Christmas is a deeply sacred holiday in Australia, because its arrival
signals that it’s time to put aside daily trivialities and focus on what
Aussies really care about: sun, sport, and lying around not doing much.
I am partaking in this by making a pilgrimage to
and since Western Australia doesn’t have electricity, this will be my last blog
of the year.
Thanks to everyone who’s visited my site in 2004—this blogging thing
has been very cool. I wasn’t sure what the hell I was doing in the
beginning, or whether posting regular updates to my site would quickly
get boring. I don’t know about you, but I’m still having fun, so I’ll
be back in 2005.
P.S. Okay, okay, Western Australia has electricity.
I was reading my local community magazine and came to the classified column
“Adult Services.” There weren’t many to choose from, so apparently (a) I live in
a morally upright suburb, and (b) it’s a sellers’ market. Still, I decided
to critique their marketing efforts: If I was buying, which hooker
would I hire?
Sexy, friendly, mid-30s, blonde
I like that she’s “friendly.” The last thing I’d want when I’ve hired
a prostitute is for her to be rude or standoffish. Although maybe I’m
reading that wrong; maybe you get her around to your house but when you
try to get frisky, she says, “I’m sorry… I just don’t want to
ruin the friendship.” I’m also a little wary about that “mid-30s”: is
that her age or birthdate?
R U BI CURIOUS WHATEVER?
Try a sensual male body rub by attractive young guy.
Hmm, I need to be a lot more than “curious” about bisexuality before
the idea of a sensual body rub from an attractive young
guy sounds appealing. I think I’d have to have some pretty firm opinions.
Affectionate mid 30’s Blonde. Prefers men 50’s+
So if I open the door, Vanessa’s face will fall with disappointment.
That’s no good. I have to say, though, I’m surprised that someone so
picky about who she sleeps with has chosen this career path. I feel
bad for Vanessa; I imagine life is quite the challenge.
EROTIC.. BODY.. TOUCH
All good words. But to me the ad suggests a lack of
imagination; like whoever wrote it doesn’t really know what she
should be doing. She comes over, you get naked, then she just starts
awkwardly poking your chest.
Uni Student. Visit You. $250/hour.
That sounds like a lot of money just for a visit. I hope that includes
some sex. But why is Angel telling me she’s a student? Will she need
to get some studying done while she’s over? Is she prone to holding
forth on socialism? It’s almost as if she’s suggesting that Uni Students
who have sex are rare and exotic. She’s obviously not staying at my
Cheeky Private Blonde 23 Credit Cards.
We have a winner! First, I am a sucker for wacky names, and
“Faith Paradise” is even better than “Juliette Private”.
She’s cheeky (that’s a plus), private (won’t tell everyone the next day),
and, apparently, has 23 credit cards! So if the sex didn’t go well, we
could chat about consumerism. Perfect!
A while ago, someone called Ellis started writing to me. The first e-mail
was in August, in response to
about people who start posts with “Um…” It read, in full:
Do you have any pets?
Soon Ellis was sending me e-mails after almost every blog. Sometimes
they were comments on what I’d written, like this response
to my hope to be hired as Syrup screenwriter:
You would probably be good at a screen play, I have heard that blogger
typically are better at that genre.
Sometimes I had to think really hard before I got the connection, like
this response to my blog about
The meaning of life is in essence, sex. The whole point of our species
is to reporduce and evolve, these are done through sex.
Sometimes they were questions:
What about you, what do you search for (outside of your web site?)
Sometimes they were bizarre:
I am making my graduation suit compleatly out of duct tape, I will send
pictures when I make it.
And frequently they were about animals:
Mr. Max, do you have any pets?
I have two cats and a kitten, they are all cute, the cats are fat but
the kitten is fluffy and thin.
The other day I thought: I have to find out who this guy is.
So I e-mailed Ellis and asked if I could interview him.
He agreed, and I sent him three initial questions:
- So who ARE you?
- How did you find my site?
- I get quite a few people who write to me about one blog in particular,
but you write to me about practically all of them. How come? Do you write
to other bloggers or am I special?
- I am an American eighth grader currently living
in San Francisco, California. Most of my time is spent singing, I have
been in three San Francisco Operas four local operas. I take private
voice lessons and sing in a choir listed as being better than SF boys chorus.
My spare time is spent either reading (but mostly) playing on the computer
and learning how to program. That pretty much who I am, not anything
- I found nationstates through my brother (secllia) and followed the
links from nationstates to your site (maxbarry.com) and then explored the
site until I found the news letter and subscribed.
- Why do I write so many of them? Well, when ever something catches my
eye I write back, usually about a random statement taken out of context that
relates to what I am currently thinking and I write back about it (I don’t know
how I connected to the time I told you I was making my graduation suit out
of duct tape, but I wrote that because I just made a duct tape wallet).
And yes you are special (in more ways than one :-) I don’t do this to
other bloggers I read.
I wrote back:
Wow, I’ve never even seen an opera, and here you are singing in them.
Not only that, but you make duct tape wallets. That’s plenty interesting.
I have three more questions:
- Do you have a web site? I think you should. Your kind of random
comment is perfect for a blog. And then *I* could leave comments for
- If you sing in a boys’ choir, does that mean that when your voice
breaks they kick you out and your career is over? Or will you one day be
playing the leading role and releasing a range of CDs?
- What are the advantages of the duct tape wallet? Why not, say,
Ellis snapped back:
- I unfortunately don’t have a web site because my parent won’t let
me, but I have found some places to set up on the sly. I would
definitely like to get messages from you, you might be a little more
interesting in private.
- When my voice changes I get to go to the older group till I am 18,
then its life on the streets. I plan to go to school of the arts in
my area so that by the time I am 18 I will be able to go to a good
music collage. And yes, someday soon I will be recording.
- Duct tape over leather, one, duct tape is cheaper, I needed to
carry around ID and money and starbucks cards. Two, upgradeable, just
recently I needed a sperate clear slip for my ID, so I just duct taped
on a piece of clear plastic, you try doing that with a leather wallet
and still have it look cool and leathery! Third, no animals were hurt
to produce it.
Damn, how awesome is Ellis? If he gets that web site up, I am
definitely linking to it. And remember: you heard about him here
Hey, now this is damn cool. Fast Company’s November
issue contained their
100 “people, ideas, and trends that
will change how we work and live in 2005.” Coming in at number 8 is
“Max Barry’s Company”!
What it is:
A satiric novel due out next fall featuring a company “so huge
that nobody who works for it knows what it actually does.” Stir into motion
the angle-players, bureaucrats, and suck-ups after merciless layoffs. Let
the follies begin.
Barry’s cult novels Syrup and
Jennifer Government established him as a gifted business satirist.
Expect more informed viciousness about the hierarchies we endure.
I guess now I should stop editing the thing so it can actually be
published, hey? (Just a little longer. Just a liiiiiitle longer.)
Update 6-Dec-04: At Fortress’s request, I’ve removed the
script while they make their decision. Thanks to everyone who reviewed
it and made suggestions!
Okay, for anyone who’s interested: here’s my attempt at the first
twenty-something pages of a
This is what the Fortress guys will use to decide whether I’m the right
guy to write the full thing. I would really, really love to do that,
but I’m going to try to spend the next few weeks not fretting about it.
This is what I’ve decided: if they like the way I’ve done it, then
terrific, but if not, well, it’ll just mean that one of my most fervent
wishes is dashed in a highly public and embarrassing way. That’s all.
If you’re reading this via your web browser, you might notice
I’ve also added the ability for people to leave
comments in response to my blogs, something I’ve been threatening to do
for ages. This is more hand-written code on my part, so I apologize
in advance if something goes wrong, or the comments all disappear, or
my web host freaks out again at the load I’m generating on their server
(“Aahhhh! Scripts!”) and takes down the whole site.
Assuming this works, though, I’m very interested in what you guys think
of my draft. If I actually get this gig, I want to use any feedback
I get here to help me write the rest of it.