Conversation with Crispin Best re: Tao Lin
I solicited Crispin Best for a >500 line chat re: Tao Lin for his grassroots promotional campaign. Tao, please contact Crispin for his mailing address and send him SFAA. Please give HTMLGIANT, a supporter of your literature, a 100-line discount to ship over seas (UK) to Crispin. Thanks. (Caveat: if you are easily irritated by Tao or me, or by this campaign, please do not click on more.)
[The perspective is reversed because I couldn’t find the chat, and was forwarded it from Crispin — except for the last lines, as his email to me was clipped for some reason. The last lines were pasted in from the pop-up window of the chat which I fortunately did not close.]
21:02 HTML: dr. best
HTML: this is htmlgiant c/o jimmy
me: hello chenbot
HTML: you know about the tao lin promothing
the 500 line IM
me: oh no – not yet, no
21:03 shiiiit – i am behind on my reading
HTML: damn you
HTML: we need to have a 500 line conversatijon about him
me: oh ok
me: has the conversation started yet?
HTML: yes it has
but it needs to be funny, my hopes
so it might not work
21:04 me: ok – i could be your straight man. i will set up puns
HTML: let’s talk about tao lin, but not his books ok?
me: sure – i haven’t read any all the way through anyway
get acclimated dude
me: i am more interested in tao lin ‘the enigma’
HTML: no enigma, he’s a man
do people know tao lin in UK?
me: oh ok – so we need to hurry.
21:06 HTML: btw, pls save this IM just in case i lose it
i’m not use to gchat
me: i first read a short story by tao lin on the internet, an excerpt from bed, on his website, and i mentioned his name to my friend, a china like you, her name is ‘fun’, and she went on amazon and bought 3 of his books without reading a line
21:07 HTML: sounds fun
me: i think tao lin is growin in stature, as the online literary scene in my country catches up with the uniter american states
HTML: haha she’s ‘china’
me: she is 100%, cantonese
what are you? what is tao ?
HTML: tao is mandurin i think
me: that’s ok, think that’s the more popular one
HTML: cantonese ppl. are like the people in the south in united states
like farmers who talk loud
21:08 what time is it in UK?
me: it is 9pm
i am listening to opera and thinking about tao lin listening to to opera
21:09 HTML: part of me feels bad, because i think this grassroots thing is lame
me: i watched a video of tao lin and in the video i think i saw reynard seifert laughing a lot
HTML: i think he needs a lot of attention
me: he is on htmlgiant a lot
21:10 does grass need a lot of attention? is that the point?
HTML: yah that was reynard
me: i feel like grass just gets on with it
HTML: he’s a hipster from oakland
is tao a hipster?
me: what is a hipster? when i think ‘hipster’ i get confused with ‘holster’
because that’s on someone’s hip ordinarily
21:11 HTML: i’m worried this IM is not ironic enuff, and that i should capitalize my sentences
me: cantonese people keep their pistols in their hipsters
oh – i think you are right
i guess i wasn’t prepared
one of my oldest friends just told me i am boring and need to go to therapy
HTML: cantonese people have issues, they are like the scottish of the UK
me: i was surprised
HTML: we need to talk more about tao or he won’t link this
21:12 me: i think tao is the ringo of the internet literary scene
HTML: how so?
me: it seems salient
HTML: what is salient?
me: i imagine him doing a very solid job and working very hard
HTML: is that salty?
me: to do the right things right
21:13 i think tao lin is more ‘umami’ than salty
HTML: dang, you are cultured
you know alot of stuff best
have you read SFAA?
me: i haven’t, i would be interested in reading it
is it set in new york?
21:14 HTML: part of the deal is he’ll send you the book
but that costs 600 lines
maybe we could get a htmlgiant discount
it’s set in nyc yah
me: ok – i understand the situation now
HTML: how many lines is this?
me: googles #1 hit for sfaa is “Scottish Field Archery Association”
21:15 HTML: haha
me: “San Francisco Apartment Association”
HTML: can you go there and do a speical report?
scottish field archery
that would be ideal
HTML: and i’ll go to sf apt. ass
me: cantonese field archery association
they’re sure to have an opinion
UK humor is funny
me: hipsters is where they put their arrows
21:16 HTML: man, you are ‘free styling’
i’m worried that i’ll lose this IM
me: scottish free association association
HTML: how do i save it?
me: i have every faith in you. does tao lin have any nicknames?
21:17 HTML: no, seriously, how do i save this IM?
21:18 me: just google SFAA
use bing or something
“Surety & Fidelity Association of America”
HTML: jesus best, come on
how do i save this chat?
21:19 i IMed jereme dean for a chat, but he wasn’t there. he don’t like tao so i thought it would be more passionate, but this chat is cool too
21:20 me: oh damn – ok – feel like ‘under pressure’
HTML: yah i feel pressure too
if i post this on htmlgiant people in comments will be mean
it’s a rough crowd
21:21 me: you are right, it didn’t occur to me that you would post this on htmlgiant at first, i think i am a dumbass
HTML: no you are not
but this ain’t about you bro
we are supposed to talk about tao
21:22 me: ok
tao free association: neutral, haircut, chris killen, sweatervest, whale
HTML: oh yeah, killen
have you met him?
21:23 me: yes, i slept on his couch one time. i consider myself good friends with him
HTML: i recall seeing a clip of UK people like chris, you and david oprava
me: the electricity in his house ran out while i was there and there was an alarm warning chris that the alarm was about to turn off but he was asleep
HTML: and chris east
21:24 me: oh good – i have no idea what clip that is. i would like to see it
HTML: can’t remember how i saw it
me: i have seen a video chris made with tao lin in, where tao hid beneath a car
HTML: and that guy who edits red peter
21:25 me: KILLEN, chris
HTML: can’t remember name — he’s old sexy guy
um… steve finbow
HTML: yah, finbow
me: today at work i had a picture of someone wearing a facebow
21:26 HTML: lol
sucks to be facebowed
me: what kind of reaction would people have to a picture of tao wearing a facebow
facebow, the new facebook
HTML: i want to see tao in a facebow
with a neutral facial expression
21:27 me: yes please
HTML: he won’t do it though coz it’s not his kind of humor
me: oh wow ‘146 lines’
HTML: 146 lines what?
21:28 me: this so far
i am laughing
this will take forever
me: some intense wild west music just started playing
the magnitude of the task became clear
21:29 HTML: we need shoter sentences
HTML: do increase lines
me: that’s true
that’s what tao would do
HTML: let’s speed this shit up
me: also we should misssspel thing
we are doing good
and then correct ourselves
21:30 me: is tao good at spelling?
i think so
me: i remember
in gustaf #3
HTML: know what’s funny
me: all the big guns
except you and tao
had spelling mistakes
HTML: tao was in bullfight review way back
before he was ‘famous’
and i remember seeing his name
21:31 and think “damn, another asian.”
diluting the pool
HTML: now he’s famous and the asian slot is taken
me: how many asians were there back then?
also there is already a famous jimmy chen
HTML: not like him man
21:32 ha jin is famous
there’s a new writer tan lin
me: real chinese
HTML: that’s just a letter off
me: ‘xiaolu guo’
HTML: dang, you know your chinese chris
HTML: i feel connected to you
21:33 me: 1982-????
HTML: like we could eat potstickers together
me: i don’t know what a potstickers is
it’s like a small calzone
HTML: gustaf 3
yah, u were in it
and me and tao
21:34 me: yes
it’s a nice device
HTML: and sam pink and brandon i think
me: to tie us all togeter
and kgm, i think
sometimes i worry that people think we’re all annoying
me: ‘conor oberst sex’
21:35 HTML: dang, too much abbrviation
me: i’m a pmp
‘lego tao lin’
21:36 HTML: i don’t get it
me: that’s ok
HTML: do you think tao would get his ass beat in a pub in london?
me: definitely not
HTML: why not?
21:37 me: i think people are not interested in chinese people over here
unless they are selling dvds
and even then
me: the interest is only to say
‘have you heard of the internet?’
HTML: english are racist
me: in a patronising manner
we still use ‘oriental’
but that is because we use the term ‘asian’
HTML: dang man
me: to refer to indians, pakistanis, sri lankans, bangladesh etc
21:38 HTML: chinese ppl aren’t interested in english people
except in hong kong
me: so we need a FRESH term to refer to the chinese and japanese
me: i think it’s really funny that britain ‘owned’ hong kong
even 15 years ago
HTML: yah, but no gin there
kong kong like cognac, not gin
21:39 me: tao gin
HTML: tao’s family live in taiwan
tell me what you know about taiwan
i think i know that even <50 years ago
21:40 taiwan and the mainland
were shooting cannnons at each other
but to save cannon balls
21:41 they did it on alternate days
HTML: crispin you are smart guy, i’m really impressed
me: and the cannonballs never reached
i know taiwan 101 is the ~4th tallest building in the world
and looks like a dragon’s erect penis
HTML: all i know about UK cliffs of dover
like were that poet wrote
longfellow or yeats
21:42 me: you mean eric johnson, i think
the guitar hero
HTML: not guitar hero
do you know james yeh?
me: i have interacted with him maybe 3 times online
my (now ex) girlfriend thought he was very attractive
HTML: he’s another asian — reads for nyer i think
me: from a video he made with ellen frances
21:43 HTML: yah, he had hipster hair
me: where he did a tom waits stance
does tao have hipster hair?
HTML: tom waits lives in petaluma
me: what is ‘hockey hair’?
HTML: in california
me: have you ever met tom waits?
HTML: my friend saw him at the stoplight
me: i bet tom waits did not stop
HTML: i have not met waits
21:44 no, tom had stopped
me: he ‘waits’ed
HTML: i love that song ‘take it with me when i go’
me: yeh – who cares what it’s called
me: i am going to put some tom waits on
HTML: in this town there’s a house
in this house there’s a room
HTML: and in that room is a woman
21:45 and in the woman is a heart i love
take it with me when i go
me: i have put it on
HTML: my co-worker is listening to phil collins
‘oh i wish it would rain down’
21:46 he came out
me: i was about to ask – does your coworker wear the music trousers?
phil collins is gay?
HTML: yes, she has the strap on
i’m just a bitch here
once i listened to steve reich and ppl. said it made them nervous
me: tom just sang about ‘coney island’
is that near to where tao and james yeh are?
21:47 HTML: yah tao and james live on coney island with woody allen
you like with sid viscious and yeats
and i live with waits
me: and sarah michelle guellar
HTML: ur hair is like thom yorkes
what is our line count?
21:48 me: hipster hair?
HTML: sort of
me: we’re 7/10 of the way there
HTML: i have hairy asscheek hair
me: does tao lin care about wind power?
me: is he passionate about human rights?
HTML: its arbitrary universe or something
me: is he a scientologist?
21:49 i met him at his readings
me: that guy who directed CRASH just RENOUNCED his scientology
HTML: paul haggis?
HTML: i love haggis — he did in the valley of elah
me: nancy cartright gave $10m to scientology
HTML: made me fcuking cry man
21:50 me: is paul dano in that movie?
tommy lee jones
had you read bed?
me: just checked: only james franco repping vowel endings
i have read parts of bed
HTML: why only parts?
me: excerpts, stories, etc
i don’t know
21:51 i don’t own it
HTML: do hot chicks like tao?
me: i read it at fun’s while she was painting her walls
fun is pretty hot, she likes him
HTML: fun doesn’t sound hot
me: i think hot girls dig tao
HTML: based on her name
i think hot girls dig you too
i like UK hot girls
21:52 me: hot girls dig everything
HTML: no man
me: they hard carte blanche to dig
HTML: hot girls hate me
me: oh snap
HTML: cuz my jacket sucks
me: is it a red once, like in thriller/
HTML: and not ironic suck, but macy’s blowout sale suck
no that red jacket rocks
me: don’t you live in a ‘warm’ city?
HTML: my jacket is ‘men’s club’
21:53 like for old guys
sf can get really cold
me: yes i have been there 4 tiems
HTML: line count please…
i went to sf
and my friends
took me to coit tower
21:54 and i said ‘what is this?’
because i had never heard of coit tower
HTML: haha coit tower sucks
me: and they were upset
HTML: coit tower was made by a rich crazy lady
me: feel like coit tower is a dead end re: tao lin
HTML: i been to london once
21:55 remember ‘tooting beck’ station
me: did you have a ‘coit tower’ moment?
HTML: where i stayed
me: ‘northern line’
HTML: i remember having a guiness and indian cab driver
me: ‘black drink’
HTML: i saw rembrandt show
HTML: i also had tea at notting hill
21:56 tried to bang a hot chick
it wasn’t like that scene from ‘rules of attraction’
IF YOU’VE SEEN THAT MOVIE
HTML: no i haven’t
me: ok – there was lots of ‘banging chicks’ in that scene
HTML: who would play tao in a movie about him?
me: in london and yerrup
HTML: (dont’ have to be asian)
21:57 me: haley joel osmond
me: i think….
HTML: i think edward norton
me: shia lebouef
would do a good job
but would struggle with the ‘neutrality’ required
HTML: christopher walken could be ‘old tao’
21:58 me: haha
is tao intimidating?
HTML: tao will be fucked up wehn he’s old
me: like a walken
HTML: tao is not
21:59 on the shy side but normal
me: maybe walken is normal
HTML: walken is normal
have you seen that youtube
me: then it’s perfect
HTML: he making chicken?
me: i have never in my ife seen walken making chicken
HTML: it’s at his home making chicken
me: i will search for it now
send link so ppl can click
chicken with pears
walken is the old tao
fucking normal is shit
me: so far this is minimalist
22:01 incredibly neutral and minimalist
HTML: include ur email
so tao can mail you book
i already have it
this is what you deserve
me: my email is ‘email@example.com‘
22:02 HTML: ok tao: send best sfaa
this only 500 lines but we deserve a 100 word discount since gene is bear parade
what is out word count?
me: we are at 450+
HTML: *i mean line count
shit, got confused
do you know ani smith?
she’s in UK
me: she is an american
HTML: have you met her?
me: i have never met her
me: ‘dear ani – let’s meet up’
i have interacted with ani
HTML: chris east
22:04 me: yes
HTML: east is cool
me: east is terrific
he is a musician
HTML: u are in that ?s about life n’ shit
so is ani
HTML: UK is all musicians — bono, radiohead, pink floyd
me: and you
HTML: i know metallica riffs
i learned in high school
‘seek and destoy’
and ‘master of puppets’
but i cheat and ‘skid’ the F-note cuz it’s too fast
HTML: fuck yah
22:06 metallica is from california too
so is faith no more
me: not the drummer
he is ‘yerpeen’
HTML: lars is from denmark?
me: he must be
HTML: he is hamlet
HTML: fuck yah
thank youi will post on htmlg and get tao send you bookCrispin: i am still hoping you are secretly a hobotthank you, html/chenme: i’m no hobotask me what color something isCrispin: moon
me: depends on time of dayok bye bye
Tags: crispin best