I am unsure why a correspondent (who I shall not name in the interests of retaining her privacy) has deemed me responsible for what Tao Lin’s Intern Army (recently trademarked) does in promoting Tao’s books. I am neither employed by Melville House, nor do I represent Tao Lin in any capacity. But at the risk of participating in a potentially fabricated and guileful publicity masterstroke from Tao’s Intern Army, a correspondent (does she work for the New York City Transit Authority?) has written to me to complain about a sticker currently affixed to the top surface of a turnstile at the 14th Street — Union Square station. She has even helpfully sent me a copy of Section 1050.5 of the Rules governing public safety, demonstrating quite clearly that the mysterious individual who had the temerity to place the sticker on the turnstile (nay, THE HUBRIS AND THE EFFRONTERY to sully the Great City of New York in such an insolent manner!) has clearly broken the law.
Well, this may indeed be the case. But surely such a sticker-specific blasphemy is not exactly going to, as this correspondent puts it, “alienate book customers and readers in the city.”
Then again, I’m new here. So for all I know, all New York book customers and readers are highly sensitive to incongruous stickers, particularly those illegally placed on a subway seat or a newspaper kiosk. Perhaps, such a sight causes the book customer to see sudden flashes of light, hear the voice of Elijah Wood instructing them to exact justice, and thereby enter the clean and noble McNally Robinson with a semiautomatic to retaliate for a CLEAR WRONG against the City of New York.
You tell me.
The onus, of course, falls upon the Tao Lin Intern Army. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen Fritz Lang’s M more times than I should. And if such unwarranted blasphemies continue, I will gather together a vigilante mob, hunt Tao Lin down, and interrogate Tao Lin in German, uploading the resultant black-and-white video onto YouTube, whereby the Great Democracy of New York can make their final judgment.
[UPDATE: It appears that this correspondent also left a comment on Tao’s blog.]