Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Speaking as someone who works in a bookstore, this kind of bullshit really ticks me off. Basically, these complete asshats think that going into a store and rearranging the books on their shelves is either A) amusing or B) some great artistic/ironic statement about the state of our society.

I'll tell you what actually will happen. A bookseller will go to try to find 1984, and will not be able to find any copies. The customer will then walk out without the book (a book well worth reading, by the way), and that bookseller or another one will find the book later. And be rightfully pissed off.

I wish these people would think about stuff like this before trying to pull off half-assed, poorly thought out 'art projects'. I wonder if these 'artists' have ever worked in a bookstore, and had someone pissed off that you couldn't find a book, even though we should have 5 in stock.

Seriously, I hate to sound all like Bill O'Reilly or something, but get a real job already. Stop making more work for some other wageslave and calling it 'art.'

Rant mode off.

In other news, I made some incredible chicken shwarma last night. Just chicken thighs, garam masala and shwarma spices. Then onto the grill for about thirty minutes. Delectable. Highly recommend it.

I'm also starting a 'fruit and nut' diet. Every day for lunch I'm eating nothing but fruits, nuts, and maybe some granola. I seem to feel better when I eat like that. I'm hungrier, a little crankier in the middle of the afternoon, but I feel better overall.

And to counteract the diet goodness, I can heartily recommend the Starbucks Java Chip icecream. Goood.


Blogger Jane said...

I don't think you've spent any time looking at the actual project-- the instructions, materials provided or photographs of missions.

All moved copies-- typically 2 or 3 per location! do you realize what a TRIVIAL increased workload that is?-- are always replaced with a note stating the new section of the book. No one is going to have a hard time locating these copies. Okay? Enough already about that.

I recommend people reserve criticism of this project until spending 2 minutes looking at it.

Furthermore, the vast majority of bookstore employees, owners and employees have responded extremeley positively to the project. They are embracing it. Yes, there are some who disagree with it. I'm just saying the vast majority support it.

Finally why criticize us and tell us to "get real jobs"? Do you have any idea what we do for a living? Why do people like you feel entitled to make personal attacks without having any knowledge of the people you are attacking? What is the point of that?

I appreciate your feedback on the project and assure you that we continue to think very carefully about the impact it will have on employees and customers.

10:41 PM  
Blogger munkee girl said...

Hey, Jane, Mr. Geek Horde happens to be my brother-in-law, and I can tell you he has excellent knowledge of the people he is attacking--he's a like-minded fellow who leans left but really takes the time to philosophically reflect on the issues. Speaking of ad hominem attacks, aren't you undermining your own post by writing "Why do people like you feel entitled to make personal attacks without any knowledge of the people you are attacking?" I haven't ever worked in a bookstore, but I visit them fairly frequently. I can assure you the number of punks who are rearranging books (for political or other reasons), leaving magazines they've crunched up in piles all over the store, and stashing half-eaten muffins in the fiction section cause a non-trivial amount of work for those with--yes, an appropriate word--real jobs. It's a legitimate request to ask you to follow the golden rule.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Wahoo said...


Jesus christ, nothing turns me into "get off my lawn" man quicker than this sort of horseshit.

I am so damn tired of students trying to make the same tired statements over and over.

You just want to grab them and say "WE GET IT. WE NOTICE YOU. YOU HAVE BLOWN OUR MINDS AND MADE US THINK. OUR PARADIGMS ARE SHIFTED. Good luck with your awareness-raising efforts. Now please get out of my way so I can go take my thirty minute lunch."

Now get off my lawn.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Actually, Jane, I spent a large amount of my evening last night reading your project. It's asinine.

And I'm criticizing you because this is stupid. I dislike people wasting my time, especially at work, and especially for what they think is some great artistic statement, when all it does is piss me off. Yeah, I get your great ironic point and all. I just think it's trite.

So, I'll say it again. Get a real job. (The point? What's the point of rearranging books? You make your statement, I'll make mine.) And get a life. And like Jeremy said, get off my lawn you damn punks.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A) RTFA. Remember not to forget the bits in the FA when you bitch about it, otherwise you look like a douche to those who have. When your hypothetical customer searching for 1984 by George Orwell gets to the fiction section to find their book, they see a card informing them where to find it. It uses odd phrases like "Ministry of Reshelving." So, you assume that this hypothetical customer....looking specifically for 1984 by George going to be so frustrated by this that they will leave the bookstore never to return. Shyeah.

B) Since you are pulling hypothetical customers out of your ass, here's another possibility: Due to the exposure this project is getting (ie boingboing) MORE people end up going to bookstores to reshelve 1984, or to see if the ministry has struck...and while they are there...THEY BUY ANOTHER FRIGGIN BOOK.

C) I have worked at a bookstore. I had my own sections. When I was putting out new stock or checking existing stock, I would also take care of the misplaced books. If I had seen one of these cards, I would have been amused and taken the (maybe) 5 minutes to find the reshelved books. And if you want to tell me that during those 5 minutes they could have been reshelving other books...I remind you that I WORKED IN A BOOKSTORE.

What I REALLY find amusing is the idea of some utterly put-upon "wageslave," as you quaintly put it, seeing the card and having their shoulders slump, as though this is a great injustice brought on them by the evil cultural elites. Buddy, it is a bookstore. Bastion of cultural elitism.

D) Get a real job? I have a real job. It was those years of going to college and working and thinking about the world and reading about the works of surrealists that set me up to have my real job.

E) People who are pissed off at a bookstore aren't going to be pissed off due to the Ministry. They will be pissed off for whatever reason first strikes their fancy. Perfectly happy people don't go into a bookstore...have trouble finding one book..and then go postal. If they are a left-leaning person about to go postal, then this prank, if anything, is more likely to cool them off. If they are a right leaning person about to go postal, then they won't be looking for this book in any case.

F) Who the hell pissed in your cheerios? You think it is a stupid idea, fine. But don't try to back it up with bullshit reasons that anyone who has read the f'in article knows are bullshit. And what it comes down to in the end is an activity that you think for your own personal reasons to be stupid. So, you want to tell people whose activities you disapprove of to "Get a job" or essentially to "Get a life"?

You blog extensively. Get a life.
You play DnD. Get a life.

I do or have done these things myself. I should get a life. oh, right...I have one. I just also choose to support the Ministry of Reshelving because I think it's a friggin hoot.

You don't like it? Fine. Fuck off. Your presence isn't needed, but your bullshit reasons for pissing on the rest of us are just that...bullshit, and what this comes down to is you being no better than the people who tell you to get a life when they find out you play DnD or blog.

And let me sum up your reasons here:
1) "Wageslaves" having all this extra work now = bullshit.
2) Losing sales and customers because of a prank pulled by outsiders = bullshit.
3) Enraged customers attacking booksellers due to prank pulled by outsider = bullshit.

So all that's left is you. You with your urine-soaked cheerios. You with your cheerios looking at the harmless activities of others and pointing your fingers at them and saying "You get a life" because you don't get it. Yes, there are better things one could do to make a difference. That is a red herring. There is ALWAYS something better someone could do. This is something to do. It is harmless. It is, for the love of all that is holy, FUNNY.

G) Will this make a difference? Probably not. But it sure got you to think about it...and to blog about it...and anyone with a brain who drops by will see that you are full of shit and yellow cheerios.


oh...and H) it is fun to advocate violence against people and then say it is merely parody and satire! Now THAT is FUNNY! BWA! HA! fucking idiot. oh, and when you posted this HILARIOUS idea on the site, you forgot to add your half-assed disclaimer or even a link to it.

As it stands, you sir, are a fuckwit. When you find humor in violence and none in a harmless practical joke, there is obviously no hope for you. so good luck with that.

5:21 PM  
Blogger munkee girl said...

Hmmmn...the fact that anonymous doesn't have the cajones to post a name with his rant and that
Peter has the cajones to leave it up speaks volumes.

Whew--I'm glad someone who has the free time to urp up fourteen odd paragraphs is telling folks to get a life!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hey anonymous. I don't have time right now to read your tome. However, I will say this. Don't post anonymously if you want me to take your argument seriously.



6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... advocate violence..and want me not to post anonymous. right. not bloody likely.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Wahoo said...

You know, this would about 50 times cooler if it turns out that it never happened, and jane just put the online stuff together to get everyone acting self-righteous and pissed.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Anonymous, I obviously DON'T advocate violence, in that I state that it is a satire of your art project. Of course, I shouldn't even have to do that, as it's obviously hyperbole to anyone with half a brain.

Also, as for my urine soaked cheerios, I'm speaking from experience. I can't tell you how many times I have seen someone 'misplace' a book in the wrong section for some cute, trite reason. "Oh that's cute, Clinton's My Life in Fiction. Heh. Funny." After about the 20th time of seeing something like that, it ceases to be either funny or impactful.

And I don't find humor in violence. Obviously, it's the reverse, as I'm not actually going to Sack and Stick you idiots. It's not worth my time or effort. But thinking about it is funny. To me. Not so much to you? I don't care.

And as far as my 'bullshit reasons' for objecting to your project, you have not persuaded me. Your arguments are weak, and the fact that you don't even have the courage enough to stand by your convictions and identify yourself only adds weight to my suspicion that you are merely a troll. Your ad hom attacks do not help your case either.

Yeah, get a life. I have a life. I don't go into other's places of business and rearrange their inventory. I do blog. I do play DnD. I'm a geek. I admit it. It's in my name for Pete's sake.

The whole 'get a real job' comment is not actually implying that you don't have real jobs. Rather, it is a hyperbolic, sarcastic comment playing on my own admittedly curmudgeonly feelings about said project and your actions. I'm not actually saying that you're not employed. It's kind of joke. Sorry if your panties all got in a wad as a result.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Ariock said...

Hi. I am no longer anon. Thanks for:
1) posting on the other blog that you don't advocate violence. Honestly, that got me more upset than anything else.
2) Godwinning in the same post.

If you think it is stupid, fine. I think lots of things are stupid. I don't go around and post on their blogs that I think they are stupid though.

Also, on the main blog entry, Jane now suggests that the members of the Ministry help out around the store by looking for other books out of place and putting them away properly.

Since you say that your ad hom. attacks like "get a job" are hyperbolic, you may take my ad hom. attacks as hyperbole as well. I am no more a troll than you, my fine horny friend. Just because you are willing to sign your name doesn't mean you aren't trolling. And just because I wasn't willing to sign my name at first doesn't mean I don't stand behind what I said. (Apart from the hyperbolic stuff, of course :) )

As far as munkee-girl, *sigh* I didn't say you need to get a life. I said that for YOU to tell people that they need to get a life makes you no better than people who say that you need to get a life for playing DnD or blogging or whatever else. It is a case of kettles, pots, etc. Kind of like when a guy dreams up ways of shaking people up and then when he actually sees someone trying to do that, he criticizes them...not in his yard!

Take care all.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Sheesh. Sometimes I hate text. It's so hard to 'hear' when someone is joking, what degree they're joking, etc. Sarcasm is in some ways lost on tha internets, I think.

Anyway, I still think it's stupid. Other people don't. Whatever. Props to jane and her cohorts if they actually spend some time helping the bookstore peeps put up books.

I like humor. I really do. I just don't think that particular project is very funny. I guess I just got riled up because I work in one of them thar bookstore thingees.

Loved the whole zombie mob thing, though. I can totally dig on that kind of smart mob type of decentralized art project thingee. I guess it's a matter of degrees.

Thanks Ariock, for your comments. Of course, with a name like that, I'd expect a chaotic attitude that would fit right in with the Ministry of Reshelving.

11:27 PM  
Blogger munkee girl said...

I don't recall telling anyone to get a life, and I'm too lazy to go back and read the posts.

I cook chowder in my kettle. Yum!

10:19 PM  
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