July 31, 2009

Meet The New Guy

We here at Awkward Haiku wanted to welcome our new contributor, Ben, by asking him to write up a list of ten things about himself. “Jesus,” he responded, “like one of those fucking annoying Facebook memes? No thank you.” “Oh, come on,” we said. “Everyone loves Facebook memes! They’re so post-ironic!” Then Ben said some very rude things, and we had to take away his pot, his rolling papers and his collection of Nick Mamatas stories until he agreed to write the list. An hour later, after realizing that (a) Family Guy wasn’t nearly as funny as he’d thought it was, and (b) no one can write Lovecraftian Marxist silliness as well as Nick Mamatas does, he relented and produced the following list:

(1) Politically, I’m a centrist. Provided, that is, that the opposite poles relative to which I’m in the center can be trotskyism and anarcho-syndicalism.

(2) I write short stories with names like The True Meaning Of K-Day and Three Perspectives On The Role Of The Anarchists In The Zombie Apocalypse. Oddly enough, I haven’t been making enough money at that to quit my day job just yet.

(3) A couple of weeks ago, Will Ludwigsen accused me of having a “pizza fetish.” This is unfair. I just really like pizza.

(4) Related to (2), my collaborators mentioned Nick Mamatas above. A list of my top five favorite working short story writers would probably also include Doug Lain, Gord Sellar, Lavie Tidhar and Ted Chiang. If you’ve never heard of any of those guys, that might go a long way toward explaining why I don’t expect to be able to quit my day job any time soon.

(5) OK, you ask, but what is this un-quittable job? Well, I’m a PhD candidate and instructor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Miami, in sunny and decadent South Florida, which means that “work” mostly involves standing in front of a classroom for an hour and fifteen minutes twice a week, sucking on a cup of coffee and correcting 19-year-olds’ logic mistakes. There are probably worse day jobs.

(6) Related to (1), my conception of socialism is that everyone in the world could have the approximate lifestyle of the guys on “Entourage.” Is that so ridiculous?

(7) The item designated as (7) in this list is a lie.

(8) My dissertation is about the semantic status of sentences like (7). It’s like being paid to masturbate.

(9) But not really.

(10) You all need to watch this. Over and over again, until you’ve absorbed all that it has to teach you.

Ben will post every friday until he gets swallowed by the gibbering creatures of non-euclidean geometry

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