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BY DAVID BLUMENSTEIN
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
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
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?"
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
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
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
Yes, I think everything's gonna be all right from now