Internet Resignation

Dear Colleagues,

It is with regret that I am announcing my resignation from the Internet, effective immediately. While I have greatly enjoyed my years on the Internet, I am now moving onto a new phase in my career that will not involve hitting the refresh button on my computer every two minutes to see if anything new has happened.

There comes a time in every career when one longs for a new challenge, when it is time to begin anew in a different situation. Therefore, despite the wonderful experiences I have had online, I have decided to move on. Also, my ass hurts from sitting in front of the Internet for so long.

I am happy to report that I will be taking a new position, in which I will read classic novels and loudly discuss them in pretentious cafes that do not have wireless connections. I will also be having daily discussions in which I announce (loudly) that all these newfangled toys are ruining Western civilization. This will be streamed live to anyone who has the misfortune to sit next to me in the aforementioned cafe. Beginning next year, I will also be starting a new project in which I claim to everyone that I don't own a television, while secretly owning a giant flat screen on which I watch TMZ every night.

As you can imagine, I am very excited about these new opportunities, but this does mean that I will be unable to fulfill my obligations to the Internet and will need to step down from my duties, whatever those duties happened to be. I know it may be difficult to find a replacement for me, so I will be happy to help -- oh, you already have a replacement. Never mind.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during the transition, although questions about Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and really anything that might be classified as Web 2.0 or beyond would best be addressed to someone else. I can, however, help with any searches on Red Sox news, obscure movie trivia, my own name, and whether it's raining outside. I also know how to use a blinking HTML tag. Further, I will be happy to bore youngsters with tales of what the Internet was like in 1996 when phrases like "information superhighway" could be used without quotation marks. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in these areas.

Thank you for the opportunities for personal and professional development that you have provided me during these last fourteen years. Please be sure to stay in touch. Once I learn how people stay in touch without the Internet -- are there still such a thing as stamps? -- I will be sure to let you know.


25 Random Things about Me for Spammers

1.    I took an online survey once, and it said that my porn star name would be Chi-Chi Monticello. Isn't that funny?

2.    I liked my first pet so much that I named my banking password after him.
3.    My favorite actor is Morgan Freeman. Interestingly, he has the same last name as my mother had, although Morgan and I are not related.

4.    If I had to see just one Morgan Freeman movie, it would have to be "The Shawshank Redemption." That's definitely my all-time favorite movie. Ironically, Shawshank was also the name of my high school. 

5.    The last four numbers of my social security number are the same as the year I was born, 1979. I bet that doesn't happen too often!

Tips for Starting a News Workout Plan

"This is so great. I can finally watch the news again," a friend said to me shortly after the Inauguration of Barack Obama. It's a common sentiment lately, at least in liberal Cambridge where I work. Like many people, my friend disliked George Bush so much that he couldn't bear to watch the news during much of the last eight years.

Surviving the Bad Times in Style

This weekend, I received a catalog from Brookstone (Motto: Helping People Waste Time at Malls since 1965.). Given the current economic climate, the catalog seems curiously passé. Yeah, we'd all really love to buy the $200 video glasses, but you know we're thinking of using our money to buy some food instead. I suppose there will always be a clientele for Brookstone, but their customer base has to have taken a hit. Already, this year, The Sharper Image went out of business, and I worry that Brookstone might be next.

The Best Holographic Team on Television

As you all know, last Tuesday was a historic night for America. That night, for the very first time ever, a hologram appeared on CNN. Sure, a black man was elected President for the first time also, but let's not forget the holograms who had previously been relegated to cheesy sci-fi movies and British sitcoms. Now, though, as never before, holograms were on a serious and respected news program. Well, sort of serious and respected.

Obama Vs. McCain

No column today. I'm too busy getting ready for the game election tonight.

Instead, here are some links to some pieces I did back when neither candidate was particularly favored for the nomination. Back then, I managed to see both Obama (with a little Kennedy/Kerry on the side) and McCain (with a touch of Bill Clinton). Throw in a little Chuck Norris too, and it was quite an election year.

And finally, I was very excited to discover that I can vote on perhaps the most awesome and/or ridiculous ballot initiative of the year. I've often joked about government by jury duty, but here's Question 5 (non-binding!) for Somerville, MA:

Question 5: Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of amending the state Constitution to replace the state Legislature with 100 randomly selected adult residents of the Commonwealth, each serving a one-year term, to be called the Commonwealth Jury and to have all the legislative and other powers of the current Legislature?
Wow, Commonwealth Jury Duty! I would almost be tempted to vote for this, except that I don't want to end up getting called for one year of jury duty. Try explaining that to your boss!  


    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.


  • I've written for Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, McSweeney's, WBUR Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy my Internet column.

  • ¬©1995-2009 Joe Lavin