From: randofo1@aol.com
To: binky.tabby@gmail.com
Subject: I like your book. It makes me read.
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 20:26:01 -0500


Dear Tao Lin,

They're advertising for "Maynard and Jennica" everywhere. At the very least, it seems like they are advertising for it everywhere. In fact, I haven't seen a poster for Maynard and Jennica in a while. I don't live in Williamsburg. I'm relieved on that account. But to get back to what I was saying, it was pretty bad for a while. Every time we would see one, Danica would grow really irate and bitchy; then she would demand coffee, but only the right kind of coffee that could somehow only be purchased far away from wherever we happened to be at the time. So we would trek all the way across town to get the right kind of coffee. She would take a sip and it would be too hot. By the time it cooled down she wouldn't want it anymore and she would go back to being angry at Rudolph Delson. He wrote the book "Maynard and Jennica." My girlfriend alludes to the fact the she used to know him in some vague sort of context, but she doesn't want to talk about it. She really, really, doesn't want to talk about it. I wouldn't recommend bringing it up. My girlfriend's name, as I mentioned earlier, is Danica. We have been together for 3 years. Before Danica met me, she was shacked up with some guy named Meitar. Together, as a couple, in the patriarchal sense, you could refer to the now defunct pair as "Meitar and Danica." On face value, "Meiter and Danica" is very close to "Maynard and Jennica." In fact, it is suspiciously close. Now, I'm not saying that Rudolph Delson wrote a book about my girlfriend, but I very well could. Yes, I could very well point out the fact that both Jennica and Danica are west coast transplants. They both have dark hair. They both moved to New York City at the same time period. They both fell for dysfunctional New York natives whose respective names could be shortened to May. They both would look alright wearing bikinis fashioned out of saran wrap. Come to think of it, there is only one difference that readily comes to mind. One used to go around telling everyone about the autobiographical documentary film that she wanted to make about her own life told through the point of view of everyone who knew her and the other is a fictional character in a book the reads like a documentary film narrated by all of the fictional people who know her. Now, I'm not saying that Rudolph Delson stole my girlfriend's idea for an autobiographical film and turned it into a book, but would it make any difference if I did? It's not like his book is any good. I mean, The New Yorker called it a "remarkable debut." The New Yorker is a lifestyle magazine for boring, wealthy, pseudo-intellectuals afraid of forgetting the SAT words that they've been desperately grasping onto since they got into Brown. So, if the US Weekly of intelligentsia says it's a "remarkable debut," you know that it must be suspect. I bet they said the same thing of "The Corrections." At least, when it comes to "The Corrections," Franzen didn't make any qualms about or try to disguise the fact that it was unimaginative and studied fluff that was biting on the heels of Douglas Copeland. Not to say that Douglas Copeland is a good writer, but at least he's sincere... or Canadian. I always forget which. Rudolph Delson is neither sincere nor Canadian. I think he might be Jewish, but there's nothing wrong with that. I'm Jewish. I like to think that I'm an okay guy. He, on the other hand, is not. He's kind of a tool. And yes, I'm basing this judgment solely on the merit of his writing and my girlfriend's potentially rational hatred of all things Rudolph Delson. I mean, have you ever read his writing? It's a cross between a Woody Allen script, my own writing style and a phone book. It's quite wretched. Clearly I think I'm a better writer and, by natural extension, a more worthwhile human being; at least, better suited for breeding. There is a basis to my claims. This basis is based upon a standard baseline for comparison. You see, we have both written sarcastic letters to the postmaster general and posted them on our respective websites in an attempt to showcase our wit. His letter is a poorly observed and aimless critique on the post office's communication design scheme. It's apparent that he knows nothing about communication design. Reading his letter made me want to staple my feet together and jump into the East River. My letter, on the other hand, is much more enjoyable and I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. It's about the metaphysics of mail delivery, salmon, electrons and packages of salmon, in part, comprised of electrons. There were no references to communication design anywhere. I was courteous enough to leave the graphic design to the graphic designers. After all, what do writers know about graphic design? I went through four years of design school and all I managed to learn during that time was that I am unqualified to talk about the subject. Design is a mysterious trade conducted by highly talented people with perverse sexual desires stemming from severe childhood trauma. I would elaborate, but I fear that we will lose track if I start discussing anuses. So, rather, let's bring to light the fact that not only does Rudolph seem to be out of his element discussing graphic design, but he also seems to be out of his element writing letters. After a careful analysis, I have come to notice that the very beginning of his letter can be read as a poorly pieced together amalgamation of two letters that I had written some years earlier; those being addressed to President Bush and Bill O'Reilly. The writing style is eerily similar; parroting some phrases word for word. It would almost seem that through stalking my girlfriend on the internet to get more research material for the book loosely based upon her life, he discovered my writing and then poorly adopted my writing style. To add insult to injury, he then even went so far to adopt my penchant for writing letters. And to prove once and for all he is thoroughly devoid of original thoughts, he then writes to one of the same persons as I. Although, should we put coincidences and conjecture aside, he still can't write. It's a shame people seem to be heralding him and his work as one of the defining voices of our generation. Clearly they have it all wrong. It's kind of like when your parents buy you a really hideous sweater and then insist it's in style. Or maybe it's just like how my parents do that. It would be unfair of me to speak for you. Any which way, we're just asking for trouble when we let our parents pick our sweaters, our friends or in this case, our significant works of literature because! And this is the important part! Because, they get it all wrong. If it were up to me, and this is where you come in, "Eeeee Eee Eeeee" would be the defining book of our entire generation. I'm sure you might feel similarly, at least, maybe, sometimes. I was sick a few months ago and I read it three times over during that period, which, considering I was seeing double, was quite a task. The book blew my mind. It was the book I've been trying to write for years. Not the same exact book. That's silly. I've been trying to write a different book. In fact, I've written three different books, but considering they've never been published, I suppose they're only manuscripts; but that's okay because they are pretty bad. They never could quite capture the spirit or that French term for "I don't know what" that your book seemed to pin down, beat with a metal pipe and then cover with a towel. Now I could accuse you of stealing my idea of writing the defining book of our generation, but I don't think I'm going to. I could also accuse you of stealing my idea of creating an army of interns, but considering that the only people I shared this idea with were my ex-coworkers at Instructables and I don't think they know you, then I don't suppose I would have much legal ground to stand on. Any which way, my army didn't work out. At one point this summer I had four interns, but none of them would let me sell advertising space on their bodies (using temporary tattoos) and after a few more exploitative requests on my part, they all stopped showing up. It's hard to find good free labor this side of the prime meridian (even if you do have a laser cutter at your disposal). I suppose, at the end of the day, one's best free labor is one's own. That sounds prophetic. I'll end on that. Ignore this sentence and the two prior.

Sincerely,
Randy Sarafan
Resident Badass
540 W 21st Street
New York, NY 10011