Pepper and I recently came across this article. It’s the worst article in the world.
And it’s terrible for a lot of reasons, but I’m going to focus on the writing itself, on account of the fact that this rambling inarticulate asspandadouchecanoeclown has published something that vaguely resembles poetry (but not really) with something called Muumuu House.
And also because I work at the Writing Center, which I genuinely enjoy, but which also requires that I gently instruct people on how to fix their shit writing without actually saying, “wow, this is total shit, yo.”
So. Brandon Scott Gorrell. Did you know that Pepper and I have decided to systematically bring you down from the blogging lectern of douche from which you currently pontificate?
Well, we have.
And this is my imagined Writing Center session with Brandon.
Paprika: Hi Brandon. You look like a giant douche, and it’s great to meet you. Please have a seat.
Brandon (disaffectedly): Ok.
Paprika: So what are you working on today?
Brandon: Uh, well, my publisher–they also published my book of poetry, Inane Ramblings of a Complete Fucking Asshat–thought I should have my newest article proofread or whatever. But I don’t need much, just confirmation that I’m totally super badass and that you would personally like to see my penis. It should only take a few minutes.
Paprika: Sounds great. What’s your article about?
Brandon: The compartmentalization of identity, and also, my penis.
Paprika: Ok, well, why don’t we start by having you read your paper aloud, so that you can have the pleasure of listening to your own voice and I can pretend I care.
Brandon: Sweet. Check this shit out: I think my girlfriend sees me as a person that is reasonably smart but to a limited, predictable capacity. For about the first two months of our relationship I perhaps had her fooled that I was deep and mysterious and the owner of some logical capacity so complex that the unpredictable creativity of my worldview appeared constantly referenced and proven by intensely meta or seemingly non sequitur-ish (but poignant) metaphors or ‘takes’ on the situation at hand.
Brandon: Pretty awesome, right?
Paprika: Well Brandon, I do have one question.
Brandon: Is it about my penis?
Paprika: Kind of. You know how some penises sort of, you know, curve?
Brandon: Yeah. You wanna know if mine curves?
Paprika: No, it’s just, you know what also curves?
Brandon: Other penises?
Brandon: I don’t like those. I don’t like separating my clauses from each other. I prefer to let them flow together, much the way my sperm flows from my–
Paprika: And also, to be perfectly honest, I kind of doubt your girlfriend ever thought you were–
Brandon: Of average intelligence? Yeah, I agree. I think I was selling myself a little short there.
Paprika: …Right. Do you want to continue with the paper?
Brandon: Sure! (continuing to read from espresso-stained recycled off-white page) But like all good things, this came to an end after some normal amount of time, probably as the result of a build-up of instances in which her logic simply defeated mine and I either responded by making something up that further implicated my logic as shortsighted and altogether full of disconnects or admitting defeat and unintentionally showing the shame I felt.
Paprika: Alright, Brandon. You remember how we were talking about commas?
Brandon (exasperated sigh): Yeah.
Paprika: Have you considered that adding commas would be tantamount to adding penises between your clauses? And that this could be a way to incorporate visual penile aids into your writing?
Brandon: Huh. That’s not a bad idea.
Paprika: Just something to consider. Carry on.
Brandon: (rambles on about his mighty mighty intellect versus his girlfriend’s pretty pastel ladybrain)
Paprika: (has a pleasant, refreshing nap)
Brandon: Another difference between how my girlfriend sees me and how my friends see me is that my girlfriend knows the size of my penis and other sexually-oriented information. As she has seen it from perhaps many angles and in many situations and environments, I think she is intimately familiar with the majority of aspects of my penis – it’s color, shape, size, regularities and irregularities. She also knows how long on average it takes me to achieve an orgasm over a wide variety of sexual acts, what my face looks like during sex, the sounds I make, which positions I’m used to, and how much sex I typically want to have (daily).
Paprika: Oh, fuck off, dude.
Brandon: (stares blankly)
Paprika: Seriously, why are so few people able to use the word “aspect” correctly?
Brandon: But–but what about my penis?
Paprika: Well, apparently it make you use the wrong form of “its.” “It is color, shape, size, regularities and irregularities”? What the fuck? Your penis is color?
Brandon: My penis is the world.
Paprika: And also, I kind of doubt that your girlfriend has studied your penis as if it were some kind of magic glitter pony carrying a basket of eggnog cupcakes with bourbon caramel cream cheese frosting.
Brandon: But it is. I mean, metaphorically anyway.
Paprika: No, it’s not, and dude, of course she’s “intimately familiar” with your penis. That comes with the sexin’ territory. So what, exactly, is your point?
Brandon: Uh, penis?
Paprika (audible sigh accompanied by massive fucking eyeroll): Ok, what else have you got?
Brandon: But friends have hardly any of this information, while probably having, at one point or another, wondered about the size of my penis or idly explored a curiosity about what my face looks like while I have sex. But as far as I can remember, there has not yet been an occasion in which my penis has been exposed to any of those I call friends. I don’t use public showers i.e. in gyms or swimming pools that require a membership and prefer not to piss openly in front of others (actually I can’t) so any penis ‘flashing’ my friends might have been subject to has been merely coincidental and unintentional and left unmentioned.
Paprika: I don’t think I can do this anymore.
Brandon: Wow! You sound just like my girlfriend!
Paprika: I just–
Brandon: Look, honey bunches of of penis envy, I know this is probably making you feel a little sad and, dare I say, inferior, but just listen a little longer, ok?
Paprika (reminding herself that this is her job, and damn it, she’s gonna do her job): Ok.
Brandon: I have not had sex with any of my friends (except maybe a few who were girlfriends at the time or who I had sex with in a sort or ‘trial period’ in which we were assessing whether our ‘thing’ would become longer-term) so unless an ex-girlfriend of mine has taken the time to describe my sexual behavior and mannerisms to a current friend, my friends remain clueless regarding this information as well. I do not foresee myself ever discussing with any friend, comfortably, the aesthetic aspects of my penis or things like my facial expressions during sex, any time in the future.
Brandon: Ooh. I think I’ll write a poem about this.