A bunch of people are perpetually and loudly super-annoyed by indie director-author Miranda July, who is inevitably described as "elfin" or "pixieish" or "ethereal" in profiles, but we've only ever been able to get mildly peeved at her. Mostly because the ))<>(( scene in Me You and Everyone We Know made us actually squirt Coke out our nose (no, not into someone else's nose forever). But on page 32 of this month's Jane, she squandered that goodwill by recommending a book by someone that you've never heard of but who we absolutely despise. The reason you've never heard of him is that we have been doing our utmost to protect you from his spammy, retarded, deceptive, always on the verge of interesting but never actually interesting Internet stunts. But we've long been planning an all Tao Lin edition of Glaring Omissions and, well, today's the day.
I'm a hot young (b. 1983) writer who went to NYU. My forthcoming books have ironic covers. Miranda July is inside the novel. I'm ambitious, sexy, and intelligent. My IQ is 173. I recognize both existential truths and the necessity of politics for a meaningful existence.
Though all meaning is arbitrary it can still be used as a tool just like arbitrary rules can be created to make life "better." I hope you understand.
I hope you recognize that I'm hot, young, that I went to NYU, and have ironic book-covers. I think you know what all this means.
More spam along these lines followed. MUCH MORE. Like, sometimes every day. And then, there was a Craigslist ad so obnoxious it almost had to be fake, about five writers looking to share an intern. We pursued it for four emails until we got this one:
This is Tao Lin right now. I shouldn't speak for the other people. I wrote the posting. It cost $25. It is "for real." I have assigned tasks to many interns already. If you want to help me get more interns that would be good. I want army of interns. I met my publisher today and he kept saying, "Army of interns."
Tao Lin strikes again! Oh, and: a sincere applicant to the"intern army" forwarded us this email Tao Lin had sent her in response to her email about employment:
Thank you for applying to be an intern. I accept you. I am one of the five writers. My name is Tao Lin. My books, EEEEE EEE EEEE and BED, are forthcoming from Melville House Publishing. I have flyers for those books with Miranda July blurb on them. I would like for you to superglue flyers for my books onto Starbucks windows and also inside Starbucks, on their sofas and walls. It would be good if you could cover an entire glass window with my 4x6 glossy, two-sided flyers. You can do this at 3 a.m. If you get caught and get in trouble that is okay. That is part of this internship. Let me know if you are interested and I'll mail you about 200 flyers. You can start with the Astor place Starbucks. I'll have more tasks for you after this.
Of course Alice was surely Tao Lin too. Since then, Tao Lin has kept us apprised of his daily activities way more than our actual friends do. "good morning. i am going to baltimore today. i am going to read in baltimore. at atomic pop. have a good day. i will be emailing you again soon," reads a representative missive.
It's like being poked on Facebook every hour by someone you don't know or like but the Facebook is your email.
Tao Lin, I know you're reading this. I just want you to know that because of your ill-conceived self-marketing strategy, you have 100% guaranteed that I will never read your damned book with its oh-so-wacky title. Dennis Cooper might love you, but that doesn't mean a thing to us. (Hey, maybe he'll chop you up!) Your publicity games aren't a play on fame-seeking or celebrity culture. Actually, you're maybe perhaps the single most irritating person we've ever had to deal with—and you wouldn't believe our in-box. Stop it. Stop it now. And now we will go back to never mentioning you again.