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I Send You This Article To Have Your Advise

posted by Jen on 8/30/01

Thanks to the proliferation of the Internet, we can all enjoy pseudo-relationships with people who have spouted off their life philosophies to us, discussed heart-wrenching "getting dumped" stories with us, offered advice about potentially life-altering decisionsÖand yet, we have no idea what they look like. We collect enough information about them to conjure up an image in our minds about what we think they look like, how they scrunch up their noses when they get mad, how narrowly their eyes come together, how large their teeth are. We have no reason to draw up an image of them in our minds; we just feel the need to formulate a frame of reference for some reason.

For example, before I started writing for W-D, I read Daveís article about William Zabka and immediately formed the assumption that Dave Macchia is a supermodel. Then, I met him in person and my assumption was confirmed.

Jen, you can continue to work for me under one condition

Itís almost ironic that, as our society becomes increasingly image-conscious, we continue to relish in these anonymous "relationships." We are fascinated by the hidden people, the ones whose faces are only as pretty as how we paint them in our mindsí eyes. Obviously, we are drawn to these image-less people for something else. Iíd like to take a look at some of the anonymous heroes of our time, and highlight some of the lessons Iíve learned from their example.

Letís start with the most obvious example, a man who goes by the name of, well, Anonymous:

To media moguls and prominent political pundits, as well as asinine alliteration-obsessed article authors, the book Primary Colors was not just any old tale of wayward politics. Primary Colors was the first full-fledged attempt on the part of a spin doctor to follow and expose the blow-by-blow campaign trail of William Jefferson Clinton and a large band of his cohorts.

I donít think I can handle Ickes

Joe Klein jeopardized many of his friendships, professional relationships, and his career at "Newsweek" to fully recreate the 1992 Democratic primary race. He didnít just talk about the race from the "objective observer" standpoint; he revealed very personal things about over a dozen White House officials, making it clear to anyone registered to vote that whoever "anonymous" was, he sure as hell knew a lot more than the average citizen. I donít contend that Primary Colors is the most well-written book, but itís certainly one of the most honest media attempts to chronicle politics from the standpoint of the James Carvilles and George Stephanopolousí of the world. Not to mention one of the most prognosticÖ Paradoxically, some of Kleinís biggest critics, the ones who claimed he was just a shameless profiteer, were the first to buy the hardcover ($25.99) and dedicate themselves to uncovering Anonymousí identity. People are so full of contradictions, arenít they?

Lessons learned: If youíre a celebrity, you can lambaste other Democrats and avoid being shunned from society.

The name "Anonymous" sells ten times more books than the name "Joe Klein," as evidenced in the steep decline in sales of his second book "Running Mate." Ever heard of it? Didnít think so.†

Onto my favorite anonymous character, Dr. Claw. If you ever watched "Inspector Gadget," you know who Dr. Claw is. Though youíve never actually seen him, youíve heard the infamous deep, sinister, barnacle-encrusted voice-over provided by Frank Welker. That voice had the power to intimidate a bumbling inspector, baffle an unsuspecting police chief, and make a little girl pee in her pants in fright. Nobody knows for sure what he looks like, but we know Dr. Claw could hack into Pennyís computer-book and send her viruses that say "dude" on them. Oh wait, thatís just the virus that someone keeps trying to send us on

Who is this Dude character?

(Fun Fact O' the Day from your Old Pal' B: Penny was voiced by Cree Summer, who, besides playing the hippie chick on "A Different World" has provided the voices for Elmyra from Tiny Toons, Princess Kneesaa from the old "Ewoks" cartoon, and, you guessed it, Kim from the Care Bears Movie. Pantheon of the Voice Gods, indeed.)

Let me sum it all up for you in two sentences: This is a character whose physical body, as far as we know, is comprised of an arm and a studded bracelet. Yet he is the single largest threat to a man with over 60 gadgets (no lie) including the power to go-go-gadget oil slick, go-go gadget walk on 500-foot legs, and go-go gadget whip out an AK-47 at the touch of a button.

Lessons learned: When your opponent deploys state-of-the-art defense mechanisms and scare tactics, spend the entire day sitting on your ass (or arm?) behind a computer, sending out vicious e-mails.

If that doesnít work, add "Dr." in front of your name. If I had "Dr. Jen" written under my name, I bet a lot more people would read my articles.†

Y'know Tim, why don't you just shoot her?

Onto yet another famous, anonymous person: Wilson from "Home Improvement."

Wilson was the all-knowing neighbor who shelled out canned advice and much-needed comic relief for the price of a little paint thinner to satisfy his mid-day cravings. We would often see his backside or the top of his head from over the fence, but we never actually got to see his face. Wilson was the only character on the show who had a single interesting thing to say, and to this day, it really escapes me why I spent every afternoon watching reruns of this show. Oh wait, now I know:

I wanna {SCENE MISSING} you like an animal

Unfortunately, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and his two nasty looking brothers were not anonymous. In fact, someone got the wacky idea that we thought they were good looking, so Jonathan and his two brothers Donnie and Marky were shoved down our throats at all times.

Tim Taylor was the famous TV star/tool guru, a guy who somehow was awarded his own TV show because God felt bad sticking him with an evil wife and three ugly sons. Wilsonís anonymity and intelligence provided the perfect foil to his well-known, dull-witted neighbor Tim. Just like Jill, Timís annoying wife from hell, provided the perfect foil for that beef brisket she was always making. (Once again ladies and gentlemen, Jen will be performing at Comic Strip Live on Saturday, September 1st.)

Lessons learned: Living next door to ugly people ALWAYS makes you look more attractive, even if you donít have a face.

Offering advice to really dumb people ALWAYS makes you look smarter, even if youíre mentally challenged.As you can see, we can learn a lot from the anonymous people I have chosen to write about. Theyíre honest and intelligent, not to mention incredibly witty. So please, continue to send me all those anonymous love letters/hate mail. Itís all good.


And a final piece of advice from the anonymous writer:

If you donít have anything funny to say, make fun of someone who canít defend himself.

No, sincerely you guys, there's a body down by the river.

Special thanks to Rob and his fantastic web site for these beauteous pictures.




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