I can attest that this is true. My university had an entire office whose sole purpose was to check every thesis/dissertation to make sure it followed the format rules for font size, margins, etc., among other things like having the sections in order and all that jazz.
Yes, the school I work at has an Academic Services Office whose entire function is to check formatting like this.
Also, people who deliberately fudge font sizes, margins, and character spacing suck. That’s just a true fact.
There’s this really nice piece at underthegunreview.net by Jacob Tender that a friend forwarded me today. It’s about how important Fall Out Boy’s album “From Under the Cork Tree,” was to him. After reading it though, nostalgic and well-written as it was, I really found myself more depressed than anything. It’s a complicated feeling, one that I’ve been incapable of explaining to anyone and have them fully understand. In spite of this though, I suppose I will give it the old-I-didn’t-go-to-college-try:
Tender had one line that really hit home for me. I related to it in terms of my feelings towards other artists, but I also winced at the profound implications it touched on in my own professional life:
“I didn’t like those pretentious assholes who didn’t like anything after Take This To Your Grave. I now recognize that I’m one of those assholes, but I still fume when some of my favorite records are so easily discredited by ignorant semi-listeners.”
The reality is that for a certain number of people, all I’ve ever done, all I ever will do, and all I ever had the capacity to do worth a damn was a record I began recording when I was 18 years old. That I can live with. That’s fine and fair; I have those records in my collection that seem to stand out far above the rest of my favorite artists catalogues (and especially for artists in whom I only have a passing interest). I suppose there’s nothing wrong in thinking I’m at a point in my life where it seems I’ll never catch up: If anyone’s going to appreciate the work I’m making, it won’t be until long after I’m done doing it. Again, this is fine: I’m insanely lucky to even imagine anyone ever appreciating anything I ever do, let alone in real time. Countless artists far better than I have only achieved posthumous acclaim. If I am to be obscure and financially unsuccessful, there’s nothing disheartening in that. The thing that’s more disheartening is the constant stream of insults I’m enduring in my financially unsuccessful obscurity.
Fall Out Boy’s last album Folie A Deux was our most critically panned and audiences openly hated it (it was also our poorest selling major label album even if one adjusts for the changing music economy). Now, that’s not to say it didn’t have its fans, but at no other point in my professional career was I nearly booed off stages for playing new songs. Touring on Folie was like being the last act at the Vaudville show: We were rotten vegetable targets in Clandestine hoodies.
That experience really took the wind out of the band’s sails; It stopped being fun. I suppose I’m just not that thick skinned. So perhaps it was even more ill-advised when I went out and did something I’d always wanted to do; make my album and have it released by Island Records [my solo record Soul Punk]. I coincidentally happened to achieve another goal which was to lose the weight I’d been carrying around since a month-long drinking binge after a bad breakup. Those accomplishments were happy things. Living in the moments of achieving them were perhaps among the happiest in my life.
So when I went out into the world to show off the self I felt like I was happiest and most comfortable being, I suppose I knew there would be the “Haters” [I loathe the clumsy/insufficient word but it seems the most universal]; The elitists that would always prove impossible to please. I had always been prepared for “Haters,” because there’s never been a moment since I graduated high school where I haven’t been the guy in “That Emo band.” First said emo band was dismissed as third rate pop-punk played by hardcore kids…a pale imitation of Saves the Day. Then we were swept up in the emo backlash [I really didn’t know we were an emo band…that’s not what the word meant a decade ago]. To this day my favorite writer at cracked.com will occasionally take swipes at my band as one of the worst things to come out of the 2000’s. We were a (albeit funny) running joke on an episode of Children’s Hospital.
Those examples of “Haters,” were people who never liked me (or at least never liked my music) and, by all rights, never really should. Such is the way of things. Different strokes for different folks as it were. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fervor of the hate from people who were ostensibly my own supporters (or at least supporters of something I had been part of). The barrage of “We liked you better fat,” the threatening letters to my home, the kids that paid for tickets to my solo shows to tell me how much I sucked without Fall Out Boy, that wasn’t something I suppose I was or ever will be ready for. That’s dedication. That’s real palpable anger. Add into that the economic risk I had taken [In short: I blew my nest egg on that record and touring in support of it] the hate really crushed me. The standard response to any complaints I could possibly have about my position in life seems to be “You poor sad multi-millionaire. I feel so sorry for you.”
Quite right, I still have access to enough money to live on in order to avoid bankruptcy for at least a few years as long as I stick to my budget, but money really isn’t everything and it never was. Perhaps those are the words of a privileged man who doesn’t really know what poverty really feels like. Again, that would be a fair rebuttal; I wasn’t raised rich, but lower middle class upbringing in early 90’s Midwest US of A is still a far way from the bread line. Still, there’s no amount of money in the world that makes one feel content with having no self respect. There’s no amount of money that makes you feel better when people think of you as a joke or a hack or a failure or ugly or stupid or morally empty.
This of course isn’t Tender’s fault. He never said anything negative and indeed only said great/supportive things. I guess I’m just angry because he illuminates why I’m a 27 has-been. I’m a touring artist and I feel I’ve become incapable of touring anymore with any act…whether I were to go out as a solo artist or do some Fall Out Boy “Reunion” [nope: Still never broke up] or start a new band…there will still be 10-20 percent of the audience there to tell me how shitty whatever it is I’m doing is and how much better the thing I used to do was. Not only that, but that 10-20 percent combined with whatever notoriety Fall Out Boy used to have prevents me from having the ability to start over from the bottom again. I can’t even go back to playing basement shows. As the saying goes: I couldn’t get booked at the opening of a letter.
It’s as though I’ve received some big cosmic sign that says I should disappear. So I’ve kind of disappeared. I know a lot of you have wondered where I’ve been. I’m sure others of you are disappointed to hear I’m still kicking around somewhere (kidding…sort of). But the truth is wherever and whoever I am, whoever I am whenever I release whatever release is my next, whoever said recording is recorded with: I will never be the kid from Take This To Your Grave again. And I’m deeply sorry that I can’t be, I truly am (no irony, no sarcasm). I hate waking up every morning knowing I’m disappointing so many people. I hate feeling like the awkward adult husk of a discarded once-cute child actor. I’m debating going back to school and learning a proper trade. It’s tempting to say I won’t ever play/tour/record again, but I think that’s probably just pent up poor-me emotional pessimism talking (I suppose can be excused of that though right? I am the guy from That Emo Band after all).
I’ve managed to cobble together some work…I’ve been moonlighting as a professional songwriter/producer for hire and I’ve even been doing a bit of acting here and there. I have no interest (and evidently that sentiment is reciprocated) in performing music publicly any time soon but as I’ve said I’m sure that will happen when it happens. I have been debating releasing the unfinished follow-up to Soul Punk. We’ll see what happens there. Still no word on Fall Out Boy…I know Joe’s working on his new record and Pete’s mixtape just came out so I don’t expect anything on that front in the near future. I, as always, would be super psyched to do the band again though. I’ve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey and I’ve finally caught up on the Office. Friends have been turning me on to all the records I’ve been too busy to listen to over the past couple years.
I do suggest reading Tender’s column if it sounds interesting to you; He’s a great writer and it’s a fun/relatable little story regardless of who the band is within it (film adaptations of Nick Hornby novels should be proof of that).
This is a really heartbreaking piece of introspection. Patrick does his level best to spare himself nothing. The paragraph that talks about the 10-20% of people who will deride him, no matter what he does, isn’t an out-and-out wallow in self-pity but an honest attempt at looking at what he supposes his future as a performing musician holds. It’s the paragraph that stopped me, actually, and reminded me that every artist has that 10-20%; Bruce Springsteen’s 10-20% is larger in number, and some of his pans are loud and awful, but that’s Bruce Springsteen, and I understand what Patrick’s saying. I’m trying to understand what Patrick’s feeling. I hope I’m coming close.
Many of us loved Folie A Deux. It seems like an obvious statement to make, and I know Patrick knows it. I love that record, and I love what Fall Out Boy did for me, and I love that Patrick’s music (solo, in a group, his covers, his experiments) exists for me to support - not unequivocally, I’m rarely an unequivocal fan. But, you know, I believe in sending energy and shit out there, thinking good thoughts, so I’m thinking them and sending them to Patrick. He’s (now, still) an alright guy, I think, and I don’t particularly think he’s like porcelain.
I wanna see how many notes this will get.
A new study has linked popular sleeping pills such as Ambien and Restoril with a nearly five-fold increased risk of early death.
Researchers at Scripps Health, a nonprofit health system in San Diego, estimate that in 2010, sleeping pill use may have contributed to up to 500,000 “excess deaths” in the United States. Heavy users aren’t the only ones at risk—even people who took fewer than two pills monthly are three times more likely to die than non-users, researchers say.
I’m glad you and me broke up, Ambien Walrus
Yaaaaay, I like this game.
omg bowery you have the prettiest desktops ever
It’s been this since like June. I can’t make myself change it.
This is my work desktop! Sorry, JJ.
Part of me thinks it’s too soon to be writing about this because I don’t think I’ve completely processed how I feel, but I also think maybe this has happened to other women and I should talk about it in as raw a way as possible. I’m still really embarrassed and ashamed and garbled up inside, but maybe this can start a helpful discussion in terms of women and comedy.
Last night, I was on a stand up show in the East Village. The show started out with a small crowd and the host did an amazing job interacting with them and riling them up. By the time I got on stage, there were about 20 or so more people in the audience and the place had really filled up. The show was still kind of loose because of the back and forth between the host and the audience, so when I got on stage, I riffed a bit about the stuff that had happened before and then talked to one guy on the side of the audience who the host had dubbed “Banana Republic.” All joke-y. All in good fun.
Then, I start my actual set and do my first two jokes, which go pretty okay. I start another joke that is vaguely sexual - not crude, not crass - mainly silly and that goes well too. The next joke I do is about my boyfriend.
At a comedy show, when you’re on stage, usually you can’t see the audience because of the bright lights. So I’m looking into pitch darkness. As I start the joke, someone yells, “Does your boyfriend know?” referring to the sexuality joke I’d just told. I stop, laugh and say that he does because I think it’s just more of the loose environment that’s been going on at this show. I attribute it to an audience member just having fun.
I start to tell the joke about my boyfriend again, and at the midway point, the same voice yells something else derogatory about my boyfriend, homophobic and misogynistic towards me. I stop, confused. I can’t see who is talking to me so I make a HUGE mistake and say, “Sir, if you’re gonna talk to me, you need to come to the front because I can’t see you.” I think calling him out like this will shut him up.
God dammit, this story makes me angry and sad. :(