~ Sunday, June 09, 2002
Meet The MinuteMan
The Minuteman graduated from CalTech with a degree in nuclear physics and immediately joined an elite Special Forces Unit dedicated to securing and stabilizing “loose nukes” while operating in “threat” environments.
After several frustrating years without an opportunity to apply his lethal talents, the MinuteMan came to New York City, where he joined the production crew of Saturday Night Live. There he was able to help “kill ’em” every week, but the seemingly glamorous life of Hollywood talent, exotic parties, and designer drugs soon paled…
[Oh, give it up, lamer. These people were nice enough to ask about you, and you insult their intelligence this way? I mean, no one believes this stuff. Be serious for a second. Open up, give a little of yourself, c’mon.]
I admit it, I have been having problems with this “bio” thing. At first, it was simple ignorance: I am not an HTML jockey, and it is clear that, even now, I have unresolved technical issues. Then, there were some cogent arguments presented by Anonabloggers like Max Power, who describe anonymity as involving a trade-off between less credibility and authority in your area of expertise versus greater latitude to blurt out whatever comes to mind. Interesting. And going public is a bit of a one-way street - its hard to go anonymous again, although some folks try.
But their is also a creative process at work here. I’ve read magazine interviews where Jack talks about “the struggle to find the character”, and I think, OK, makes sense, he is "just" acting after all, he’s not really like that. And sometimes I am at book signing where some author is trying to push his work of fiction up the best seller list, and the author starts in with:
“Sometimes the characters just take over. If they need a scene, they’ll write it, or if the plot needs to go a certain way, they’ll take it there. I try to provide structure, but my role is really quite passive - I just sit back and the book writes itself.”
And I’m in the audience thinking, great, if your role is so passive and you have so much time on your hands, how about getting me another glass of white wine, or do I have to start huffing the butane in my cigarette lighter?
But now I see what these authors are saying, a little bit. Because, please: I am not The MinuteMan. I’m not like that. Well, not totally. And I would never say these things about my friends. But I worry for him - call The MinuteMan a fictional character, and… pfft, he’s gone. Maybe I just had an imaginary friend when I was little. Maybe he’s grown up too.
My real reason for anonymity, however, is that since I was a kid, I thought that having a secret identity would be the coolest thing. Sure, everybody sees the millionaire Bruce Wayne, but really he's… Batman! Or, yeah, everyone sees a meek, mild-mannered reporter, but really its… well, you know.
And you know what? Having a secret identity has been even cooler than I had hoped. I’m walking around and I’m like, hey, I’m The MinuteMan! Some clerk at Home Depot has an attitude, no I don’t have the receipt, do I look like a filing cabinet, I mean, where else would I have bought six 2x4’s and this circular doo-hickey, I don't want to talk with the manager, I want a refund, I bet the manager will give a refund to... The MinuteMan! Oh, yes, its very cool.
Or I’m at a dinner party, bunch of very nice people, sparkling conversation, blah, blah, blah, my interior designer showed me the most beautiful piece, blah, blah, blah, tough seven iron approach on a long par four, blah, blah, blah, man, can you imagine the surprise on these people’s faces if they knew they were having dinner with The MinuteMan? Can you imagine it?
Maybe you can’t. But since you were nice enough to ask, let me say the following. Mid-forties, beautiful wife, five great kids, nice suburban home in, not coincidentally, a nice suburb. Did I mention New York City? It's coming. I make up children’s stories, but you wouldn’t have read them, since they’ve never been published. My kids like them, though. Hmm, maybe I should blog them, very intriguing idea, then you would know the meaning of "tedium". Anyway, in the rest of my life I’m living the New Jersey-New York-Connecticut college/business school/Wall Street thing, which is not as homogeneous an experience as I am pretending here, but there you are. I've spent a lot of time with financial derivatives and I have met many wonderful people, and life is good.
I'm stallling while I wait for a big finish, but it looks like it will not happen. Thanks for stopping by, thanks for checking it out, hope to see you soon. I'm going to google on "Jack Nicholson", "Home Depot", and "Bruce Wayne", and see if I walk among giants.