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The Way Out





Patient refers to it as stargate-four-one

A Manipulator.1






—All right. I will.

Now or later? Claw hook! 

—Can you loan me any money?

—You're wrong. It's mutual.




Tu Quoque —
(You do it, Too!) Implies someone's argument is worthless because they don't follow their own advice.





[clash & dissonance] - Dark side & Intimate details - At bottom, it's not that human nature is irrational; it's that human nature is founded upon lies - shadow and fog - vindictiveness - He's in a bitter situation - He provokes - He tries to change your mood - Don't see it as disharmony or dissonance - See it as motion - If you're explaining, you're losing  - When someone tries to be mean to you, just say something else - The person who starts something never gets the penalty - It's the person who strikes back! - The way out is, Don't say what they want you to say - Just say what you're going to do - The first thing you do is duck - the second thing you do is counterpunch ... which is changing the subject ... "Let me ask you something – Don't you have better questions to ask?" - Don't fight with anyone - That's one of the great tricks in life - Let's get off this subject - "Bide your time and everything becomes clear, and you can act accordingly." —Terence Stamp in The Limey (1999)

The Age of Self-Expression, ages 8-11




Exactly what someone said [or did]
... usually not very original.

The thoughts of a "bad child"
... to free your mind again.




"When are you going to grow up?"

—All right. I will.

—This is the problem with success.

"Grow up!"

—All right. I will.

—And have a sense of humor about it!

"Can I get you anything?" [From a cute waitress]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Will you come over and do my laundry?

"How are you doing today?"

—Can you loan me any money?

Also trivialities.

"Are you feeling okay, Richard?"

—All right. I will.

—Every opportunity ... TOO HOT! ... Very sensitive.

"Stanford Court Hotel Restrooms Now for Guest Use Only :: The Stanford Court Hotel has decided to join other Nob Hill hotels in keeping restrooms for guest use only. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued help with our shared customers." [Posted at the cashier window of a San Francisco taxi company]

—All right. I will.

Certainly not! ... You don't respect me, respect yourself! ... "Ye Olde BatCrap Hotel :: Leave it for the mice! Their food gives people diarrhea, so they've had plumbing issues. Their chronic lice & bedbug infestation continues to hitch rides on guests' clothing and suitcases, so watch out!" [Rejoinder at taxi company]

"Are you working tonight?" [Here are the facts: 1. You're a server; 2. You're placing an order at the bar; 3. It's nighttime; 4. They're so busy living from their emotions, they have trouble observing anything in outside physical reality; 5. It makes you feel you're somehow being glossed over; 6. That's probably the way they feel all the time] :: WildCard-4

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Steady, hard work ... Avoid it at all costs! ... For me, it's fun just being part of it.

«Hard and raw verbal comebacks»

—All right. I will.

—WORK HARDER! ... NOTHING LESS! ... NO TROUBLE! ... IT'S ICE! ... NO FOOLING! ... Knock it off! ... Get away! ... Don't ask! ... SMARTEN UP! ... THERE'S LIMITS! ... JUST UNBELIEVABLE! ... WISE UP! ... Beat it! ... Keep going! ... EVERY TIME! ... BACK OFF! ... WHO CARES? ... MANY TIMES! ... TOO BAD! ... THAT'S NOTHING! ... OUCH! ... WHO'S COMPLAINING? ... WHOA! THREATENING! ... Now isn't that bizarre? ... Isn't that bizarre? ... Hang tough!

"I gave myself a standing ovation."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Things are disguised – People are stuck at a preverbal level.

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

—All right. I will.

—I don't even want to fool around with them – They're assholes. [girlfriends] ... I'm waiting until I'm in the mood ... Big business.

"Are you gay?"

—Can you loan me any money?

Homosexuality is a symptom of paranoia.

[Some angry hombre staring at you] :: WildCard-0

—Can you loan me any money?

—Take heart!

"He's still a Mama's boy!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Would it do any good?

"Why are you a faggot?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—First you have to put up with a little girl. [Also see, Oversight: The Future of the Internet, below]

"You don't like us, do you?" [From the leader of a posse out on the prowl, their menacing probes covered with a thin veneer: "What was that movie about the serial killer?" -- Get away from them as soon as you reach a public setting -- Think ahead -- Meanwhile, do, think, and say as little as possible: "—How's that?" "—Big change!" "—Who knows?" "—Now or later? Claw hook!" – Try not to talk back -- Let them meet their fate elsewhere]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Are you bragging?

"Well, I'd like to get to know you." [Some random guy in a bar hitting on you]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—I'm a wreck ... My teeth are falling out ... I'm losing my teeth ... You don't want to know any more! ... I changed my mind ... Can you loan me any money? ... I'm in a lot of pain ... Kill me now! ... Was that out loud? ... Finally! After all these years! ... All over the house! ... It's a disgusting place ... It's full of crooks and morons ... It's just today ... The weekend's tricky ... How can it be good if it's free? ... That's a nice suit ... That really suits you ... Can you loan me any money?

"You didn't see or hear anything, did you?" [To an enlisted sailor having just witnessed a physical brawl between two officers on an aircraft carrier]

—All right. I will.

—It's hard for me to talk, too.

"Did you sleep with her yet?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—And animals, too! ... You'll never know ... That's private stuff and you don't get to know that ... Some things should just be left private ... Are you going to see Bambi in the thicket?

"You WILL talk to me!" [From your brother, the prince of darkness]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Well, you know how bad things are.

"What did Karen say when you told her you were going to a stag party?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Go to bed.

"So you got a bone all the time, huh?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—I'm kind of low-key with all that stuff, you know?

"Now you can get rid of your old computer."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Some people can do that.


—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Persistence pays, because then you find what works.

"Hey, little girl!" [To a younger, smaller boy]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

Am I interfering in something? ... I follow Hitler's advice. You arrive late, you jump up on a table, you scream things, and you leave early ... That's how you get a reputation ... That's my reputation ... Do you think that's going too far? ... Colonialism is Niggers, and post-Colonialism is pretending you like them ... All the other kids shit in the toilet ... You should, too ... For hours!

"You're gay, who cares about you? – You should kill yourself – You should go away."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

Is this living? ... Twenty kids, and four are in the in-crowd, something's wrong ... They're clueless and pretending they're cool ... That's a lesson you have to learn ... If they're not nice to you, it's not your fault ... They're just treating you the way they treat themselves ... You have to understand, this happens to everyone ... You just think you're the only one ... Extremely personal ... Backtrack! ... Why go someplace else when I can take a vacation in my heart every day?

"It sounds like you're mocking them."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

Lordy be! ... Why? ... Why do you think that is?

"Are you trying to stir up some shit?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Special service ... I think it's a little different ... It's a study.

«How to respond to casual insults»

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—It's like a little difference ... It's massive ... It should slip right in.

"Well, you had a university education – I didn't."

—All right. I will.

—I barreled out! ... Life isn't at all boring ... We're not talking about the surface – We're talking about meaning.

"I'll wait while you clean that up." [You and your dog, just outside your front door]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

Full of fun! ... That's well worth seeing ... Ready to hatch, huh?

"You can dish it out but you can't take it!"

—Can you loan me any money?

—Cheap, too!

"What were you doing in there?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Have you ever put a steel door in? ... Put a new frame in ... It's hinged and everything.

"I'll meet you there."

—Can you loan me any money?

—There's a lot of unknowns around now ... Tell me the street ... No, you have to be more specific ... No, tell me the number ... No, that's not a direction ... No, call me up and tell me the number ... It's like a sham or something, one of those Marin things ... When you get there, call me up and tell me the number ... I feel too insecure when you don't tell me where you're going to be ... A lot of times when you think you should do something, you just let your mind do it.

"Hey, didn't you used to have a blog?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—What is the right use of emotions? There is none!

"When did you get here?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—There's not much to do.

"What do you do to relax?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—The murderer always returns to the scene of the crime.

"Where the hell have you been? I've been trying to reach you for three days!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Drag me to hell! – You read maps?

"Why haven't you been coming here for lunch?" [Spoken in a low voice, trying to "engage" you]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Do what you do! Do what you do best and keep doing it!

"Where have you been? Yesterday you're not here."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—There's no real reason to lock your car up, especially if it's new – What are they going to steal?

"Where were you?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Out on the open road!

"You just got back?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Nothing exciting.

"Can I get you ... ?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—All you have to do is just lay low, and you do good.

«What you don't know about self defense»

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—I taught them everything I know about how to get angry, thinking they'd get over it, and forgot to tell them, at some point, stop being angry!

"I've got schadenfreude coming out my ears."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—You don't hear about it.

"Well, you can't have everything."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—That doesn't bother me.

"Tell us what you learned."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Don't try to outshine the teacher; they'll just argue with you.

[Silly or simple-minded jokes, such as ... (1.) "Does your face hurt?" "No." "Well, it's killing me!" ... (2.) "How do you get a nun pregnant? ... Dress up like a choirboy." -- They're all the same formula]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Who wants that?

"Are you leaving? Hey!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

Good dog! Guard your master! ... Sleeping Beauty is calling!

"You look like nothing!" [Little bully making fun of eleven-year-old girl on Dress-Up Day at summer camp]

—Can you loan me any money?

—Everyone does when they're totally protected ... The Book of Gods ... Zeus, Perseus, Athena, Electra ... But you come from more grease than I do ... There's many ways to skin a cat ... Wardrobe malfunction ... That's mean, isn't it? ... What a mean thing to do ... Morons ... They looked like Mr. and Mrs. Rock the toad lived under ... You never know, there's little houses with big gardens ... Yes, but it keeps the rain out ... You never know what no one else wants ... I'm going to get one of those ... That's cheap these days ... (Go low with them ... Who is happy when I feel something is wrong with me? ... Who thinks they're better off? ... Until the little monkeys learn to control themselves, you're among friends)

"What are you going to do about it?"

—All right. I will.

—It's better to have this than to get in trouble with other people, to "act out," as they say – This is something you can count on – Gurdjieff said it's all over the body, the emotional center – Now it's beginning to center. [See also stargate57]

"You will burn in hell!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Yes, but send me a contract ... Gird your loins and ask for a contract.

"You don't know me! You don't know my child!" [The abused toddler an eighteen-year-old mother has been repeatedly slapping in a New York City subway]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—If you like someone, it's different ... Oh, I like children, too, but I don't like them with their heads cut off!

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results." (–Albert Einstein)

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Do nothing.

"Are you :: gay? || straight? || married? || putting on a little weight? || pregnant? || the red Jeep over there? || a smoker? || a nonsmoker? || too good for us now? || happy? || a Democrat? || a Republican? || right wing? || left wing? || a voter? || one of those hippies? || going to eat that? || hungry? || leaving? || in line? || smarter than we'll ever hope to be? || a rich guy? || being smart with me? || going to be late? || on time? || early? || still here? || going to pick that up? || taking full responsibility for this? || an artist? || on the rag? || laughing at me? || a student? || the pilot? || born again? || just a housewife? || stupid? || an airhead? || suggesting something? || a witness to our times? || saying I am? || a history major? || the expert now? || a Christian? || a Jew? || taking a nap? || on duty? || using that? || done with that? || German? || French? || old enough? || drunk? || on drugs? || from Japan? || from China? || an accountant? || a Giants fan? || a writer?"

—All right. I will.

—Just lower your expectations ... You know, a lot of us are schizophrenic.

[The hand of your mortal enemy reaching out, extending itself, holding itself stiffly out ...]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—How do you shake hands with someone who's (1.) milking cows; (2.) sawing wood; (3.) a creepy, crawly spider; (4.) a Roman handshake (Power!) —? ... You're not tired of that yet.

"How do you do?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—This place is like a country club ... First you introduce yourself; later on you go into depth ... What do you do that interests you? ... It averages out ... Here they don't ... I have to take care of my family.

"You and me, babe – How 'bout it?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Which side is up? ... We'll have to see, right? ... It's not going to happen overnight ... If you treat people like idiots, they'll act like idiots ... Well, we'll have to see ... You're lucky if you can feel hurt ... It's the mark of the devil ... You're off your rocker; you're in a dream ... Whatever's there, right? ... Wishful thinking ... That's definitely very young behavior ... I don't want to do that ... I can't see you because you're too smart ... Your brain is all you've got going for you ... That's very handy ... I'm insecure because my father didn't die ... And I will ... Really strange stories ... You always have to watch out for that.

"I'M ASHAMED OF YOU!" [Political heckler at Chelsea Clinton appearance]

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Did you know your house is filled with cockroaches? ... Now it's beginning to float.

"I think it's fair to say ... that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home." (–U.S. President Barack Obama)

—Can you loan me any money?

What a tootsie! What a spitfire! What a firecracker! ... A leading intellectual light.

"Got pimp?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—It's his second childhood.

"Are you voting for Obama?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—One section at a time ... They're really proud of him; it makes me happy ... Wait until the makeup washes off.

"Why don't you get all excited, Dave?" [Stage directions for himself]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—He gets exuberant.

"Right back at you, kid!"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—People have to do what they like.

"You have to explain it."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—I know what time is, but I don't want to explain it.

"Can I buy a cigarette from you?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Sometimes you run out of paper.

"I like your costume."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—This is the big season now.

"Is there a dent in my car?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—I'm starting.

"It's not like you went to Harvard or Yale – What did you expect?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—A pat on the back ... The waterfront ... (It's really worse than guilt – They're saying that's your place) ... I took a test! ... I should have done that – I would have learned a lot ... There's no more place ... It's all over now ... I don't think it is ... I think you just find a slab.

"You don't know what I'm doing, do you?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Doesn't matter; I'm having fun.

"What do you like best so far?" [From a flirting waitress]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Let me try it.

"What do you think?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—I know you can.

«Self defense with little girl»

—Can you loan me any money?

—You know, I'm afraid of being abandoned ... but you get over it ... And warmth, too ... Abandonment is women's fear; menstruation is men's ... Hey! I'm left holding the cookies!

"You went to Dartmouth?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Friends don't let friends go to college.

"Ten years from now ... Ricky Hart ... a floorwalker at Montaldo's."

—Can you loan me any money?

—With a carpet bag with huge amounts of money.

"You don't have to be a jerk."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Everything you think, isn't.

"We think you don't have enough job experience."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Either do you!

"Were you at work?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Fair winds and following seas, ma'am.

"Where are you going when you die: heaven or hell?"

—All right. I will.

—It's for an artist ... If you grow good things in your life, then you are surrounded by beauty ... The tread of my feet on the earth springs a hundred affections ... If you grow good things in your garden ... The least difficult thing I've done.

"What's wrong with you? You only do what you like to do."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

Tell me! ... That's too mechanical ... You can ruin it ... There's no feeling in, What's wrong with you? You only do what you like to do.

"You have a smart mouth."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—That was foresight.

"Eternal optimist."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Just a splash.

"I've already been over there – I'm not going over there again – You're crazy as a loon."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—It could be a lot of things ... the police or anything.

"Are you Apartment B?" [From an anonymous mail carrier, who has never actually introduced himself]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—The front windows of the house are falling apart, but let's wait until they fall apart.

"Contact us immediately."

—Can you loan me any money?

—"Never answer an anonymous letter." (–Lawrence Peter (Yogi) Berra) ... The team is voting for President ... You can call if you need anything.

"Are you supposed to be sitting over there by yourself?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—Maybe July first.

"You must have chosen the wrong career."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—If you want a hard time, that's okay.

"Are you done with this?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—What else are you going to do now?

"Let me call you sometime, and we'll get together."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Who's your social secretary? – For advanced plans.

"Where did you go, the city?" [Against regulations]

—Can you loan me any money?

—Sometimes you think something's bad, and it's not that bad.

"You disappoint me."

—Can you loan me any money?

—You don't know how to absorb things, to listen to anything ... What do you believe in? Don't you want to do something? ... Do something you believe in, or you're good at.

"Is your credit score holding you back?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—You have no right to ask me questions – I do what I believe in ... It's none of your business.

"Did the supervisor talk to you?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—I was born bad, I am bad, and I'll die bad.

"Are you back?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—I got no strings to hold me down.

"Sorry to Jew you."

—All right. I will.

—I say blood red is the color for you.

"You only get one chance with me."

—Can you loan me any money?

—So far it's not worth it. [Also see, Peer Pressure]

"Will you marry me?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—It costs a lot to get married – How much money do you have in the bank?

"If you love me, you'll have sex with me."

—Can you loan me any money?

—You can love me by getting off my back and stop criticizing!

"If you cared about me, you'd do it."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Where did you ever learn that someone who felt unloved in childhood and never learned how to express love, you criticize them?

"If you get pregnant, I'll marry you."

—Can you loan me any money?

—It's high school with money!

"Are you pregnant?"

—All right. I will.

—Just like your mother, right?

"Where are you going?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Way off! ... The middle of nowhere ... You could do anything.

"You are a good person."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Or a bad one.

"Have you just been sitting here doing nothing all day?" [From the boss, stopping by your work area]

—Can you loan me any money?

—Is that possible? [Chronicle your daily accomplishments on index cards you can show the boss at a moment's notice – Don't let anyone steal them]

["They sent me back to put air in the tire, can you believe it?"] "Put air in your head? – I thought you had plenty."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—No one says, "You are in a panic – Life is hard."

"Do you know what happened to the TV?" [You just arrived]

—Can you loan me any money?

—What's on the other side?

"Exit only – You got to go that way – Sorry!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—I'm not working for you – I am a lamp, I am a mirror, I am a door, I am a way.

"Oh, you don't read anymore?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—What do you care what anyone thinks?

"That's all you have to say?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—You're worse than me, so I don't know what to say.

"What you don't know can't hurt you, huh?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—That's a well a hundred feet deep.

"Sorry you don't have a degree."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Let there be toilets.

"Marci's here to dance!"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Too old ... Do I deserve this? ... You're wrong ... You don't need to ... It's just wrong no matter what you do ... If you sleep late, does the sun rise?

"I almost ran right into you!"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Go with it!

"Why do you live here?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—To spread the revolution ... Just for the fun of it.

"You're not bright, are you?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—That could change very rapidly.

"What do you say to a sarcastic person?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—Because we live right.

"What did you think?" [About the movie you just saw]

—Can you loan me any money?

—Everybody gets what they want.

["I love you."] "You can't!"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—All over the world.

["If you move in with me, you can't bring the cat."] "Why would I move in with you?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—Everything you can imagine.

"Do you think I'm that easy?"

—All right. I will.

—Look at those smoldering looks!

"I don't want to talk to you."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—It's too late now.

"Are you making fun of me?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—I hope it isn't ... bad breath.

"I don't know you."

—Can you loan me any money?

—The new kid on the block?

"Well, you like the young ones, right?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—In another way ... It's nice when you have a young life in your charge ... And you know what to tell them.

"You never embarrassed yourself?"

—All right. I will.

—What do you think my secret is?

"Oh Icarus, I really pity you."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

[See Icarus and the Gutter Snipe]

"Perfect – Are you sure you haven't done this before?"

—All right. I will.

—Hunger is the best cook – Not a mother!

"Why don't you tell me something really interesting?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—That's not my problem – My problem is my mother had a penis.

"You don't have to be a jerk."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—That's extra!

"Why are you such a jerk?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Keeping the guy alive ... He has to play or something.

"What do YOU want?"

—All right. I will.

—To die for my country.

"I'm here for you."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Let Mom help!

"Who died and made you queen?"

—All right. I will.

—Someone's lucky they're not her brother.

"Where did you get that?" [Handing your business card to an FBI agent]

—All right. I will.

—Making gold from straw – Rumpelstilzchen is my name!

"You'd do the same thing if you had a chance."

—All right. I will.

—What about evolution?

"Don't be ridiculous!"

—All right. I will.

—I am a University graduate!

"That's ridiculous."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—You're just supposed to be the one at the front of the plane.

"That remark is absurd!"

—All right. I will.

—What better way is there than being clever?

"Did you ever kill anybody?"

—All right. I will.

—That's the million dollar question ... I shot my bank, but I didn't get any money.

"You're imagining things – I do!"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Faith is really paying attention.

["I go to Stanford."] "Oh, the anti-intellectual school."

—All right. I will.

—It's substantial.

"Do you understand me, you crazy fuck?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

Not completely.

"I know you don't care."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Do you?

"Are you crazy?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—I broke my contract with myself.

"Two hundred dollars? – Are you crazy?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Don't tell me it's nothing for you.

"What does that make you?"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Razor sharp.

"So a couple of months ago I was late for something and grabbed a quick cab ride. The driver was a very effeminate, mustachioed older fellow who made some odd remarks about how hostile women passengers are to him... So I told him about an old acquaintance of mine whom I'd defuse when she was mad. He just lit up, way beyond what the idle story deserved, and when I got out he handed me his business card, which was just a URL ... His website is an endless warren of crazy. ( Seriously, just click some links. [Link from Quarter To Three Forums > Quarter to Three Boards > Everything else taxi1010 - The Art of Non-Escalating Verbal Self Defense - User Name Remember Me?]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Is it because of the brown channel in your panties? ... As the residents of New Jersey say, "Come and get it!" ... Many people mistake kindness for weakness, and they mistake weakness for kindness ... So you haven't shot anyone yet, have you?

"Shut your little effeminate mouth."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Laugh, or I'll kill the lobster ... "I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it, Charlie." (–Marlin Brando, On the Waterfront, 1954)


—Can you loan me any money?

—It's not evil.

"Hey, pretty girl!" [From the bum on the corner]

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—People aren't garbage!

"Getting all settled in? – Good girl! – Good for you!"

—Can you loan me any money?

—That's almost the land that time forgot.

"I suppose you never did anything wrong."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—You think I'm bad – what about my father?

"You should know."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—Some people say we're the same.

"You're another."

—Can you loan me any money?

—Tell it to the Pope!

"How can you tell me to stop smoking? – You smoke more than I do."

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—I'd like to leave that out of it.

"If you think communal living is such a great idea, why aren't you living in a commune?"

—Can you loan me any money?

—Watch and wait.

"It takes one to know one!"

—You're wrong. It's mutual.

—Look who's talking!

"I'm warped."

—Now or later? Claw hook!

—You're free.























31-MAR-1999. Once in a blue moon!


Oversight: The Future of the Internet

At 7:35 am New York Time, someone in New Zealand asked the Internet, "Why are you a faggot?" Six minutes later, at 4:41 am California Time, just after I got up for work, I found that Google had referred the question to for resolution.

The visitor came through stargate 18, which addresses some aspects of the "faggot" question, however, in the future, this page, stargate 41, will address "Why are you a faggot?" directly.

Today I am roughly fifty-six years old. However, I certainly remember sticking out my pee-pee with my father when I was three. Very shortly after, I outgrew, or moved through, this homosexual madness. I guess it was a stage. My real problems began when I was four years old, when my seven-year-old cousin and her younger sister decided to show me what girls were all about. Now that was madness!

By the time I had reached second or third grade, I had become fascinated by certain people's ability to "talk back" to girls and other bullies. Clearly, by some accident, some people knew what they were doing (in the social arena), while many more of us sort of bumbled along, "left to our own devices." So I asked myself silently, –How do people who know what they're doing, know what they're doing? and began to pay attention.

There's a certain phoniness going on, and a lot of it goes back to "Show and Tell" in third grade: You're wearing a firehouse hat and raincoat, you've trudged to the front of the class, and while you stand there like a fool, the teacher asks, (using way too much energy,) "Hey, where have you been?" Finally, after that ordeal, you slip back to your regular seat and watch the next kid get tortured.

The only reason I'm bringing this up is that yesterday, while I was getting breakfast at the United Airlines Employee's Cafeteria at SFO, I said, "Welcome back!" to the cashier, (who had been on vacation,) and he replied, "Hey! Where you been?" (which didn't make a lot of sense to me at the time.)

Then at the end of my shift driving a taxicab in San Francisco, I overheard a quick-witted taxi driver saying, "I'll take that as a compliment," to someone, who immediately lapsed into a stupefied silence.

This morning someone in New Zealand asked the Internet, "Why are you a faggot?" and then a book review in The New York Times ended, "In the end, the message about iron, which is an interesting tidbit, is lost in Dr.Shlain's need to impress the reader with his wide-reaching intellect." [Meredith F. Small in "Books of the Times," The New York Times, August 28, 2003] Are you beginning to feel bombarded?

There are two common reactions to verbal abuse: One is to absorb the flash of irrationality and lapse into silence. Another is to flash something back, in an angry attempt to mirror the attack.

By lunchtime, when I stopped to grab a luxurious plate of soft-shell crab on top of risotto at Il Fornaio, I had accumulated four insults, and had begun to understand something about what to do with them:




(1.) Why are you a faggot?

(2.) Hey, where you been?

(3.) I'll take that as a compliment.

(4.) In the end, the message about iron, which is an interesting tidbit, is lost in Dr.Shlain's need to impress the reader with his wide-reaching intellect.


The bartender was teasing the man next to me, saying, "Don't say anything bad about the risotto! That's what Richard is getting," who immediately turned to me and said, "Do you want my risotto?" I looked at his half-finished dish – Never mind! I'll just add that to my list:




(5.) Do you want my risotto? [Spoken by a stranger]


Many people have come to and said, "The responses make no sense whatsoever!" after they've spent five minutes here. (We know that from our logs.) Not one person has ever said, "The attacks make no sense whatsoever!"

So I'm trying to use the Imagination of Nature here, and found a number of interesting sentences in my notebooks this morning, spoken by people who actually make sense:




(a.) "First you have to put up with a little girl." [David Daniels to Rebeka, regarding her four-year-old daughter]

(b.) "It's called Show and Tell." [a little farther along in their conversation]

(c.) "I don't think it's bad or anything."

(d.) "There's a right way and a wrong way."

(e.) "It gives you something to do." [Near the end of their conversation]


Now for some reason, those sentences seem to resonate with me, and when I begin to match them up to the five attacks I've become interested in, I get the following:




"Why are you a faggot?"
—Now or later? Claw hook!
—First you have to put up with a little girl.

"Hey, where you been?"
—Twice blessed!
—It's called Show and Tell.

"I'll take that as a compliment."
—I don't think it's bad or anything.

"In the end, the message about iron, which is an interesting tidbit, is lost in Dr.Shlain's need to impress the reader with his wide-reaching intellect."
—Many others!
—There's a right way and a wrong way.

"Do you want my risotto?" [Spoken by a stranger]
—Not today.
—It gives you something to do.


If I went back into the past and found my self walking a little late into my third grade class, and my best friend whispered to me (in my firehouse hat and raincoat), "Hey, where you been?" I think I might have enjoyed whispering back, "All about! ... It's called Show and Tell ... The lowlifes of art go there."

Many people absorb verbal abuse, and many people fiercely reflect it. Let's look at this from a different angle. A different light. Oversight.







As follows

CODE WORDS: absurd, [angry], [anonymous], anti-intellectual, apartment, bone, bright, casual, contact, continued, costume, customers, dance, definition, dent, dish, dope, effeminate, eternal, floorwalker, [formula], girl, grow, [hand], [himself], [hombre], hotels, imagining, immediately, inconvenience, join, [jokes], loon, Mama's, mocking, motions, ovation, peace, pimp, raw, restrooms, ridiculous, schadenfreude, stupidly, supervisor, takes, warped, yippee, you



—Can you loan me any money?