"Well I know you read Perez and Jezebel but...books?"

This is an occasional column by one of the authors of The Underminer, Or, The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. The Underminer is brave, brilliant, and wittier than you will ever be.

Hello? I'm sorry could you please make a little room? I am here enjoying my simple, tall beverage of peppermint tea and -

You! Ha. In Starbucks! How perfect. So you are here typing away, with your earphones in, playing Scrabulous, eh? You are such a Laptopian!

Ugh...look at this cover of Us Weekly on the table here. Britney Britney Britney. Doesn't the hideous mass culture of idiots realize they are killing her with their obsession?

Oh. It's your US Weekly. NO, cool cool.

Me? Ha ha, no no no. I'm not really here at Starbucks as a patron. I am here sort of on business? As you know, among my various crazy careers as a producer, sneaker-designer, branding executive and cranial sacral therapist, I am sort of a sought-after "Early Adaptor." It's dumb but companies actually hire me to go to their stores and kind of re-jigger the cool factor, because I guess my very appearance in or near the store increases sales or something. So, ever since Howard Schultz admitted that Starbucks has lost its soul, they called me to help, well, I guess bring it back with my good energy? Blah blah its dumb it's dumb.

Anyway. I haven't seen you in so long you look great, you do. You look so great. You know, I had dinner last week with a mutual acquaintance who said he saw you recently and that you looked 'really healthy, not as tired as usual' and he was right!

What have you been doing? Chewing a lot of Extra sugarless gum? I just know from my hard training as a triathlete, that in the end its all about portion control.

It's like you are as thin as...my new MacBook Air! Ha ha, yes yes. I have the new MacBook Air, the very one that was just presented at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. I was there, helping to produce Steve's masterful lecture-show. Another winner, I have to say.

You are going to love it in about 2 years, when it is on the bigger market. I love it because I can carry it anywhere, even when wearing my expertly cut vintage Fall 2003 Cloak topcoat. But I also like it because I can work on my novel, touch base with my reps at Sundance, work on my powerpoint proposal for the Whitney Biennial, yadda yadda. Truth be told it doesn't have as much memory as some of their other laptops, but I am the type of person who doesn't need extra things? Like I am not some zombie who needs to download the uncut version of the Cloverfield trailer and check the hits of my Youtube video? You know? It's just so sad how some people spend their time...

Speaking of, have you read Lee Siegels new book?

It's brilliant, brave. I mean, I know he called himself that when he was a sock puppet, but he really IS brilliant, brave.

Wait, do you even read anymore? Well I know you read Perez and Jezebel but...books?

Oh of course you do, sure sure sure. I mean, I am sure you will read at least the People Magazine review of Siegel's book. But in a nutshell, Lee questions the prevailing assumption that the internet bringing us together. And I have to agree, it's just so sad how the country has become a mass culture, a depressing hive of robots: obsessed with celebrity, artistically and politically ill-informed, staring at their laptops and blogging all day like idiots...in... a Star...um, bucks—-

Anyway, I hate to say it but I guess this really means that there is a correct way to create art and express yourself (Siegel, Starchitecture, anything printed by Knopf which I don't mean to be like so smug but it is printing my new novel), and an incorrect way (American Idol, everything else). Looks like our culture is dividing into high and low again, and it's cool to be pessimistic. Just in time for the major economic recession!

Well. I guess I better run. I have to make an appearance in front of the Gap. You have fun there on your old, ancient iBook from 2005! Maybe you will "blog" about seeing me! Ha! You are so cute!

Kiss kiss.