FAQ

 

Why does an author site needs a FAQ. Aren't those for sites about programming, or social sites, or sites about bovine undergarments?

I laugh at your confusion, but forgive it. To err is human, to forgive divine. So it's much better to forgive and live forever than make errors and die unexpectedly of gout. And part of forgiveness is teaching, but not just any teaching. Teaching done in a supercilious, self-righteous, and self-satisfied manner. If any of those three components are missing, the lesson may go awry. Then you'll make more errors and die of gout. No need to thank me for saving your life. Thank my sanctimony instead. While you're at it, apologize for wasting its time as well. Sanctimony has little patience.

But to the point, no no no no and no Despite conventional wisdom, FAQs are not limited to any particular type or form. If only the few and approved could FAQ, where do all these inchoate, loud websites come from? The truth is that there are many more FAQs and with many more purposes than traditionalists would have you believe.

As for this FAQ, it addresses some of the questions people would ask frequently if they weren't afraid of the consequences. What consequences, you ask? What possible consequences could asking invite? Well, you just asked a question so it's a bit late to worry about that. Whatever happens to you now is just and fair and quite understandable. If you don't like it, I have no sympathy. You should have thought of that before.

A friend of mine once said, with particularly provincial eloquence "lots of askin' means lots of gettin'". Well, gettin' can be bad. Very bad. People get sick. They get arrested. They get killed, beaten, and lots of other nasty things. They get old and bored and fed up. But mostly, they get tired of gettin'.

So the less asking the better. Which explains why no people actually have asked these questions. That or because my contact form is just for show.

Would you want people like you getting in touch? Just be grateful I didn't forward your info to some Russian Hackers. They're way too busy with election-related stuff to trouble with it these days. Don't let that make you feel unappreciated, though.

It just means that you erred, and I promised to help you deal with that. Not promised in the sense of placing myself under actual obligation. I just cast a few pearls of wisdom your way on my journey through greatness.

When you inevitably fail to grasp their significance or abide by their impossible instructions, I'll take a moment to reflect on the nature of mortality. I'll also briefly wonder why your gout was fatal, before proceeding to ruminate on the deadly wages of error, then error-correcting codes, and finally general principles of cryptography.

After proving that P=NP later that evening (for which I will credit the inspiration of your cautionary example), I'll refrain from revealing the proof to anyone for fear of upsetting the delicate sociopolitical balance of the world. Instead, I'll sit back with a satisfied smile, and write another entry in this blog.

When you read one my blog entries, it is a fair assumption that Nobel-prize winning work occurred earlier that evening. Thus if the entry appears uninspired or ill-informed or otherwise deficient, it is because all my inspiration, information, and iciency went into the discovery which preceded it. The alternative is that you're simply not capable of grasping the piece's profundity. So I'll leave the choice to you: am I a hidden genius or are you an obvious fool. I know which choice I would make, but I'm not an obvious fool.

Yet I digress. Without further ado, here are some more questions and answers:

What the hell sort of FAQ is this (followed by expletive-laden tirade)? I won't dignify that with an answer. However, I will insult it with one. And you, and your offspring and parents and pet Parakeet, and any farm animals you may have a slightly unsettling fondness for.

Why should I care about you, your blog, or your stupid words? You shouldn't. Caring is burdensome. If you cared about me, I'd feel like I should care about you in return. Or at the very least find a plausible reason not to. This would entail googling you, finding several obvious reasons you're not worth knowing, and composing a suitable reply to your missive --- one which employs an academically dispassionate form of prose, punctuated with oddly misused and highly unusual words. When you inevitably fail to understand my meaning, I will add this to your tally of shortcomings. But I don't want to do all that. I have better uses for those 3 minutes. In case you're curious, I spoke with them and both my blog and my stupid words feel the same way.

That's a bit of an odd response. Are you and your blog and your stupid words in some sort of modern relationship? If by 'modern relationship' you mean anything a Victorian Lady would find untoward, then no. It's just really hard to find smelling salts. I wouldn't say that my blog and stupid words are friends. My blog is needy. It mostly seems to take and rarely gives much back in return. My stupid words are ubiquitous when they feel like it, but tend to abandon me when I need them most. I'd say they're flakey at best, but fun to hang out with.

I never heard of you, so you can't be worth reading. That is indeed true. I'm not. Nobody is worth reading. You have a finite life, and an infinite nonlife. This means that to you every moment is infinitely precious. Nothing is infinitely valuable, so you should do nothing.

But really, I never heard of you. What's the deal with that? I keep a low profile. Frankly, the only way to stay happy is to ditch the groupies and fans and adoring masses. It's the same reason I never became President. Well, that and I haven't managed to become a sociopath yet. But I'm working on it. It's on my to-do list, right after running a Marathon. It's always best to put the Marathon right before all the really hard stuff. You would have gotten to those things if training for that damned Marathon hadn't held everything up. But back to me. I've learned through hard experience that the best way to stay happy is to live a simple life. It wasn't my hard experience, but somebody else's, which somebody wrote a book about, which then was adapted into a TV series. That's where I get most of my received wisdom. So far, it's proved about as valid as any other received wisdom. Unfortunately, I haven't received the wisdom to tell the difference.

Fine, but why should I read your stuff? You'll be able to say you were into my writing before it became a thing. You also can discretely leave a book or two of mine on your coffee table. When somebody asks whether you've read Murakami or Louise Gluck, you can smirk and say that you find them tediously mainstream. Then you point to an eclectic pile of books with mine on top. Do they want something to expand their minds, make them less like sheep? Well, this is counter-counter-counter-counter-counter cultural. It's so recursively counter cultural that it always is against the prevailing culture. If it becomes the prevailing culture or accidentally agrees with it, it will read as ironic. Only the most ironic of individuals will understand the irony of it, and only at the precise moments when the establishment doesn't wish them to. Make sure you explain all this in a suitably superior manner. Again, sanctimony means they erred and you forgave. Congratulations, you just extended your life. Enough smug exchanges and you'll be pretty darn close to immortal.

You sound all kinds of [choose a word: awesome, stupid, insane, juvenile, inebriated, pious]. So really, why aren't you famous? Well here's the thing. I am. You're just the only one who doesn't know it. Remember the bit about my book on the coffee table? Well, that actually would mark you as "not with it." The coolest, hippest, most awesome people all know about me, but pretend not to. I'm like a speakeasy, except I cause angst instead of relieving it. In some sense you're really special, and I hesitated to reveal this. I didn't want to be that guy who invites everyone to the party. You see, everyone but you knows about me. Everyone but you reads my books. But they don't talk about it.

You don't believe me. I can see you don't believe me. It's that obvious. Well, here's how you can tell. Walk down the street. If somebody doesn't smile at you, it's because they're embarrassed for you. If they do smile at you, it's because they feel superior to you. Their life just got longer too. In some sense, you've been like a longevity drug for almost everybody. Ever wonder why the average human lifespan increased 20 years in the year since my book was published? You. That's right --- seven billion people all are achieving immortality by looking down on you. But now, all that's over. By telling you, I just sacrificed the immortality of the entire species. But don't think me altruistic. I didn't do it for the greater good. I just wanted that extra book sale.

When is your next book coming out? Yes.

Do you actually plan what you're going to write or do you just write whatever random idiocy pops into your head? No.

Why have you suddenly switched to single-word answers? I realized I'm writing a lot and not getting paid for it. You're reading my words for free. My blog and my stupid words need to eat too. And now I had to write some more to answer your question about why I don't write more. There, you just read some more free words, and some more. You're stealing from me. Gosh, I feel like the RIAA. Hmmm... how would they deal with it? I know, I'm going to SUE you. Let's see. Each word is an unpaid download... and $200,000 per violation, so...

You owe me 1 billion dollars. Just use the paypal donate button to make payment.