SLACKJAW by JIM KNIPFEL
September 18, 2016

If U Cn Rd Ths

 

So it was a rough summer, as most of the regular paying writing gigs that had kept me half-afloat for the previous year either withered or abruptly imploded, my agent found herself trolling Third World nations in a vain search for anyone willing to publish my next novel, people who owed me money and potential new outlets alike found it much easier to simply not get back to me, and my bank account evaporated like a thin trickle of dog piss on a hot sidewalk. Come Labor Day, after a few months of telling myself that it was just a seasonal thing, that the work would pick up again in the fall because it always had in the past, I was starting to have my doubts.

            After getting shitcanned by the New York Press in 2006, the mad scramble for work of any kind that followed revealed just what kind of prospects awaited a middle-aged blindo who’d done one thing his entire adult life. I also learned exactly how much all those favors I was supposedly owed were worth in the non-speculative universe. Then things came together for a while, a few jobs materialized, and I was able to get by.

            When I found myself in a similar predicament a half-dozen years later, in desperation I turned to New York’s myriad blindo assistance agencies to see if they might be able to offer some employment leads. They claimed they could, but I soon found they were worth about as much as those owed favors. Then things came together again for another spell.

            In the weeks following this most recent Labor Day, with no professional favors left to call up and no heartfelt and earnest state or federal cripple agencies left to exploit, I was forced to turn to the final refuge for the lost and broken and hopeless, and started looking for work online.

            If you weren’t completely, hopelessly disillusioned in those fleeting moments before you began an online job search, you most certainly would be about ten minutes later, especially after noting how vague, confusing, unclear and simply illiterate most ads are, and after further noting that the phrase “No Pay” seems to have become part of the standard job listing template.

            In and amongst the slew of ads offering unpaid internships at marketing firms and three bucks a pop to write fictional Yelp and Amazon reviews to bolster the reputations of sinister and corrupt paying clients, there was a light smattering of listings that caught my eye, things that, if only for a brief and distant second, seemed like possibilities. Then I actually read them. Below are the complete and unedited texts of a few of these ads, reproduced here exactly as they appeared.

 

Seeking Guest Post Backlinks on High Authority Sites

I am looking for content writers who have access to high quality authority sites for guest posting.

      Sites include Mashable, Forbes, Huffington Post, Examiner, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Insider, and any site that has a Domain Authority(DA) 50+ or higher is qualified.

      You need to write and publish QUALITY and relevant articles on authority sites with a backlink to our client's websites.

 

please also include:

1. A list of the authority sites you can guest post;

2. The fee you'd charge to publish a post on each of the sites you're listing.

      If you have a good work ethics and good prices, we'll have lots of work for you on an ongoing basis.

 

Okay, wait a second. Let me get this straight. Now, you’re looking for people who already have regular paying gigs at the Times, WSJ, or Forbes, right? Places a writer has already established some kind of editorial relationship and presumably earned some level of respect and trust, and you’re asking him to start tailoring stories for these respected sites in order to drop in commercial nods to your clients? Am I getting this straight here?

            Well, a couple of points. If I already had a regular gig at the fucking New York Times, why in the hell would I be looking on fucking Craigslist for work? More importantly, in what I only jokingly refer to as “contemporary journalism,” I’m sure this sort of subliminal marketing disguised as news is commonplace, simply accepted standard practice for so-called journalists under the age of forty, but I’m reminded of my final months at the Press, when the publishers started pressuring the writers to shamelessly plug the paper’s advertisers in their stories. And I’ll respond to this the same way I responded to them: Fuck you.

 

YA Co-Author Wanted

This could turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right person. If you are young, if you are hungry, if you consider yourself a talented writer, if you want a break, if you dream of being the author of a YA novel, then, please, by all means, write to me and I will fill you in on all the details. This is your chance to collaborate on a novel with a published author (not self-published, and by one of the big five). This is a speculative venture, so there will be no money until the book sells. If you are expecting payment in advance, please move on to the next ad. But if you think that some risks in life are worth taking in order to make a name for yourself, then please contact me. I want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for both of us.

 

Jesus where do I even begin with this loser fuck? The only reason I looked at the ad in the first place was because my computer read “YA Co-Writer” as “Yakko Writer.” I didn’t have the slightest idea what a yakko writer was, but somehow it seemed like a good fit. Even after parsing it out correctly, I figured what the hell, right? I’d published that collection of fairy tales, which I always saw as a young adult book. But the big question here is, if this moon pie is a published author with a guaranteed in with an (unnamed) major publisher, why in the fuck is he looking for a co-writer? It’s a fucking YOUNG ADULT NOVEL! How goddamn hard can it be? Worse, if Mr. Big Shot Published Author here knew anything at all about the goddamn state of the business, he should know full well there is no longer any goddamn money to be made in publishing books, that advances have gone the way of the dodo and royalties have always been an inside joke. So in short, he’s looking for someone to write something he can slap his own name on so he can feed his own pitiful ego, and he wants to do it for free, perpetuating the age-old myth that if you do enough work for free, paying work will follow. Never was true, never will be true. Again I say, Fuck You.

 

Help me write my life story

I'm 31 years old, male, and heartbroken. I have a lot of great true life stories, and I want to write them all down, especially the one about a recent romantic relationship with a woman.

      I'm not necessarily looking to write a book or publish anything. But, by getting the complete truth out of my mind, body, and soul and all down on paper, I aim to let go of all my grief, make sense of things, and heal. Plus, I could then come back to the stories if I wanted, and I could share them privately with close friends. Who knows? Maybe if it's good, I could publish it, enrich others, and make Billions. For now, though, I'm praying for a miracle: healing.

      I'm a good writer but an even better procrastinator, especially when it comes to something that I fear (especially unconsciously) will induce intense emotional pain. So, I'm looking for someone to hold me accountable and work with me (ideally in-person) to get this done. I'm looking for someone who's creative, compassionate, and confidential. Someone who can hold space for me to express myself, or to cry.

      Here's an idea: We schedule regular meetings at least once a week. I tell you the stories while you listen with curiosity, asking questions if helpful. We audio record it. Later, you transcribe the recordings. We edit your transcriptions together into good, complete short stories, or blog posts, or chapters. Perhaps at the end, we organize it all into one big autobiography, or more like an encyclopedia of my life. But, yeah, let's go one step at a time.

      If you're interested, please reply with a resume and a cover letter. Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you. :-) Let's do an in-person interview before choosing to work together.

 

An encyclopedia of your life? Oh, hey, that sounds like loads of fun! So in other words I get the opportunity to lock myself in a room with some simpering twat as he recounts in bloody detail how his last girlfriend dumped him, pausing every seven or eight minutes so he can weep? Better still, I get to record and transcribe it, meaning I get to re-live the experience all over again? And all so he can share it with some close friends, or, in the best of all possible worlds, post it in installments on his Tumblr page? Boy howdy, where do I sign up?

            Yeah, whenever I hear some tickprick use the word “healing” I reach for my revolver. Tell you what, there, son, why don’t we do it this way? Why don’t I send you my address, you come visit me here in Brooklyn, and shoot me in the fucking brain? The results would be the same either way. Goddamn fucking little faggot.

 

Journalists Wanted for Gripping Docudrama

      I am writing and publishing the story of my life which is all but guaranteed to be a blockbuster hit! This story touches on a variety of social issues including mental health, child abuse, the modern day witchcraft craze, polyamory, the failing family court systems and social reform to protect children. As the story unfolds, this mothers epic revenge may shock and awe a nation as she methodically brings down the people that hurt her & her children.

      I am seeking journalists that would like to cover specific aspects of this story which will be published on the YouTube channel for this project.

 

Oh, just fuck you too. Mencken was right all along. And so was Celine. So was Nietzsche, and for that matter so was I. My god how can these twisted, delusional souls get through half a day thinking as they do without guzzling a bucket of lye?

            Christ-O-Matic, maybe I’m being too particular, and maybe I’m just being old-fashioned. Maybe it’s time to jettison those decrepit arcane notions like “pride” and “self-respect.” I bet I could fit in perfectly well with the contemporary world if I just tried a little harder, and agreed to work for no money.

            I was about to abandon all hope when another ad caught my attention.

 

Don't Give Up If You Can't Work And Your Are Disabled In Anyway.......

Some people face failure because they are not fit and face many problems in the society nobody is ready to give them work so this is our social

      responsibility that we should have to give them equal rights in our society if we don't give them equal rights they don't any work and they get so weird

      about their career so we should have to motivate them and encourage them yes! They can do any type of work so our company is giving to chance disabled people

      to work with us it is the best chance for disabled people.

 

I had never heard the dilemma of disability employment expressed so elegantly, and I was ready to sign up right then and there, ignoring the fact they’d given no indication of what the work entailed, what the company did, or even what it was called. Still, I was onboard a hundred and ten percent. So, being curious, I started doing a little research and finally tracked them down. In so doing, I found all the answers I needed. The company was called, yes, U Can’t Work.

 

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