Take Back the Internet! RSS

An effort to prevent our sweet, precious internet from falling into the wrong hands.

Until someone points us toward an easy way to enable comments, TAKE BACK THE INTERNET can be reached at takebacktheinternettumblr **at** gmail.



I’ll Tell You How Fucking Come


How come Gawker never links to my tumblr when I post a photo of a cute puppy? I’m one of the top cute-puppy posters in the entire blogosphere, and what do I get? Readers: Please send more cute puppy photos. We’ll take back the internet yet.


The answer is simple: your posting of puppie pics on THE MOST IMPORTANT TUMBLR OF OUR TIME is a borderline felonious sham.  It’s a thinly-veiled attempt to mix in CUTEZ PAHPPEE PIXZ (what the Internet IS for) with your typical prattling on about bogus intellectual frivolity (what the Internet IS NOT for).  This tactic will not secure you the Internet.

The Internet is ours.  Not yours.  Stick to N+1.  Stick to print, too.  Leave the puppies to the pros.

Nothing is worse than the N+1 website, by the by.


"You condescending people should read my book"


Oh, youth. “Inscrutable youth,” as Elif says, “with your enormous sweatshirts and tiny telephones…” And your three published lines of poetry, your day jobs, your bright fresh faces, your future masterpieces—how haughty you are! How condescending.

Well let me tell you something, youth. You should read the speech Morris Binkel makes at the bottom of p. 73 of my book. Attend to it! This doesn’t mean that I turned into Morris Binkel or that you’ll turn into me. I learned from his mistakes; you can learn from mine. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) But the premise of your rebukes, the presupposition, here I’ll spell it out for you—that you will not waste your twenties—well, well … I thought so too.

You have confounded us, sir. How does one parody parody? Perhaps when we are as old as you (that would be in five weeks), we’ll have some idea. In the meantime, we will stick to not wasting our thirties, too, and writing things that make sense and don’t refute themselves—as part of our ongoing effort to TAKE BACK THE INTERNET.


How was your stupid fucking party, Keith?

Reviews from others have ranged from mockery to abject boredom.  We’d like your personal take.


Lineup Changes

Come to think of it, our friend at toomuchawesome has a point regarding our imaginary dinner with Rue McClanahan and Dave Coulier:

I don’t know; that’d be a pretty awesome dinner.

We reserve the right to change our minds, here at TAKE BACK THE INTERNET.  The stakes are simply too high for any other policy.

Hence, we opine that the roster of attendees to Gessen’s party tonight sounds just a bit more exciting than dinner with Keith Gessen and Kelsey Grammer.


The Starting Lineup for your Brooklyn Codgers

You answered one of our questions, which we appreciate.  Sadly, the people you have listed are just a little more exciting than our envisioned dinner with Rue McClanahan and Dave Coulier.

There are five more questions here waiting, at least four of them deserving of answers.  Hop to it, you fancy book-learnin’ boy!


The Pain Is All Ours

We are, to be honest, almost starting to feel bad for THE MOST IMPORTANT LATTE DRINKER OF OUR TIME. After all, if you were going to learn one thing—anythingin the Gawker comments section, it would be how to be funny (spoiler: mostly through liberal use of substance-abuse and sex jokes, with a smattering of truly awful puns). Instead, he comes up with this, a dialogue in which the conceit, apparently, is that someone wants very badly to not talk to him. Funny, as U.S. Acres creator Jim Davis once put it, because it’s true?

No. Funny, then, in a subtle, arty way, like in that movie Dancer in the Dark? Maybe. But probably not. Truly, as we noted in conversation the other evening, Keith Gessen has begun to remind us of a certain former Democratic presidential candidate—not because of his onetime relationship with Emily Gould (the so-called “Bill Clinton of the New York literary set,” except that she totally did inhale), and not because of his feminist appeals and commitment to improving the lives of white working-class people, but because every goddamn time we think he can’t possibly live up to our (admittedly mean-spirited) cartoonish expectations, he exceeds them. To wit, this bit about his own novel, from the aforementioned dialogue:

You wrote your book out of pain, and that’s why your book doesn’t suck. I don’t care what these people say.

We understand that he may be joking. We hope he’s joking. He’s got to be joking, right? And yet, it comes from the same dude who inspired this post three days earlier. One is reminded of a passage in which Neil Postman describes Eric Segal, author of Love Story, on a television talk-show set, sinking in his chair and muttering lamely, “My book was important. People felt something.” Of course, Love Story actually was kind of important—notable, anyway. Of course, that doesn’t make Segal, or anyone who sounds like him, sound any less pompous.

(Keith, when we wanted you to leave the comments the other day, it wasn’t because we were talking about “Keith Gessen,” rather than “the real you.” It was because we found what you had to say neither amusing nor enlightening. We can’t keep out everyone whose work fails to meet those criteria, but we think it’s fair to expect more from a purported member of the intelligentsia. Also: ANSWER OUR GODDAMN QUESTIONS.)


Housekeeping for Vanity

To ensure a prompt reply, we present the following, mainly to ensure you don’t miss the post below in the Google Alert you inevitably have setup for yourself:

keithgessen keith gessen gessen keith Keith Gessen KEITH GESSEN All the Sad Young Literary Men Ubertwat Self-Important Authors Sloane Crosby is More Well Liked Than Me N+1 NPLUSONE N PLUS ONE N PLUS 1 Namedropping I don’t get it How do I get a hold of the internet Ferecito KGessen Brooklyn Literary Scene NYRB Gawker Gessen How Do I Get Noticed by Prominent Authors THE MOST IMPORTANT AUTHOR OF OUR TIME Wham!’s Greatest Hits


Waiting For Godouche

Let’s be honest, Gessen: we both know you read this blog.  However, you have not yet responded to the six reasonable — okay — five reasonable questions we have posted here regarding your soiree in Directly Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO).

We reason, then, that you don’t think these questions are being asked with the earnestness and seriousness becoming of THE MOST IMPORTANT AUTHOR AND MAGAZINE EDITOR OF OUR TIME.

These questions are serious.  We would like to have them answered, preferably soon, so that we can determine whether we will make an appearance.

Please reply posthaste.



  1. What alcoholic beverages — if any — will be provided at your party?
  2. What food — if any — will be provided at your party?
  3. Who will be there?
  4. Will music be played?  If so, what artists?
  5. What assurances do we have that this is not some elaborate ploy to kidnap your detractors?
  6. Is there any required reading which we should complete if we wish to actively participate in conversations at this party?
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