Go Deeper

Misquoted: A Parody – Fin

Posted September 18th, 2010

After working closely with our former colleague Josh McIlvain to promote his 2010 Philly Fringe show Boat Hole, which has only one night left (tonight!) at Arts Garage, things went a little haywire and Josh objected. The Art Blog Writer-Marketers Of Pennsylvania (ABWMOP), the umbrella group that issues rules governing behavior of bloggers who earn fewer than seven dollars per month from banner ads for Extenze, launched an investigation.

After the jump: My reply to Josh’s and ABWMOP’s concerns, with tape transcriptions:

Dear Josh (and Blog Overlords):

Josh, I’m sorry that you didn’t care for the piece, but I’m a little concerned that you might not remember the interview clearly, as you finished off two short dogs of Canadian Club during the 45-minute session. We’re just trying to sell tickets to your show, and I have to say, given the material I had to work with, I did a remarkable job.

First, you definitely praised Stalin during our interview, and I tried to downplay it. I went back to the transcript to confirm, as I too finished off two short dogs of Canadian Club while we talked. This is what you had to say:

“Without Stalin, none of this would’ve been possible. Boat Hole is all about the hilarious high-jinx that ensues in pursuit of ideological purity meted out by a totalitarian wisenheimer. Fifteen short plays that feature Jaeger-drinking pregnant party ladies, foul-mouthed cranes, sleazy clowns, orcas that whore themselves for humans, and regular-joes considering terrorism as a job opportunity. “

Given that your show has nothing to do with Stalin, I tried to downplay your stated influence, because frankly, it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think Stalin drank Jaegermeister, and I’m pretty sure he would’ve purged the sleazy clowns.

Second, regarding tonality. Yes, your vocal register changed when discussing a few items; I thought it had to do with your throwing up on yourself. I apologize for my insensitivity on the matter.

Third, I don’t care about the photos. But you didn’t have to drag the ABWMOP into it. They’re people bloated by low-grade delivery pizza and slowed by dial-up access. It’s like talking to deaf elephants.

Fourth, you didn’t talk about Boat Hole at all. All you were interested in was telling me about peasant girls at Bieber’s, and how your interest in them traced back to your appreciation of Stalin’s crushing of dissent. Again, I tried hard to massage this into something acceptable for public consumption. For example, a quote that we didn’t use:

“You know what word I like? Limn. Stalin limned the hell out of dissenters. Just like I’m gonna limn some peasant girls after opening night.”

I mean, come on.

Finally, do you remember how our interview actually ended?

“JM: For my next act, I’m writing a new and original full-length play for Philly Fringe 2011 about AIDS and stuff. It’s tentatively titled Angels in America. Catchy, right?

NG: I think somebody wrote that play already.

JM: You can’t judge. Everybody get rid of your drugs! No, listen! Everybody listen to me—yes, fat man. FAT MAN!

NG: I’m not fat. I’m just big-boned.

JM: That’s what your mother said last night.

[Rustling, then a loud crack and a crashing sound.]

NG: You shot at me!

JM: [mumbling]

[More crashing sounds, close to the microphone. This is NG scooping up the recorder and running out of the room. Door slams. More shots. Snoring, that quickly fades as NG flees.]”

I tried to salvage what I could, and I think I made you, and your work, come across as good as possible under the circumstances. I tried to spin your theft of other playwright’s work in a nice way, and didn’t include the fact that you tried to shoot me with a .38 before passing out.

I hope you understand that we have your best interests at heart.


After reviewing the evidence, the ABWMOP condemned my original story. By not giving Josh the opportunity to rewrite the piece himself, ABWMOP believes that I’ve set a poor example for other bloggers. The concern is that access to swag like free canvas bags with corporate logos, to 10:00 am film screenings, and to launch parties with alcohol, all may be restricted should other folks follow my path. The ABWMOP’s Ethics Committee issued a white paper on the matter, and suggested I be removed from my position. Ethics! Can’t stand ’em.

Luckily, my contract is up, so the point is moot. Take that, McIlvain! If we’re both back next year, you better sit on the other side of the office.

Boat Hole‘s last night is tonight at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia. 7:00 pm, $15.

–Nicholas Gilewicz