Wrong: a modest trumpposal

Some­thing occurred to me late in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race.1 Every­body was like “this guy lies and nev­er faces con­se­quences,” but was going about it in pret­ty much the least effec­tive way possible.

I’m sure folks who hold this opin­ion were well-meaning, but they seemed to be com­ing from a time where being caught lying is the worst thing a pub­lic offi­cial can do. Slimy politi­cians are sup­posed to, what, recoil with shame, mum­ble an apol­o­gy and exit the spotlight?

That’s obvi­ous­ly not the play­book now, and it should have been clear to any­one even a lit­tle awake in 2016. So can I just pro­pose some slick new lan­guage for describ­ing a case where a pub­lic state­ment does­n’t quite match up with reality?

You don’t call it “inac­cu­rate” or “unfac­tu­al.” We’re all very impressed that you went to college.

You don’t call it “lying” because that’s what 4D-chess-playing busi­ness­men do when they nego­ti­ate, I guess.

The word you’re look­ing for is “wrong.” They’re wrong, you say they’re wrong.

Wrong helps keep a record. It clas­si­fies the state­ment into a clear cat­e­go­ry, help­ing rein­force objec­tive real­i­ty in a time where it’s needed.

Wrong is, at the same time, a lit­tle soft and assumes the best inten­tions. Swing and a miss. Good hus­tle out there, lit­tle bud­dy — you can’t hit ’em all. 

Wrong is, most impor­tant­ly, uni­ver­sal. You could be a mid­dle school dropout and remem­ber the feel­ing from, I don’t know, mul­ti­pli­ca­tion tables or some­thing. Being wrong isn’t game-over, but each wrong stings a little.

At some point, if any­one’s actu­al­ly keep­ing score, con­sis­tent wrong­ness writ large in head­lines for years on end makes a case for mal­prac­tice. And who the fuck would tie up their iden­ti­ty sup­port­ing some­body who’s just so loud­ly and con­sis­tent­ly wrong, in pub­lic, all the time?

  1. I know, I’m sor­ry I kept this to myself.

I want you back in my life, colawars.83p

Do you know how things you trea­sure from your past prob­a­bly would­n’t hold up if you tried to enjoy them again years later?

That does­n’t apply here, buddy.

Because there aren’t more impor­tant things to think about these days, nope, my mind recent­ly start­ed wan­der­ing back to a game I played on my graph­ing cal­cu­la­tor back in high school.

I did a lot of that back then, most­ly dur­ing class­es not nec­es­sar­i­ly math. And while there were def­i­nite­ly bet­ter games, more atmos­pher­ic games, more fun games, more Tetrisy games — and dozens of oth­er games I spent more time on — I’m not sure any cap­tured my imag­i­na­tion quite like this one did.

It was called Cola Wars and this game was absurd. You would buy and sell cans of Coke, Sprite, Moun­tain Dew, RC Cola and — because it was the late 90s — Jolt. You’d buy them on the street from a deal­er and try to re-sell them. Prices would go up and down. For some rea­son you had to avoid the cops.

I was struck by the sheer… I guess the word would be “ran­dom­ness” of the idea. It did­n’t cross my unso­phis­ti­cat­ed mind that it could have been a metaphor, an alle­go­ry or some­thing. I sin­cere­ly believed that some­one in the world just one day decid­ed that they would make a game about the risks and rewards of illic­it­ly sell­ing soft drinks on the sec­ondary market.

So when I lat­er dis­cov­ered that there was a game called Drug­wars, and that TI-83 was def­i­nite­ly not the first plat­form it was avail­able on, and that the weird drinks game was a rip-off — if not a sim­ple find-and-replace — it explained how this mys­te­ri­ous, supreme­ly odd duck came into existence.

And I guess it took away some of the appeal. But just a lit­tle. I’d love to find a copy and play it again, but the places I would nor­mal­ly look have failed me. And I’ve done some seri­ous Way­back Machine spelunking.

Help me, the Internet.

U and I have a problem

Hi Auto­Cor­rect! How’s it going today? Got a sec? Can you do me a favor?

If you ever catch me typ­ing the let­ter “u” on its own it was def­i­nite­ly a typo, 100%, and could you just go ahead and make it a cap­i­tal “I” for me?

So if you catch me writ­ing, for example…

u don’t know

…could you toss me an…

I don’t know

We have the flip­pin’ tech­nol­o­gy to fix lit­er­al­ly my most com­mon typo, but cater­ing to those folks means Auto­Cor­rect has to stay bro­ken. These peo­ple — who in all like­li­hood are decent humans who don’t eat babies — are the rea­son that phone key­boards can’t fix this very obvi­ous typo for me.

Look, I’m not even try­ing to inflict my good-spellin’ lifestyle on every­body else, hon­est. Make it a tog­gle. “🗹 I grad­u­at­ed sec­ond grade.”

I eager­ly await this impor­tant innovation.

That time I sparked an international penis competition during the World Cup

Are you there, Inter­net? It’s me, Everett. Hey, so I actu­al­ly wrote this years ago, around World Cup 2014, and nev­er post­ed it. P.S. Warn­ing: there are car­toon dicks in this post. It is not rec­om­mend­ed for audi­ences of any kind.

There’s this Mia­mi park­ing garage I fre­quent, and in this garage recent­ly was this car that had­n’t been moved in a while.

At one point the car sim­ply bore an unimag­i­na­tive “wash me” traced into the dirt (but in Span­ish), and some for­mer finger-painting arteest lat­er added a penis to this. It had a pair of tes­ti­cles at the bot­tom and a shaft extend­ing upward — this is pret­ty much what you would expect if you asked any­one in the world to draw you the Pla­ton­ic ide­al car­toon dick.

Hel-lo, mid­dle school.1

I walked by it a few times — always cring­ing, not out of moral­i­ty but good taste — before it occurred to me that I could fix this; I’d not only make this total­ly safe-for-work, but I would make this awe­some. I start­ed by adding a few extra cir­cles to where the tes­ti­cles were at the bot­tom, cre­at­ing the appear­ance of a plume of smoke. And going up the side of the shaft, I sim­ply wrote “USA.”

I’d con­vert­ed this crude penis nobody wants to see into a total­ly sweet Space Shut­tle in the process of launch­ing. Or so I thought.

It turns out that at the time some­where in the world, some coun­tries were play­ing some soc­cer (foot­ball, what­ev­er, shut up) thing, and a small but ardent group of peo­ple were con­cerned with the out­come of this tournament.

International Penis Car

Crazy, right? Well, as it turns out, they all seemed to park in this garage. Over the course of a few weeks, in strange out­bursts of nation­al pride, new penis­es began fill­ing the wind­shield along­side the USA penis. Each of these bore the name of a coun­try that — I’m just assum­ing here — had teams that were com­pet­ing in that soc­cer (f.w.s.) thing. Some were big. Some were small. One was Belgium.

I’d sparked an inter­na­tion­al cartoon-dick-measuring contest.

So was it my fault that every­body com­plete­ly missed what I was going for? Should I have drawn a launch tow­er? Sol­id rock­et boost­ers? Or would they have just seen these as penile enhance­ments? That’s like­ly, since the oth­er par­tic­i­pants took my smoke plume to mean that this was a six-testicled mon­ster cock. (Something-something… ani­me.)

The next time this hap­pens, I think I’m writ­ing “NASA.”

  1. Speak­ing of which, oh man, I have this great sto­ry involv­ing my friends Chris and David in 6th grade.

Top two time-saving keyboard shortcuts for graphic designers

Ctrl + C / ⌘ + C — This will copy select­ed text

Ctrl + V / ⌘ + V — This will paste copied text

Knowl­edge of these two sim­ple com­mands will stream­line your work­flow, make you more pro­duc­tive and pre­vent the intro­duc­tion of unnec­es­sary typos.

If you ever find your­self think­ing “It’s okay — I’ll just type the copy again into Pho­to­shop,” it’s not okay. Just push the two but­tons not­ed above.

You can do this. You must do this. Please do this.

My greatest fear

Hi, clean guy here. My great­est fear is that when I vis­it the bath­room for the sole pur­pose of wash­ing my hands — like if I’m about to eat or some­thing — that some­one may think that the short amount of time I spent in the bath­room means that I did­n’t wash my hands.

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

I’ve tried wip­ing my hands on my shirt as I leave the bath­room, pan­tomim­ing a sort of oh man, my hands are just still so wet because I just washed them! act. But then I wor­ry that peo­ple may think that I think that wip­ing my hands on my shirt is an accept­able sub­sti­tute for actu­al wash­ing. Not cool.

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

So what do I do? Always walk out still hold­ing a paper tow­el? Leave the bath­room loud­ly going “oh man, my hands are just still so wet because I just washed them!” Should I always com­ment on what lux­u­ri­ous hand soap they’ve got in this McDon­ald’s bath­room? “You’ve real­ly got­ta try that stuff… I mean, obvi­ous­ly I did.”

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

Or just wash my hands in slow-motion? I… I think I could do that.

Icky Thump

I once told this girl in a bar that I was sav­ing the White Stripes’ final album, 2007’s Icky Thump, to lis­ten to at some point in the future just so I could have the plea­sure of lis­ten­ing to a new White Stripes album when there were no new ones. This was a bunch of years ago, it was true, and she said she was impressed with my self-control.

Late last year I found myself in the dri­ver’s seat in Texas late at night with a long way to go. By then I had bought the album and kept a copy stored up in the cloud, always avail­able but nev­er played and just kind of hang­ing out. I had avoid­ed even mere­ly read­ing reviews for almost a decade, but these unfa­mil­iar roads kin­da seemed like the right time, and this night the right place to pull Icky Thump down from the sky and out through the rental car speakers.

You know, I’ve got this playlist for songs that are not nec­es­sar­i­ly great, but when I first heard them made me go “whoa—what world did this thing come from?” (The playlist is actu­al­ly, lit­er­al­ly, titled “What world…?”) Ramm­stein, Goril­laz, Eminem, Black Flag, Mind­less Self Indul­gence, and a few oth­ers, have a track apiece on the playlist. None of the songs have that effect on me any­more, but every track was once mind-melting stuff.

Would adding an entire album be vio­lat­ing the spir­it of the playlist?