Tuesday, November 4, 1997
By Paul Ford
Saw Boogie Nights tonight. Like Mark Wahlberg's character, Dirk Diggler, it was long and dumb. The lack of plot surprised me because the reviews
are great. Mark Walberg is serviceable, Julianne Moore underutilized. How could someone make a movie about sex so boring?
Weak character development, too, with only-slightly-better-than-porn-flick dialogue, and it managed to rip off a lot of better
films, from Reservoir Dogs to Raging Bull.
It played at a gorgeous theater in the East Village, on 12th and 2nd Avenue. I went with my friend Elizabeth. Our uncertain
friendship doesn't have a platform for a sex conversation, so until we could come up with another topic we didn't say much.
I did say, "I thought it was too long." Pause. "No pun intended." It really hadn't been. Pause. "Sorry."
"That's okay. Inexcusably stupid, but forgiveable." She frowned.
In other news, my bathroom hisses like a snake. I've placed my ear on every pipe and can only assume it's the heat coming
on through the building. The hiss is worse in the second floor hallway, which calms my fears. I was convinced my apartment
would explode. Now I'm convinced the building will explode, which is still bad but at least not my fault.
And now I realize I made tea three hours ago in my one-cup-single-guy-no-need-to-make-tea-for-two tea maker, and it's sitting
there cold as a stone.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
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“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
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An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
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Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.