rabbit blog


Wednesday, May 29, 2002


A BOOB-FLASH IN THE PAN IS WORTH TWO IN THE BUSH

Rabbit,

Letís put aside the blah blah blah and actually find out how your site is stacking up against, oh, the rest of the world out there. Iíd say youíre doing pretty well, at least compared to certain Hitleriffic things out there. However, itís pretty clear to all that Rabbit Blog doesnít stand much of a chance against Willow. Even against other rabbits, itís not clear how successful you are.

What are you doing to keep up with the rest of the world? The cynic would suggest that if you go by the standards of www.whatsbetter.com, the answer is pretty clear: tlp.com needs more t and a. But lo, this is not true. As of this note, Einstein is the number one item online. Given this state of affairs, I think itís probably easier to come up with a little boob-flash than it is another theory of relativity.

So how Ďbout it?

Paul



Hey Paul!

Hey Paul, hey Paul, let's have a ball!

Boob-flash is the easy way out, Paul. You know I like to do things the hard way. You know I don't take shortcuts. You know I like to win whatsbetter.com the old-fashioned way - by eaaaarrrrrning it.

Boob-flash is for pussies. And the pink bra, and the Catholic school girl skirt? Come now. Ari Fleischer could look sexy in that outfit. Please! That's as cheap as throwing a dinner party and only serving things that are covered in melted cheese. Sure, your guests will love every bite, but afterwards, they'll feel sick, and the sight of you will make them retch.

Now, naturally, the pancakes on the head are a whole different story. I definitely have got to get some publicity shots with the pancakes on the head. That shit is hot.

Rabbit

10:32 AM

Friday, May 24, 2002


FREAKY FRIED DAY

Friday! A time to read old mail, and to post it, even though it's old! Why? Because it amuses. Because one has pressing deadlines that should take precedence over reading old mail, so one feels rebellious and dirty reading old mail instead of conquering deadlines. Because one was raised Catholic, and one likes doing exactly the opposite of what one is told to do by one's other, more punishing personality. Because it's Friday, and one doesn't like to be too productive on Friday, even though one will need to be productive on Saturday and Sunday to make up for one's lack of productivity on Friday. Because there's dulce de leche ice cream in the freezer and, if one doesn't do something else, one will eat it, standing up, with a spoon, until it's almost gone.

Because, because, because, because, because!
Because of the wonderful things she does!




NEWSFLASH! ADMINISTRATION'S NEW CROSSBREEDING LEGISLATION TO KEEP NERDS KNEE-DEEP IN POONTANG!

Rabbit.

Read your Salon article. I think you hit on the expectations problem but missed the dangers of the incredible efficiency of the selection process, the fact that maybe what's left in the strainer ends up looking a little too much like you. My one experience in this area, meeting someone through a certain music list before even WWW had become popular, was indicative of this. We got along well in person, but more as friends. Of course this might simply indicate that I have a problem experiencing "the greatest love of all". Perhaps to combat the dangers inherent in this sort of selection processes we need to form a foundation to protect social mixing in order that new archetypes can emerge. Forced, Clockwork Orange like viewing of John Hughes' movies like Breakfast Club might be required. The nerd can get the beautiful preppy, the kids can both enjoy the latest game cube and Prada merchandise. We don't want to further deepen those DSM-IV problems you like to trot out with social inbreeding.

On the other hand this could all be just an evil plot on my part to try and get the beautiful preppy.

B.




Dear B.

Evil plots are hot and sour soup for the soul. Keep up the good work.

Rabbit

3:50 PM


HOT DAMN!

Fuck the ongoing Steve controversy! This guy Isaac sent me a link to his site, and I didn't ignore it for some crazy reason, maybe because I have a bunch of deadlines and my procrastination has reached a manic, feverish pitch, but hot shit! This guy links to everything funny that exists in the universe, and he does it by highlighting rather than by significantly reducing the funny (which is the more popular approach)! Instead of leaden intros that induce lightheadedness, queasiness, and self-loathing, this guy points to jokes with his own jokes - and get this - they're funny! What the fuck, people? Has the world gone mad?

Feeling queasy from my leaden intro? Well then, go check out Isaac's insanely good site, Laughing Boy, already. He doesn't even get that many hits, and he has one of those crappy-ass blogspot ads! It's so touching! So poignant! A neophyte blogger, testing out his wobbly legs! Is love!

Three of my favorite ones so far are "Newsflash: Your Hormones Are Still Working," "Things My Arguments and I Have Girlfriended About," and "Whatever You Do, It Will Teach You A Lesson." But it's all funny stuff.

12:49 PM

Thursday, May 23, 2002


ALL THE STEVES ARE BROWN, AND THE SKY IS GRAY

Dear Polly,

Many years ago, Mr Patrick Cook wrote "Favourite Names for Boys and Girls" and then followed it up with "More Favourite Names for Boys and Girls". Ever since then these volumes have been among the most frequently referenced volumes upon my shelves.

Mr Cook writes: Steven - Or Stephen if you must, means 'deeply worried' in Ancient Greek and 'cracking up' in High Cockney (Stephen Dedalus - losing his marbles). Stevens are possessed from childhood with a desire to be Steves, which they can't. In place of piercing blue eyes and fists of granite, they take on an absent minded appearance and may be seen eating chutney sandwiches in the park at lunchtime, up to their ankles in snow and covered in pigeon poop. The feast of Stephen refers to a Bohemian thresher who cracked and ate an entire worzel crop, including a slow ostler, and several chained dogs, to prove his love for a black-eyed gal, who remained sadly unconvinced. Stefans are a huge variation who work in the basements of waterfront hotels and emerge to crack the heads of the quarrelsome. St Stephen is the saint representing muttered apologies.

I hope this helps.

But I find I can't stop. Is there a personality disorder distinguished by incontinent quoting?

Polly: Polly is a trivialisation of some other name, except among parrots, and the habit has stuck. Pollys cannot tell the wood from the shrubs. They often combine a passionate thirst for progressive awareness with a hunger for boutiques and provocative spectacle frames. If you are seated next to someone at dinner who effortlessly links meat-eating, Chile, reflexology, and Sagittarian behavioural patterns with the news that male domination of women's clothing has for centuries deprived women of socks, you have been ambushed by a Polly. A good time to practise sleeping with your eyes open, or to pretend that you are a nun.

Hmmmmm.

Love,

C.



Dear C.

My, that's good stuff. I'd like to write a book like that one - or at least own that book.

But who is this Polly you speak of?

Could you look up the name "Rabbit" for me?

Sincere thanks,

Rabbit



Rabbit:

I must disagree with the whinings of "A Steve."

I first noticed the Incredible Blightness of Steve-ing whilst observing a Steve not of my kin. Then, horrified, a terrible truth slowy and Steve-ily dawned upon me: It's the Steve that does it. There is no Steve that dreams are made of. Once a Steve, always a Steve. To Steve, or not to Steve: there is no question.

My brother Steve woefully fulfilled all Steve-ish prophecies concocted in my Steverish cranium. If the name is Steve; leave. Neither a Steve-r nor a lender be. Believe not Steve. Relieve a Steve.

Every encounter Stevelike; every boss, brother, friend's ex-boyfriend, rock star, politician, protagonist... every one cursed Steveishly, contagious and destructive as a stifled Steve: run, run, run, run, runaway.

Fearful



Dear Fearful,

Yes, now, while the antler of the Steves liquefies, drop by drop, I brood. Careless of censure, nor too fond of Steve. Be all my Steves forgotten. O what rogue and peasant Steve are you! With devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the Steve himself!

Alas, I must take Steve of you, my friend, for the Steverish pitch of your writings makes my eyes dart to and fro in a most unsavory fashion. Who knows what other sorts of ill tricks we might have up our Steves?

Get Steve to a nunnery,

Rabbit

7:36 AM

Wednesday, May 22, 2002


STEVES OF GRASS

Dear Rabbit,

I feel like I'm being baited into doing this, and I don't doubt that I'll regret this, but I have to respond to all this Steve bashing. I think its great when you bash your own friend Steve. That's hilarious because he's your friend and you show his creepy, burping, depressed, choosy self in an unflinching manner. But you and your readers, and that stupid Tao of Steve movie, seem to be wanting to create a Universal Steve. This is UNFAIR to all the rest of us Steve's in the world. There is no universal Steve. I've met hundreds of Steves in my life, and the only common thing between us is our first name. I work with three other Steves in my office and nobody would ever confuse any one of us for any of the others.

I wonder if this broad-stroke brushing is caused by some trauma in your youth. Maybe too many people in your school saw the movie Heathers and made assumptions about you. Maybe there was a Christian Slater like guy in your high school named Steve whose Jack Nicholson speech patterns drove you mad, but he couldn't see you inner Veronica. Whatever happened, please stop the insanity! Vow not to use words like "Steveness" or "Stevitude" though you should feel free to use Stevedore in the right context.

Sincerely,

A Steve



Dear Steve,

So defensive! Man, you Steves are all the same!

I'm not buying your claim of "originality" for a second. And I don't appreciate you getting all high and mighty about it, either. You're just a Steve and you'll never be anything more than a Steve, and don't you forget it! The only reason nobody would confuse the four Steves in your office is because you've all adopted drastically different styles and mannerisms to distinguish yourselves from each other, much like siblings or Elvis impersonators.

I'd pity you Steves if you didn't make me so fucking sick.

Rabbit

5:20 PM


CONFUSION BECOMES YOU

Are you a pair of devil-may-care free-wheelin' lovers, or are you unemployed, codependent procrastinators? Is that great sex, or intense perversity that demeans the both of you? Are you independent, strong-willed, and brimming with intense insights into the human condition, or are you actually lonely, dysfunctional, and neurotic?

Are you unconventional or just unsavory? Are you spontaneous, whimsical, and free, or are you really just vague, obtuse, and flaky? Are you mercurial or wishy-washy? Are you a nonconformist or do you simply smell bad?

Are you openly sharing your feelings with others, the way your therapist taught you to, or are you traumatizing friends, family, and lovers with up-to-the-minute reports of the most minuscule climate shift in your fragile emotional terrarium?

Are you vibrant, original, garrulous, and sexy, or are you just a creepy weirdo?

Are you the hearty offspring of hard-working farmers, or does yo' mama grow milkweed?

Do you eat an excessive amount of cheese?

Shouldn't you use a Q-tip more often?

Who says so?

Are you sure about that?

Is that a nose hair?

Who told you you were funny?

Your mother?

Is that her now?

Can you hand me the phone for a second?

ahem. yes, hello? do you have any idea what kind of a monster you've created here?

um... pants and a shirt. why?

oh my... oh my lord!


(click!)

5:06 PM

Monday, May 20, 2002


FUMBLING TOWARDS MEDIOCRITY

Hi Rabbit.

I read your wedding porn deal and liked it but think you fumbled a lot of potential away w/ too much stuff about the show itself. Shrug. You got nice edge to your words but its like they project only half of what they could. Maybe art in progress. I have read some of your blog about maladies (Is that a word?) of psychological nature (more on the nature part later) and been stimulated to think abut my own sad (I prefer the word plumpittiful) state. My State doesn't exist anywhere close to LA, though I think our maps got overlaid by someone now unemployed from Files over a light table with agendas all their own, But I wanted to write you about rabbits and hotdogs. Turns out rabbits hip an hop around into late night hours but hot dogs cooking in cheap aluminum pot smell great anytime.

Your hot dog envious vegetarian,

P.

PS no didn't forget the reverse 'goto' command about 'nature". but want to keep it in pocket as future weapon.




Dear P.,

My words do, indeed, project only half of what they could. Your words, on the other hand, paint a crystal clear picture.

I don't have time to unpack any of your unfathomable digressions, but rest assured that your State exists all over L.A. Sometimes it's muted by barbiturates or crouching behind a self-consciously trendy exterior, but it's there. Believe me, it's there.

Hippin' an hoppin',

Rabbit



PERSONALITY DISORDER OF THE WEEK

In completely unrelated news, it's about time for our Personality Disorder of the Week, wouldn't you say?


Schizotypal Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) ideas of reference (i.e., incorrect interpretations of casual incidents and external events as having a particular and unusual meaning specifically for the person)

(2) odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy, or "sixth sense"; in children and adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)

(3) unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions

(4) odd thinking and speech (e.g.vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped)

(5) suspiciousness or paranoid ideation

(6) inappropriate or constricted affect

(7) behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar

(8) lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives

(9) excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self


[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), 1998 by the American Psychiatric Association]



Summary

Ah, good old Schizotypal Personality Disorder! It soothes on a rainy, dreary Monday, doesn't it? Sure, I'm slaving away at my crappy-ass job with no end in site, but at least I'm not some kind of a fucking weirdo!

The great thing about Fucking Weirdos is that, as our DSM-IV so gracefully asserts, their anxieties aren't associated with any negative judgments they might have about themselves. That's the real, intoxicating beauty of Fucking Weirdos, isn't it? They seem to share a total blindness to the fact that they're freakishly out of sync and downright annoying to interact with. They wander up, bray loudly about roving pirates and the carpeting in the hallway and its relationship to the nationwide scarcity of sweet pickles, and then they look at you with disdain when you don't have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion. Strangely enough, there's a fine line between Fucking Weirdos and Intensely Boring, Highly Conventional Humans, since they share a total disconnection from negative social feedback.

When you think of all the likable, talented people out there who are downright paralyzed by negative judgments about themselves and fears that others will judge them badly, it's sad that it's the Fucking Weirdos who are immune to such judgments and fears. Why can't more of the Fucking Weirdos turn their negative judgments inward, while more nice but insecure people come up with convenient external explanations for negative events (see also: paranoia, magical thinking), instead of constantly blaming themselves?

Yes, it's true, boys and girls. If we could switch around diagnostic criteria like noses and feet on Mr. Potato Heads, the world would certainly be a better place for profoundly self-serving, idle, impatient, deeply dysfunctional ass monkeys like ourselves. But what better way to while away the hours on a gray Monday, than by lazily contemplating theoretical yet impossible ways to improve the world for me and me alone?



ODE TO A WORKING STIFFY

Monday, Monday, sloggy slog!
Head is empty, full of fog.
Tired and weary, mired in bog,
Draggy dragging, like a dog!

Woke up late (no time to jog),
Urgent, blameless morning hog.
Spanky! Shameless! Soggy sog!
Dreaming Britney booby snog!

Monday, Monday, sloggy slog.
Is it true, I'm just a cog?
Inert, aimless, bump on log!
Better read the Rabbit Blog.

1:07 PM

Thursday, May 16, 2002


STEVE-ING ON A JET PLANE

Dear Rabbit,

Old Patroon shares your dislike of Steve, all Steves, and makes it a personal rule never ever to befriend Steve unless and this is important, the Steve has a net worth equal to or above a half a billion US dollars. Not a quarter billion or even four hundred millions, but a half billion. And I don't buy a Forbes estimate as proof: I prefer a recent balance sheet signed by the Steve's banker.

Now, if his assets equal half a billion but his debts are, say, two hundred million which leaves only three hundred millions of US dollars in net worth, I can make allowances, but only on a case-by-case basis.

What can usually tip the scales, (if there are any Steves out there who think they might qualify to hang with Old Patroon) is the plane. Old Patroon has a sentimental sweet spot in his shriveled gizzard for private jet aviation and will make exceptions for those who own a G-V class aeroplane or above (no fractional ownership, please. You don't know who or what's been sitting in the seats with fractional. People love to fly their pets around and Old Patroon is allergic to dog and cat dander. And for God's sake no turbo-props or King Airs... they make Old Patroon's gout flare up).

Any qualifying Steves can present their notarized financial statements to Old Patroon's Steve Application Email. Now, rabbit, what is your bottom? Do you make allowances based upon external factors?

Yours,

OP




Dear OP,

By bottom, do you mean bottom line? Old Patroon is obviously a little bit more sophisticated than Rabbit is with the lingo.

But Rabbit is also hesitant to befriend unnecessary numbers of Steves and Daves and Jeffs, but is willing to make allowances based on several different factors. The Steve, Dave, or Jeff must have one or more of the following:

a) a habit of keeping fresh, slightly chilled candy bars in his pockets at all times

b) a convertible, and it's sunny out (if it's cloudy, no thanks)

c) a graduate degree in psychology and the ability to lightheartedly observe and discuss evidence of personality and mood disorders in nearby acquaintances, friends, and second cousins (of which the rabbit, being a rabbit, has quite a few! Pahaha!)

d) a tendency to say things like, "My god, Rabbit, you're a fucking genius!" or "Stop, Rabbit! You're killing me! At least let me finish my soup first!" or "Wow. With charm and looks like yours, Rabbit, you should be in front of the camera." or "You're working too hard, Rabbit. You know what you need? A day at the spa. Here, take $300 out of my wallet and treat yourself. You know what? Buy yourself some nice stuff at Agnes B when you get out. Take $600. No, $1200. No, don't protest. I'm supporting the arts. I am. I've always been a big supporter of the arts. Take $2000. No, don't protest. Nope. I'm dropping the money on the ground, if you don't pick it up, someone else will."

While Rabbit prefers to date male rabbits who have no discernible source of income, Rabbit feels that the Steves, Daves, and Jeffs in her life should either have some money, some useful expertise, a fun ride, or some chocolate. Otherwise, there are all these unnecessary Steves and Daves strewn about the house, and one has to constantly sweep them up or shove them in the closet or haul them out to the recycling bins... It gets to be a drag. So, having a strong policy in this regard is important, kids. It's called "creating healthy boundaries." Try it some time.

Stay golden, Old Patroon.

Reeling in the Steves,

Rabbit

11:05 AM

Wednesday, May 15, 2002


WHAT'S BETTER, NARCISSISM OR FRIED CHEESE?

I usually try not to, you know, link to stuff, but Jay Anderson, creator of the Polly-in-rabbit-costume logo, below, led me to this exceptional site which asks the compelling question "What's better, Stalin or the letter B?"

And I have to agree that Kirsten Dunst is better than anything. Holy yabos, Spiderman!

11:38 AM


IF YOU STEVE ME NOW, YOU'LL TAKE AWAY THE BIGGEST PART OF ME

Dear Hare,

Yeah, I remember Steve. Steve McQueen. The Tao of Steve. Polly's dating service for Steve. How cool it is to be Steve. All the women want Steve. The whole fucking world revolves around Steve. Steve is the bane of my existence. The guy who stole my first girlfriend from me was named Steve. He was, until then, my best friend, Steve. Five minutes ago I was ridiculed by someone named Steve (actually Stephen, but close enough). The last phone call I got was from Steve. Steve is everywhere!

The thing is, I can be the Steve. I can be the creepy, burping, depressed, choosy Steve from Filler. Hell, aside from the fact that I'm not a doctor, I AM that Steve!

I can be Steve McQueen. Yes, I can be an introverted, cigarette smoking alcoholic who generally doesn't say much. Except for the good looks and starring role in movies, I AM that Steve! (At least I was until I quit smoking a couple of years ago, but I've been thinking about starting up again.)

I AM THE STEVE!

So, tell me, oh great Rabbit o' Wisdom, just how does it turn out? How does Steve get the girl? This Steve really wants to know.

The Steve



Dear The Steve,

I always told Steve that he couldn't get a girl if it walked up and bit him on the nipple. Then, apparently, there was an outbreak of roving, nipple-biting women in the Seattle area. Maybe you should go up to Seattle and hang around outside of sushi bars and Yoga studios, where the cute chicks come and go, talking of Michelangelo.

The great thing about Steveness is, being a creepy, burping, depressed, choosy, introverted, cigarette-smoking alcoholic is not only easy - it's fun! For about a week. Then it just sucks.

Maybe you should think about changing your name to Dave. Daves are in much better shape than Steves, generally. And they're a lot nicer, too - on the surface!

Sneaky Dave!

Steveishly,

Rabbit

9:45 AM


CREEPLESS IN SEATTLE

Remember my friend Steve?

Just wondering.

Stay tuned for the Personality Disorder of the Week.

4:38 AM

Tuesday, May 14, 2002


PEOPLE WILL SEE ME AND CRY!

Rabbit -

Did you know that on a story today on CNN about blogs they, for a millisecond, showed your page?

Stacy



Stacy,

I did not know that. Did anyone else see this? How very exciting. At this rate - i.e., the rate of one millisecond every 8 months - I should get my fifteen minutes of fame in, oh, let's see...

8000 months = 1 sec

480,000 months = 1 minute

7.2 million months = 15 minutes

7.2 million months/12 months per year = 600,000 years

...approximately 600,000 years!

That's right! In the year 602,002, I'll be just as famous as Baby Jessica, or at least as famous as that old lady who yelled "Where's the Beef?"

Some days, I just don't know where to find inspiration. But on days like today, when I know that in 602,002, a brief blurb about me might appear on page C13 of The Durham Morning Herald? That's when I remember what it's all about.

I'm a star, I'm a star, I'm a big, bright shining star!

Rabbit

7:12 AM

Friday, May 10, 2002


POLYMORPHOUS

Silly Rabbit,

In case you should happen to hold a Rabbit Blog logo contest some day, here is my entry.

A long time ago I called up a radio station and the conversation went something like this:

DJ: Hello?

ME: Umm.. [for like one tenth of one second]

DJ (disgusted): Get a life [click.]

I had a little flashback of this yesterday and since then I've appreciated your refraining from doing something similar. Non-responses are like birthday presents in comparison.

Another great suggestion you'll surely ignore: how 'bout a recommended books list? Alan Watts was a good (implicit) suggestion. Don't stop there! Or a links list (I would've died having never read The Hermenaut had you not linked to it).

I'd really like to move to LA for the summer but I have no money. Can I sleep on your couch? Pleeeeeeeeease? I could help out around the house, make trips to the grocery store, post to your blog when you don't feel like it and much much more.

Bah,

Jay



Dear Bah-Jay,

Your logo made me laugh. There it is, on the left. See it, kids? I like it. A lot. And I do sometimes feel like Polly in a rabbit suit. What city is that? It looks like New York. I think Polly in a rabbit suit would be better off in New York. Wait, is that that blasted Montgomery building? Is that San Francisco? I'm never moving back there, boy. Now you're definitely not sleeping on my couch.

Luckily, I'm not Polly in a rabbit suit. I'm a fucking real live rabbit, OK? Why is that so hard for you little monkeys to wrap your little monkey brains around?

Anyway, let's talk about Filler, shall we? I think this is one of my favorite Fillers of all time. I think Terry started to hate Polly, but he liked the Hack and the Fish a lot, and it shows. How 'bout we all read it, right now, OK?

Yeah, that one rocks. But then I read a few others from the same year, and I like those, too. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'm a genius.

Now you really can't sleep on my couch.

[click.]

Rabbit


10:47 AM


THE GREAT DREAM-BIO BAKE-OFF!

Who has the most impressive bio in the land, the most multifaceted and staggeringly consequential bio of all, the one bio that's custom-made to send neurotic underachievers into downward spirals of horror and self-doubt?

The challenge goes out to all ye bloggers and blog readers in the land: Point me to the bio most injurious to a bad-headed dreamer's self-worth, and you win the prize: Your lamentably unimpressive bio listed here, on the hallowed pages of the rabbit blog!

That's right! Your name and all your pointless pursuits and mediocre accolades could one day be outlined right here, for all the world to mock openly!


Rules of the Game

Each "dream bio" discovered by the entrant will be judged based on the breadth and scope of the profiled individual's achievements. Special attention will be paid to the following:

More than one Ivy League degree!

One or more special grants with the word "genius" in the title!

A seemingly continual speaking tour and/or media/radio interview schedule!

A particularly fabulous, beautifully-lit head shot, preferrably black and white, featuring a studied "casual" look!

Any tossed-off references to the fact that the individual in question also "plays jazz guitar" or "speaks five languages" or "was a member of the NYC Ballet for several years" or "was close personal friends with Miles Davis" or "has Thanksgiving dinner with Joan Didion" or "bakes a mean soufflé"!

Special points will be given to those with dizzying credentials whose names one can barely recognize.


The First Dream-Bio Entry

While his name is well-known, Douglas Rushkoff's bio not only features a nicely lit author photo, but it also refers to countless books and articles, an acclaimed documentary, a Princeton degree, a packed interview schedule, and several possible sources of "consulting" income beyond the usual grubby writerly fare - and that's not to mention his involvement with the United Nations and his experience as a "certified stage fight choreographer."

Plus, he's a commentator for All Things Considered and he has a blog! I thought the last two items alone were enough to justify my existence, but no longer! Douglas has ruined my whole fucking underachieving day! Thanks a lot, buddy! Just know that while you're washing down a Valium with a shot of Maker's Mark* on that plane to Atlanta for your next appearance on Larry King, I'll be right here on my squishy couch in my dirty socks, eating cookie dough ice cream straight out of the pint! That's right! Who's your daddy, Dougie? Who's your daddy?



* = This is just how I picture you, because I'm a sad little whore. I know that you're really sipping on carrot juice and spritzing your face with Evian while breezing through Release 1.0 - you know, just to relax - even though Larry's sure to pat you on the back and call you a genius regardless of what string of complicated analyses drift from that thoughtful, thoughtful, thoughtful mien of yours. Is your mantra "They're just jealous!" Doug? Because it should be.

10:06 AM

Thursday, May 09, 2002


HE'S FUNNY THAT WAY

Subject: It's funny

If someone came up to me and said, "I've got this problem...I'm dating a supposed manic-depressive, bipolar, overly emotional girl who has cheated on me multiple times and constantly hurts me. What should I do?" I would obviously say, "That's easy...dump her." That's funny right? Since I'm in that exact situation and yet my thoughts are not on how to get rid of her, but on how to help her with her problems so I can marry her. I love her more than I ever thought it possible to love someone, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I have had countless family, friends, and casual acquaintances tell me that I do not deserve all that I have had to endure. I hear, "Just end it" over and over again. Oddly enough, I completely ignore all 'advice' given. I have been hurt more by this relationship than by anything else in my life, but I continue to try and make it work. Am I just crazy for wanting this to still work?

Sincerely,

Masochist


Dear Masochist,

No, you're not crazy! Suffering is the American way, why else would a constant flood of humanity have washed up on the rocky shores of this bug-infested land, chicken pox blankies at the ready as gifts for any native speakers? ("Helpful Hint! Keep a chicken pox blanket gift-wrapped and ribboned in a basket by the door for any unexpected Indian guests!")

Pain is one of the most poignant, salient, romantic, invigorating emotions you can feel. What's so funny about that? You're proud of your pain, too - and why wouldn't you be? Look at the countless family, friends, and casual acquaintances who've told you, over and over, that you deserve so much more. It must feel great, to be constantly reminded of how much better than her you are, and yet you sally forth against the storm. Why? Because you've never felt quite so alive as you do when entering the fiery furnace of her anger and neglect and betrayal!

But what's in it for her? Surely it's boring, to be stuck with someone who's such a doormat. She suspects that you don't really love her, or that you love her for the pain she inflicts rather than for the happiness she brings you. She suspects you aren't telling her the truth, that your family, friends, and casual acquaintances are the only ones who get the whole truth from you. She suspects that your family, friends, and even acquaintances are against her - and she's right, of course. She feels like your scapegoat - she's the enemy so you don't have to hate yourself, or feel sick over how little you feel for people who actually care about you. She suspects that you confuse love with hate, and that you hate her, just like her parents did, secretly. This sensation is familiar, so she doesn't leave. So how does she handle all that boredom, mixed with resentment of you and your posse? How does she get a little power for herself, when everyone's against her? She cheats on you.

Don't cry for her, Argentina. You have yourself to cry for. Why does scorn feel more romantic and exciting to you than love? Why are you so numb? As long as you continue to support and love her, and then tell everyone you know how awful she is to you, aren't you doing her an injustice? Where's the honesty in that relationship, that your friends know more about how you feel about her than she does? Are you pitting yourself against her to get closer to your family, because you've been their scapegoat in the past, and now you can have them on your side?

I'm shooting in the dark, here, obviously. I just want you to think about how there are two people involved in your relationship, and you both have your fingers on each other's triggers. Maybe that's sort of erotic for now, but if you don't stop it, you're both gonna hit the floor.

I'm not going to say "Get the hell out of there!" even though I'm pretty sure you'll look back, once you get out of it, and say, "That wasn't love, and I'm SO much happier now." What you really need right now is to sit down with a therapist and tell him/her the truth about you. Not the truth about what SHE does to YOU, but the truth about you. What the hell is going on with you? Does scorn feel more honest to you than love? Did your parents love you in ways that felt conditional, or self-serving, or insincere? No parents are perfect - if their love for you felt confusing or dishonest, you can only imagine how freakish their parents were towards them. Understanding your background has nothing to do with blaming anyone for being human, and everything to do with recognizing where you are now so you can find happiness. Why don't YOU believe that you deserve better, so much so that you're addicted to other people telling you so? You don't think you deserve a thing, do you? That's scarier than a cheating girlfriend, by far.

I've been sort of idly mean in this letter, but it's only because your situation makes me feel really sad, and I get mean when I'm sad. Hey, you're not the only one who's lost their creme-filled crullers. Ignore the rest of this letter, ok? You deserve love. You deserve a whole hell of a lot of love, particularly because it seems like you're long overdue to get it. It's about time you felt some pure love, uncut by pain.

So how do you get out of this? 1. Do whatever it takes, day in and day out, to convince yourself that you deserve a huge amount of pure, good love from someone who accepts and loves you for who you are. You deserve it despite all the signs you've encountered to the contrary. You deserve it starting now. 2. Stop telling her all the good stuff and your friends all the bad stuff. Tell everyone all of the stuff. Be honest with her and everyone else. Open yourself up to the world, make yourself vulnerable. Stay vulnerable. Don't go back to cutting yourself off from the world, your emotions, etc. If you feel terrible at first, just stay there and don't back off and protect yourself. Soon, you're going to feel very, very good. You'll know it, because pain will feel bad, and love will feel amazing.

Doing those things might require a therapist, or maybe you just want to look through a book by John Bradshaw and see which flavor of fucked up you are. Don't feel bad, we're all screwy. Just stop blaming it all on your dumb girlfriend and start figuring out what's going on with you. You won't know anything about your relationship until you're completely honest with her, the friends you can trust, and yourself. Tell them what you feel and what you know, and find out what you don't know, and what you're afraid to feel. Will your girlfriend or even your friends reject you for opening up? Expect it, resolve to stay open anyway, and keep those who support you even closer.

Most importantly, be patient with yourself. Things are going to suck for a while, but they'll get better.

You deserve to be loved by someone who's capable of loving and accepting you. Right now, you're not capable of that yourself, but you will be. Your past may have given you a million and one reasons to believe that no one will ever accept and love you for who you are, but if you face the truth about yourself, your future will be a prettier, shinier, happier thing than you can even imagine from where you're sitting right now.

And from there, all of this will seem funny-ha-ha, instead of just funny-sad and funny-weird.

Rabbit

7:52 AM

Wednesday, May 08, 2002


PERSONALITY DISORDER OF THE WEEK

Dependent Personality Disorder

A pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others

(2) needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life

(3) has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. Note: Does not include realistic fears of retribution.

(4) has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)

(5) goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant

(6) feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself

(7) urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends

(8) is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself

[Excerpted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), 1998 by the American Psychiatric Association]


Other Choice Tidbits

"Individuals with Dependent Personality Disorder are often characterized by pessimism and self-doubt, tend to belittle their abilities and assets, and may constantly refer to themselves as "stupid." Dependent Personality Disorder is among the most frequently reported Personality Disorders encountered in mental health clinics."


So You're Dependent, Are You?

Don't panic just yet, little flower. Chances are you share some of the symptoms of your classic Dependent, when in fact, you're actually something much more dramatic and compelling, like Borderline, Histrionic, or Avoidant. Read on:

"Although many personality disorders are characterized by dependent features, Dependent Personality Disorder can be distinguished by its predominantly submissive, reactive, and clinging behavior. Both Dependent Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder are characterized by fear of abandonment; however, the individual with Borderline Personality Disorder reacts to abandonment with feelings of emotional emptiness, rage, and demands,♠ whereas the individual with Dependent Personality Disorder reacts with increasing appeasement and submissiveness and urgently seeks a replacement relationship to provide caregiving and support. Borderline Personality Disorder can further be distinguished from Dependent Personality Disorder by a typical pattern of unstable and intense relationships.♥ Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder, like those with Dependent Personality Disorder, have a strong need for reassurance and approval and may appear childlike and clinging. However, unlike Dependent Personality Disorder, which is characterized by self-effacing and docile behavior, Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by gregarious flamboyance with active demands for attention.♥ Both Dependent Personality Disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder are characterized by feelings of inadequacy, hypersensitivity to criticism, and a need for reassurance; however, individuals with Avoidant Personality Disorder have such a strong fear of humiliation and rejection that they withdraw until they are certain they will be accepted.♦ In contrast, individuals with Dependent Personality Disorder have a pattern of seeking and maintaining connections to important others, rather than avoiding and withdrawing from relationships."

♠ = Think: Rebel Without A Cause

♣ = Think: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

♥ = Think: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

♦ = Think: The low point in any really stupid movie, where the hero walks around alone in the city, kicking cans and moping and picking his/her nose, until he/she finally figures out that he/she has made a major mistake in withdrawing from someone as cute and special as Meg Ryan/Dottie/Willie The Killer Whale/Father Mike, etc.


Summarizing...

Don't you feel better now? You don't have Dependent Personality Disorder, the wet blanket of all personality disorders, after all! No, you're much too hot-blooded and complicated for that! You express your vulnerability and emotional longing for others by kicking them in the teeth! Dependents can go on, sighing resignedly and spreading the smooth peanut butter for their overlords ("Smooth! Not chunky! Smooth! How many times do I have to beat the shit out of you until you get it?!!"), but not you! You'll be out there confusing the fuck out of your loved ones with your alternately needy, glowering, grandiose, stand-offish, fretful, accusatory, distant, smug, crestfallen, and whiny behavior.

God, it's great to be an enema - er, enigma, isn't it?

1:51 PM

Tuesday, May 07, 2002


THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE

Rabbit,

Somewhere in the United States a high-school boy has asked a girl to the senior prom. She is flattered that this particular guy decided to single her out. She hasn't made up her mind to go with him, however. She likes the guy; she's had her eye on him all year, but everybody in town knows what happened to him when he was a little baby. His mom took him to photographer Anne Geddes, who makes a living by marketing her photos of cute babies dressed up in outfits that make the babies look like little bunnies, ladybugs, teddy bears, etc. These photos are put in calendars, greeting cards, and coffee table books, and sell millions. The local paper publicized it way back when the local baby boy made it as a sunflower. People still tease him about it, even now when he's starting to grow a mustache. The girl would like to go with him, but when she sees him face to face, she keeps picturing big yellow sunflower petals radiating from around his head. She imagines him getting romantic with her in a private place after prom, but she can't fantasize seriously about being ravished by a happy-looking flower. What will she do?

Ed



Dear Ed,

I don't know a girl or a woman in the world who can't fantasize seriously about being ravished by a happy-looking flower. If the boy really wants to get some action, maybe he should start by shaving that awful mustache. Even Ethan Hawke can't pull that shit off.

I would pass your letter off as a harmless exercise - just you, idly stretching your powers of imagination - but that would be too easy. Clearly, you're going through a mid-life crisis, Ed, and it's bringing many of your deep-seated fears and insecurities to the surface.

You see, Ed, the physical changes of mid-life can, for some men, signal a threat to their masculinity and virility, causing severe psychological distress and a multitude of behavioral changes. Many men fear that without their physical strength and unfaltering sex drive, they will not appeal to women. Women will see them not as swarthy pirates anxious to tear at their bodices, but as soft little wussies or wilty little flowers. Wilty little baby sunflowers, Ed.

But don't be so certain that women have a problem with soft, squeezable men. Many women rejoice in the newfound reflectiveness and tenderness that's brought on by middle age - indeed, this softness increases their interest in and love for their mates. Maybe it's your resistance to your own squishiness that presents the problem. Personally, I get bitchy when I'm feeling vulnerable, thereby scaring off the other rabbits who might find my vulnerability, unclouded by bitchiness, perfectly understandable. I often confuse my harsh anticipation of rejection as rejection itself, thereby eliminating the possibility that I could simply express my weakened state and receive comfort. It makes me feel dirty just to admit that I have needs at all, actually. I'm a man trapped in a rabbit's body, Ed, so I know how you feel. Sort of. Sometimes.

OK, maybe I have no idea how you feel. But the point is, your fear of being rejected for changing into a different, older man may have you behaving in mean and aggressive ways, which may be alienating to others, and when you feel that alienation you may assume that it springs from your lack of appeal as a man, when in fact, it springs from your inability to relax into your new place in the world. You have to accept yourself as a happy flower for the world to accept you as such.

Take a careful look at what you believe about yourself and your relation to women, and make sure your beliefs are accurate, because reality will inevitably conform to those beliefs. Men who accept and embrace their full selves - masculine and feminine, strong and weak - will know that pleasing a healthy woman is as easy as pleasing themselves. And let's face it, men are self-pleasing ovens.

Happy is sexy.

Rabbit

12:27 PM

Monday, May 06, 2002


NOBODY KNOWS WHO YOU ARE!

Went to a pool party in the Hollywood Hills yesterday, which is really par for the course in this glamourous life of nonstop seeing and being seen, wining and dining. More like whining and whining. There was guacamole and homemade tacquitos. There were fake boobs there, bobbing around in the hot tub like beach balls. There were little kids who tackled my date on the blow-up Twister board, and called him "old and stinky and hairy." "But that's what I like about him!" I cried, clutching a lukewarm Corona and tittering in that unnatural way that creepy adults do.

I also saw Spider-Man, which I wish weren't hyphenated. The hyphen is really the only thing I didn't like about the movie. Sure, the stunts were a little too Sega-weightless, but good lord, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst? If only they would've just ripped their clothes off and made sweet love Top Gun-style. Sam Raimi isn't about to stoop to "Take My Breath Away" floaty curtain Love Boat athletic screwing, though, which is admirable. I would never be able to show such restraint with such fine looking young folks as my puppets. But the dialogue! "When you look at her, she makes you feel stronger and weaker and courageous and afraid all at once"? I wept freely into my caramel corn. It's slightly shameful to exit an action movie looking broken and unkempt, fumbling with snotty tissues.

But then, I have issues, and I'm hopelessly impressionable, which makes me one of the most easily branded humans alive. Impressionable, slightly dysfunctional, emotionally stilted human being? See also: consumer!

Plus, it was late and I had had two big beers and we were at the Arclight, a huge theater with a massive curving screen and an insane sound system, and we were front and center. I might've cried at Rush Hour 2 under those circumstances.

I know I've been disappointingly scarce lately, but this is going to be a stellar week in the rabbit blog universe, I can tell. Stay tuned.

7:08 PM

Thursday, May 02, 2002



A NERD IN THE HAND

Rabbit -

Your squeaky rabbit head appears to get bigger with each breath of the smog laced air you take in. Stop whining to us about writing to you. You are becoming like a that rich bored housewife who's never worked a day in her life and has been married to the same guy right out of high school, who never has anything to do! Are you bored?

"Write me. Call me. Come see me." Boy, I loved that housewife! Dude, you should learn from those L.A. teachers who keep running away with their students. Take matters into your own hand! (if you know what I mean!) Stop caring about the rest of the world. Learn how to golf or something.

As a matter of fact, since I consider myself a student of the rabbit, I like to propose the first annual "Runaway with the Rabbit" contest. You figure out the details!

Cheers

Weary


Dear Weary,

Well, what can I say, you've got me pegged. I'm living the life of the idle rich, it's true. I fretfully pace my spacious home, tweaking the flower arrangements and plucking lint from the draperies. I have nothing to do, and no good reason for wanting to hear more about LA. I just want to make some friends who live close by. sniff.

It's true, I care way too much about the rest of the world. I'm just too globally conscientious. Like when I spend the morning flipping impatiently through vacation brochures, instead of meeting with my personal trainer like I'm supposed to? I just get so consumed by, like, the whole world. Club Med Ibiza? Nah. Club Med Bali? No. Club Shed Yangzte? Oh, it's all so borrrrrring. MARSHA! WHERE ARE THOSE GODDAMN PERCOCET ALREADY?!!

Thanks for your helpful suggestion about starting some sort of Handjob Sweepstakes, though. I really appreciate it.

Your Repugnantly Wealthy Friend,

Rabbit

5:46 PM



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me
staff writer at salon.com, co-creator of filler, author of the memoir disaster preparedness due from riverhead press in fall 2010


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