- “My translator tells me that your grandparents referred to human meat as ‘Long Pig?’ What. He did.” (Papua New Guinea)
- “What effect would you say the depleted uranium has had on the terroir?” (Baghdad, Iraq)
- “Really a briney, kind of uriney– yes Mike, it’s a word.” (Mykonos, Greece)
- “No. Fuck no. This is stank.” (Hong Kong)
- “Soju? I love Soju.” (Seoul, Korea)
- “Is this normally eaten on the top of the train? When you can eat? Oh, okay.” (Delhi, India)
- “Oh, good. More testicles.” (Seville, Spain)
- “Look it up then, I’m not a Goddamned thesaurus. Which you maniacs would fly me, business-class, to watch some tribesman stalk and eat, no doubt.” (Mykonos, Greece)
- “Not married, exactly. Well yes, but we have an understanding.” (New Orleans, USA)
- “Really, moist, sort of barn-yardy– did I say moist? Shit. Cut it. Cut it out.” (Dakar, Senegal)
- “This is a lovely basement. Did your family interrogate any partisans here?” (Split, Croatia)
- “Do not– look at me. Don’t say it. Do not say B-roll to me.” (Singapore)
- “Fuck him, I run my own show, and I’m not eating it. Bourdain would be wasted by now.” (Hong Kong)
It occurred to me some years ago that I didn’t know what neither Saddam Hussein nor Kim Kardashian’s voice sounded like.
This led me to conclude that if you don’t know what someone sounds like when they speak for themselves, then all you know is what someone else is telling you about them.
It was especially interesting because in one case their mouthpiece wanted me to love them, whereas in the other, the objective was to help me find a plausible pretext to have them killed.
One of them has millions of Twitter followers and makes their living solely on camouflaged endorsements. The other one is dead.
This is the world we are making, and it has its moments, but I can’t escape the feeling that we could somehow be much more productive with these tools.
I wrote a blogging application sometime around 2004 or 2005. Prior to launching it on our Social Media site, my boss at the time asked me, what should we call this? A lot of people are calling these ‘Weblogs’ or ‘Blogs.’
Now, this term was perfectly well-known at the time, if not in fully common usage. There were popular blogs that were clearly ‘weblogs’. I was a dedicated reader of Suck.com. The term, however, was still somewhat ill-defined– if enthusiastically received by early-adopting-marketing types who were all too eager to be on the ground floor of finally making ‘fetch’ happen.
“That’s ridiculous. I call these Journals. Get it? Because they are like a Journal.”
“I don’t think so. Journals sounds dull. Blogs is gaining steam. I think you might be wrong about this.”
“It sounds like desperate internet marketing. Journals is what they are. Not diaries, not Blogs. Journals.”
(To his credit, we went with Blogs.)
So: another example of my being on the wrong side of history, yet again.
I still don’t know what to call what I’m doing.