Friday, January 22nd, 2010

On Preemptive Irritation, by Katie Baker

POST THISI don't want to put a damper on anyone's weekend, but I feel like I should give you unsuspecting folks a warning that an aggregate span of 22 minutes this Sunday is going to have a potentially painful and fairly unavoidable influence on your lives for the following two weeks-which is the length of time that the media has to drunk-drive you down the Road to the Super Bowl.

"Mainly, I cannot fathom what two weeks of Super Bowl lead-up will be like if it's Favre vs. Manning," fretted Dan Shanoff yesterday as he imagined a world in which the Vikings and Colts defeat the Saints and Jets this weekend. "I'm totally OK with Saints lead-up. And, while New York media annoys me to no end, I'm OK with Jets lead-up, mainly because it would be so unpredictable."

You don't have to understand football to get how he feels. I mean, do you really know anything about Scott Brown? No, but I bet you were dreading the outcome on Tuesday regardless just anticipating the cover of the Post. And you aren't sure when Vampire Weekend is going to be releasing their next album (called Gstaadpo, it will be positioned as a modern chiaroscuro that ponders the dark side of European history over fireside hot toddys at a ski chalet), but you've gone ahead and canceled your Internet connection for the entirety of 2012 just to be safe.

It's okay to feel that way. You're preemptively irritated, and so am I.

Preemptive irritation, a pal of mine pointed out, sounds like something that might be listed in the sotto-voce string of embarrassing side effects in an over-lawyered pharmaceutical ad. This is fitting, because there is a blurry line between symptom and cure. Am I being all fancy and media-crit when I see a link to a review of Committed and feel instantly annoyed at the rote condescension sure to be contained within? Or am I just a tedious contrarian who puts the jerk in kneejerk and makes this all worse?

New York Magazine's most well-known contribution to the charticle genre is the Approval Matrix, but I'm partial to another.

Bending the curve

"Welcome to the undulating curve of shifting expectations-the Heisenbergian principle [Don't tell Jim Holt!] by which hype determines how much you enjoy a given pop-culture phenomenon," explained Adam Sternbergh in 2005, when the graphic debuted.

The first-wave audience is pleasantly surprised, but the second-wavers feel let down; then the third wave finds it's not as bad as they've heard-and they're all watching the exact same show.

We all have our Tumblrs; we know how this goes. (Thank god for no Twitter in 2005-just imagining a month of #idontknowhowtoquityou makes my muscles go tense.) For years I assumed that my jaded exhaustion with new products or "slants" was just me kicking up my feet in that hammock of backlash. It's so nice to be lazy and so lazy to hate.

But I think this is different. Preemptive irritation is not a point on the curve, it is a point about the curve. The point being: the curve makes us crazy.

In the editor's intro to that cherished Winter 2008 n+1, the issue heard 'round the world wide web, the unbylined writer dismissed the Undulating Curve. He called it a "bullying charticle" that "disfigure[d] even such a once-proud publication" as New York (and while I do genuinely assume that the placement of an n+1 founding editor's book, Indecision, on the inaugural sinewave has nothing to do with his later assessment, I can't resist pointing it out.)

Nor was the writer a fan of the "Hype Cycle" underlying the graphic:

Hype-and-backlash overwhelm the artifacts that supposedly occasion them. At this point a basic inversion takes place. Never mind the moon; look at the finger pointing at the moon. Is it pointing too high, or too low? It makes you want to turn away from that overhyped satellite altogether.

Yeah! It's not that I hate the moon. (Well, unless the moon is the movie Love Actually or the CNBC talking head Julie Roginsky.) What I hate is that I can't even see the damn thing on account of all the fat fingers in my face telling me where to look, or why to stop looking, or when to buy a set of lunar map placemats from the checkout line of Urban Outfitters.

God, just think about what's going to happen when Apple finally releases the iSmoov69! I can't even imagine how many grubby fingerprints are going to be clouding that liquid-diamond screen.


"I don't know what it is I'm preemptively bristling at," confessed Leon Neyfakh last year, after reading a blog post declaring a bar the new down-home, just-folks spot. "Maybe just the idea of someone walking into this place and deciding happily that it's exactly the kind of authentic, no-bullshit joint our 'nabe' needs. Because, who the fuck made that person boss?"

Or consider the upcoming Valentine's Day, a film which, in the grand tradition of He's Just Not That Into You, stars Everyone Ever in the role of Unlikeable Characters #1-19. I'm sick of this movie and it's not even out. I'm already anti your every review! Even yours, David Edelstein. Even yours, Mary HK Choi. It's not the content of cultural arbitration that makes me so weary but rather the predictability of its flow.

This is why Shanoff can tolerate a Jets victory despite his contempt for the New York media circus: setting aside the number of times the word "poise" will be ascribed to The Sanchize (a tally which has itself become a tiresome meme) there's less clarity (less centricity?) around the insta-takes and counter-takes that would form in its wake.

Conversely, Brett Favre has long been a walking talking Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations in and of himself, and boy does he look like a kid out there. (A kid who threw two interceptions the last time he appeared in the NFC championships, but I suppose I should wait till we're all backlashing in lockstep two-ish weeks from today to bring that one up.)

"I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday," mopes Max in Kicking and Screaming (at the 1:30ish mark.) "I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory… and I didn't have a good time."

Max is a cautionary tale for people like me. Avoiding annoyance is a slippery slope: too much measured (slash cynical) foresight and one runs the risk of passing right through the space-time continuum and into the glum realm of proactive retrospect, a far more dangerous place and one littered with neuroses and doubt.

Me, I'd rather revel in being preemptively irked, like a long-distance runner who chases the pain.

But some rise above. Last night I IM'd Leon about that irksome neighborhood bar and he told me it's now one of his go-to faves. I expressed my surprise, and he Internet-shrugged.

"I couldn't really hold against it its customer's ideology," he typed back.

He's a better man than I.

Katie Baker writes mostly about sports and weddings and the Winter Olympics.

104 Comments / Post A Comment

fek (#93)

I'm preemptively irritated by certain people's lives. What do I do about this?

NinetyNine (#98)

Needs more Edward Sharpe.

katiebakes (#32)

I actually almost used this post of yours as a reference, but the video was no longer available!

NinetyNine (#98)

I probably should just update the name of my tumblr.

Flashman (#418)

Georgia Bold. With a name like that who could resist?

sigerson (#179)

ooo, how meta!

[annoyed and irritated by your solipsism]

FatGirl (#3,153)

Really, what's next week? How nothing matters because left is right and black is white and everyone is so full of bullshit?

Jerkwheat (#2,247)

If anyone knows about overexposing a particular quarterback to a point of annoyance, it's Dan Shanoff.

sweetpickles (#812)

Sounds like someone's got a case of the preemptive Mondays.

evilfred (#2,351)


In a way, this somehow reminds me of Brian Eno's "End of Cool" thing ( I can't decide how exactly they line up. Is it just a ritual that "new" things have to go through before they are absorbed into the seething mass of "things that might be cool for you but not for someone else but that's ok", which some people don't care about because they're not new? (Until they're "reboot"-ed?)

Also: Avatar? The entire Internet was ready to hate it but then, not hate. But then hate after all. Kind of.

lempha (#581)

Oh, it's so annoying! It's so intuitive and emotional — how you can't help but get caught up in the backlash cycle nor can you help from bristling at things that don't exist yet — and you just want to THINK about these things, but you can't *just* think, you can barely think at all, actually. Really betrays our self-image as being essentially rational. But, um, that's life, I guess?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

In some areas I'm actually way behind on my irritation. I keep holding out hope long after it makes any sense to do so, and then some weird breaking point is reached and all the pent-up weeks or months of irritation come crashing in at once, like a sonic boom of frustration.

This piece includes my favorite parenthetical of 2010, thus far.

Dave Bry (#422)

Mine, too! I bet it was the same one.

(Good night, the movie Love Actually or the CNBC talking head Julie Roginsky.
Good night, cow jumping over the movie Love Actually or the CNBC talking head Julie Roginsky.)

LolCait (#460)

I knew you could do it!

Abe Sauer (#148)

I was tricked into reading this by the article's pretend relation to football.

You know what's great about football? It lacks ALL of the above hand-wringing and over-analyzing of what is and what isn't. "No dude, PROVE you're alive!"

Football. You make it the five, ten or forty yards or you don't. You smash into the guy and you run him over or he plants you into last week. That's it. Football is not without its detractions and its absurdities. But I would take any football fan any day of the week over anyone from Kicking and Screaming. I wanted to punch those kids on the face then and the desire has not flagged with age.

What I am saying is please keep your N+1 out of my football. Thankyouverymuch.

So do you mute the games?
And I guess you've had ESPN (and ESPN2) removed from your cable line-up?

Abe Sauer (#148)

Are you kidding? the LAST thing you'll ever hear from a football announcer is anything even bordering on a non-sincere philosophical thought. The rest of ESPN's talking heads are the same as political media's talking heads, who needs them? You don;t like what Jim Rome or Bill O'Reilly have to say, well, don't watch them for Christsake.

Well. Maybe talking about how much Favre "looks like a kid out there" isn't the most deeply philosophical thing in the world. But it sure as shit is superannoying when repeated 45 times a half!

Also, learn the difference between a fucking reverse and an end around, people! This is MY deeply philosophical gripe.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Ha. Yes. But really we're talking about one announcer here. I have no video archive but I bet there aren't 5 other announcers who have used the "like a kid out there" thing once in their careers (except that ONE GUY who is really an announcer for occasional fans and not every-game fans, so he basically announced to people who only half cared or knew what was going on in the game. I don;t know one person I consider an even intermediate fan of the sport who likes his announcing.)

LondonLee (#922)

Mine too (the one where you use your feet)

Hey guys, I think it's disrespectful to use the comment thread as a place to snipe at each other (that's what email is for). Katie wrote a thoughtful piece and it would be a shame to have this dope space devolve into the aggro-petty-fest that plagues so much of the internet. It's this type of stuff that, I think, turns off newer commenters who could be contributing some insight on to Bakes' irritable state!


fek (#93)

This would be a great time to bring up N+1's TAKE BACK THE NFL party. We're throwing it in Dumbo, and various literature luminaries from all parts of the country, but especially the most real parts, will take it back from other literature people who make it frustrating for us REAL literature people who just want to EXPERIENCE it, Abe. A line must be drawn. Help us put lines in the figurative astroturf.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Another thing the game of football thankfully lacks: overly-clever people.

This is certainly true.

fek (#93)

Right? Fuck those guys, too. This is OUR GAME, Abe. Not theirs. Them and their stupid clever blogs and necessarily crotchety counter-intuitive arguments made for the sake of making! They don't know The Game like we do.

NinetyNine (#98)

Um, Ocho Chino much? Written with my Sharpie. And let's not even mention the whole Texas Tech offense. And A-11.

Abe Sauer (#148)

You calling your football writing clever or your arguments about football creatively counter-intuitive? Because…

fek (#93)

Too clever. Don't get it.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Not surprising.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Also, stop using my first name like you know me you jerk. Especially if you're going to post anonymously.

liveforlife (#3,148)

Lighten up, Francis.

fek (#93)

Anything else? (This is F(OSTER)E(THAN)K(AMER), btw.)

You guys are making some kind of good point about the Internet. If only I could put my finger on it….

mat (#2,476)

I most acutely felt preemptive irritation three months ago. the prospect of philly fans getting a repeat championship made me root for the yankees in the world series for the first (and, insha'alah, last) time ever. sports definitely brings this out, more even than bars.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Well, you can/should only like one or two teams, but you can hate a whole bunch of teams, and having a team you hate in the game makes it more fun to watch (or, of course, you could gamble on the game).

Bittersweet (#765)

No kidding – Sox fandom wouldn't be half as much fun without "Yankees Suck."

Haha, that series made me root for days and weeks and months and years of rain. Buck + McCarver + Yankee pageantry = NO THANK YOU FOR ALL TIME.

esquared (#888)

I am preempting my comment here due to my preemptive irritation from preemptive reading of this preemptive post.

This piece is awesome. Bravo, Katie!

What due you call preemptive irritation that proves unfounded — because the irritating thing you expected to happen never actually comes to pass?

There needs to be a word for that. Maybe some kind of German word?

hockeymom (#143)


Here's an example of the kind of misguided preemptive irritation I'm talking about – This piece on Slate's XX blog:,1

… in which the author, J. David Goodman, moans about how that popular "Jill and Kevin wedding video" from last year would soon be co-opted by the wedding industry as a new tradition — and that we'd all have to sit through re-enactments of the goofy-dance-down-the-church-aisle thing at weddings for years to come. He was apparently so convinced this would happen that he spent over 1,000 words complaining about it.

But as far as I know, it never happened (except in an episode of The Office). Anyone hear of that happening at any real weddings? No? Of course not! Because that would just be too tacky and derivative, right?

So there you go – misguided preemptive irritation.

hockeymom (#143)

You dissed MHKChoi.
That seems…..wrong.

katiebakes (#32)

That was by design! I was dissing my FAVORITE TWO FILM CRITICS! (Sorry AO, still luv u baby)

Neopythia (#353)


evilfred (#2,351)

Everyone is living such independent, self-centered lives (their own music, their own fave blogs, etc.) that we're missing out on communal activities. To make up for it we live vicariously through a series of EVENTS (big new movie, Apple announcements, health care bill etc.).

lumazur (#1,806)

"KATIE BAKES! KATIE BAKES!" — bill simmons

Abe Sauer (#148)

ALSO: Since you brought up Favre.

It is sports writers (like you) who are the real culprits behind the "like a kid out there" thing. I've watched a boatload of Favre games in my day and I have not heard it very often. Do sportscasters lavish praise on him? Yes. Does he deserve it? Quite often, actually.

Furthermore: "(A kid who threw two interceptions the last time he appeared in the NFC championships, but I suppose I should wait till we're all backlashing in lockstep two-ish weeks from today to bring that one up.)" is the sentence equivalent of Favre's 2005 season: telegraphed, nonsensical and, ultimately, a huge failure.

jolie (#16)

Oh can it, ya fahkin' blowhahd.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Jan 1997.

jolie (#16)

OOOOOH BUUUURN. Nevah heahd a thing like that befoah. Nevah. YAH A REAL ORIGINAL, ABE SAUER!

You guys. Deep breaths please. This is a comment thread! Not like, the UN meeting on war crimes prosecution.

katiebakes (#32)

I like Favre! I'm actually (weirdly) rooting for the Vikes to make it to the Super Bowl (and maybe even win?) which feels funny to admit because I am a Giants fan and the Vikings were responsible for one of the most crushing Giants losses I've ever seen. I am tearing up just thinking about it.

But I guess that has nothing to do with Favre! Still, maybe it explains why I tried to shoehorn the reference to that 2007 NFC Championship Game in there. I needed some good times to cling to, however anti-gramatically.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Don't get me wrong. He DESERVES some scorn. You know how many heartbreak pick 6s I endured during the Bush administration? But I find it really bizarre that some of the largest complaints framed against Favre are really complaints about journalists/announcers. That is to say, Favre takes the blame for people making uncreative, derivative comments about him. And that those complaints about the uncreative, derivative comments are themselves wildly uncreative and derivative. Put that in your N+1 and smoke it.

As for your Giants woe… "Said Giants quarterback Danny Kanell…" That really sums it up, no?

Also irritating: "pick 6s".

I enjoy reading n+1.

Ooh! Should have read ahead on this one. (See my response above.)

The fact of the matter, Abe, is I think the announcers actually have gotten way more "philosophical" in recent years. (Not the right word, but.) What with all the on-screen graphics and what-have-you, I guess they don't feel like they need to actually comment on what's going on on the field as much? I mean, remember when it was just a play-by-play guy & a color guy?
(And I don't just mean the Dennis Miller debacle and like that.)

Abe Sauer (#148)

Ok, dismissing Denis Miller…

I agree that there is a departure from absolute play by play. There is certainly more "tabloidy" stuff about off-field drama and "the business" etc etc. But there realy isn;t anything "meta" and very little sarcasm. Football announcing is like Jay Leno's humor, not challenging and not self-aware.

Matt (#26)

Thing is, the color guys are still by and large doing their jobs. They speak from a position of authority, and often the sport is really the only thing they know, so they're good at explaining what is actually going on down on the ground.

The problem is NOT JUST throwing Dennis Miller/Tony Kornheiser in the booth either (mostly because those were both abject failures). The real pernicious problem is the Joe Bucks of the world, supposed play-by-play bros simultaneously more concerned with raising their brand profile via knowing which side is their best side while also trying to "have gravitas" by editorializing while the game is still in play.

As with most things, this is all Bob Costas' fault.

Abe Sauer (#148)

God, if you want to start a Joe Buck / Bob Costas hate club I'll totally join. They're 1000 times worse than listening to Madden's Andy Rooney act.

And Matt just encapsulated exactly what I was trying to say above. Thanks, Matt! (Though, truth be told, I could use maybe a little more color from the color guys.)

Abe Sauer (#148)

You should pitch the NFL on a special radio broadcast channel just for people who want more… Gawker? Awl? or whatever in their announcing.

What's a radio?

Abe Sauer (#148)

It's the thing Steve Jobs wouldn't put in your iPod until its 1,288th generation.

Oh! So something about lasers, then?

Abe Sauer (#148)

Sure, why not.

Who are the fake culprits?

Abe Sauer (#148)

The nonexistent legion of announcers who so many sports bloggers blame for saying "like a kid out there" a boatload of times every game.

Berman says it at least once (or something along those lines) every Sunday on Countdown. He may not be an announcer but he is not a sportswriter either.

Abe Sauer (#148)

"Or something along those lines." Sure. Ok. But you know why? Because it's largely true. Every major star in the NFL (and other major sports for example, hell, look at Tiger Woods and the Mariano Riviera and Roger Federer) and they all have boring cliche things said about them over and over again, Even Payton Manning suffers from it. That sports reporting is uncreative is not a news flash. To pick on sports reporters for being uncreative is itself uncreative. You know what else is cliche and overused? Bloggers (Bloggers!) putting everything in parentheses with an exclamation mark. But I don't see writers getting all bent out of shape and calling its use out all the time.

Awww, why you be dissin' on my favorite tick (TICK!) like that?

David Cho (#3)

Three things:

1) If you're trying to make the argument that sports announcers aren't praising Favre every time they're covering him, then you are in denial about what it means to be a sports announcer, and to a lesser extent the Sports Center anchors as well.

By definition, they can't say anything negative about any of the players in the game, rarely will you hear a play-by-play or color guy have an opinion that isn't a positive. You see this phenomenon on every level of telecast, whether it's a 3rd-tier broadcast team or the MNF guys.

The thing is, that praise is taken to another level when you put a future HOF-er like Favre who these announcers get to spend some quality time with the week before the game. Do you know how hard it is to be publicly mean about people you've just met a few days before who you will probably see again at a later date? VERY HARD.

So if these people are put in a position to talk adoringly about Favre, inevitably the first two things that always come are what he's always been known for: 1) LOVES the game and 2) is a gunslinger. Both of which are seemingly very true.

And now, Favre's old, so someone like him who loves the game so much, loves it like a kid, because kids love games in a more pure way than jaded adults. That's a pretty easy analogy to make, and thus using the logic before, people end up making it a lot.

(He's also a gunslinger because, well, he throws into coverage a lot, and is successful a lot too, so you can't really question that, but it would be disingenuous of me not to mention the two most common things said about Favre.)

2) To your second point about parenths and exclamation points. I mean, it happens, but seeing as how it's still enjoyable, why not let it keep happening.

3) Also, I could not disagree with you more on what you said above about football being something that is about one person hitting another person. There's so much more involved in play calling, play execution, and just the overall narratives in the game even, that make that statement so wrong to me on so many levels.

Abe Sauer (#148)

1. I wasn't.

2. I didn't say it should.

3. What I was getting at is that football lacks abstract interpretation. It is not measured in how one FEELS about it. The game is about 1,000 moving pieces and strategies (which of course are themselves open to criticism) but the end result does not differ simply by how anyone interprets it. The only "good" and "bad" judgments are what you wanted to result to be, not about part of the game itself. e.g., Favre threw and interception or he didn't. The act itself is not open to emotional interpretation, preemptive or otherwise. You are either happy he did it or enraged (or uncaring). In a world where Avatar wins an Oscar (maybe!) while 10,000 other people think it's the worst movie of the year, or fashion, or literature, or society's increasing need to SAHRE its every Twittery thought about whether Brenden Frasier is getting fat, these absolutes are refreshing. Football is largely free of meta-enabling (as are most team sports) and that is great. That's what I meant.

David Cho (#3)

1) You still make the argument that his "childlike love for the game" isn't something that's referred to on a very, very regular basis. And I still disagree with that.

2) Sure, you were bringing it up for the sake of commenting, but not criticizing. I misunderstood.

3) Sports, albeit seemingly quantitative, is still full of ambiguous successes and failures.

The 18-1 Patriots lost the Superbowl, presumably the gauge the best team of any given year, but there's still a large contingency of people who believe that they were still the best team of that year, and there's a somewhat reasonable argument for it: better record, better overall players (statistically), historically better coach, and also the fact that one fluke play in which a player who normally stumbles, doesn't, and a dispensable player happens to hold his hands close to his face. There's probably a large contingency of New England that subscribes to this theory. So even though the Giants technically one, a large number of people disagree on what the victory meant. There's still a subjective component to sports, that is often times strong enough to the point where it usurps the "absolute".

Your example of Avatar seems like the most similar comparison.

Don't we have the same quantitative gauges for (using your example here) movies? If Avatar makes the most money of any movie ever, isn't that a quantitative victory? If you're Fox, or Cameron, or team Avatar as it were, didn't you win by making the most financially successful movie of all time (let's assume here that it overtakes Titanic), and also creating a franchise that will be both popular and very lucrative as well?

I guess to me, sports, just as much as movies, although having very strict quantitative measures of success, aren't completely void of subjective opinion swaying the general mindset of the people that consume them.

Another example that comes to mind would be the evaluation of the best basketball player of all time: Russell vs. MJ vs. Kobe vs. LeBron. There are statistical arguments that could be made for any of them, and also very subjective ones that compare the ways in which you appreciate the various players.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Sigh. This is clearly a better over beers discussion but… Sure, comments like "childike" and "gunslinger" are made. But really not as often as the harsher critics like to think. The echo chamber of complaining about it contributes to its perceived incidence. And, anyway, like you said, it's very sincere, if uncreative. Complaining incessantly about it (which I find almost exclusively from sports bloggers) is cynical and shallow… like the couch potato who's morally incensed over gold-medal-winner-extrorinaire Michael Phelps smoking a little grass.

And I see your points re: athletic achievement/failure/ etc being open to some interpretation. Lebron / Kobe being one (even though arguing about their greatness isn;t really "the game" any more than one actor is a film). But again, I don;t think it leads to much of the "meta-enabling" analysis placed on more subjective (art/entertainment) mediums. i.e., nobody uses the Patriots 2008 season to draw parallels to some tragic King Leer life truth. And think film is the perfect opposite of "games." The difference is that IN GENERAL nobody agrees on the criteria to measure films. That is to say, there is fundamentally no agreement within film itself about criteria. Is a McG film better than a Perdo A film b/c it makes more $? Many would say yes. But many others would say no. IN GENERAL sports fans agree on measuring games. Sure, the Pats fans will argue they are the greatest team evah without winning the SB… but I bet the vast majority are biased by their fanship.

As a long-time Eagles fan, I don't think I can agree with you on the purely-outcome-based game measuring point at all, Abe. Any true Eagles fan will find a LEGION of things to criticize after a game, even after we win. (Especially after we win!) Sure, we're all just a bunch of defeatist, fatalistic Negative Nellies. But even the governor comes on teevee after every game to talk about it.

And this isn't a bad thing! In fact, I'd rather get behind the contrarian stuff than the gushing. And when the gushing is all one-note (like the kid-out-there stuff) and predictable, it's annoying indeed. Which I think is what Katie was talking about? And which I definitely agree with.

(p.s. I'm VERY MUCH writing under a pseudonym, so I hope I'm not irritating you by addressing you by name? Sorries if so!)

Flashman (#418)

It's not just bloggers any more. Sacha Frere Jones used the (….!) construction last week. In a magazine.
I believe it was Choire, whoops I mean Mr. Sicha, who first popularized it back when he was running Gawker. BUT I COULD BE WROGN!

kneetoe (#1,881)

What I like about watching sports is how intensely I can enjoy it while it's taking place and how little impact it has on me afterwards. A week, a month, a season later (tops) I will not remember who won or even who played.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Sorry, never mind, that's what I like about watching porn, not sports.

Mindpowered (#948)

In porn everyone wins. No Drama.

Bittersweet (#765)

I don't know…it took me a good 8 months to get over Super Bowl XLII, just in time to watch the next season go down the crapper in the first game.

thepalephantom (#3,140)

This totally reminds me of the Wallace "fallacy that cynicism and naiveté are mutually exclusive" argument, and YES, I can totally ID with everything up there.

nonlinear (#3,141)

paul virilio on "the information bomb" warns that "Real-time interaction would be to information what radioactivity is to energy."

MatthewGallaway (#1,239)

That V-D movie advertisement is soooo horrible and depressing — so filled with perfect teeth but without any trace of camp — it makes me want to jump in front of the C-train every time I see it. (I can totally relate to what you're saying.) As with all things like this, my solution is to read Huysmans, think about silver patterns and pretend that the world doesn't exist. (This is easier as a non-heterosexual of course.)

Before the comment thread to this post, I used to really dislike Foster and kind of like Abe. Now I really dislike Abe and kind of like Foster. I don't know what this has to do with preemptive irritation but I'm fucking pissed off about it!

Vulpes (#946)

It's off-putting when Abe gets bitchy because A) he's like the only straight fella here, so it doesn't "fit" and B) he's so adorable with his big beard and his hat and big coat! How can such an cute little teddy bear have such fangs? But, of course, he does.

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

Oh man! This reminds me, I can't wait for Abe's outfit to change for summertime. Will it change? I want an app for that.

Vulpes (#946)

OMG, Mary, YES!!! There should be an Abe for all seasons, including a Christmas one where there are blinking lights in his beard, a St. Patrick's one with green, and a Valentine one with little Cupid wings coming off his back.

I can only imagine how annoyed with yourself you were when writing this post.

katiebakes (#32)

Dear lord, you have NO IDEA.

krucoff (#560)

Pro blogging gig, Katie. #balkedrightintothatone

NinetyNine (#98)

I'm just commenting to push this up to the most commented so I can post on my tumblr about how The Awl is violating the sacred trust of their About page by fishing for pages views with a post about football. Related: lace, lace, lace.

sigerson (#179)

Linkbait theatre!

Peter Feld (#79)

Is this what you guys do when I'm not around? Anyway, I just figured out what bar it is. How do you guys get your pictures on this thing?

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Sablesma (#1,244)

Finally! (Finally!)

a.t. (#1,744)

Bunch of Phil Mushnicks in here, and I like it!

hockeymom (#143)

Since this has turned into a sports thread, I have something to bitch about.
Just got back from a hockey game where two spectators (kids) got kicked out. They would stand down by the goalies, but kind of at a right angle. At first I thought they were taking pictures, turns out they were shining FUCKING LASERS LIGHTS into the goalie's eyes. Some kid from the other team saw them and told the ref. What's really weird, is they were "fans" from the home team…and they were doing this to their own goalie…as well as ours (full disclosure, the goalie on our team is my spawn).

I read about this happening at an NHL game, but apparently it's now a "thing".
Rotten children.

(we won, 7-2)

Abe Sauer (#148)

lkdglsdkjfin!!! "Isolated incident" would be a nice explanation but….

you won. (7?!?!)

Bittersweet (#765)

They were doing this to your kid? I'm impressed you managed to restrain yourself. I'd probably have gone all Mama Bear on their ass and gotten thrown out.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I get the prumptive irritations real bad when I see the title and teaser of a blog post and form the well-founded impression that it is probably going to examine, not just the ephemera of trash culture, and not even just the metaphenomenon of the reception of such ephemera, nor yet even the meta-metaphenomenon of a trash civilization's reflection upon its own reception of its trash culture, but the 3X-metaphenomenon of the nauseous anticipation of one's own helpless participation in the trash civilization's self-conscious reflection upon its own fated reception of the phenomena of its trash culture.

joeclark (#651)

The bar has a single customer, or the ideology he referred to was his own?

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