‘Mobs’: Cacophony in C major and A minor

S. Tsow, whom we all recognize as a canny businessman, says the vuvuzela craze will end with this year’s World Cup series.

Ms. Mu (“Pig”), on the other hand, who knows more about “biznet” than Rockefeller and Trump combined, says that is not so. Mainstream support for her claim is to be found in news reports (e.g. this one, and this one) regarding Chinese vuvuzela manufacturers, who are moving millions of these

items, and who plan, before they Read more

“Sky gravid with precipitate disaster”: Finances and the freelancer

Sky gravid with precipitate disaster.” My, my. Our man Collin certainly has a way with words, hasn’t he? Nevertheless, he’s still starving right along with the rest of us wordsmiths, though not as successfully as some.

But he does understand the kind of lifestyle where the sky is always falling and so what? That’s just the way things are.

We have a buddy, a felllow scrivener, who shall remain nameless, who fled Bangkok’s gravid skies to earn actual money Read more

Spinning in our pre-graves rools, OK!

* PRE-OBITS. P.J. O’Rourke has recently suggested a way to help draw readers back to newspapers.


No industry in living memory has collapsed faster than daily print journalism,” he suggests. “You can still buy a buggy whip, which is more than can be said for a copy of the Rocky Mountain News, Cincinnati Post, or Seattle Post-Intelligencer.”

What’s needed, he suggests, is a new kind of feature: “What I propose is “Pre-Obituaries”—official notices that certain Read more

Blacksmiths & novelists revisited: The Scott Adams Theory of Content Value

Collin’s not the only one comparing professional writers to blacksmiths, these days. Scott Adams, e.g, of “Dilbert” fame, presents his Adams Theory of Content Value: “As our ability to search for media content improves, the economic value of that content will approach zero.”

The fate of the author in the age of digital gizmodery (with apologies to Scott Adams):

Among other things, Adams predicts “that the profession known as ‘author’ will be retired to history in my lifetime, Read more

Digital dementia rools, OK!

Last night at a Japanese restaurant, here in Bangkok, where you place order on an elaborate digital tablet at your table and wait to be served by giant robots. As though this weren’t enough, already, once in a while sprightly music breaks out and these outlandish machines dance furiously up and down the aisles getting in the way if you have to go for a piss. Dementia rools, OK!


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Starving writers & gouty moguls

New penance for starving writers: black-pepper oatmeal cookies (from Scotland, culinary capital of the universe). I have them with sencha tea.

My companion du jour says they aren’t sweet, aren’t delicious and are way too expensive (only available at Villa, in Bangkok). Neither has she any use for hair shirts or unheated garrets.

Actually, in Bangkok all garrets are unheated, at least by human design. Same goes for the penthouses, for that matter. What do starving writers and gouty moguls … Read more

Apocalyptic cosmophobia

Jack, here. Looking back at the earlier exchange (22 April 2010) between Collin, S. Tsow and “Osho”—and then looking at Collin’s notion (today) that the iPad will end human existence as we’ve known it—I reckon the following is apropos.

Apocalyptic cosmophobia.

Just roll that one around on your tongue. A genuine cocktail party conversation stopper. DAVE BERRY HAS PROBABLY ALREADY USED IT TO NAME A NEW ROCK BAND.

Apocalyptic cosmophobia may first have been used to refer to popular readings … Read more

Heroes of the Revolution

This is Khun Kik, my hairdresser, who is a Vidal Sassoon graduate and way beyond the means of your average freelance writer, starving variety. She is also quite lovely, as is Miss Da, her assistant, on the left. These ladies are the first Heroines of This Revolution we’re teetering on the brink of  here in Bangkok.  But the wounds on Kik’s face are not from rumbling with the Red Shirts. No, she was walking up some stairs hand in hand … Read more

Looking for adventure, groupies, the usual

This is Jack Shackaway. I’ve been invited on another junket, a liveaboard dive trip in the Andaman Sea. We’re setting out from Phuket.  I don’t make a lot of money but, hey, I’m a freelance writer, eh? I don’t need a lot of money.

I’m a writer and freelance journalist. Sometimes I’m a hack. A two-bit panderer to any passing proposition. But in my own head I’m a full-fledged author, never mind I never have time to write anything. Not … Read more