|MY FIVE-STEP PLAN FOR FAME|
On Sunday, my ad hominem page finally hit the big time. Sure, it's made the front page of Reddit now and then, but Reddit nerds don't have the cultural capital. To get noticed by the right people, Metafilter is where it's at -- and that's where I was at on Sunday afternoon, front-page news, my words being raked over by Williamsburg's finest. This was my first taste of real fame -- and what can I say? I loved it. Believe me, there is nothing, literally nothing, as arousing as the thought of thousands of sneering hipsters ignorantly speculating about your personality. It's the greatest rush imaginable.
I spent all Sunday on a hits high, glued to my logs as the readers piled in; and now that they're trailing away, I'm starting to feel withdrawals. Where's my hits fix, you assholes? But even as I complete my descent back to lumpen reality, I haven't lost the perspective of the heights. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. I've gained new insights into the human condition: now I understand, finally, why clapped-out celebs agree to demean themselves on reality shows. You see, once you've tasted fame, you're addicted forever. Fame is a drug, and I must have more. And I will do anything, literally anything, to feel that rush again -- believe me, there is no act too low.
And let me tell you this: next time fame strikes me, I'm staying struck. I'll turn my moment in the sun into a permanent stay. Going viral isn't good enough for me -- next time, I'm going congenital. And here's how I'm going to do it:
1. REINFORCE THE BRAND.
When I wrote The Ad Hominem Fallacy Fallacy, four years ago, I had no idea it would eventually become the Internet's ultimate argument settler. And I'd have to say, looking back on my life, my biggest regret -- in fact, my only regret -- is that I didn't see how big that page would become. If only I'd known I was sitting on a goldmine, I'd have taken a line from that Godwin creep and named the phenomenon after myself.
But it's still not too late. From now on, the "Ad Hominem Fallacy Fallacy" is no more. Henceforth, I declare it to be called Bond's Law, and like Godwin himself, I will ruthlessly chase down any motherfucker who refers to it otherwise. It's not a law, you say? Well, you're wrong. If I called it Bond's Fallacy, people might think it's a fallacy I commit -- but I don't commit it, I dictate it. When I go down in history, I'm going down with Godwin, Murphy and Avogadro -- not with the Reverend Spooner.
2. EXTEND THE BRAND.
I firmly believe Bond's Law has the potential be more than just a flash-in-the-pan Internet sensation -- this thing has got legs, people. Which is why I am currently in negotiations with lulu.com for an extended book deal. In this forthcoming deluxe hardcover volume, each ad hominem example will be expanded into a chapter of its own, with added commentary; there will be new examples in addition to all the classic ones; and the whole thing will be padded out with photographs, autobiographical anecdotes, and some of my best jokes. We're still working out the basic design concepts, but you can expect it to be available (102pp, $19.99) in online stores sometime next week.
And why restrict the phenomenon to text-only media? Ask my buddies Jeph, Randall and Bucky: for lasting fame and financial independence, merch is the way to go. Which is why I'm currently in negotiations with cafepress.com for an exclusive line of Bond's Law-related T-shirts and other apparel. Unfortunately (and this is my other greatest regret) I didn't write the page with ready-to-wear catchphrases in mind, but that's easily solved by making a T-shirt for every line of the article anyone has ever quoted, no matter how bad. So among others, you can look forward to the following designs, typeset in glorious Impact:
Look out for me on the Con circuit, where I'll be setting up my own Bond's Law stall, carrying signed bundles of this stuff, handing out free baseball caps, trading logically-sound invective with the masses, and generally milking it for every penny it's worth.
3. LISTEN TO THE MARKET
As it happens, I am listening to the market, and here's what it tells me: people only want to hear me rant about logical fallacies. So it's time to cut back and specialise. In a few day's time I will rename this site "Argument Heaven (featuring Bond's Law)"; I'm ditching all the other content, and concentrating full-time on snarky articles about Internet debating. Topics you can look forward to include:
...and all that in addition to the original Ad Hominem page, which will be published in an all-new, deluxe, must-see Web 2.0 version. It'll be Ajaxxed up to the nines, php, SQL -- this thing will come packing a backend like a Porsche 911. Sure, it'll take a little longer to load than the old version -- but as the saying goes, in this Web 2.0 world, you get what you wait for.
4. BUILD A COMMUNITY
Fame is about more than just one man. Fame, in fact, is about one man and the bunch of suckers who make him famous. That's what I need: followers, disciples, people without a mind of their own, to hang on my every word.
In short, I need a forum on this place. I need my own posse of argument nerds; I need comment pages; I need regulars. And I'll ruthlessly exercise my moderator rights to ensure that only the most pliable ass-kissers remain.
And I promise you I'm going to torture these saps. I'll put them through the grinder. Every other month I'll schedule an emotional breakdown on the forums; I'll deny my talent, my worth and my virility; I'll beg my fans for validation. Right on call, they'll drown each little flameout in gushes of praise. And each time, I'll tot up all the compliments, and use my favourite ones for publicity.
But I wouldn't want the fans to feel responsible for my mental well-being: I wouldn't want them to consider themselves that important to me. So other times I'll be lording it over them, brushing off their compliments like so many gnats, dropping big names and making them feel small. I'll lash out randomly at one poor sucker, for giving me anything less than fawning praise; I'll turn all the others against him; I'll make him beg for forgiveness, and then claim to have forgotten the original offence. Soon, the fans will be on tenterhooks; they'll be uncertain around me; they'll regard me with fear and awe.
Eventually I won't even have to bother with new content myself; the forum will take on a life of its own, and my regulars will provide the content for me. I'll turn up on the forum only occasionally, under my handle of "The LAWmaker", to make Oracle-like pronouncements, or beguile them with promises of content that never comes. But by then my fame will have carried me far beyond the company of these dorks.
The fact is, in this world, it's who you know that counts. If you're not born into the right circles, your best hope of getting ahead is to suck up to anyone in front of you, as often and as desperately as possible. Which explains why, as horny as my exposure on Metafilter made me, I didn't actually blow my load until later that Sunday, when Ad Hominem started trending on Twitter. Say what you like about Twitter, but it is a suck-up's paradise, the one place where the ambitious common man has a direct line to the great and the good. It's a resource I plan to exploit to the full -- and I've already got a great angle to work on.
You see, the precise moment I came in my pants was when I saw that a link to my page had been retweeted by 90s comedy legend Graham Linehan, creator of The IT Crowd -- who is the very guy I'd most wanted to suck up to. What, you've heard me say The IT Crowd was a load of nerd-pandering crap? Then you quite possibly missed the irony in my voice, because all joking aside, The IT Crowd is my favourite TV show ever, and has been since the very first episode, when it immediately supplanted Father Ted at the top spot. And now that I'm on retweeting terms with its creator, I have the perfect opportunity to pursue my dream -- my own cameo appearance on the show, for which I've already written the script:
O'DOWD: Ayoade, ye big eejit. AYOADE: Ad Hominem! I win!! O'DOWD: Wrong -- I call Bond's Law, aka The Ad Hominem Fallacy Fallacy. GUY IN COOL SHADES (me): (suddenly appearing at the door, to raucous whoops and cheers from those in the know) So there goes your argument!
So, the grassroots Twitter campaign to get me on The IT Crowd begins here. At first I'll be happy just to get the O'Dowd creature in a Bond's Law T-shirt, but eventually I'm sure I can schmooze my way to an actual appearance, exactly as scripted.
And even if Linehan holds out, with my name on Twitter, I've still got the vanity of thousands of lesser lights to work on. There is no doubt in my mind that if I stick diligently to my plan, one day I'll be hanging out with Marcus Brigstocke, freebasing with James Corden, and looking Charlie Brooker in the eye and considering him an equal.