Introducing BBG's Band Manager: Marvin Battelle


We have a name for the 21st century where I come from: the suppurating asshole of space time. For reference, imagine flipping through an American History textbook, just lazily skimming around, then... WHAM! You now have a good idea of what the history books of the 31st century look like: an engorged, inside-out historical sphincter stretching between the knuckles of 1983's break-dancing revolution and the emergence of robo-break-dancing in 2176.

Now imagine being sucked into that pulsating Goatse vortex and you've got a pretty good idea of what it felt like when I woke up naked in an Oklahoma field surrounded only by belching cows and clouds of dissipating purple chronatons. Yes, it's an ugly analogy, and I'm sorry to labor it, but short of cramming the monolith from 2001 down your throats, it's the only way I can make you monkeys understand what it's like to be trapped here.

The name's Marvin, by the way. Marvin Battelle. I'm Boing Boing Gadgets' "band manager," whatever that is. And I am from the future.I don't want to dwell too much on how I got here or why I came: the cautionary value of warning you evolutionary mollusks about mistaking a flux capacitor for a french tickler would be just shy of zilch. Needless to say, the slippery slope, one thing led to another and now I'm stuck here.

Without any of the valueless scraps of disease-soaked paper your rappers call "Benjamins" to my name, my first priority was clear: find someone to mooch from. Luckily, I had a prime candidate: my great-great-great-great-great-great23 uncle, John Battelle.

Now, I don't know if you know this, but John Battelle is a trillionaire. Someday, he will lose these trillions funding Big Brother's war machine against the Neo-Bolsheviks of Eurasia. And if that doesn't scare you: Big Brother? That's Cory Doctorow. Or at least what's left of him after he was shuffled off to Ethics Reupholstering. So if you want a vision of the future, imagine a short film on the benefits of the Perpetual Pre-Copyright smashing into a human face forever.

But I digress. The point is, right now, John Battelle is rich. Unfortunately, like most future converts to Ingsoc, Battelle also has a strong work ethic. Within moments of kicking in the door of my distant relative's office and grabbing him by the lapels, it became clear that I could count on him for none of the comforts to which I had grown accustomed. If I wanted to snort an endless supply of Substance D out of the bottomless cybertronic Fleshlight of a Marilyn Monrobot—even that a grim and paltry simulacrum of the sinuous delights of the 31st century—I would need to get a jay-oh-bee-colon-space-job.

My uncle John kindly arranged a meeting at Happy Mutant Headquarters (rechristened "MiniLuv", circa 2012) between me and the Boingers. Unfortunately, the meeting didn't go well.

I don't want to point fingers or try to figure out who alienated whom. No one was to blame. All I will say is that I regret telling David Pescovitz within seconds of meeting him the exact date and time of his death. Frauenfelder was a good guy, but in retrospect, I shouldn't have opened with the suggestion that he write a series of DIY articles on home trepanation for MAKE, punctuated by a short demonstration that ended up in part on his glasses. Doctorow did not seem to understand my attempts to converse with him entirely in Newspeak. And as for Xeni, my gift—a home-made LOLCats t-shirt featuring a mother cat eating her own mucousy kitten with the subtitle "I CAN HAZ AN ABORTION?"—was received not with the ebullient delight I expected, even though the NeoWikipedia of the 31st Century clearly identifies Xeni as the Pauline Kael of the form. [citation needed]

Anyway, the vote was unanimous: I would not become the fifth Boinger. However, as Xeni's boot was propelling me from Happy Mutant Headquarters with one deftly applied judo kick, I happened to meet another Boinger reject: Joel Johnson. As utterly forgotten by the future as he is by contemporary historians, I at first mistook him for an obscure Republican senator from Nebraska. But it was ultimately Joel who invited me to dinner at his home, and it was during dinner that he triumphantly suggested a way for me to fit in with the Boing Boing family.

"You're from the future, right?" Joel asked, selecting some choice offal from a garbage pail lid and cramming it into his mouth in the dank alley behind Happy Mutant Headquarters.

"Duh," I snorted. He still seemed so astounded by the fact that I couldn't help but marvel at his breathless chrono-provincialism.

"Then I want to hire you! With you on the team, we can really cram it to the rest of the internet. We'll scoop everyone on gadgets that aren't even out yet. That bastard Lam gets the scoop on iPhone 2? You write about iPhone 12!"

"Actually a cybernetic scarab that writhes its way into your ear." I replied. "Wait for the second revision: Rev A causes migraines and bladder infections. Rev B only causes bladder infections."

I think Johnson said, "Exactly!" but it was hard to make out the words as he took short, gasping draws from a smoldering banana peel.

"Also, FYI: Fake Steve Jobs incorporeally possesses Real Steve Jobs in 2010 and the resulting rampage kills dozens. So you might want to skip that Macworld."

"I can see the Diggs start rolling in now!" Joel exclaimed, and he was so excited I didn't have the heart to tell him that Digg's server cluster implodes into a quantum singularity six months from now after users begin recursively Digging their own Diggs.

So that's the plan. On my part, I offer coy but mostly continuum-safe references to futuristic technology so mind-boggling and physics-defying that I might single-handedly spark the premature evolution of the third hemisphere of the human cerebellum in Boing Boing Gadgets' readers. And from you? All I require is the passive absorption of various subliminal "activation" words.


Image: Victor Geere

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