Reader Mailbag: Attention Whores and CP Telephones

      “What’s it like to be an attention whore?”
                                               –random anonymous internet stranger

        Howdy, stranger!  I had to translate your question into English through Google Trollspeak Translator in order to understand it.

          Translation: It makes me angry and resentful when women take up space in the public sphere, even if that space is just the electronic void of the internet.  Women should not talk about themselves or their experiences, even anonymously via a self-published online blog with 8 readers.  I am frustrated because girls won’t go out with me.  Women should be modest and chaste and seek approval from me. 

        Listen up, asshole.  The reason you think I’m an “attention whore” is because you are paying attention to me.  See how that works?  Does your brain have enough computing power to get my point?  You came to me. 

         I blog under a fake name for free.  Fake name.  Free.  There are no ads, donations buttons, amazon wish-lists, membership subscriptions, or paywalls.  For security purposes, I do not even book sessions with people who find me via the blog (that I know of).  My photos are selfies so that I know they are the only ones in existence.  Tell me how any of this is self-aggrandizing?  

         The blog is open to the adult public.  When an artist paints a picture, do you think it is vain of him to show it to other people? 

         Autobiography!  Memior!  First-person reporting!  All attention whores!  Nobody should express themselves or contribute to the dialogue, ever.

        The only one seeking attention here is you.  Admit it: I just make you mad.

         “What are you, some kind of communist?”


         And that reminds me of a funny story!

         Back in the raging days of my youth, I visited New York City with my organization.  Part of the trip was networking and planning and part of it was political agitation.  I almost got a ticket for hawking books in Central Park (I didn’t know it was not allowed). I am almost positive that I sold one of our books to Alan Greenspan (if it wasn’t him, it was a dead ringer).  I don’t know if he actually planned to read it, or display it on his coffee table in an ironic gesture, or give it to one of his buddies in the Ayn Rand Reading Group as a joke, or what.  

       (This little trip almost disqualified me from interning for a rather powerful politician a few years later, by the way.) 

         While we were here, we visited the Communist Party HQ office on West 23rd Street.  This was before they renovated it.  I was expecting cobwebs of gargantuan proportions, but it was clean.

       The Communist Party had several landlines but they hadn’t paid their telephone bill in, like, 27 years.  Telephone service was never cut off, though, because the FBI was monitoring the phones.  They were all bugged and had been from time immemorial.  The FBI (or someone) wouldn’t allow service to be terminated because they wanted to hear the conversations.  

        Who paid the bill?  The FBI?  The taxpayer?  Did the phone company just absorb the cost in a gesture of capitalist solidarity?  Who knows?  

          You could get on these phone and call anywhere you wanted.  Long distance to the moon, whatever.  Wanna call comrades in Spain?  Africa?  Your grandma in Kansas?  Want to harass your congressperson?  Plan a protest?  Order a pizza?  Talk to your girlfriend? Go right ahead!

        Well, a few years later, we got the email.  It was a sad, sad day in my Trotskyist youth group’s list-serve.

         The phones had been disconnected.   The phone company finally pulled the plug!

         The end of an era!  

         What that meant, of course, was that the government no longer cared about the Party enough to pay attention to it, which was a real bummer.

         If my politics–which, radical as they may be, are nonetheless also well-informed–offend you, reader, you may remember the disconnected telephones, and take solace. 

4 thoughts on “Reader Mailbag: Attention Whores and CP Telephones”

  1. “What are you, some kind of communist?”

    It’s almost reassuring to know that the ghost of Joe McCarthy is still alive. I remember the McCarthy hearings well even though I was only a kid at the time.

    At least the mainstream media in those days weren’t dominated by fascist bastards like Murdoch, and you had brave journalists like Ed Murrow to expose the gigantic edifice of lies upon lies that consituted right-wing ideology.

    Eisenhower was well to the left of Clinton and Obama. In fact if he was alive today, he would be traduced by the extreme faction that has captured the Republican Party in a putsch funded by the Koch brothers and others of their ilk.

    I know that old men always think that they have seen the best of their time, but honestly, were things really so bad in the days of the New Deal in the US, and democratic socialism in Europe?

    The vast majority were immeasurably better off before the right-wing ideologues and their pals in the Chicago School got their hands on the commanding heights of the global economy.

    The working class had a chance to work their way up into the middle class, and the middle class were prosperous and secure.

    Neo-con adventurism and the voodoo economics of Milton Friedman are destroying the American imperium. No-one on the right can see the horrendous irony of the US and the UK being wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Chinese Communist party.

    1. I was really surprised to learn how liberal Eisenhower was. Even Nixon was a pretty liberal guy compared to today”s Republicans.

      Milton Friedman was public enemy #1 and I wish he’d lived a fear years more so that he could witness the economy implode.

      I really do wish I could be 100% certain that he was the one who bought a book from me. I remember looking right at him when he was browsing and then when I put it in a bag for him, and I said, “Has anyone ever told you that you look just like Milton Friedman?” He laughed like it was a joke.

  2. Hi Margo

    “The Communist Party had several landlines but they hadn’t paid their telephone bill in, like, 27 years. Telephone service was never cut off, though, because the FBI was monitoring the phones. They were all bugged and had been from time immemorial. The FBI (or someone) wouldn’t allow service to be terminated because they wanted to hear the conversations.”

    That is hilarious. Good to see are taxpayer dollars are well spent. Funny similar story. A friend of mine did a tour in Vietnam with the US Air Force and he always wondered why his base was seldom mortored or rocketed. Turns out that many of the bars, brothels and etc in town were wholly owned subsidiaries of the Viet Cong or NLF and attacking the base was bad for business because US personnel were usually confined to base after an attack. So a plea went up the VC chain of command. “Stop attacking the base you are killing our business.” And thus source of funding.


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