Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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May 9, 2003

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Regular readers will know that our venerable publisher, Patrick McGinlay, takes a fairly passive role when it comes to this site's continued operation. This is because he started it on a bet.

He and his pussy mates were playing snooker at their exclusive rich-white-boy club, and they bet him he couldn't become a respected media mogul.

"I can too," he is reported to have said. And he promptly phoned me up (from the lobby -- no business allowed inside the club) and told me that his website needed revamping. Specifically, he decided it must look almost exactly like the McSweeney's site, so that discerning literates might be fooled into reading the content.

The content, of course, would be supplied by myself and my cadre of young, talented writers who consider only their pure artistic muse and never trouble to ask for cash in return.

It was in this way that Patrick McGinlay, a trust fund brat who fails at everything, would come to be a valued Player in the Melbourne Media World. Then, of course, he'd move to Sydney and start over, winning, grinning, a tumbler of brandy with ice in his hand.

Patrick outlined for us, very early on, the kind of stories he wanted to see on the site: reviews of cigar clubs, and French (or occasionally Iranian) movies. Fashion, wine and fine dining. A few recipes, delivered in an off-the-cuff, delightfully charming Jamie Oliver way. All the things you'd expect to find, I suppose, in one of those local inner-suburbs magazines. You know, the free ones, a copy of which can be found in almost every house within a kilometre or two of the CBD. I suspect these glossy, ad-filled rags are about the only thing Patrick reads.

Until the other day, that is, when some ass showed him what's been on his site recently.

"What the hell is this supposed to be, David?" he mewled.

"Midget wrestling? That's disgusting and offensive! If little people want to wrestle, that's fine, but normal people shouldn't be watching them!"

Before I could respond, he started banging on about how reviews of "comic book films" aren't going to make McGinlay's a revered name amongst the literati. I think he must have seen the word "literati" in an issue of his free glossy.

He did not approve of my mix tape article ("Cassette tapes are not art! My five year old nephew can make his own music compilation CD!"), Adam's Slurpee history ("Oh, that's just so inaccurate"), or Chris' "Ned Kelly" review ("You can't just insult Leigh Paatsch whenever you want to!"). I just thank Christ he didn't see our Fashion Festival write-up.

He also was not amused by the top-hatted, giraffe-necked version of him on the masthead.

I did some damage control, however, and I'm pleased to say that Patrick has decided not to shut us down. He insisted, however, that I set up his computer with an internet connection so he can keep tabs on what we're doing. From now on, he wants our articles to be tasteful, thoughtful and based on what he calls "worthy" topics. I promised that this would be the case.

The best part is, once his hissy fit was over, he promised to start paying us "nominally" for our articles. And even better, he's set us up with a new office assistant -- Serena! She's twenty-six and blonde, with big brown eyes and a minimalist (but still professional) clothing aesthetic. She's so far proved to be a big help around the McGinlay's office, mostly photocopying things, taking calls and giving those fantastic back rubs for which she has quickly become famous. Jake only goes home to eat. I rarely leave my desk.

Even so, we're not getting much work done. After this update we plan to take a little breather from the site. I'm taking a drive up the country with Serena. I told her it's a work thing, and we're going to do some role-playing and trust exercises. She wiggled her finger at me, "naughty boy"-style, but I reckon she's up for it.

You may be wondering why I'm posting all this, given that Patrick is now keeping an ever-vigilant eye on the site. It's quite simple, really: I set up Patrick's web browser for him, and told him when he opens it, it will instantly load up the McGinlay's site.

In fact, it's loading up the McSweeney's site he loves so much. It's been two days and he hasn't noticed yet. And I don't think he ever will, as long as those lazy bastards keep putting new work up.

Yes, I think everything's gonna be all right from now on.


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