Theme: Foundational Issues

(17 entries)

March 26, 2008

A simple test

If you think you’re on a critical diplomatic mission, there is a simple test. Look to the left, and to the right. If you see Sinbad, be assured: ya’not.

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by Jack, Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Link | Comments (0)

December 18, 2006

Season's greetings

Not content just to fester within my blog, I’ve been out in the world, fighting to make it more like Trouble Sells. A lot has happened in the intervening time; to me, and to the world. Some things I had nothing to do with: O.J. Simpson’s book, the first hypothetical tell-all, a fascinating premise, which itself became hypothetical. This is an important lesson for somebody. Things I had more to do with: the upcoming feature film about the life of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, starring Gael García Bernal.

Mostly, I have sat amongst my generation as they drank coffee and read Recognizable Tropes Magazine; a generation which asserts, quite obviously, that “fur is dead” when a more mysterious generation once considered that “Paul is dead”. Have we lost something?

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by Jack, Monday, December 18, 2006 | Link | Comments (0)

November 10, 2006

that's not a foot in your mouth, is it?

oh yes, let’s hear all about you, shall we? i’m sure we’re all so interested. i’m tempted to draw a metaphor consisting of a school assembly wherein the principal/dean/whatever is rattling on about life’s lessons or God or something & all of the students are writing notes, picking their noses, or sleeping. i seem to be the only one paying attention here, & i’m calling your bullshit. at first i thought it was jack pretending to be a woman, just to start fresh with another point of view - something simultaneously admirable & questionable. then i realized not even jack was this narcissistic - or then, maybe he is; at least he knows his stuff is interesting enough to read. no wonder you’re stuck with some rando’s cock in your mouth - he was probably sick of hearing your life story.

by Jane, Friday, November 10, 2006 | Link | Comments (1)

September 22, 2005

Feedback Loop

1. Free time. 2. Write blog. 3. Get fans. 4. Cheap sex with fans. 5. Less free time. 6. Fewer posts to blog. 7. Fewer fans. 8. No cheap sex. Repeat.

by Jack, Thursday, September 22, 2005 | Link | Comments (7)

May 4, 2005

Look, I been busy

April is the cruelest month — for Trouble Sells devotees. April 2004? I missed the whole thing. April 2005? Likewise: nothing. What happens during April? I dunno. I been busy.

Fortunately, all the ugly people are always available to pick up some slack. But you don’t come here for the Ugly People Echo Chamber: that’s what the Daily Kos is for. Of course, you don’t come here to hear from me either, at least not during April. I been busy!

Can’t an iconoclastic adventurer, lost in a New York he never made, get a break now and then?

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by Jack, Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | Link | Comments (2)

February 18, 2005

Why I no longer go to restaurants

I’m just getting around to alerting you that my previous post was Trouble Sells’ One Hundredth. This post begins our second century; it also puts us over 60,000 words, most of which were dirty. Gifts are accepted but not required.

Traditionally, February is Jack History Month. Today, rather than looking back at my early life, I will tell you what I have planned for the ongoing narrative in the upcoming weeks and months. Adjust your schedules accordingly.

But first, a few words about what is important in life.

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by Jack, Friday, February 18, 2005 | Link | Comments (2)

January 16, 2005

Civilization and its diss

Welcome to Trouble Sells, 2005 edition. I recognize that mid-January is not a very ambitious point from which to start the new year. However, when we last left our story, my bar was closing on New Year’s Eve. I really can’t face that all over again. The wounds are too recent. I will get back to it in due time. I will chronicle the heartbreak, the angry girls I used to sleep with, the complacent girls I used to sleep with, the fear of running out of liquor, and the deep bathos of our situation. That it happened on the turn of the year is all the more chilling. Imagine if it was this way for all Americans. “Well, the ball has dropped, honey. Help the kids pack up their things before the wrecking crew destroys our home.”

I know that in Trouble Sells, 2004 edition, I rarely talked about my actual life, concentrating mostly on high-minded analyses of our doomed race. Now that George Plimpton, always our champion, is dead, I resolve to get back to more drunk girls etc. But before I can do that, an important foundational step is to explain the origin of civilization itself. I am also going to straight-up diss it.

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by Jack, Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Link | Comments (3)

February 17, 2004

First night stand

Tonight, as Howard Dean, a nice New York City boy, tries to make it in Wisconsin, I will tell you how I, an innocent man with a head made from cheese, first confronted New York City. Also, he is going to lose, and losing has never stopped me. Also, it didn’t cost me forty million dollars.

By the way, before this site gets deluged by unrepentant Deaniacs (not to be confused with brainiacs), now it can be told: I also supported your man. But I liked the expressive, erudite, confident, reasonable Dean I heard on the radio in November 2002 and saw speak in the city a few times. He suggested solutions. The crazy screaming freakout who made such a splash, also named Dean, had no ideas about anything except that he should win. That’s the guy who lost. It’s amazing how we contain multitudes.

So as I’m contemplating how to best tell the public about the story of me, I go to that library of experience, the bar. I sit there on a stool, as one does, as many do under a variety of circumstances, some of whom are not trying to figure out the story of their first night in New York City. But you wouldn’t know that from the girl who comes in and sits down next to me with her suitcase.

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by Jack, Tuesday, February 17, 2004 | Link | Comments (0)

February 9, 2004

Celebrating Jack History Month

They say the hand that rocks the present rules the past. Not much is going on in my life right now except work, and I never talk about that since the amazing-looking receptionist quit. I thought it might be time to delve a bit into the shocking origin story of me, that superhero of everyday insight, Golden Age Jack Task.

I don’t have anything planned for a while, so welcome to several weeks of filler. Welcome to Jack History Month. Up first: I move to New York City.

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by Jack, Monday, February 9, 2004 | Link | Comments (0)

February 1, 2004

All roads lead to me

Just looking at the server logs for Trouble Sells to see what brings people to my humble cultural mecca.

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by Jack, Sunday, February 1, 2004 | Link | Comments (2)

December 27, 2003

A very Troubled Christmas

I wanted to unveil a special holiday episode of Trouble Sells, in the proud tradition of Charlie Brown. But the truth is, I mostly hid out this year. I’ve gotten to the age where I can recluse myself from family gatherings without fear — not because I am an adult who can make his own decisions, but because after all these years they’re sick of me too. But I have not yet gotten to the age where you spend the holidays with your fiancée, and at this rate I never will. So I was free.

I checked in with the folks — yes, I have parents, just like Republicans — and considered my duties finished. My mother, of course, was not so lucky, as she had gone back to Racine to see her sisters. My dad was to have dinner with a few clients, he reported — he is an agent in Los Angeles — and I imagine it was somewhat like in Broadway Danny Rose.

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by Jack, Saturday, December 27, 2003 | Link | Comments (1)

December 23, 2003

It is time for a second-generation blog

I guess I liked irony better before people worried if they were post-ironic or post-post-ironic. I guess I liked comedy better when it was based on what you thought of, rather than making fun of what other people thought of. Before blogs, there was Mystery Science Theater, which wasn’t funny, and before that was What’s Up, Tiger Lily? which had maybe one or two funny parts. Shooting fish in barrels designed for their shooting is not clever. It is, however, highly accessible, because anyone can do it.

Since it’s now a medical fact that I’m funnier than Woody Allen, it’s not much of a stretch to say I’m funnier than, say, blog artisans who perform the diaristic equivalent of adding “in bed” to the end of fortune cookie fortunes.

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by Jack, Tuesday, December 23, 2003 | Link | Comments (3)

November 9, 2003

Serial monotony

People, people. What is with your blogs? I understand the motivations of those who are writing purely diaristic reportage on their daily trips to junior high. That’s normal low-grade egotism, and self-expression, however dull, is a vital element of a developing personality. What concerns me is the situation with those who should know better: adults with well-designed, commercially-hosted sites who have absolutely nothing at all to say.

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by Jack, Sunday, November 9, 2003 | Link | Comments (2)

September 25, 2003


I’ll be out of town for a couple weeks. No idea if I will update or not. Amuse yourselves by imagining what I’m up to.

by Jack, Thursday, September 25, 2003 | Link | Comments (3)

September 20, 2003


This series of short essays and impressions, this “blog” if you will, will have three main categories of focus. Mr. Johnny Cash’s recent three-disc compilation had one disc each assigned to the important universal themes “Love,” “God,” and “Murder.” In this way, we will cover three main topics: “Drinking,” “Women,” and “Drinking & Women” (my favorite).

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by Jack, Saturday, September 20, 2003 | Link | Comments (0)

September 18, 2003

Why We Fight

My friends, this is my blog. I resisted for as long as I could. The fact is, I have too much to say and am getting old. I don’t want to repeat the stories to everyone, nor do I want to repeat the wrong one too many times to the wrong people, especially the lady it’s about.

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by Jack, Thursday, September 18, 2003 | Link | Comments (0)

Suddenly, I Write My Novel

Chapter 1
My Head Emerges from a Tiny Hole • I Meet My Parents • Wetting One’s Self •
How the Rent Is Paid • The Mysterious Disappearance of Mother •
Beaten Up by Keith, a Bully • Unlike You, I Am Unloved •
A Singular Experience on the Elevated • I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent •
Third Period Gym is Awful

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by Jack, Thursday, September 18, 2003 | Link | Comments (1)