Book Report: Blurbage

With the book officially written and turned over to the production folks we move into the next phase – obtaining endorsements. Getting established writers to look at the manuscript and offer up a nice blurb can make the difference between the book going to check-out or the book being placed back on the shelf. Certainly I’ve bought books based solely on one or two sentences from authors I admire.
One hopes for something like:
“This is the greatest book I’ve ever read.” – Bob Smith.
But rather than Bob Smith you’d want someone more recognizable, like Norman Mailer or Jon Stewart.
HarperCollins compiled a list of authors to contact, including those I’ve mentioned admiring or who I know have come across my work. Fortunately they have their own staff with fancy, official stationery who will seek the endorsements for me. This gives the request much-needed credibility and saves me the pain of being rejected by agents, managers, publicists and other gatekeepers who stand between me and the author I’d like a blurb from.
There are some folks who I wanted to reach out to directly because I know they’ve read something of mine and liked it. I’d heard through the grapevine that author Neil Gaiman was a fan of Saddam’s Interrogation Logs so I asked him to take a look and he said he would, as busy as he is. I know that Penn Jillette read Your New Monkey on his radio show, so I made sure to reach out to him in a clumsy and unprofessional manner.
Small World I: While reading the bios of both aforementioned gents, I came to realize that Jillette and Gaiman were actually friends. (Wikipedia never lies).
Small World II: After realizing Gaiman and Jillete were connected, I then randomly followed the link of a regular Banterist commenter. I came across a photo of him with… Neal Gaiman. In Poland. Tiny, tiny planet we’re on, really.
John Hodgman wrote a funny book and hails from Brookline, Massachusetts where I had family, so he seemed right. But he’s busy working on another book and politely declined citing that he doesn’t have time to read or bathe.
I crossed paths in a roundabout way with Neal Pollack, author of Alternadad, when we were both writing for the short-lived reincarnation of CRACKED. So, I reached out to him and he said he’d take a gander.
Stephen Fry is someone I really enjoy. Probably a little obscure for an American audience. Alas, he doesn’t do endorsements, so no quandary.
Of course, you don’t want any endorsement. John Mayer doesn’t seem appropriate. And he’s not an author. Nor does he seem on the fatherhood track anytime soon. Glenn Beck would be a nice blurb, but you either love him or you don’t depending on how much you believe what the watchdog groups say.
Getting them to read the book is only part of the struggle. Hopefully they like it. And more hopefully they put together a blurb that works well on its own and doesn’t have to be Frankensteined with bits of words and lots of ellipses.
“This… book… heartwarming… great…” – Bob Smith

Blogger’s Choice

Someone was kind enough to tell me that someone was kind enough to nominate Banterist for a “Blogger’s Choice Award.” I have no idea where the Blogger’s Choice folks stand in the realm of blog awards, but I suppose it’s nice nonetheless. Thank you to whomever liked it enough to nominate it. It’s good to know there are people who can laugh at stuff that isn’t about farts and semen.
Oddly, it seems that they list the site with an “Adult Content” warning. Are they serious? Who are these people? Tipper Gore?
A quick glance at the leaders in the Humor category seems to suggest this is a doomed effort. The current front-runner by a long margin is a mommy diary blog called “Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper.” Not to disparage her effort – it may very well be funny – but this might suggest that “humor” is far too broad a category.
Anyway, if you’d like to vote for Banterist, by all means do so.

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!

Still Not Diddy

Ever since I wrote A Public Message From Sean P. Diddy Combs two years ago, I have been plagued by people who think I’m Diddy, Diddy’s friend, or a conduit to Diddy. No amount of me saying I’m not Diddy seems to reach these people. Every so often I can count on getting an email from an illiterate artist, young teen, or “tight young lady” as one email mentioned.
Here are some current favorites, verbatim:
diddy, i’am intrested in starting an organisation which involves gathering people of high skills and bring them togather.
i want to get people of the street and away from crime, by giving them something to channel thier intrests into.
i would be highly grateful if you would contact me about adding your face to my program inorder to attract more people of the street and give them a little hope for a better futhur.
thank you, melissa
contact me on [redacted]

dear Mr. Combs (aka diddy) i hope i can call you that,
i know that you are constantly hassled everyday for jobs and record deals im sure, and i know it has to get quite frazzeling at times. But my dream is to become an artist, and i would just like some advice as to how to go about getting myself discovered. i have been singing now since i was fifteen and i currently am 21 years old about to turn 22. i know i have an amazing voice as i have been told time after time wherever i have gotten a chance to sing, mostly at kereoke places. i have just had my daughter in march but am back to my slim self once again. i am a 5’5 blue eyed blonde haired girl with a burning desire for music, mostly singing. i really feel that i can make a difference in this crazy industry by making my voice heard and show the world how much feeling goes into my music. the reason why mr. diddy that i have come to you for your advice about going about this is you are a mogule of many things, you are involved in so many different aspects of the cultured world that i really look up to you. you built this intense dream by yourself and i would like to build one also not only for me but my husband and daughter as well. being a young mom really is hard and the only thing i have to keep my spirits going that one day i will be a star and give my baby girl all the things she needs by showing the world just how hard working and dedicated i am and what i can do. please consider emailing me back sir if you dont i will understand completely as i know you have more important things that crave your attention right now other than myself. thank you for your time and GOD bless.


Sorry… but I’m from Poland and I’m looking for P. Diddy’s email… If you can find me that or If you have his email please send me…:)
My name is Marzena and I’m 15…:)
Thanks a lot… goodbay:)

I think it says a lot that best use of English came from Poland. For the record, again, I am not Diddy.

12 January Reading at KGB Bar

[The reading happened already, and was nicely summarized here.]
A reminder about tonight’s reading:
It’s at KGB Bar in the Lower East Side. If they were current they’d be calling it the FSB Bar, and they’d have a drink called a Polonium-210-tini.
There are now five writers reading. We share one thing in common: all hail from the same writing space, Paragraph, which is why the reading series is called “Written at Paragraph.”
The newest guy is Darcy Frey. He’s a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia. He wrote an article about air-traffic controllers that inspired the film Pushing Tin, so he is responsible for Angelina Jolie meeting Billy Bob Thornton – and the nauseating romance that ensued.
Grant Stoddard is going to read from his sex-columnist memoir WORKING STIFF. Perhaps he’ll read the part about being boned by a plaster model of his own Johnson. Not sure if I want to read before or after he does. We’ll see who comes first.
David Goodwillie will be reading from his memoir SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. He was a pro ballplayer once, though I’ve yet to see a syringe. The book is being turned into a movie.
Janice Erlbaum wrote a memoir called GIRLBOMB and now she has a memoir called VOLUNTEER: A LOVE STORY which she’ll be reading from. She writes for BUST, a magazine for those feisty modern ladies who defy Allah and refuse to be veiled.
Dressed as Brian Sack I will be reading from IN THE EVENT OF MY UNTIMELY DEMISE, to be published by Harper next spring.
KGB Bar – 85 East 4th, NYC (Google Map)
Friday 12 January @ 7pm
Adult beverages not included, but recommended to ease you into Grant’s experiences with his L’il Buddy.

Reading At KGB Bar

This Friday I’ll be officially entering the New York literary scene by participating in a reading. Readings are where writers get up and read something – so the name isn’t really that misleading.
The reading takes place at KGB, a Lower East Side bar decorated with Lenin statues to celebrate the hilarious days of communism and Cold War intelligence gathering.
There will be four writers reading from their four books. Unless I’m mistaken they’re all humorous books which is much better than someone reading from their memoir about chronic bulimia.
We all hail from the same writing space, Paragraph, so the reading series is called “Written at Paragraph.”
Grant Stoddard is a nice English chap who wrote WORKING STIFF, a memoir about screwing everything as’s sex columnist. He’ll be reading from his book – a book he’ll have to hide from prospective brides and their fathers for the rest of his life.
David Goodwillie will be reading from his memoir SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. I don’t know David personally but he’s never tried to kill me so I harbor no ill feelings. His book was optioned and he’s now turning it into a screenplay.
Janice Erlbaum will be reading from her forthcoming memoir VOLUNTEER: A LOVE STORY. She describes herself as a feminist, so she’d probably disagree with me that women should be shackled to radiators and called LoveBots. But I’ll be civil.
Brian Sack is me. I’ll be reading from IN THE EVENT OF MY UNTIMELY DEMISE, to be published by Harper next year. A whole year seems like forever away but really isn’t considering I have to write a frickin’ book.
KGB Bar – 85 East 4th, NYC (Google Map)
Friday 12 January @ 7pm
The event will not be close-captioned.

Penn Jillette Mention

A reader informed me that Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller – entertainers I really enjoy – mentioned my practical joke Your New Monkey on the October 3 “Monkey Tuesday” segment of his radio show.
Apparently we share a mutual appreciation for monkey humor.

Amazing how quickly stuff gets around the inter-net these days.
Penn Jillette website.
Penn & Teller’s very enjoyable TV series Bullshit.
Banterist: Why Our SWAT Team Needs A Monkey

Welcome, Deviants and Star-Struck Teens

How are people finding Banterist? Well, of course there’s always word of mouth. Links from blogs like Gawker, Stumbleupon and Socialitelife are most rewarding. Mentions in the UK’s Guardian, MSNBC and USA Today have certainly helped me break the 2 million mark.
But lots and lots of people find Banterist though good old-fashioned search engines like Google and Yahoo. And what, pray tell, are they looking for?
Ass, apparently. More than 100,000 discovered Banterist after Googling Playboy.
Thousands of others were no doubt disappointed after some variation of “sex with animals” led them here.
This year alone, 50 people have been introduced to Banterist via the search phrase “I want to kill my wife“. Look for those folks on future episodes of Forensic Files.
And sadly, countless wayward teens hoping to reach Paris, Hilary or Diddy have had their hopes shattered here. To my infinite joy.
Behold, a smattering of search engine phrases that have brought thousands and thousands of horny, animal-loving, star-struck, wife-hating poo enthusiasts to this humble domain:
paris hilton
animals sex
sex with animals
sex animals
german toilets
how to have sex
animals and sex
ass filled
ass shots
squat toilet
bone my wife
tom cruise is an idiot
german toilet shelf
fake pregnancy belly
hot muslim girls
animals having sex with other animals
krakow prostitutes
knocked up nelly
hilary duff cell phone number
african whores
i want to kill my wife
how to have sex with animals
my porn
sharper image monkey
peeing together
testicular elephantitis
squat toilets
tom cruise nuts
cats not eating
ducks having sex
deodorant burns
toilet poo
soapy breasts
jamaican whores
bag my wife
free butt pictures
monkey vibrator

Calling All Complainers

Everyday Hogwash is seeking well-written, consumer-oriented complaints from bloggers.
Daily winners, selected by the editors, receive a $200 cash prize. Weekly winners, selected by Netizens, receive $1,000. The Grand Prize winner, selected by a panel of judges that includes me, will win $5,000.
If this is not incentive to complain – which most people do for free – then you are magically content and I commend you.

Department of Satire Awareness

An alarming influx of misdirected emails and comments sadly necessitates the following announcement:
Please be advised that Banterist is not a resource for contacting Sean Puff Daddy Puffy P. Diddy Just Diddy Combs, Stevie Wonder or Paris Hilton.
Apparently several individuals found Banterist via a Google search for Sean Combs’s email address. After their Puff Daddy quest results lead them to Diddy’s Daddy Tips and A Public Message From Sean P. Diddy Combs they assumed they struck Puffy gold. Then, apparently unable to comprehend what they may or may not have bothered to read, they sent P. Diddy an email, via Banterist, believing it to be another appendage of the Just Diddy empire.
Likewise, certain individuals who found their way to AOL Chat With Stevie Wonder and Dear Person Who Hacked Paris Hilton’s Cell Phone seem to believe that Banterist is the personal website of those individuals.
Unfortunately, it is not. I lack the musical talents of the exquisite Mr. Wonder, and am differently-gendered and educated than Ms. Hilton. Unlike Mr. Just Diddy, I was unable to build a remarkable career chattering over other people’s melodies, and would not find it politically or financially feasible to pay a black gentleman to follow me around with an umbrella.
In addition, I have no contact with any of them, though I would like to extend to Mr. Wonder an open invitation for brunch.
It can be assumed that the following unedited, uncorrected emails and comments sent to Banterist will not reach their intended targets any time soon:

From : hu69@[redacted]
To Whom It May Concern:
Thanks for entertaining my query. Do you have contact info for Mr. Combs?
I thank you for the attention to this question.
[redacted], President
Howard University Alumni Association

From: bigboy@[redacted]
how is everything, i hope its all good, i wrote to tell u to help me with P.DIDDY email address, so that i can send him email, cause i have business to discuss with him, please, i know u have his email address, am not in same country with him thats why i need it.
please try to send me the email address.

From: [redacted]
Subject: RE recording interview
This Message is for Sean P. Diddy Combs
I write this brief message regarding my daughter, having a schedule interview with Sean P.Diddy Combs on April, 2006…. She was prepared to come to New York with the assistant of me (mother) and my fiance, to support her during her musical quest… I am attending law school, and looked forward to her going to New York to interview with you organization. I have even put aside financial savings for her to meet with you for the music business. She has work very hard since she was 3 years old… She plays 5 instruments, and writes music, and create songs that go with musical notes… My daughter is very skillful, in her music quest… I fell that if you were not able to keep your word, than you should send some type of documentation regarding if you can reschedule her appointment… should you wish to continue this matter and reschedule her time to come and audition for your recording studio, please contact her at [redacted].
I would greatly appreciate this matter in consideration to you concerns if you would at least contact her with what you plan to do….in the future…
If you would like to contact me, her mother: [redacted]
I work in a legal office/contract….
I thank you in advance for your consideration to this matter

From: [redacted]
stevie im in year 10 i am doing a report on you couldyou emailme and tell me howyou use your ict with your special needs please relply thank you very much love danielle and stephanie xxxx

From: [redacted]
You need to check out the main story in PARADE (1/8/06). It mentions your name as part of someone’s dream of a lifetime. It would be great if you could make this happen, if only for a day! I don’t know the person, but I would be interested if you decide to act on this. Thanks for letting me write to you. I have always adored your music!!

From: [redacted]
Hey P.Diddy I guess this is the only way too get to you well me and my counsin and sister wanted too ask you if it is a possible for you too make us big? We have too dancer and we was wondering if you could because our family is preying and we are the same age as b5 but we just girls and I want too tell you that we have alot of talent you just type back and yes you would hear from us oh yeah our name is 3d

From: [redacted]
Subject: asking for relationship
i love you paris moe than anything else.i would be very please if you understand my feelings

The Obligatory 2005 Retrospective

2005 was a very good year for, thanks in no small part to the 15 minutes of fame earned by the sale of my leather pants on eBay. Media attention in the form of magazine, newspaper and radio coverage, NPR and BBC interviews and overwhelming web linkage resulted in tremendous numbers of new visitors – not to mention agents, managers, producers, editors and women looking for dates despite my current commitments and overwhelming geographic barriers to our getting jiggy.
Other entries achieved their own fame after being picked up by a variety of media – Gawker has always been a great source of eyeballs and such outlets as IMDB, MSNBC, CNN, USA Today, Canada National Post and the New York Post‘s Page Six all contributed to increased readership by mentioning Banterist for various reasons. Several entries appeared in publications like London’s Independent newspaper and upstart magazine Radar – which ate through $10 million before it folded, leaving one less market for selling humor. Shame, that.
Google and other search engines must be acknowledged – they bring in a great deal of traffic, whether it be people searching for “banterist” which warms my heart, or “tom cruise is an idiot” which also warms my heart. Alarmingly, one individual found Banterist through a Google search for “I want to kill my wife.
The posts that comprise Banterist’s Top Ten for 2005 are diverse in style, yet somewhat connected. Most contain themes of sex, celebrity and/or eBay – meaning the majority of entries in 2006 will be about whores, whores and/or whoring, respectively.
Paris Hilton For The Xbox leads the pack as the most-viewed Banterist entry – one that tested my Photoshop skills to the maximum. The rampant success of an entry so graphically taxing leads me to wonder aloud if Banterist couldn’t use a more talented graphic designer. Though it saddens me to see the name Paris at the top, it pleases me that people realize she sullies the name of a beautiful city filled with unchecked adulterers and unwanted immigrants.
Helpful Plastic Surgery Tips was a shocker, really. Who’d have guessed that so many people cared about the sad story of an overly-rich, underly-secure woman, or that a link from a website called could be so incredibly hit-lucrative. Indeed, I’d never heard of such a site, and now I love them like a hot Geisha – and who isn’t hot with five layers of white make-up and a hand fan? A few commenters believe it’s shameful to mock the horrifically self-mutilated woman, but most folks find her understandably terrifying.
Playboy. In Braille. A last-minute entry, and one I believed to be quite doomed to anonymity after eBay pulled the actual listing. Apparently, and ironically, even a stale Playboy without photos is verboten on eBay. But sex sells, even without eBay’s help, and in short order it found itself picked up by radio station morning shows, emailed globally, and linked to by countless sites. The concept of Playboy in Braille transcends all geographic and linguistic barriers – the entry has made an appearance in numerous foreign lands; Germany, Netherlands, even one-time democratic hopeful Russia.
Dear Person Who Hacked Paris Hilton’s Cell Phone became a prime rally-point for the current generation of adolescents and nincompoops who are able to write only in Textmessagese. The bulk of Banterist’s semi-literate, one-time readership can be found there, commenting away incoherently and for some reason under the impression that Paris Hilton and her ilk are reading their comments. Be warned, the comment section is disheartening proof-positive that education in the United States has failed and the future is filled with star-struck ne’er-do-wells who write and talk like twits. OMG WTF?
Grammar Cop: Who’s The Faiest Of Them All? Is the only entry in the highly-popular Grammar Cop category to make it to the Top Ten. And I have no idea why. The Coney Island Crime Spree entry struck me as the obvious Grammar Cop leader, as it made its way onto a plethora of websites and was emailed en masse. But no, it’s this one. Color me confused.
To The Person Who Found My Camera is no surprise. It’s one of the most-highly emailed entries on the site to begin with, and enjoyed quality linkage from high-traffic sites like Sadly it receives a lot of traffic from Germans who, once eager to conquer the world, now sit at home searching Google for “ass filled.”
The History of My Traveling Pants, the heavily abridged story of my eBay leather pants saga was quite popular among the 3.1 million folks who sought it out after reading the original listing on eBay. Some day I hope to be far more detailed as to what exactly happens when something you write achieves Class-G Internet Celebrity status because it’s interesting and scary in a scary, interesting way.
DKNY Leather Pants I Unfortunately Own. The eBay listing alone did nearly three times the traffic of Banterist’s first two years of existence. That’s not including the folks who copied the entire listing and distributed it, or the fact that The Guardian published it verbatim without any form of attribution. The pleasant residual effects are that Banterist was exposed to multitudes and enjoys higher traffic than ever before.
Tom Cruise For The Xbox was not as graphically challenging as the Paris Hilton version, but it goes to show that one needn’t spend hours on a piece when something so simple, making fun of someone so mental, can be something so popular.
The Twelve Days of eBay. The last entry in the 2005 Top Ten is in fact one of the last entries of the year. How does that happen? Well, traffic as a result of the eBay meme is higher than ever and it’s one of the first entries the many newcomers to Banterist came across. It also helped that it appeared on linkstravaganza
The events of 2005 brought numerous suggestions from the public and literary professionals to venture into book writing, television writing, play writing, mentorship and posting on a knitting forum. A handful of comparisons were made to Dave Barry (male, undeceased) and Erma Bombeck (female, deceased) among others, including one unfortunate comparison to blogger Tucker Max, the kind of frat boy I’ve avoided my entire life.
I remain confident that Banterist is, more often than not, funnier than Garfield and I promise that a merger with Time-Warner would only affect the quality minimally.
Happy New Year, and see you in 2006.

Anonymous Sourcewear

Can’t keep a secret? Pull a Deep Throat of your very own and beat Judith Miller to the punch with the latest in current events couture from Banterist’s terribly mediocre online store.
The font? Times, of course.

One Year Down


It seems like, and was, only a year ago that Banterist was founded with a mission that wasn’t entirely clear – other than thinking a weblog might be a good idea for some reason.

Since that time, more than 100,000 mostly pleasant people have come across it, either accidentally or on purpose. That’s a lot more people than I have ever met in bars.

Banterist is not a link-to kind of blog, a quippy blog, a news blog, or a blog about what I had for lunch. Banterist is a blog of completely original content.

That makes it a more time-consuming endeavor, mitigated by the fact that it has resulted in newspaper and magazine assignments, an offer from a guy who may or may not be in the film business, invitations to review books for a publisher, free drinks at SoHo House, a lunch meeting with an intellectual rapper, and introductions to many people from civilized countries who share a similar sense of humor. On the negative side, there are a few Poles who write mean emails because they think I’m making fun of them. Which I’m not. I just find the Fiat Maluch an absolutely ridiculous car.

One of the more interesting aspects of having a weblog is seeing how folks found out you existed in the first place.

There are the sites that link here, and for that I owe many thousand thanks to the five most link-lucrative sites: Gawker,, Ape Child, New Yorkish, and Bad Gas. A shout out to the now retired TMFTML is in order. They’ll always be our #6.

The search engine is always a great way to find us. For months we topped the Google charts for searches under Nipplegate, a proud accomplishment. Sadly, the other top ways people found Banterist was by Googling bangbus, Paris Hilton, neckface and slim shady.

Search keywords always give you an interesting glimpse into the mindset of your audience. I am happy to have offered reading material to people searching Google about their green card interview, the scam artists University of Wexford, seeking tips for actors, details on the Nigerian email scam and Untitled John Stamos Project. Knowledge is power.

I am not as happy to have offered reading material for individuals Googling for African whores, ass shots, dentist sex, Rachel Hunter naked and celebrity gossip bitch. But I’ll take the hits nonetheless.
Thank you for your readership, the kind words, the links and the advertising revenue.

The Breast That Launched A Thousand Queries

My mother died in 1983, long before the internet ever existed as a public resource. At that time I was far too young, too hyperactively scattered, and probably too weird for her to ever predict what I might one day grow up to be.
For certain, she had absolutely no idea that some day her first son would become the #1 resource for any human who typed ‘nipplegate’ into Google. Worldwide.
It’s a bittersweet achievement for me. Mom will never know that ‘nipplegate’ information seekers from all over the planet are finding Banterist has been declared the world’s foremost resource on Janet Jackson’s tit. Thanks to whatever top-secret mathematical formula Google has put together, if it’s about Nipplegate, then Banterist is apparently the answer. For the time being, anyway.
I may be usurped later, but for now the glory is mine. All mine. You can never take that away, which is potentially sad.
As the current #1 answer to the question ‘Nipplegate’ I wanted to let you foreigners know that the jig is up. You scold us, mock us, tell us that only Americans would get so carried away with a naked boob. You tell us that you and your countrymen are above it all. Well, I have proof to the contrary. Liars.
I know for a fact that a goodly portion of the planet wants to know more about that breast. That dark-areolaed, starfish-pastied breast. I know, because at this moment I man the toll booth on the road to that information. I’m like the overpaid union booth worker, sucking on carbon monoxide fumes and welcoming you to Nipplegateinformationland. By virtue of the power bestowed on me by Google, I am the Nipplegate-keeper.
But, instead of looking back over my shoulder to read your license plates as you head in, I need only flip through the referral logs to know from whence you came.
Hello Dutch people. You’re #1.
After America, you Netherlanders lead the pack. You’re #1 in the international quest for more information on Nipplegate. That quest has brought you right here, to Banterist. Welcome. I’ve been to Amsterdam. Once I bought a stolen bike for $5 from a drug addict there. Interesting city. I’m not a big fan of burly African whores, but I admire your libertarian attitude.
Belgium is next, at #2.
Lots of Belgians coming to Banterist to get their Nipplegate fix. I have to say, I’m a little surprised you’ve made #2. I’ve been to Brussels. Can’t say I remember anything other than an Irish friend who worked for the European Union and a Cambodian guy ironing his shirt for about a nickel. What Brussels lacks in excitement it makes up for in blandness. I hear Bruges is nice. Never made it there. Regardless, I must respect any tri-lingual culture that adores drunk monks and the fruity beer they make.
The Germans are the #3 nipplegate-interested culture.
I like Germans. They’re goofy and well-educated and have strange obsessions with sex that border on creepy. Sex is fun, yes? I like sex! Do you like sex? It’s fun, yes? Yes, fun! Sex! My brother and I met Germans many years ago at a hostel near Galway, Ireland. As our German bunkmates drifted off to sleep, we whispered ‘Please don’t kill us” Repeatedly. You could do that back then. And it was funny. They read comic books and shared delicious Mettwurst sausage with us. Good times. I’m not surprised the Germans rank #3, though I am surprised that they’re not higher than the Belgians.
Canada is #4.
My first visit to Canada was only last year. I love Montreal. Charming, colorful, and home to a variety of new internet pornographers with accents. Canada’s dollar is even lower than the US dollar so they can’t go anywhere, except maybe Argentina, Haiti, or Burma. That explains why so many Canadians are sitting at home in their skivvies typing ‘nipplegate’ into Google. And finding me.
India is #5.
Good people, Indians. In fact, I probably talked to one of you last week when I called Microsoft about my defective Xbox. We use a doctor from India. She’s lovely. No sense of humor, as I’ve learned too often, but a great doctor. She hates cats, with no apologies. I’m kind of surprised to find you here, India. I think it’s because of Gandhi, but I kind of expected more. Shame on you.
France is #6.
Of course France is represented. If there are breasts, there’s a Frenchman skulking around the corner, waiting to pounce when the husband goes to pee. Why are there more Indians than French looking for Nipplegate information? Because there are more Indians than French.
Australia, #7.
Australians are nuts. I’ve watched them throw each other through walls. They’re like insane Scotsmen, but their ancestors were caught. I’ve been wanting to go to Australia ever since Paul Hogan made those shit movies, became famous, dumped the wife and mother of his kids for a Hollywood floozy, and pimped Subaru as he disappeared into oblivion. Now the Aussies come here, because I am the Nipplegate-keeper.
Austria is #8.
Germany Lite. Last time I was there it was mushroom season. Everything was made out of mushrooms. Delicious mushrooms. Does your digestive system have a problem with mushrooms? Mine apparently did. Welcome Austrians, and for God’s sake put some air conditioning in the bars.
UK, #9.
I’m a little surprised. Don’t you guys like boobs more than that? They’re in the newspapers, they’re on Benny Hill. Is it possible you’ve been saturated by too many boobs? Honestly, I thought I’d find a lot more Britons seeking information on Nipplegate. If not out of genuine interest, then to at least to take your minds off of your awkward bisexual prince.
Singapore, #10.
All I can say is I’m sure saying ‘nipple’ is illegal in Singapore, because everything is illegal in Singapore. I’d hate for any of you to get a governmental ass-whacking on my behalf. However, many of you have expressed an interest in Nipplegate and have found your way here. Welcome. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new movement?
Oh, I could go on.
Sweden, Malaysia, Finland, Poland, New Zealand, Turkey, Spain, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Chile, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico, Taiwan and Czech Republic ‘ welcome to all of you. I hope you found what you were looking for. Even if you didn’t, rest assured that no matter what you were actually hoping to find when you entered ‘nipplegate’ into Google ‘ it’s bound to be out there somewhere.
Until your search takes you elsewhere, a hearty welcome to all you breast-obsessed freaks, foreign and domestic.

The Year In Review

2003 was a banner year for Banterist, primarily because it didn’t exist in 2002.
Indeed, Banterist is still a youngin’ ‘ which is what you’d call it if you’re inclined to use the vernacular of the Old West, or if you weren’t properly schooled. It is yet another weblog in a vast universe of weblogs, many of which suck so incredibly bad they’re like little black holes.
[Stephen Hawking laugh here]
But in the vast expanse of cyberspace there are the occasional gems to be found. Planets with life, as it were. It was the intention from the very beginning that this one try and be amongst them; a friendly planet that entertains its visitors. Much like that planet in Star Trek: The Next Generation where everyone was gorgeous and running around having fun and screwing. Banterist wants to be like that planet, up until the part where the little weasel kid steps on the flowers and the natives want to execute him.
The original intent of Banterist was to consolidate writing in one place, rather than many, and to have the motivation to keep writing – in the form of people who were looking for something to read. Now that there are a significant number of said people, it feels like employment. Worrying about deadlines. Proofreading. Evaluating everything for its potential as a topic. It has forced me to get up two hours earlier every day and required I never leave the house without my tiny digital camera, notepad and a pen. It has made my day job as an TV & radio commercial actor and copywriter much more interesting.
We left the year 2003 with over 7100 unique visits in December alone. Not bad for a weblog that didn’t even exist in August. For that, I owe thanks to folks like Choire Sicha at Gawker, and the various and sundry who’ve liked the banter enough to link to it, quote from it or come back to it. There is great reward in finding that folks like what you’re doing. It makes the fact that you’re not getting rich off of it much more palatable.
In 2004, I resolve to follow up with the magazines that have contacted me as a result of seeing something they liked on Banterist. It would be great to make something come of that. And I hope that Banterist will offer you many more reasons to quote from, link to and come back.
Happy New Year.



Well, there’s Gawker of course, to which I owe countless thousands of visits, and Gawker siblings Defamer, Fleshbot and Wonkette which have all provided much-coveted counter hits. McSweeney’s has been a boon, providing me with plenty of exposure as well as several writing assignments – which writers are often fond of.

I’ve never met Daniel Radosh, but we like each other’s work and I’d be a fool to not be thankful.

I also have to thank my earliest memorable blogfans, Mukiwa.



Blogger Choire Sicha invited me to a gathering of blogistes at SoHo House – shortly before he was not allowed in anymore. There I enjoyed free beer courtesy of blog Czar Nick Denton, had a nice chat with Remy at New Yorkish and Eric, a.k.a. the Young Curmudgeon. I didn’t get a chance to talk with Eurotrash, but she has an accent I can vouch is authentic. And I had a long conversation with Ellen of Standard Deviance.



Reason’s Hit & Run, for political commentary. Dumb Celebs for info on dumb celebs. The Korean Central News Agency provides news from the totalitarian state’s Orwellian mouthpiece – and it’s unintentionally hilarious when it’s not terrifying. Neal Boortz is a good but not well-proofread blog by an Atlanta-based Libertarian curmudgeon talk-show host. MEMRI translates news articles from Arabic, so you can learn how progressive Middle Eastern culture isn’t. The Alternative Dictionary is swell if you’d like to swear horribly in a foreign language.


Banterist FAQ

Do you accept written submissions?
Banterist is an entirely selfish endeavor. Aside from a few initial posts from a friend in Ireland, all the material is (c)Me. But you don’t need me anyway – fortunately or unfortunately, current technology allows anyone to start their own weblog in minutes. You could have your own website before you finish this paragraph.
Do you accept Grammar Cop submissions?
I’ll accept photos of grammatical disasters – if it’s your photo. I’ll handle the citation part. If I use the photo I will give you credit as an officer and link to your site if you have one.
Can I steal your work, add some of my own thoughts to it, and post it on my new weblog as if it were mine?
I would prefer you not do that. That’s kind of lame, and will probably come back to haunt you.
bsack – do you need a MILF date 2-nite? HOTXXX women jamiaca elf compliment
Thank you, but I do not need a MILF date tonight. As far as a short, sexy Jamaican liking the site – I appreciate the kind words.
Do you want to do a link swap?
No, you should never ask for a link swap. They should just happen organically.
Do you hate Poland?
No, I love Poland. The only people who think I hate Poland have read about three words of my dispatches from Poland and jumped to conclusions. My wife, who is Polish, gets mad at such people and I have to prevent her from responding unpleasantly to their emails in Polish.