|January 29, 1999||Previous Tale||More Tales||Next Tale|
Lead Us Not Into Temptation,
My plans to go to the Senate today and witness History were squashed when I learned that the whole Congressional gang has knocked off until next Thursday so they can question their precious little witnesses. With a lot of work to do, and my primary procrastination mechanism eliminated, I had to think fast to avoid confronting the growing pile of overdue tasks on my desk.
Once again, this website came to the rescue. There are so many things wrong with it that I can easily invest spare hours repairing flaws in design and programming. Earlier, I had visited a page referred to me by a regular reader of the page, who sent the URL of a designer friend of hers who publishes a flashy quarterly magazine to hype his company. It was so gorgeous and technically savvy that I found myself looking back morosely at the unsophisticated code of the Seven Deadly Sins Homepage. If I only had more time to do a complete redesign... but I don't, and so the page will retain a decidedly low-tech look for the near future. I tinkered with the webpage of my business when I was learning how to use Dreamweaver a couple weeks ago, and was pleased with the short term results. But a redesign of this page would be an epic undertaking, and will have to wait until I'm wealthier and have more free time on my hands.
Still, there was a day to fill, and a lot of legitimate tasks clamoring to fill it, so something had to be done if I was to avoid doing any real work. I spent some of the morning messing around with minor elements of the front page, eliminating that animated "Oxygen Communications" logo that was slowing the download time, replacing it with a smaller and uglier logo. On a whim, I set up the moronically-named "Kovetousness Korner," where I'll feature an ever-changing parade of products that visitors can possess for themselves. The aforementioned covetousness is really mine, because I get a kickback for every item someone orders through a link on my site. It's nothing more than money-grubbery, my personal brick in the soulless strip mall that is America. But it pays for the web hosting bills, so there you are.
Really this came about because my corporate liege, Amazon.com, has been hyping its pre-orders of the soon-to-be bestseller,
She looks nice, don't you think? But if anyone is sick of Monica, it's the residents of Washington DC, who are constantly treated to the Washington Post's snippy tidbits about where she ate dinner last night and (I swear) the contents of the refrigerator in the hotel room where she recently stayed. We all say we're tired of this whole stupid scandal, but I'm sure that when the book comes out, gazilions of copies will fly off the shelves with the frenzied urgency of whatever tired sexual metaphor you care to apply. Initially, I was planning to cash in on the upcoming frenzy by offering Monica's Story on the front page of the site. But for some reason, I hesitated when it came time to do the deed. It seemed... wrong. Could it be that I thought Monica's Story might bring down the overall literary merit of my online oeuvre? Or perhaps, that I considered pimping for this young person's multi-million dollar tell-all to be beneath my dignity? Or am I enthralled by the persuasive charisma of Bill Clinton, and protecting the President?
Once again, I was stymied in my attempts to plumb the depths of my own motives. So I just said fuck it, and put an Ani DiFranco CD on the front page. I liked the fact that Ani DiFranco felt less controversial than Monica. It raises an interesting set of questions: which books am I willing to sell, and what makes the difference? Ani was inside the lines, Monica was out. What is the most odious book I would consider selling for profit and personal amusement? The afternoon was easily wasted in prolonged consideration of this question.
I realized, as I debated these issues, that I could easily get used to fronting Monica's book. As I wrote about it in this essay, for example, I coded the links to insure I'd get my piece of the action if any of you should decide to buy it. Maybe I'll put it up on the front page next week. It's amazing what kind of moral concessions one can get used to once you let temptation have its way.
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