Print Story Elective Surgery
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:17:07 AM EST) (all tags)
Sweeping changes were never so easy. Think of it as single-level oversight, or "slight." The end of an époque. Office design. The Classics of Ophthalmology Series. Holding court in the streets. The three-strike system. Election scandals? Drinks.

Office: Clean-Up

    Concerned that lack of oversight might be a problem in our company, various fragments of the PtB collective held staff meetings late yesterday. From what I can tell, everybody basically got the same speech. Somewhere else this would suggest a can talk conceived by committee elsewhere. With the PtB, however, it is equally possible that their collective hive mind meshes so effectively that given the opportunity for extemporaneous speaking, all the monads of the PtB sentient-constellation will spit out pretty much the same thing.

    The basic speech, here stripped of rhetorical flourish and boiled down to basics, goes like this:
    "As you all know, lack of oversight in [some department other than this one] has made us all aware of the importance oversight and communication. My door is always open. If you feel you are about to fuck up, or, more importantly, you have fucked up in a way that might endanger my position within the corporation; I need you to come to me immediately.
    "This new found openness could, however, lead to incredible abuses of trust and time, so I want you to make yourself known to me only when we're dealing with a genuine fuck up. And something that is really about to explode or has just exploded.
    "Oh, and when you come to report this dire mistake you've made, please bring along a one page, executive summary describing the problem, the best solution, and the party that caused the fuck up.
    "Thanks. You're a hell of a team and I'm proud to work with you. Now please go away."

Just Below Union Square: Strand

    Was going to meet Dan for drinks at Old Town. Got to the area early, so I killed some time at the Strand.

    While walking to the shop, I noticed that this restaurant called Le Belle Époque – a French bistro that sat above an antique shop and clearly tapped that shops early 20th century collections for their decorating - was gone. It has been replaced by the corporate offices of Halstead Properties. Halstead is an upmarket realtor. I used to call the flier they inserted in the Friday NYTimes "real estate porn." They deal in multi-million dollar penthouse joints with views of heaven, indoor swimming pools, private heated garages and golf courses, and a personal third-world country to help Manhattan's elite keep the servant-costs down.
    While the office still looks over the street through the same wonderfully over-tall windows, the dark red paint scheme became the clinical white (a shade called "relentless white" in home repair shops) preferred by so many office designers. Gone are the deco-era lamps and fixtures – replaced by banks of fluorescent tubes, further adding to the sense of laboratory cleanliness. The modern office designer's obsession with cleanliness borders on the pathological, like a guilty compulsion. When I see one of these modern, post-Ikea office designs, I'm always reminded of Lady Macbeth's hands.
    Sad to see the old place go.

    At the Strand, poking through some leather-bound books in one of their 18 miles of display space, I found this series of really well-made books that happened to be numbers in the "Classics of Ophthalmology Series." Individual titles included "Injuries to the Eyes and Eyelid" (with excellent ink drawing of the titular wounds) and "An Atlas of Ocular Tumors." Did you know penetration eye injuries are categorized by the presence of an entrance wound and the status of the penetrating object (retained or not)? But a perforating eye injury has both and entrance and an exit wound? Next time something pierces your eye, you can get your terminology straight.

14th Street: Keyed Truck

    Though I know it is an asshole thing to do, and that the damage such an action causes is well out of proportion to the "crime," and that many car owners are filled, sympathetically, with horror at the very thought of falling victim to it – crossing 14th Street to meet Dan, I totally keyed this guy's shit.

    It was at the intersection of 14th and Park. This cab, making a legal left, got jammed up by the flow of pedestrians that filled the crosswalk in front of the Union Square Virgin Megastore.
    On the right side of the cab, this guy in a silver SUV, talking on his cell, decided that this justified leaning on his horn. So he did. For several minutes.
    Eventually the cab pushed through and the SUV, which was no blocking the box, scooted over to the other side of the intersection, where he had to immediately stop again. He was leaning on the horn for a gain of maybe ten feet.

    I have this three-strike system.
    First strike, I simply give somebody a mean look. Often this is ignored.
    Second strike, I curse your off-spring. Something like, "God, if you can hear me, please make this man's children turn out to be ugly pedophiles."
    Third strike calls for direct action.

    As applied here:
    First strike = driving an SUV in the city. Gave ugly look.
    Second strike = talking on the phone (a crime in this town unless you've got a hands-free set, which he didn't) and blocking the box. I wished upon him that the radiation of the cell would taint his sperm, resulting in the birth of quadruplets, all born with prolapsed mouths and rectums.
    Third strike = leaning on the horn. Keying.

    A Note on Who Elected Me Judge, Jury, and Executioner
    One might fairly ask who elected me, a man clearly prone to morally-blinding episodes of egomaniacal self-righteous indignation and a tendency to lash out at strangers, judge, jury, and executioner? The answer, dear reader, is I did. In 1995.
    Now there are many on DailyKos who continue to suggest this election was less than fair. They point to the lack of a single candidate: myself. They also suggest that heavy gerrymandering occurred, creating a voting district consisting solely of me. In my defense, I'd like to point out that, upon careful review of all the complex factors involved, I don't care.

    So, as you know, I keyed his shit. Rear door. It was surprisingly loud, or, at least, it seemed so to me. I guess he didn't hear it 'cause he was on the phone at the time.


    Dan's doing fine.

    He's actually started joking about the possibilities of dating again. Though I don't think he's seriously considering any offers. I take this as a positive sign. I was a little worried that, after Becky's treatment of him, he'd end up one of these sad paranoid misogynists.

    He also got some good offers on the house, so that's a plus.

< That's a bizarre one | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Elective Surgery | 51 comments (51 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
key it up by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:24:55 AM EST
nice ;)

But, ah, to call sterile white Lady MacBethish, uh, is that the right analogy ? While her hands may have been clean, she still saw the blood, and was scrubbing them down.. "out out, damn spot, out I say".. So maybe you mean to say, they have scrubbed out all color, as was the goal of Ms. MacBeth ? With the context, I understand, but the MacBeth metaphor seems confusing..

I Think Of Her Compulsion by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:33:49 AM EST
To clean when the issue isn't dirt or actual stains, but her own guilty conscience.

Much the same way I feel the appeal of the hyper-sterile clean look is a guilt reaction to the dubious morality of modern business.

In both cases, physical cleanliness, real or imagined, is just a sublimation of the real issue: guilt.

Like all metaphors, you can only this one so far before it falls apart. Or somebody keys it.

[ Parent ]
Our SUV got keyed by cam (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:06:51 AM EST
complete length of the car by vandals. It destroyed the value of the car as appraisers think it has been in an accident that involved the whole side of the car.

Keying isnt cool.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
cars are not cool by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:10:12 AM EST
Keying is very cool.

[ Parent ]
IHBT by cam (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:17:13 AM EST
Destruction and vandalism of property is illegal. Your right to express your views on cars and their effect on society ends where my property starts - ie you cant vandalise my car because you disagree with me having it.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
the relationship between coolness and legality is? by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:21:17 AM EST
I rest my case.

[ Parent ]
You are arguing for vigilante justice by cam (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:24:29 AM EST
Which means you are for Guantanamo Bay, for wiretaps outside of FISA requirements, even for raping of women if they are not wearing scarves - whatever the slighted individual deems is a suitable punishment or retribution for what they disagree with.

Your argument is absurd.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
two things by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:39:03 AM EST
First, I'm not making an argument for anything. I'm just saying what's cool. Other concerns aside, breaking people's stuff is manifestly punk rock.

Second, it's quite a stretch IMHO to characterize illegal actions by a government as "vigilante" anything. I think most people would agree that a vigilante works from without, and independent of, the system. (For this reason, I would argue that while Batman may have begun as a true vigilante, he lost his vigilante cred when he sold out and began colluding with Chief Quimby.) Likewise, while lynchings and public stonings may be vigilante actions, there is an obvious difference between mobs using violence to enforce conformity and individuals striking out against it.

And, as always, there is a clear moral line between inflicting injury and damaging property.

[ Parent ]
Yes. by crux (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:52:20 AM EST
Damaging property is worse.

[ Parent ]
Punk rock is do it yourself by cam (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:00:13 AM EST
You might be confusing it with dada, though dada advocated making the greatest artwork *yourself* and then defacing it.

If the executive acts outside of the legislative and judicial then it is vigilante, especially if it proscribes punitive measures. This is also known as subjecting other to the arbitrary will of the executive - tyranny.

Vigilante justice is projecting your arbitrary will on another and no different to what the executive is doing when it performs illegal acts.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
cars aren't cool by miker2 (2.00 / 0) #50 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 02:17:02 PM EST
but neither is keying.

Those of not cool enough not to spend our entire wages living in The Center of Cool (NYC) sometimes have to have cars to, you know, get shit done.

Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
i know people need cars sometimes by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #51 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 03:37:36 AM EST
I own one. But it still isn't cool.

[ Parent ]
You're Right by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:52:17 AM EST
That's why I described myself as a man prone to "morally-blinding episodes of egomaniacal self-righteous indignation." I don't think there's any real moral justification for what I did. Logically, my offense was the greater.

That's said, I did it and I'm not going to lie and tell you I didn't feel good.

I'll try my hardest not to key the cars of assholes in the future. But I make no promises.

[ Parent ]
and, generally by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #46 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 10:23:13 AM EST
the greatest assholes with shiny SUVs can afford it. i'm going to guess cam doesnt make a vehicular ass out of himself.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Sometimes the veneer of civilization is too thick by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:26:43 AM EST
I think had you flung feces at the silver SUV, the driver may have reconsidered his attitude.

It would have been tempting to key him and make sure he could see it, but it would be good to have fast transportation away, and he might have had a gun. He'll see the revenge later.

Good for Dan.

If I'd Had the Time by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:42:19 AM EST
I would have scratched:

Dear Sir,

You should really only use your horn when absolutely necessary. Blocking the box with your huge, gas-guzzling SUV is another no-no. Finally, use of any cell phone except a hands-free model is strictly prohibited by city and state law.

Pricey way to find this out, hunh?


But I was crossing the street and had to settle for a nice swooshing laceration - not completely devoid of aesthetic qualities, but certainly lacking from a pedagogical stand-point.

[ Parent ]
vandalism by Man (4.00 / 2) #8 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:58:38 AM EST
I have often fantasized of getting stickers made that could be slapped on quickly so that idiots would know what crime the committed. They'd say things like "If you can't fucking park this monster, get a smaller car" and "Get off the fucking cellphone and pay attention".

These stickers would have special glue.

[ Parent ]
Oh by Man (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:59:28 AM EST
And also, "The world is not your fucking trashcan".

[ Parent ]
Done and done by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:05:02 AM EST
Except no special glue.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
meh by Man (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:44:23 AM EST
I don't want something that they can take off an ignore. I want something comparable to keying that'll explain why their idiotmobile is damaged.

(Not sure I'd really do it, but I've certainly felt like it.)

[ Parent ]
Not a serious suggestion by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:14:01 AM EST
I thought that link would blow everyone's minds. Apparently I'm the only LOSER here who spent hour upon hour paging through the Johnson Smith catalog.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
Damnit man by Man (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:24:49 AM EST
We don't joke here.

[ Parent ]
if you ever create them by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #35 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:44:10 AM EST
I'd like to request one that reads, "What part of NO OVERNIGHT PARKING don't you understand?"

I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana
[ Parent ]
I'd Like to Propose: by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #36 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:52:26 AM EST
"I didn't intend to break into your car, but letting the alarm go on and on like that without an actual break-in occurring seemed like a waste."

[ Parent ]
I keyed someone once by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:34:41 AM EST
and it was for a crime far, far less serious than this guy's, so key away!

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
I'd vote for you as Justice of Keying by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:51:57 AM EST
I have zero sympathy for anyone who violates the street level "social contract" in any city, but especially in crowded cities like NYC / Tokyo / etc where it is especially critical that it be followed.

I never really considered face-to-face contact a possible thing. -CRwM

i think in tokyo by tps12 (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:09:13 AM EST
Someone who leaned on the horn like that would commit ritual suicide, if only to spare themselves from the pain inflicted at the hands of white-gloved ninja cops.

[ Parent ]
The logical extension of this by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:56:48 AM EST
Is to gun the driver down in cold blood.

I give you about 5 years before you're wearing a funny mask and your Y fronts over your trousers, dispensing justice to all

From what I understand... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:12:12 AM EST
CRwM has an in at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., so I'm sure he'll be able to get the proper equipment. Tights, a cape, special toolbelt, and a decent mask.
damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood
[ Parent ]
You Think This Mask is Funny? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #22 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:46:28 AM EST
This is a great mask. People think it is scary.

Dude, you're cruising for a serious helping of justice.

I know where you park.

[ Parent ]
Heh. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #49 Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 11:33:46 PM EST
You'd key my pushbike?

[ Parent ]
Handicap spot one strike system of keying... by haplopeart (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:28:33 AM EST
...If I see a car in a disabled space with no disabled placard, plate, mirror tag, earns an instant keying, no questions asked.

Really? by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #41 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 04:45:15 AM EST
If I see a parking lot that has 12 of its 20 parking places all marked handicapped I pull out the cordless dremel and saw down the sign.
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
That's Something I've Got to See! by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #43 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 05:02:07 AM EST
Where do you live and which car would you say is primarily your vehicle?

[ Parent ]
Baltimore. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #45 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 05:57:32 AM EST
As of 2 months ago.
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
F the keying and stuff... by clock (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:45:03 AM EST
...i miss the strand, dammit.

i still need to read your chapter.  i will do that this weekend when i pass out from the exhaustion of packing my house.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Good Luck with the Packing by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #25 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:56:11 AM EST
And no rush with the chapter - it should take me another two thousand years to write chapter 4, so you've got plenty of time.

[ Parent ]
thanks... by clock (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:28:21 AM EST
...and i will get to it before the 4th chapter comes out...of that, i'm sure.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
What's the deal with Dan? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:07:48 AM EST
Have you linked to it?

Dan's Wife was Cheating On Him by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:23:16 AM EST
Now they're going through a divorce, but she's acting a bit crazy.

Dan was busted up for a bit there, but he seems to have kept it together fairly well.

There's a link hidden in the story, but you have to look really carefully for it because it is tiny.

[ Parent ]
I've never understood it. by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 1) #32 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:28:58 AM EST

The need some people have to be loud and obnoxious in every situation. It just doesn't make sense. I've had people honk at me when THEY were clearly at fault and they KNEW they were at fault. But honking when the traffic isn't moving at all? What the hell good is that going to do?

I say he's lucky he got off with a keying.

Also, please to be posting more Robin Free-Form Jazz Speak (and yes, this is now my official title for it). I needs me some more MNS musification of that shiznit.

If ever, by some weird circumstance, I were to meet Robin, I'd be severely disappointed if her voice didn't sound like the disembodied MacSpeak female. SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED!

Robin's Voice by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:40:37 AM EST
The Mac Voice, even at its most inhuman and chilling, is sexier than Robin's voice.

I would be curious to see the Mac try to recreate Robin's horrible impersonation of a British accent. Would it do its damnedest and approximate? Would it overload and explode?

[ Parent ]
If it's like the MacSpeak on my Mac. by Awakened Dreamer (2.00 / 0) #39 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 09:20:00 AM EST

A little of both.

[ Parent ]
Walking around last weekend, by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:40:45 AM EST
I saw one of those civic-spirited banners hanging from a lamppost, proclaiming NYC the "Real Estate Capital of the World." I read this out loud to D, like a goddamn tourist, followed by, "whatever the fuck that means." I mean, yes, there's all that stuff you talked about, not to mention that it's harder to get into some of those buildings than to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court (and, should you happen to already have a seat on the Court, that may or may not work in your favor), but seriously, what? The? Fuck? Does that phrase even have any meaning?

On an unrelated note, I'm liking your (relatively) new diary subheads. And this particular diary is now bookmarked for the next time something pierces my eye.

I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana

I've Never Seen That One by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:55:18 AM EST
That's a crappy banner.

Since we're on the topic of real estate, I don't know if you saw it when you came by the office, but the building across the street from the exchange is pitching its new apartments as "haute housing." Is that something we, as a people and a nation, really needed?

[ Parent ]
I have been trying by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #48 Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:21:43 PM EST
for the past few days to properly formulate my response to that. To begin with, I'm having trouble getting over the ugliness of throwing the French haute together with the Germanic housing. I wish they'd drop all pretense (ha!) and just admit what they are peddling is "haughty housing."

I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana
[ Parent ]
This One Time, At Band-Camp... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #38 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 09:07:42 AM EST
I parked in a nearly empty parking lot. When I came out of the shop a big Mercedes Benz SUV goliath was blocking my way out, stopping haphazardly across the lines. I guess the guy was in a hurry. So was I.

Because I am Canadian I waited a whole five minutes before I decided that my passenger-side door could take a lick for the team, and then I dragged my VW Golf along his Mercedes Benz, creating a wonderful grating noise and a few sparks.

I drove away happy.

Karma: a couple of years later, the day after I finally paid to have the door fixed my car was stolen.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
'Cause You're the Closest Thing to Buddha I've Got by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #44 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 05:05:29 AM EST
I'll ask you this question.

Can you get bad karma for being the instrument of delivering the results of somebody else's bad karma?

In your case, the guy got bad karma for blocking you (and we all know that nobody puts CBB in a corner) so you balanced out his karmic account, with no small amount of personal sacrifice, I might add.

So, you think you might have racked up negative karma from the incident?

Damn, are we just transferring bad karma loads around, with nobody ever really paying?

[ Parent ]
I can't imagine you doing it. by calla (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:24:37 PM EST
I just can't see you keying someone's SUV - even if he's a total dick. And he totally deserved it.

Wow. I don't remember how tall you were IRL, but in my mind now you're 6'3".

Excellent work.

I'm Only 5'10'' by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #42 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 04:56:01 AM EST
I should tell you now so you're not disappointed the next time we meet.

RE: keys as a tool of social justice. I don't make a habit out of it and I've promised May and cam, both of whom are unconvinced of the righteousness of the cause, that I will try to keep my spasms of vigilantism under control in the future.

In fact, the first May heard about the keying incident was here and we sort of kinda fought about it last night. So, even if a future keying were to occur (and I'm not saying it would), I would most likely keep it to myself.

[ Parent ]
you are honorarily 6'3". by calla (2.00 / 0) #47 Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 11:27:27 AM EST
Tell Robin next chance you get.

Maybe a you need a badge. Something like "KFJ - Keying for Justice".

Sorry about the fight with May. She was probably most worried about your safety.

[ Parent ]
Elective Surgery | 51 comments (51 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback