Friday, July 21, 2006

Laurence Simon (This Blog Is Full Of Crap)

Today's interview is with one of my blogging heroes. No, I don't try to emulate him ... because I can't. But he's one of my absolute favorites. Today, I'm thrilled to have Laurence Simon (This Blog Is Full Of Crap) answering our questions...

He's the one on the right left right.

Anyway, the interview panel is ready to go...

Now, the first question...

What inspired you to create the Carnival of the Cats?

Because I like cats, others like cats, and this makes finding cat-related stuff much easier than doing technorati searches for "friday catblogging" or stuff like that.

The spark that caused it all to happen was when I submitted a catblogging link to a Carnival of the Vanities and it was rejected by the cat-hater hosting it that week.

I got really pissed (big surprise, eh?) and built it up.

121 episodes later, and Carnival of the Vanities is struggling while Carnival of the Cats is strong.

I created the domain because I thought that if I said the New York Times and TIME Magazine interviewers would have screwed it up or refused to print it. forwards to the IFOC domain just in case you need to type it in from memory, whatever.

Have you ever thought of putting your 100 word stories on IMAO?

I tried to post a Wacky Adventure of Abraham Lincoln once and I caught some whiny shit in the comments about mocking the great Abraham Lincoln, blah blah blah. I'll just stick to Catblogging and teh funny.

I have a hard enough time writing one per day. I've already scaled back from my plan to submit more originals to Mikeypod or Black Tie Martini Club and other sites, just offering up "The Best Of" when I remember to send them.

. . .

. . .

What is your favorite word?

"Mendicant" - It means "beggar" (but "Crap" is a close second.)

What is your least favorite word?

"Proactive" - When someone uses it seriously, you know they're full of crap.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Utter exhaustion. When I am far too tired to stay awake, I find myself unable to maintain the rational barriers between what I am experiencing, what I have experienced, what angst and fears are gnawing at me, and what dregs of my imagination are floating around. It's at those moments the random connections result in some very odd and interesting concepts.

The problem with being inspired that way is I have a hard time transcribing my thoughts before I'm too tired to write them or, more often than not, completely asleep.

Oh, and I find that creativity inspires creativity. When someone's on a tear, it's easy to build upon it or tear it down and head off into a new direction. (But it helps being too tired to resist thinking rationally about it all)

What turns you off?

Repetition. There's an infinite number of ideas out there. Reach deep and pull one out.

This is why I really don't like serial killers. It's not because they kill people. Heck, some people really need killing, if you ask me. Go to a movie at the theater sometime and you'll pick out five or six right off the bat. But the fact that they do it over and over the same way each time, well, it gets boring. Can't you at least drown someone in green food coloring or shave them into little bits by freezing them and running them through a Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker?

What is your favorite curse word?

If you consider "Crap" one, that's it. Otherwise, it's "fucktard."

What sound or noise do you love?

When Piper crawls up on the bed, curls up, and gets into a purring trilling rumble. We call it "burbling" and it's how she sings me to sleep.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Group Islamic prayer in Arabic grates on my skin like a lemon zest rasp. A soul only lives if it is free and independent, capable of exploring without boundaries. The Islamic prayer is the sound of souls dying, all at once, and it sickens me knowing how many great ideas and thoughts and feelings are lost to eternity by promising minds being crushed into the totalitarian political-religious boilerplate fourteen hundred years out of date.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I'd like to be a stapler. People are always looking for them, and they guard them with their lives, hoarding them in desk drawers. However, I'd worry about being too specialized, so I might branch out into staple-removal, but I'd have to do it just as well as a dedicated staple-remover so as to conserve desk or drawer space.

What profession would you not like to do?

Diplomat. I'd tell it like it is, and wind up having a few too many drinks before reaching for a Marine's sword to run the fucktard in the thobe through. You don't play nice with evil, end of story, and give me a check for the movie and book rights.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Can you please get this fat cat off my my throne?" begs the question "Can God create a cat that he cannot lift?" But I think it's more likely to be "Wipe your feet and here's your tuba."

Communications technology has advanced tremendously over the past several years and continues to advance. Where do you see it five years from now?

In flames. Time's running out for civilization, and a messianic madman in Iran wants it all gone.

However, should someone bust a cap in his ass and stop the countdown to civilization's end, I think autenticated messaging is the next big leap. Guaranteed identities would eliminate unsolicited messaging.

What do you think will be its ultimate achievement?

You know, I have fond memories of Disneyland and Disneyworld, walking through Futureland and marveling at the Sixties version of 2000. And now, from memory, I look back and laugh at the visions of flying cars and robots doing laundry. So, for the sake of mankind, I reveal my own Flying Car vision

By definition, the ultimate achievement of any living creature is sustaining life, whether it be by the postponement of death or the abolishment of it for all practical purposes.

How this fits into a communications medium, I'm not sure. So I guess the Googlification of communications technology where all information is cross-referenced and available instantly in a format that people can understand and utilize is the next best thing.

Is your extreme belligerence re anti-Israel terrorism compensation for being so thoroughly pussy-whipped?

No, it's from personal experience. Ever play Backgammon?

Have you welcomed our feline overlords?

Not only have I welcomed them, but I feed and clean up after them. I figure they've evolved themselves into cuteness because if they weren't we'd crush them like bugs for being such arrogant pains in the asses.

Was Nardo a pug or a terrier in his past life?

I think he was a nerd lizard, a 98-gram weakling, beaten up by other lizards. Now he's having his revenge.

Is there a nasal decongestant for cat hair?

I'd suggest using a flea-preventing shampoo on your cat, not a nasal decongestant on it. A nasal decongestant might irritate their skin.

Given your intention to eventually take over the blogging world do you regret naming your blog.

I don't want the blogging world. That would mean I'd own Oliver Willis, and there's nothing worse than a fat slave.

"Go get me ice cream."
"Can it wait until after 23?"
"No, now. Piper wants mint ice cream, and so do I. Chop chop."
"Aw, boss."
"No, really, go get me ice cream."
"I think I ate it all."
"Damn it, Oliver. Now you're getting the whip."
(gibbers with glee)
"I knew I should have gotten a Roomba."

Every now and then, I have regrets that my domain name might be keeping me from achieving greatness. Some stick-in-the-mud here or there, doesn't like the word crap... or they just toss off "Hah, well, he's full of crap, he says so right there."

Yeah, that's a fine argument, tubby. Way to show the world that you're a deep thinker. Now hop back on the short bus and eat your pudding cup Mommy packed for you.

Then I realize it's just just the label but the content I've stuck the label on. I'm really, really abrasive for the most part, and I think people would rather hug a teddybear than sandpaper.

But before you toss out the sandpaper, try sanding a two-by-four with a teddybear sometime.

Does Nardo have a favorite type of lizard?

Most of the lizards are anoles, so that's what he gets the most. I'm sure if we lived near the zoo, he'd be howling and dragging a half-dead Komodo home.

Is there any magic left in the Qualls jersey?

I leave it hanging in our New Orleans-style breakfast nook, and Frisky likes to hide under the chair in his Qualls Cave when there's no game on.

The question is really whether there's magic in Chad Qualls' jersey. And I think there is. Chad Qualls right now is the best pitcher in the Astros bullpen, despite what that overblown fucktard Richard Justice says. Everybody else is unreliable, but Qualls has been nearly dead-on in his doubleplay role. It's when Garner's worn out the rest of the bullpen and makes Chad go more than an inning he might get a little shaky, or if Adam Everett or Morgan Ensberg are playing hurt and let easy grounders bobble or dribble into the outfield.

How do you really feel about Morgan Ensberg?

He'll look mighty handsome in a Kansas City Royals jersey. Or, fialing that, who's the team they have in their farm system at the double-A level?

Professional athletes need to tell their managers and trainers if they're hurt and the extent of the hurt so either something can be done about the injury/malady or someone else can spell them while they ride the bench on the DL. Ensberg appears to have lied about how hurt he is three times, the first being when his hand wasn't quite 100% and he went into the playoffs weak (with occasional lucky hits off of tired pitchers).

LS, are you a redneck?

Let's see...

I wear jeans, but they're clean.
I wear boots, but they're not fancy.
I wear a normal belt, no big buckle.
I drink Guiness, not some wimpy downstream American beer.
I don't drive a pickup (rednecks never use public transportation).
I don't own a shotgun.
I plank-grill and skewer veggies. Rednecks just toss on the steaks, no vegetables at all.
My ballcaps tend to be oddball minor league teams in various sports.

I think not.

Which cat is your favorite?

That's like asking "Which kid is your favorite?" Feel free to write that question on a two-by-four and shove it up your ass.

Does blogging interfere with your life?

Yes and no. I find that life sometimes interferes with blogging, and that's okay by me. When blogging interferes with life, I take a break and live.

Maybe more people should do the same?

whats your favorite drink?

Orange juice, Cranberry juice, and 7-up. My grandfather used to make that when we'd visit.

What's the most Redneck / White Trash thing you've ever done?

Laughed at a Jeff Foxworthy joke. Only happened once, hasn't happened since.

What are you, nuts?

At least one of my personalities is sane.

You ever had a ... um ... cat hair ... caught in the back of your throat?
If so, you want to tell about it?

I've pulled cat hairs out of my nose because Piper or Nardo slept with a tail across my face. But the back of my throat? I don't recall.

Which blog post are you most proud of having written?

I've written over 30,000 posts over the past four and a half years. It's so hard to choose. Looking back, those archives are a goddamned gold mine.

One of the best is A Modest Proposal For Saudi Elections. However, if that's too crude for you, look up my two attempts at writing sketches based on "The Two Thousand Year Old Man" character Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner did.

What's your favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie? Also, do you think he's a cinematic genius, or just a third-rate Rod Serling wanna-be?

Unbreakable. You can feel the horrific burden on Bruce Willis' back throughout the film, and he realizes in the end he's strong enough to carry it.

M. Night... hrm... Serling? Nah. He's a Hitchcok wanna-be because he gives himself a cameo in each film. However, he's been making longer and longer appearances in each film, sort of like how Silent Bob would appear in each Kevin Smith film a little bit more... until the whole movie was about him.

As with any talent that signs their soul to The Eisner (oops, I mean The Devil), his deal with Disney is a two-way street. Even with the Weinsteins around, there was never true full independence with Disney dollars paying the bills.

The deal allowed him to make his films, but they very rarely grant full independence to a film-maker. A little nip or prod here, a tuck there... never truly free. But with the cutbacks in Disney film-making announced, one can only hope that they shed all of the minders and censors and family-friendly flaks from the payroll to let M. Night do his stuff completely unburdened.

Why aren't your cats pretty like Minerva and Sydney?

Because you need your eyes checked. I'd suggest you do it soon, because there's nothing worse than a chick with bad eyes and a gun on the loose. (Well, ...)

Who do you think should win the war between Israel and Hezbollah?

Trick question: The war is really between Israel and the Shia partnership of Syria and Iran.

Let's just say I won't lose any sleep if Google Earth is updated with nasty brown splotches where Damascus and Tehran are now. (Okay, fine - nastier brown splotches)

I hear that Jews control the world through some sort of zionist conspiracy. If so - why are you so hated? Why can't you guys hire better PR people?

Those damn kids and their talking dog keep showing up in that garishly-colored van, exposing our fiendish plots.

Also, is it considered in bad taste if you sell advertising space on your yamulke?

I'm surprised that designer yamulkes with big names and labels and logos hasn't taken off around the world. Kind of like Nike Islamic prayer mats or Coke dictating the colors Santa Clau-

Never mind.

Why are you suck a Jew?!

Um... is this anything like Whack A Mole?

I'd think that Suck A Jew would be horribly unsanitary and, for the most part, a very short game. You'd have to give out a hell of a lot of tickets to winners to entice people to play.

When are you going to show those cats some discipline they sorely need?

When they ask for it. Right now, they just ask for: catnip, petting, to be let into the bathroom, to be let out, food, water, fresh litter, more room on the bed, and to sniff whatever I'm drinking or eating.

Laurence, we all the know that your blog is full of crap. Ever think of giving it a good flush?

"The Ty-D-Bowl Man is my editor."

Look, monkeyboy, I do. I just need to remember to flush twice for it to reach all the way to Ramallah.

How badly do you hate it when people misspell your name? Like with a 'w'?

It's annoying, but as long as it's spelled right on the checks I'm fine with it.

Have you ever beaten up a major cartoon character?

Back when I worked for a TV station owned by Disney, a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume showed up to walk around. Some folks were pointing and smiling, but my response was to get right in his face and say "The stock was 40. It's now 26. Fix it."

Actually, when it comes to cartoon characters, I've punched the living hell out of a guy in a Barney suit.

Then, I put on the suit and he beat the living hell out of me.

This was before reading Fight Club, too. If only I'd known, I could have established Barney Fight Club. But I still couldn't have talked out it, seeing how the Second Rule of Barney Fight Club is that you don't talk about Barney Fight Club.

Your house is on fire. Your wife has escaped. Your priceless dreidal collection is safely stowed away in a fireproof lockbox. You can only go back for one cat. Which one, and why.

You do realize that cats are quite capable of running from fire on their own, right?

Marry/sleep with/kill: Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Helen Thomas.

What's the area code for Huntsville? I need three needles to go.

Who is the most full of crap of anyone you've ever met?

Wow, that's a tough one. I'd have to go with Michael Eisner. Every moment listening to the guy, he made me wish he'd been in the helicopter with Frank Wells, and it took all of my strength to not say that aloud.

Who is the most full of crap of everyone you've never met?

Read the Koran and take a wild guess.

Again, thanks to Laurence Simon (This Blog Is Full Of Crap) for agreeing to the interview.

Tomorrow, it's my Big Sister (who's 5'4'') taking questions.

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