Tag Archives: the bloggess

An Open Letter to Wil Wheaton

Funny, or crime against Humanity?

Funny, or crime against the working man? Image source: (and Wil Wheaton, of course)

As a voice for the unheard, a seer for the unseen, a lightning rod for those without electricity or other forms of power, I receive a lot of letters and emails from those whose views are underrepresented in the media and pop cultural at large. I feel both joyous pleasure and a heavy responsibility as I page through these myriad fan letters, their authors pleading for my help.

Usually I laugh and delete these amusing cries for succor after I’ve finished reading them, but today, today one stood out as worthy of my attention and, less importantly, of course, yours.

I now present to you this important missive, raw and unedited except for the parts I disagree with, which have been omitted.

Mr. Wheaton, I am not writing to you as the local chapter head of the Paper and Parchment Collators Union Local 420, though that ought to be reason enough.

I am not writing to you as a passionate paper collator, a lover of that art form who studied its precise movements under his father, who, in turn, studied the practice under his father.

I am not writing to you as a professional who attended three years of collation trade school.

I am writing to you as a husband and father, as a man who has mouths to feed:

Please, stop collating paper yourself and leave it to the professionals.

Sure, you Hollywood types think it’s ‘fun’ and ‘gritty’ to jump down in the trenches and get your hands dirty. But what you fail to realize is that when you, as an amateur, collate paper for a photo-op or to help out a blogger, you not only are taking that job away from a licensed collator who needs the money, especially in this economy, but you’re also propagating a terrible myth, a myth my fellow collators and I have spent years combating, have shed blood and tears trying to dislodge from the American psyche.

What myth is that?

That you don’t need years of schooling, you don’t need to work as an apprentice under a seasoned master for decades, to be an adept paper collator.

Have you no sense of decency? Of honor? Or, failing that, of simple social justice?

When you posed for that thoughtless picture, you told the world that anyone who spent a couple of years ‘slumming’ it at Juilliard or some other ‘acting’ school can collate paper.

You told the world, “No, you don’t need to pay top dollar to an expert to get your paper collated correctly. Just go down to the nearest casting session at a studio to collect one of the rejects, or, if you must, call a temp agency.”

You committed the sin of implying that collating paper is easy.

Is your family warm at night? Are you all well-sated when you all leave your table at Cafe La Boheme? Are you able to wear the latest in sturdy, comfortably clothing?

For my family, the answer to all those questions is “No!”

My wife and I shiver at night in the cold because I can’t afford to heat my home.I assume my children shiver too, but since our house is too small for my family, they sleep out back with the dogs, who thus far have kept them warm enough to survive.

My children cry for more at dinner because Cafe La Boheme only has so many leftovers to hand out after they close each night, and it isn’t enough for a family of four. Who also have three dogs to feed.

Our clothes are the most disgustingly two-seasons-out-of-date styles, which regularly results in my young children being beaten on the playground.

By their teachers.

Mr. Wheaton. I can’t tell you the number of jobs I failed to get where the hiring manager clapped me apologetically on the shoulder and said, “I’m really sorry, but we looked into it, and even Wil Wheaton is cheaper than you are. If we can’t get him, we’ll call you.”

They haven’t called me, Mr. Wheaton. Which means not only are you destroying the reputation of paper collators world-wide, but you’re also a union-busting scab.

For the love of all that is good and sweet in this world, please, Mr. Wheaton, stop collating paper!

Audio version of this blog:

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to check out my forthcoming book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, coming out January 9th, 2012 (Balloon Ascension Day)!


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The Produce Is Bad

Note: For the visually impaired and the illiterate, I am experimenting with podcast technology. An audio version of this blog post can be found by clicking here:

If there is a positive response to the audio version of this blog, I may continue to offer entries in this format.

A new menace has come to my attention, something horrible and unimaginable. As unfathomably terrible as this news is, the American public has a right to know.

Most of the produce in our stores is counterfeit.

That’s right, counterfeit.

No, I’m not some nut job claiming the Noid or the Keebler Elves have secretly replaced our fresh produce with wax or plastic facsimiles. It’s much, much worse.

Idaho potatoes? I don’t think so.

Florida oranges? Uh uh.

California raisins? I heard it through the grapevine they aren’t Californian.

Doesn't look like they're in sunny California to me!

Doesn't look like they're in sunny California to me!

If they’re really from California, why the scarf, earmuffs, and gloves? Or all that snow, for that matter? Hmm???

This revelation casts the spate of foodborne illness reports in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Who is behind this menace? What nefarious force is surreptitiously spoon-feeding us fraudulent fruits and veggies?

If you guessed China, you’re wrong. A fair guess, all things considered, but still not correct.

No, the source of this evil is a member of the Union. A state so desperate for export income, they’re willing to deceive the rest of the country.

I’m speaking, of course, of Colorado.

How, you ask? How could a state government stoop so low?


You see, under the guise of ‘immigration reform’ (fiendishly devious of them!), Colorado passed a law in 2006 (House Bill 1023) that allowed vegetables to establish residency, retroactively, in other states. Those shifty Coloradans grow their puny, inferior fruits and vegetables in an environment simply not conducive to healthy, vibrant crops, and then transport them through other states on the way to market.

Potatoes are driven in refrigerated trucks through Idaho, and are retroactively granted Idaho residency by Colorado, thus enabling Colorado farmers, and I use that term loosely, to stamp them Idaho Potatoes.

Oranges pass through Florida, and get the same fast-track citizenship treatment.

And the pistachios, the ones masquerading as California-grown, the shriveled, pebble-like nuts I shudder to call ‘gravel’, let alone ‘pistachios’ – they are shipped to California, housed in a warehouse for a single day, and then granted ‘California’ residency. By the state of Colorado.

Oh, and don’t let the massive PR campaign Colorado has unleashed since the passage of House Bill 1023 sway you. Sure, it’s a slick campaign with an appealing message, but it’s lies. All lies. Check out the most recent video put out by Colorado on YouTube if you want an example of the depths that state will sink to in order to beguile the rest of the country:

What can you do to protect yourself? Nothing. You’re screwed. It’s all perfectly legal. Colorado recruited elitist East Coast lawyers to find loopholes in the US Constitution that would allow them to write an air-tight state law.

Honestly, I have to tip my hat to the diabolical geniuses behind this, because it is brilliant.

Wait, wait, don’t abandon all hope just yet. There is one thing you can do to minimize your exposure to these substandard foodstuffs that are so deplorable, state and federal prison systems refuse to serve them.


Is that ‘Idaho’ potato looking a bit shriveled? Crows feet around those dark, beady eyes? No, it hasn’t sat in the store too long. It’s from Colorado.

That ‘Florida’ orange looking a bit too non-Euclidean in its misshapen geometry? Colorado and its rocky soil and inhospitable climate strike again.

That ‘Georgia’ peach look and taste more like a gob of moldy mashed potatoes squirted into sheep’s intestines and then fashioned into the rough shape of a peach? OK, that has been on the shelf too long – it’s an ‘Idaho’ potato once the Sell By date has expired. Colorado’s law has a provision forcing retailers to re-package those abominations as peaches.

The only other thing I can recommend is that you flood the Colorado State Legislature and Governor’s office with phone calls, emails, letters, and tweets, demanding they repeal this Draconian export law and restore honesty and sanity to our food ecosystem.

In the meantime, I am reliably informed that canned peaches labeled “Canned in Mexico” are not from Colorado, and not expired potatoes. They’re from Arizona and, at the time of this writing, considered relatively safe. Though they might actually be nectarines.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to check out my forthcoming book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, coming out January 9th, 2012 (Balloon Ascension Day)!


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