please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Since You Bring It Up...

Operating as I do, in an under-trafficked (sp?) area of the internet, the only real potential for blowback comes in the form of those who Google themselves, which is something everybody does once or twice, at least.
Also, we spend a lot of time around the house making fun of those who write for the local newspaper, as well as those syndicated columnists that said paper chooses to run. One day soon for instance, I'd like to do a celebration of Charlie Krauthammer's highly contagious self love, wonderful man that he is.

Matter of fact, let's examine this: Oregonian writers/contributors I've ridiculed include S. Renee Mitchell, Catrina Bush, Dan Neils, Pulitzer Prize winner/terrible writer Tom Hallman, Jr., and I at least took a swipe at Margie Boule. Local cartoonist Jim Adams was a recent focus, due to his shitty comedic skills. The Mercury's staff in general tends to get a good going over from me, as did local legend and all-around wonderful person Craig Marquardo.
But the only one who ever wrote back was Lillian Mongeau.

I didn't even write about her. However, Aunty Christ did, in the comments on the post before this one. Imagine our delight when the next comment, instead of being from one of the perhaps seven people who read this blog, was signed 'lillian', and it read:

"very smooth assesments. thanks for the constructive feedback. though rich, aunty christ did not actually say that i google myself a lot, you just came up with that. one of the best things about googling my name these days is the stupendous troll comments i sometimes find. it's pretty incredible what people are willing to write in the name of getting others fired up. you two did a good job though, specifically spelling my name all the way out so that i would find it easily, and then switching to writing "mongo" in an attempt to piss me off schoolyard fashion. very clever actually. keep it up, maybe you'll get chelsea cain upset. best of luck!"

And yes, it really was all lower-case. It looked to be written by someone with a Blogspot account, but there was no profile available, and probably no blog. Just created to respond, perhaps?

Point by point, then? Ms. Mongeau:
The observation that you probably Google yourself a lot was made around the house, not on screen. However, there's no way you would have found this blog without having done so, and that makes the above sort of pointless and sad.

In this particular case, you'd be the troll, Lillian. I didn't come to your virtual house and poop my pants. I personally never thought you'd be seeing this, or if you did, you'd remember that you are published on a weekly basis in a newspaper that is distributed statewide. Your comments, whatever one may think of them, are a matter of public record, and people might very well have things to say about them, some of them disparaging.
But what the fuck do you care? You have a public forum, so you win. Don't be a crybaby.

I'm not sure one could say that we were trying to get you fired up, either. In fact, that would suggest a highly Lillian Mongeau-centered view of reality that very few people actually have. 'Spelling (your) name all the way out' is what we do here in Good Grammar Land, and isn't some insidious plot to drag you back here and see yourself savaged by some heartless, anonymous and under-read bloggers. On the other hand, were I a nicer person, I could have spelled it M******, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Yes, around the house you are known as 'Mongo', assuming that is the way that 'Mongeau' (ah- there I go spelling it all the way out again) is pronounced. The 'schoolyard fashion' comment caused us to wonder if that is indeed what they called you on the playground, resulting in childhood trauma that lives with you to this day.
Those Generation Y kids, they can be so cruel.

So hey, about the constructive feedback? I know sarcasm when I see it, missy, but since you bring it up, let's do some o' that.
The fault lies at least partly with The Oregonian itself for thinking someone may adequately speak for their generation. Perhaps you yourself see the idiocy in this, but on the other hand, enjoy having a byline, and a place you can write your thoughts in public.

This leads, unfortunately, to a scenario in which you are forced to write about things in a somewhat narrow context. A fairly straightforward and not exactly unique set of observations about marriage must then be presented as something native only to people of a certain age group, which it isn't.
I bring this one up a lot, but Gore Vidal describes his time writing for television as an attempt "to do well what should not be done at all". Gotta make a living. I myself, more often than not, find myself setting stages for performers that I consider to be awful.
And so one finds oneself writing pieces to please a somewhat strange standard, as part of some arbitrarily determined 'generation'. It's patronizing and demeaning, and occasionally must kinda bother you.

I've been writing all my life, and never entertained any serious notion that I'd do it for a living. The lady of the house actually has been paid for things she has written. Having said that, it isn't bitterness that would cause us to say the things we do about you.
It's that you have the high place to stand and shout things, where at least some people will hear you, and yer doin' a shitty job of it, in our opinion.

Hm. Guess I don't actually have any constructive criticism after all. If you want though, you could complain about my blog in your column and make me pseudo-famous.



Blogger rich bachelor said...

And, to continue with what I hope will be a spirited round of "Blazing Saddles" quotes pioneered by Disco Boy in the last comment thread...
Candygram for Mongo!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

heh. :) Fuck a buncha Mongo.
You and Aunty should come to NYC Saturday. First round on me!

3:25 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:49 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

Miss Mongo please retrive your entrails and say something anything... Your honor is at stake you know.

Monsieur Spells-his-name-all-the-way-out

6:51 PM  
Blogger Aunty Christ said...

Goddamn it, I can't help myself. "Blazing Saddles" is good and all, but I have a different Mongo movie crush. Here:

There's this one kid, we call him Mongo on account of he's a mongoloid. He got out of his cage once and..

He's in a cage?!

Well, it's more of an enclosure really.

They keep him confined? That's bullshit!

That's what I said, so I went out and got him a leash, you know ... one of those clothesline runners for the backyard. He's got plenty of room out there to dig.

Oh, that's bad. I will stage a newsworthy protest, for the retards' sake. Poor little guys. I make a frowny emoticon at the very thought.

Salty, that's very sweet. (Ha! Now we just need sour and bitter and umami. That's Japanese for "delicious," you know.) You know Aunty Christ likes a drink.

8:23 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Well, and I suppose that the lack of any quotable quotes from The Subject Herself here suggests that she's learned the lesson eventually learned by all public figures, namely that in lieu of writing personally to everyone who's ever dissed you and saying, "you're meeean!", you should adopt the equally stupid but more dignified tactic that I always call The Chairman of the Board: "We will not dignify such allegations by responding..."

9:02 AM  
Blogger Lillian said...

Wow, you guys are still writing about me? Honestly, I didn't really think there was going to be much more to say on this subject, so I haven't checked this blog for a while. Glad to see things are still tripping along though, fuels my over-inflated sense of self-importance nicely.

So, the name is actually pronounced "mon-joe", not Mongo. Though I'm taking a shine to your spelling of a very common mispronunciation. Maybe I'll make it a blogger name. I especially like the addition of the Something About Mary quote - haha.

I'm not sure that it's really worth trying to make any actually points here as this seems to be a bit of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't kind of situation for me. I mean so far, my grammar, the fact that I responded to your a comment about me, the fact that I didn't respond to a post about me quickly enough, the fact of having googled my own name (oh! the self-obsession!), the fact that I write for The Oregonian on occasion, etc, etc, have all been lampooned. I don't have any doubt that something in this post will come under the same treatment. Which, might be the answer to your last post, Rich. The Chairman of the Board approach at least puts an end to traveling in pointless circles.

In any case, I thought that a few good points were made in both your post about girls talking to much and your post about me. Namely, that the whole article about talk obsessed girls did seem only vaguely scientific, and it's absolutely true that no one can really represent their whole generation and the whole idea of a "mY generation" column is a little gimmicky. Then, it's my gimmick, and that lends it a little extra weight in my Lillian Mongeau-focused way of looking at the world. Similarly maybe, to how this blog seems important to you in your Rich Bachelor (if that is, by any crazy chance, actually your real name)-focused way of looking at the world. And, though I know I probably shouldn't express anything so make-funably sincere on this blog, I do think there is something to be said for someone from my generation having a place in the mainstream discussion.

Anyway, I would say that I promise to check back sooner next time to catch your response, if I didn't think that would make you think I wanted you to respond, thereby guaranteeing that you wouldn't. Of course, if I tell you I'm never going to check again because I just don't care, I'm probably lying a little bit, and you'll probably make equal fun of me for saying that. So I will say nothing (else) and you all will do what you do.


4:09 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

Wow, brevity *really is* the soul of wit.

Still, yr pretty game, Mon-jo. Even that "you might think, I might think that you would think etc." bit in the last paragraph there showed your fighting spirit (I think.)

Still, it's looking like that baby boom of which your generation is apparently the echo (I had to look this up on Wikipedia) has destroyed society and half the biosphere. And seeing as we x and y'ers are going to have to get geared up to rebuild, let us bring our pissing contest to an end as there is some truly scary shit to deal with now.

Rich has a sharp tongue but it isn't just empty bashing. Read it again and write a better column next time.

4:36 PM  
Blogger LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

We all need some mongo trash now and again. Let me know if you'd like to meet up next Monday or Wednesday when I am in Portland.

12:11 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Too many things to respond to. Perhaps Ms. Christ will write something.

Just this, though: the Chairman of the Board, when properly applied, involves you walking away and sparing your dignity, or however you choose to phrase it to yourself.

Standing there talking about how little you care for forty-five minutes is the antithesis of this particular maneuver. This is -and I understand, because I was in my twenties a mere ten years ago, and did this too- a function of being in your twenties.

There was some relatively well-meant advice in there, and I'm not sure you got it. So it goes.

Senor Ladron, I look forward to your visit.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Aunty Christ said...

This article is kind of a nice example of why lillian's claim to take any amount of pride in her "mY generation" gimmick rings untrue to me. I mean, really. I get what she's saying about it being nice for 20-somethings to have a voice in the local paper; I even actually don't find it that difficult to imagine how someone (that someone would have to be a decent writer) would be able to sum up, speak for, and represent the people of their age group. It has been done before, and even done with some success.

But those were good writers. Now let's take a look at lillian's essay. She starts off by trying to define generation Y, noting how it might be different from previous generations. Yes, yes: They watched "Sesame Street" as children, were raised by Vietnam vets and moms in business suits, and entered the work force during a series of economic bubbles. This all sounds very familiar ... perhaps because, as a gen Xer, I too grew up watching Big Bird, had friends in my class whose fathers were Vietnam War veterans, and got my first post-college job as the internet bubble was stupidly expanding. So ... what makes gen Y different? Lessee--change, I guess. That's way down in the 3rd graf. Gen Yers expect constant change, apparently. And, in lillian's mind, the most interesting thing that can be extracted from this not-very-well-argued conclusion, is that this expectation of change leads to people in her generation being able to take a lesson learned in one situation and apply it to another situation.

Wow! You mean ...?

Yes, just like every rational person has been able to do since human beings have walked this planet.

But really, what I really want to say is this: You know it's a gimmick, writing about "mY generation," but it's your gimmick and all that. Fine. But fucking own it. That's all. I guess George said it already, actually: Write a better article next time. Don't be lazy. If not, at least I'll have something to make fun of on the occasional Sunday.

10:07 AM  

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