me and Noam Flam have a tangental chat about our favorite young author. We were very distracted and kinda tired. Reading this again, I feel like I have a lot more to say about Tao Lin. I felt kinda lazy when I was engaged in this. Everybody go buy ‘Shoplifting from American Apparel’ from Amazon. This chat lasted from 6:30-8:30pm on October 27th, 2009.
zzellers: wanna have a >500 line gmail chat about tao lin?
neverevenknowme: haha why
neverevenknowme: well who gets the shoplifting from american apparel
zzellers: i have all of his books, besides ‘you are alittle bit happier than this book cover that i hate’
zzellers: you do
zzellers: cause i have it
neverevenknowme: oh cha ching lets do it
zzellers: i just want the ‘mad hits’
zzellers: on my blog
neverevenknowme: okay well i’ll have the conversation with you and you do the rest
neverevenknowme: how do i do this
zzellers: i dunno, talk about how you first got into tao lin. one sentence at a time
neverevenknowme: okay will do, but does it have to be gchat
zzellers: hmm, probably not. i feel like there’s no difference
neverevenknowme: WELL JUST IN CASE whats your email and i’ll add you to my gchat thing and lets do it there
zzellers: oh okay good. email@example.com
zzellers: but i have to eat dinner now
neverevenknowme: well HURRY UP TIME IS MUNEY
me: hold on, i need to eat supper. tell me how you heard about tao lin
noam.flam: Well my friend maxine was in Barnes and Noble and saw Eee Eeeee Eeee everytime she went there and decided it looked nice and wanted to buy it, and I told her I thought it looked and sounded really stupid
noam.flam: but she bought it and then loved it and let me borrow it I think, and I thought it was great too
noam.flam: and then, I dunno I probably googled him OR SOMETHING
me: oh cool, i just got back from dinner
me: yeah i read ‘Bed’ and thought it was really stupid. i was pretty illiterate at the time though
me: as in, i didn’t read many other books.
me: but then you said something about taking ‘eeeee eee eeee’ from your library and loving it a lot
me: so i thought i would give it another shot.
me: answer me
noam.flam: Oh I will
noam.flam: How did YOU find out about Tao?
me: i forget. i feel like i did on the internet and one of my friends let me borrow ‘bed’
noam.flam: how did you like bed
me: i said i hated it… did you close google chat?
me: this happened: yeah i read ‘Bed’ and thought it was really stupid. i was pretty illiterate at the time though
as in, i didn’t read many other books.
but then you said something about taking ‘eeeee eee eeee’ from your library and loving it a lot
so i thought i would give it another shot.
noam.flam: I did nothing of the sort
noam.flam: Oh okay I am now clear
noam.flam: anyways what is your favorite book by Tao and why
me: and then i stole most of his books from borders and read them all and i liked them a lot.
me: especially cognitive behavioral therapy which i LOL’d at a lot and found it really relatable
me: ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ or ‘sfaa’ is my favorite
noam.flam: I haven’t read that one in full but I’ve read a few of the poems on the internet and they are great
noam.flam: Gchat is telling me that the word ‘internet’ isnt a real word I don’t know what to do about this
me: ‘did you mean: innernette?’
noam.flam: yeah that’s the one
noam.flam: what is your favorite thing about tao lin
me: i like his voice. i heard a recording of it? what is your favorite feature?
me: of tao lin?
noam.flam: My favorite thing about him is that a lot of the stuff he writes about is stuff that I think and then think ‘no that’s stupid’ but then I read it so it makes me feel like it isn’t stupid. or maybe it is stupid and tao is just also stupid
noam.flam: But I DUNNO I like that about him anyways
noam.flam: I also like that he exists and what he is affiliated with (mostly) because this way I know about things like Leftover Crack and Sam Pink that I also like
me: i am sort of familiar with leftover crack.
noam.flam: Well they were in the one story in Bed and I wasn’t sure if he was serious or if he really liked them in real life but I looked them up and they were on alternative tentacles which made me think
noam.flam: that they aren’t total shitheads. so I listened to them and I was delighted
me: yeah i feel like tao is really relatable, for sure. i liked when i read that he played ‘diablo ii’. i feel like when he was in highschool he was just like me. maybe not.
noam.flam: Yeah I know what you mean exactly
noam.flam: But also I feel like he’s very different from other people. Like that if I met him it would be a very unique experience, even though I can relate to him a lot in his writing
me: yeah. i kinda feel like he’s a celebrity now. i am sure he is carles. and i friended him on facebook and we had a few brief exchanges and now he has like 3,000 friends(fans) and probably is ‘swamped’ with shit to respond to.
me: i think that if i met him he wouldn’t be all depressed and aware and ‘existential’ like he is in his books.
noam.flam: I know what you mean. I have also had a few brief exchanges with him and feel like he was not interested in talking to me because he’s either busy or a jerk or both.
noam.flam: Yeah definitely, I think that the parts of him that are portrayed in his books are just parts of him, I mean to my knowledge at least, and when I write, it shows an Idea not my whole self
noam.flam: So maybe he’s fixated on certain ideas but they aren’t him totally. although I do imagine him being as shy as is easy to imagine
me: maybe he’d be obnoxious and hilarious in real life. it seems like his real life friends might feel disconnected from his books. because they know him as being a goof-ball or something
me: maybe not.
me: i like to imagine that
noam.flam: That is a strange thing to imagine and I’m not sure if I can do it
noam.flam: One thing I can imagine about him, I don’t know why, is that he listens to really “shitty” music
me: i just think of that ‘sfaa ad’ where he is in a passenger seat of a car and he is smiling like crazy and i lol’d.
noam.flam: Also now everytime I use quotation marks that way I feel like I’m just copying the heck out of tao lins writing style even though I’m not writing a piece of writing just having a conversation
me: yeah me too! every time i say “i feel like” or “seems like” or “quotes” i feel like i am carles or tao lin.
noam.flam: Yeah it is weird. Also I don’t even use quotes anymore than I used to
me: sometimes it seems inconsistent. i like to think that he uses the quotes to point out words or terms that he wouldn’t ordinarily use.
noam.flam: Yeah I can agree with that
me: but other times he just puts things like ‘jesus christ’
me: or ‘damn’
me: and i’m like “why?!”
noam.flam: I have weird feelings about wanting to know how Tao is in real life
noam.flam: I’m not sure if I want to know, I mean I’m curious about it but after I knew I wonder if I would read his books differently
noam.flam: Like what movies does he like and what other things is he interested in. I just wonder how much I judge a person based on that because usually when I read books I know none of that information about the author
me: yeah, but i think i have a good idea of what movies he would like
noam.flam: I mean what if he’s not anything like his books and when you know him personally it’s really obvious that he’s just faking it for money or something.
noam.flam: I mean i REALLY doubt that is the case
noam.flam: because he doesn’t make that much money anyways I don’t think, and his writing sounds too heartfelt
noam.flam: anyways what movies do you think Tao likes
me: he’s definitely ‘in it for the money’ though. but i think he’s being genuine and honestly expressing himself.
noam.flam: Yeah just ‘also’ making money.
me: i bet he likes… wong kar wai films
noam.flam: I know for a fact he likes yi yi, which I think is by wong kar wai. He told Timothy once in an email
me: he seems really self-aware and somewhat depressed like the protagonists/narrators in wong kar wai movies are.
me: edward yang
me: is ‘yi yi’
noam.flam: Oh well in that case I’ve seen 0 wong kar wai films
noam.flam: What bands that we know of do you think tao likes
me: i’m not sure
noam.flam: Neither am I, because via various really small sources I’m pretty sure he’s into folk punk and stuff like that
me: i feel like he’d like 80s-90s lo-fi whiney indie rock
noam.flam: haha yeah
noam.flam: I Hate Myself
noam.flam: I wonder if he likes Can
me: i don’t know anyone that has listened to CAN and dislikes it.
noam.flam: I know one person but he also likes Phish.
noam.flam: What other authors does Tao remind you of, if any
me: well i still feel under-read. but now that i have some haruki murakami under my belt, i would definitely say haruki murakami even though a lot of people say that.
noam.flam: Yeah I can agree with that somewhat
noam.flam: they’re both ‘intimate’
me: EEEEE EEE EEEE really seems like ‘norwegian wood’ in a lot of ways. i haven’t read norwegian wood
me: hazel said that there are bears or something though
noam.flam: But I think Murakami writes about small characters in big worlds and Tao writes about small characters in small worlds, if that makes any sense
me: hmm yeah i agree. that’s kind of how i think with wong kar wai, too. small characters and big worlds.
me: but reading ‘sfaa’, that had a very ‘small world’.
noam.flam: I feel the same way about Jim Jarmusch, the small characters small worlds thing
noam.flam: I feel like all of his characters are only interacting with what they are interacting with, like in Tao’s books, and aren’t trying to move into some other world or transcend into something out of their Personal life
noam.flam: Actually i’m not sure if what I just said even makes sense
me: no, i can get that. i haven’t seen an jarmusch films though.
noam.flam: Well it’s just sort of like, it shows the characters ‘as they are’ more than ‘being’ or ‘doing things’
me: wait yes i have, i have seen ‘stranger than paradise’ and ‘coffee and cigarettes’
noam.flam: So it feels like you are getting to know them, just like how in Tao’s books the way he presents the characters you really sort of get to know them in some way aside from just their actions in relation to the movie or plot or whatever
noam.flam: stranger than paradise is the best movie
me: yeah, very funny.
me: it is funny in the way that tao lin is funny, i would say.
noam.flam: I agree. it’s not a ‘joke’ it just happens to be funny
me: i was just thinking about how my mom read ‘shoplifting from am appy’ and how she hated it
me: and she was almost ashamed of me for finding it relatable and hilarious. she seemed unsettled or something about her son
noam.flam: Well I guess that’s sort of because Tao writes in a way where the things that you can relate to are things that aren’t normal or frowned upon or something
noam.flam: I mean when i read Eee Eeeee Eeee a lot of the time when I felt good while reading it was just from hearing about another person feeling really shitty and stupid about a girl
noam.flam: and you aren’t supposed to really feel That bad about something that ‘unimportant’ normally, but people still do
me: mm, i actually don’t really know what you’re saying.
noam.flam: well that’s okay I’m not sure if I do either. i feel like if I read this some other time like, later, i’m going to thing I sounded really stupid
me: me too.
noam.flam: I think that happens to me a lot when I talk about one central topic for a quite long time
noam.flam: I wonder what Tao’s least favorite thing is that he’s ever published
me: yeah definitely, you over think things
me: i bet he feels kind of silly for publishing some things
me: by ‘you overthink things’ i meant ‘one tends to overthink things’. i wasn’t referring to you, noam.
noam.flam: I doubt he regrets it but i’m sure about at least something he just feels it isn’t good
noam.flam: yeah OKAY zac
me: i think tao lin has very clever marketing gimmicks
noam.flam: I got Pop Tatari by Boredoms and i’m listening to it right now and heres why I bring it up: because Tao Lin would not like it I don’t th
me: oh i’m glad you heeded my advice.
me: nice extra line there by not finishing the word
me: when can we tell that we did 500?
me: oh i know what we can say
noam.flam: I am not quite sure
noam.flam: Put this shit into Word and count it because I’m not doing it
me: on facebook, i tagged tao lin in that picture of me reading ‘eeeee eee eeee’ and a few different people added me on facebook because they saw me on tao lin’s page.
noam.flam: haha I’m glad
me: some girl from nova scotia said it was an ‘accident’ but i like to think that she thought i was a cutie.
noam.flam: Hey thats why I added you
me: no, we bonded over a mutual love for shintaro kago or something.
me: and you were wearing a ‘ween’ shirt
noam.flam: I was wearing a ween shirt
noam.flam: I wonder if Tao likes ween
me: hmm… i can’t say
me: we should invite tao lin to our google chat
noam.flam: I wonder if Tao does drugs
noam.flam: we should. that would be a nice cameo appearance
me: tao probably used to do drugs.
noam.flam: Yeah I was just thinking that
me: like maybe when he lived in florida
noam.flam: What if everything we’ve said about Tao is rediculously false
me: i was born in florida
noam.flam: Did you do drugs in Florida
me: i think tao feels ‘honored’ by all of this
noam.flam: I hope so.
me: i moved to seattle/bremerton when i was 1, so no.
noam.flam: I wonder if Tao likes painting and what his favorite sexual position is
noam.flam: and if he likes Plato
me: plato is sort of ‘fucked’ (lol).
me: learned all about him in humanities
noam.flam: what does he say is he a good guy
noam.flam: We learned a little about him in english but just stuff about Rhetoric
me: not especially. plato would be a good guy today though.
noam.flam: I got a book from the internet thats a bunch of his stuff but its in the mail still
me: at high school, when i read ‘sfaa’ at school that day this girl thought it was a ‘how-to’ guide.
noam.flam: what girl
me: some girl named morgan tucker
noam.flam: What a name
noam.flam: I wonder if Tao liked highschool. I don’t think so. I like highschool its funny
me: it was in my ‘personal fitness’ class and i was reading it while waiting for the bell to dismiss us
noam.flam: Ooh ‘personal’
me: yeah, i wonder if tao lin liked his gym class in high school
me: i wonder if his parents were super proud and strict and made him get straight A’s. all the asian parents in ann arbor are like that.
noam.flam: I can’t imagine that being the case
noam.flam: all asian parents in mount laurel are like that too
noam.flam: they’re all “flute” and “A” and “A+”
me: therefore, all asian parents are like that
noam.flam: yeah clearly. i wonder if he was in his school band
me: inductive logic, wasn’t that Plato?
me: or socrates or something
noam.flam: let me google it
noam.flam: good news: i think it was plato
noam.flam: but we learned in English (Rhetoric) that what we just did is some fallacy THING because there is nothing connecting asian parents being that way in mount laurel and ann arbor to anywhere else
noam.flam: or something I don’t know
me: ‘a priori’ is plato
noam.flam: oh okay well we learned about that too
noam.flam: bad news: all this boredoms is making my computer work in a way that I don’t like, so if i disappear just wait a minute
me: TAO LIN TAO LIN TAO LIN TAO LIN
noam.flam: TAO and LIN
noam.flam: TAO ANDREW LIN i bet that’s his middle name
me: yes, his name is TAO TAO ANDREW LIN LIN
me: i am tao lin and this conversation about me is ‘fucked’
noam.flam: ZZ i just refreshed the page to see if we are still eligable for this and ONE other person has done it and its sam pink i know who he is
me: oh god we need to hurry
noam.flam: I think this should be around or exceeding 500 lines
noam.flam: check check CHECK
me: how? i feel like we can squeeze a bit more out. do you think tao lin is gonna be huge some day?
me: he’s already a big innernette boy. and everyone has extreme reactions to his internet presence. so just wait until he makes a big impact
me: on the world
noam.flam: I doubt it. I mean he may be like one of those more underground ‘things’ that is acclaimed but I don’t think he’ll ever be too famous
noam.flam: Okay zac heres the other thing: i’m reading another one of the review things about Tao and ours is a lot worse
me: yeah but i bet eventually he’ll be looked at like how the beat poets are looked at now.
noam.flam: I hope so
noam.flam: I would enjoy that
me: no i read the first ‘google chat’ and it seemed terrible. they said ‘lol’ and stuff and that counted as a line
me: it just seemed poor
noam.flam: haha oh
me: two ghetto boys that want a free book.
noam.flam: okay put this into word and if its over 1500 words or something we’re golden
me: can Word count lines?
noam.flam: let me google it
noam.flam: I don’t think so. but see how many words it is and we’ll go from there
me: i’ll do it later.
noam.flam: do you think tao lin would speak at my high school?
noam.flam: cmon do it NOW because if not we can just keep talking I have a lot more things to say about Tao lin
noam.flam: I doubt it. that’s quite a trip
me: i had a dream where he was a ‘guest lecturer’ in my humanities lecture period.
me: just keep talking
noam.flam: what did he say
me: if we go over 1000 lines, we both get free tao lin goodies
noam.flam: oh phew
me: tao lin said talked about 20th century art and then mrs. vail had to tell him that we were still learning about the islamic kingdom or something.
me: so he was just too far ahead. i think she told him to come back in may
me: it was awkward for me because i arranged the whole thing.
me: this is weird. this is going to be on the internet
noam.flam: Yeah really, ‘internet’ that isn’t even a word according to gchat remember
me: i don’t know why you are saying that, noam.
noam.flam: It has a red squiggly line under it, zac
me: gchat doesn’t tell me what to write
me: that is probably your safari/firefox doing that
me: not poor lil’ google chat
noam.flam: jokes on you because i use Opera
noam.flam: anyways how do you think tao feels about Jazz
me: i bet he likes miles davis and ‘avent garde’ stuff
me: maybe he listens to ‘smooth jazz’, ironically. just like me.
noam.flam: i bet he likes dizzy gillespie and snapping
me: that is a handsome image
noam.flam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djozjHbZvPg i’m just gonna set this down here
noam.flam: dizzy is the best
me: god dammit
noam.flam: what what happened
me: that video, why?
me: tao lin will not accept this google chat.
me: i feel like talking about hazel, i am exhausted
me: i’m all “tao lin’d out”
noam.flam: oh don’t worry about it
noam.flam: you should talk to tao lin ABOUT hazel, let’s talk about girlfriends
me: yeah! does tao lin have a girlfriend?
noam.flam: tao lin is d8ing ellen kennedy isn’t he
noam.flam: or something
me: i thought ellen kennedy was in highschool, like us.
me: maybe not.
noam.flam: I’m not sure what just happened there. go on
noam.flam: Zac where the HECK are you
me: i said i thought ellen kennedy was in high school
noam.flam: oh I don’t think so
noam.flam: anyways heres the thing, check how many words this are because i’m very interested in knowing at this point
me: ok will do
noam.flam: thanks zz. see how many words and if necissary just count 500 isnt THAT high of a number
noam.flam: zac I think we went way over. I checked how much time it took for the other gchat things and we are taking way
me: ok good we did it we’re done
me: in conclusion
me: i love tao lin
me: and this was fun
me: and i wanna meet tao lin
noam.flam: alright well i’de like to take this time to say ‘bye’
noam.flam: yeah i had a b-last
noam.flam: i also want to meet tao lin. tao lin, meet me
me: are you going offline?
noam.flam: can i?
me: i prefer gchat to aim, the only reason i use aim is for you and timothy heller
noam.flam: is there more that needs to be said
me: no i guess not
me: you should use it more oftens
me: ok bye thanks tao lin
noam.flam: OH ALSO heres the thing: tao lin if you can tell me somehow, please tell me if you like Thomas Pynchon. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if it isn’t in here. okay later losers
me: bye noam i live you