Unnamed character in the unpublished story, “Day Sleeper”, by Bill Friday
Sarcasm: A sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain. A mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual.
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback lately on my recent progress as a writer. All positive, which is funny, because when I began this literary adventure five years ago, a few glaring differences between the me that was... and the me that is today... are obvious. And while I could waste your time and mine on all the tiny details of why reading me today is better than reading me in 2007, the most apparent difference is summed up in this,
Now... I’m cool.
Ask anyone, “Who’s cool around here?” Chances are, your answer will be, “That Friday guy. He’s cool.” So now you’re probably wondering, “How can I be considered ‘cool like Friday’?” I’m glad you asked.
Never disagree with anyone in public. In my experience, backstabbing is the way to go. On this site over the last four-and-a-half years, I have received 170 anonymous “you suck” (one-star) ratings for my 101 articles. This alone uniquely qualifies me to comment on such matters.
Never write about anything that matters. Content that matters tends to polarize... and polarization leads to hatred by at least 50 percent of potential readers. Writing about things like “feelings” (which, by the way, also works great on a first date), not controversial or trending topics, will ensure that while your readership may be suffer diminished numbers, those few who do read you regularly will love you all the more because each reader will know that every word you write is written directly to them.
Don’t write too often. People will get tired of you and marginalize you, then sick of you altogether. I wrote 40 articles in 2007 and 39 in 2008. By 2009, I was down to 6, and my popularity grew more in my unexplained absence, proving the made-up right now by me adage, “Between prolific and witness protection... lies the legend.” And when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
Make friends with the cool people. Cool people are just that, “cool”. And cool people tell other people who the cool people really are... they move the needle. Make friends with them, and you go from writer to trending topic. Say things on the comment board that the cool people agree with, even when you have nothing to say. Nothing says cool like saying nothing.
Just ask Joaquin Phoenix.
Make friends with the un-cool people. There are more un-cool people in this world than cool people, and unlike cool people, un-cool actually read. Reading headlines is for cool people... reading whole articles is a job for the un-cool. By dropping literary cookies into your articles that resonate with the un-cool masses (like references to LARPers Weekly or the G-4 Network), not only can you guarantee pageviews up front, but also when the un-cool use nerd tools like the keyword search box, because you thought in advance to include hash tags like #baseball, or #scott boras, or #el g.
(regarding comments) Stay cryptic. Fans don’t want to be told what you mean when they already know what you mean... because you were “speaking directly to them” (see "Never write anything that matters", above). While being cryptic in the comment threads of others can get you accused of being an internet Troll, being cryptic in your own threads gets you accused of being obfuscatively original.
Never, ever, tell the truth. Even if it’s really true. If other people suck, never tell them. If you suck, well… that’s just something to keep between yourself and yourself.
Always, always, remember where you came from. The past has a funny way of reminding us of two equal, yet opposite things. We really are worse than we think we are, and… we really are better than we think we are. No, you read that right. No one is as good, or as bad, as their press clippings… except maybe Carlos Mencia. To prove that bi-polar point, read this excerpt from January 9th, 2007.
This just in: My popularity is 0. Zeeerohh! As if I needed proof. Thanks for the update. A clean slate by any other name, etc.
Guess it's better than entropy. Not "Entropy", the movie that almost killed the career of Phil Joanou, but "entropy", from which we get the nursery rhyme (for the sad children of rocket scientists), "We cannot win, we cannot tie, and in the end we're all gonna die".
(Warning! This is not a movie review, a SciTech article or a children's story. It's safe to keep reading - Ed.)
I know, this intro is probably going to keep my popularity at zeeerohh for the remaining years of my writing life which in this town is more like less than zero. Not "Less Than Zero", the movie that should have killed the career of Brad Pitt (really, Google it), but...
(Warning! Bill Friday has never been popular and therefore has never known when to shut up - Ed.)
The good news in all of this is that, if I've done the math right, I can never receive a rating that isn't at least a zeeerohh. A lot like the song, "Saved By Zero" by The Fixx that really did kill the careers of...
(Warning! Bill Friday will never write on the topics of physics, poetry, movies or music ever again - Ed.)
And there you have it people. Be tolerant of the newb you read today. You never know, one day, he may be really cool.
Copyright © 2011 Bill Friday