Month: February 2010


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Sugar, We’re Goin Down #VX22

Hello from flight VX22 from SFO to New York. I’m heading from coast to coast for TechCrunch Disruptwhich starts on Monday. Virgin America is amazing: not only do I have an entire exit row to myself (see below), but I also have really fast wifi and a power outlet. I’m having a fucking ball.

Also on the plane is half the Internet. Gabe Rivera has created a FourSquare venue for the flight, MG Siegler is rocking the #VX22hashtag on Twitter. Keen to get into the spirit, I’ve made a special VX22 plane crash Spotify soundtrack. Yunno, just in case.

Spotify users can access it here; for everyone else, here’s the track listing…

Mia – Paper Planes
Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Bender – Turbulance – Original Mix
Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin Down
Savage Garden – Crash And Burn
Semisonic – Down In Flames
Ash – Burn Baby Burn
Metric – Help I’m Alive
Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Fall Out Boy – Sending Postcards From A Plane Crash [Wish You Were Here]


Playing catch-up… Or ceci n’est pas une column

When I was at school, I almost never took sick days. This wasn’t because I enjoyed going to school – I really, really didn’t. Rather it was because I knew exactly what would happen if I dared to skip even a day of classes.

A duck would somehow get into the school dining hall.

Or an explosion would destroy the chemistry lab.

Or two of my teachers would be caught having sex.

Or someone would die.

The specific incident isn’t important; the point is that I could guarantee that the one day I decided to skip school would be the day that something extraordinary would happen. Something that all of my friends would be talking about for the rest of the year while I was left to sit and sulk at having missed out.

It’s a curse that has followed me through life: I could go to parties six days a week and you can be sure that the seventh is the one where the knife fight happens. The conference I skip is the only one where the wifi doesn’t suck ass. The episode of Quantum Leap I miss is the one where Sam Beckett briefly makes it back home. And so apparently it is with my gig at TechCrunch.…

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Another one bites the dust

“… So, yes, the manuscript is done and is with my editor. Nothing I can do now but wait. Like eating in a Wimpy or (I’m told) childbirth, it’s amazing how quickly you forget the pain of the actual experience and start yearning to go through it again. I’m Patty Hearst and Microsoft Word is my Stockholm Syndrome…

…One last thing: lots of people have very generously offered to read through the m/s and give me their verdict. Others have been more open in wanting to know what / if I’ve written about them. The truth is, I’m as keen as anyone would be to know what the verdict is. I honestly have no idea whether it’s a sack of shit, or whether it’s struggle-through-able…”

Iwrote those words just a bit more than two years ago in a blog post entitled “Save > Attach > Send > Vomit“. I’d just submitted the manuscript of Bringing Nothing To The Party and was in a horrible limbo phase, waiting for my publisher to give his verdict.

The funny thing is, I don’t remember anything about those few days – or the previous week or so of writing. I almost certainly spent most of the week that followed drunk.…

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Hey, 1997 – Macmillan called, they want the Net Book Agreement back

This time last week I rattled off the world’s laziest column. I was struggling against my book deadline which expired 24 hours later and I simply didn’t have time to write anything else. This week should have been different; I should have finished the book days ago and now be sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, sipping a Diet Coke martini and lazily writing a long, well-thought-out column about some vital issue of the day. Why it’s inadvisable to write a mea culpa in the passive voice (otherwise it’s just a ‘culpa’). Something like that.

And yet, and yet – the fact that, seven days later, I’m still sitting at my desk and I still haven’t delivered the manuscript to my publisher, should give a hint to how perilous things are right now. I’m Wile E. Coyote about five seconds after he looks down and realises he’s overshot the cliff. And yet despite my urge to sack off this week’s column and focus on lessening the size of crater I’m about to leave in the desert floor, there’s something on which I can’t remain silent on any longer. Four words which I’ve been seeing again and again all week, and which threaten to drive me mad…

“A victory for authors.”…

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