outlaw redneck-hipster cool guy and close personal friend of Dr. Philo Drummond (close associate of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs)! I have ASCENDED! I have achieved my lifelong ambition: to become a CLASSIC NERDY COMPUTER GEEK!!! YES!!! I finally MADE IT!
I knew I was closing in on it the night before. While I was speeding to the nearest computer store to buy a new modem before they closed (I didn't make it), I realized that for days I had been sitting there at my desk, surrounded by empty coke cans, coffee cups, frozen burrito wrappers, pizza rinds and manuals... unshaven, bags under my eyes, wasted and spindly, with filthy 3-day old clothes on, my hair all tangled, ignoring the pleas of the DobbsDrones and my family alike... and here I was leaving the house voluntarily for the first time in days, trying to get THAT LAST PIECE OF THE EQUIPMENT PUZZLE, and I realized -- PRAISE "BOB" (or PRABOB in six-bit), I AM BECOME GEEK!! A TRUE COMPUTER NERD LIKE ALL MY NEW SHORDURPERSAVS!! I have, in one seemingly endless, painstaking, but FELL swoop, managed, with the help and advice of my new friends, and despite the barriers erected by babbling technojunkie show-offs, fax service technicians and computer store employees, to YANK MYSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS, OUT of the filthy Pinkish mire of America Online, leaving behind those NORMAL HUMAN DOLTS who are TOO LAZY to STOP PAYING $3/hr, too CRAVEN to think they could learn A FEW SIMPLE PROGRAMS, too IMPATIENT to continue striving against the crappy old modem for weeks before THROTTLING it, YES!!! For $16 a month, I have TOTAL PPP ACCESS TO MY HEART'S CONTENT ! I can now flit about in the airy realms ABOVE that mud-plane of AOL, like a veritable ANGEL OF LIGHT, UNENCUMBERED by the fear-sweat of "this better not take too fuckin' long!!!" and "oh, I'm just a poor Normal who can't CONFIGURE A GOD DAMN PROGRAM for himself," all the self loathing of being a commercial online service JERK, THAT'S ALL BEHIND ME NOW!!! I can gaze at all the pornography and SubGenius web sites I please! (Within my RAM's present capacity, anyway -- big artwork on the Web shuts that crowded brain right down. But it's nothing MONEY won't fix. It's not another frustrating TOTAL MYSTERY.) Now I can WASTE HOURS OF TIME looking at things like alt.fan.(insert geek hero here) and BASKING in HOW MUCH BETTER alt.slack is, how much more NOBLE even the DUMBEST SubGenius is than the most "intelligent" of those gibbering earth-fools, simply by virtue of our LOVE OF DOBBS and PURITY OF HATRED for EVERYTHING ELSE!! Ahh yes. Whew. What a deal. I'm gonna start with a CLEAN FRESH SLATE on Metronet from which to pounce and swoop like an eagle through cyberheaven. Yeah right. But...
My fax machine works! My answer machine works! My PPP access works! The programs are all easy to download and learn! I speak a new language! My Preacher's Lip healed up!
Then I learned that they really ARE going to fly me to New York to be on the Jon Stewart show on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and not only that, but the Washington Post "Styles" section wanted to interview me SOON to "scoop" the TV show! I was able to bask in this good Revelation X-selling news without having to actually DO the horrible, demeaning interviews yet. It was turning out to be a good day.
And STILL nothing terrible happened!
None of the zombies that work in the factory here screwed up too bad. Mavrides' tax case inched a few steps forward in the right direction. Cool anti-establishment musical shordurpersav MMojo Nixon called up to say howdy. Run&Gun premiered the demo of their DUELIN' FIREMEN CDRom-interactive game in Las Vegas and the game companies FLIPPED! So there's more "clout" in the right places for a PROPER SubGenius game to happen. The Pittsburgh show is shaping up to be a pretty weird devival. I found out I didn't even have to cook dinner. I took a walk with my dog Beast and emptied him out real good. My kids scored choice roles in their respective school plays. I FTPed for NewsWatcher and configured it, and the whole process was easy as making fun of Mormons. I spent an hour going through the ENTIRE Usenet newsgroup list, "subscribing" to every damn weirdly-titled newsgroup, all the ones that AOL won't let you see, like alt.aol.sucks and all the perverted fetish newsgroups, and the leftist-rightist radical ones, and the ones that are just funny names -- did Kibo do that? -- and alt.friends.sterno.
Suddenly it was after midnight, but I didn't want my GOOD DAY to END. So I cracked open alt.slack to try to catch up on things, marvelled at all the gossiping and hating... By this time I was cross-eyed from antisleep, but I made another pot of coffee, siphoned a little more life-force out of the Bobbie-soul vats (that's the one "perk" of my job), and didn't crash until 4:30. It was a Good Day.
When I woke up at 1 in the afternoon, I was sick as an over-fucked prairie squid from the coffee, souls and frappy. But it was worth it.
Now all I have to do is answer the REAL mail and "do" the "REAL" "jobs" for a change. There sure is a lot more mail than jobs, though. And I guess I better start watching this "Jon Stewart" show on the Fox network, so as to know what to expect, and which to hone of the 35 Talk-Show-Host-Besting techniques I learned at Dobbstown University. He seems to be a fast-talking smart-ass, so I probably should gear up to faster-talking smarter-assed Dobbs-fueled Mode. I'd RATHER do the cynical old fart shtick, because it's so much easier, but my kids insist that that would DEFINITELY be the wrong route to take if I want to sell books to that audience, or at least get them thinking about this "conspiracy" concept...
I've been so absorbed in my new nerd-dom that I'm 4 Hour of Slack Radio Shows behind. I feel like just turning on the mike and saying, "The show's on the Internet now! The music sounds a lot better, and it's interactive! We can't hang up on the callers!" And then just read from the alt.slack pre-Fist collection. For four hours. Used to be my greatest joy was barrage-editing tapes, but it takes so long! Yakking, hell, that goes by FAST. It only SEEMS slow to the LISTENERS, and who cares about them? If I had umpteen jillion killa-megs, on the other hand, I could barrage-edit on my computer, and it would be a joy again. Those Radio Shack decks just depress me. And you know something? SubGenius zombies aren't very good at raising money, and I'm too busy with my FORMULAS and PROGRAMS to be DISTRACTED by this LOW EARTHLY BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SILLINESS!! But, to quote the great Oat Willie, "ONWARD THROUGH THE FOG!!"
Rev Ivan "I AM GEEKDOM" Stang
Remember, that's email@example.com!
FUCK America Online. FUCK THEM RAGGED WITH A GREAT BIG FAT SPLINTERY TELEPHONE POLE!! With BIG, REAL REAL ROUGH SANDPAPERY BRIGHT RED STRAPS!!! FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK BLOBB ALMIGHTY I'M FREE AT LAST!!
I am now qualified to join all the cool techno-snobs in razzing future AOL addicts who need to be REFORMED. I'm gonna write up a... let's just say an instructional paragraph on HOW TO DO MORE, CHEAPER and ... well, I better not say here.
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Original file name: Stang's Good Day
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