Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol XXII: Journolist dreams, reader penalty box, and stealing Dear Prudence

EDITOR’S NOTE: Have a burning sensation? Consult your doctor. Have a burning question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.

Spencer Ackerman has me cornered in an alley. Somehow the alley is composed entirely of glass. He is wearing a Black Flag t-shirt and nothing else. Could you please interpret my dream? – Jim Treacher

Yes. It’s symbolic. Spencer Ackerman symbolizes Spencer Ackerman, the embodiment of spittle-flecked, finger-sniffing bloggerhood, whereby, some churlish ewok with a Napoleon complex who was likely pushed around by high-school football players who used to hide his lint brushes when he was trying to clean the fresnel lens on the overhead projector (his duty as vice president of the Audio Visual club) is now all grown up, and has found a racket where he can regularly act out his revenge fantasies from the safety of his dank little blogging hole. From there, he has given himself his own comic-book nickname  — “Attackerman” — because he likes to read comics in addition to sniffing his own finger (he doesn’t know where its been — and that excites him!) But if you think that’s a honking dork coming at you in the alley, pants-less in a Black Flag t-shirt, then think again. Because he’s ferocious and you might get attackered. How do we know? Because Attackerman also likes punk rock music, and has multiple tattoos, not unlike many of the lasses on the cast of Jersey Shore.

From his hermetically sealed masturbatorium, he can then rhetorically threaten people who have soft hands and who type about politics for a living, but who could still pound the Bad Brains out of him (punk reference!) if they ever came face to face, even if it devolved into a girls-school windmill slap-fight, which it probably would. Though they won’t come face-to-face, of course, because being a tough-guy Washington blogger is a bit like being a phone-sex operator: you can pretend you’re sexy, even when you’re wearing a ratty terry cloth robe, hot curlers, and bunny slippers. Just like as a tough guy blogger, you can pretend on the outside that you want to crease the skull of Frank Foer with a baseball bat or annihilate Ryan Lizza in front of his toddler, while on the inside, you’re a moony-eyed trembling fanboy who writes unicorn-and-silly-bandz sentences such as “Yes we did!” when your swain wins an election. Which is sooo not punk rock. But that’s where the Black Flag t-shirt comes in. It’s a symbol. And what it symbolizes is that Hackerman is a dangerous man, not to be trifled with, since Black Flag was an ur-punk band whose former lead singer, Henry Rollins, was a genuine American badass, the Attackerman of his day. You could tell this, because he swore a lot, and wore tight black t-shirts. Even now, screwing with Rollins is like making a death wish. There’s no telling what that muscled wall of menace might do. He might write a really bitchy spoken-word piece about you, then release it as a podcast.

The glass alley symbolizes what Hackerman will put your head through, just as soon as he’s done tweeting about one of his favorite bands, Burzum, because they are BAD ASS. They’re kind of like the Attackermans of Norweigan black metal, showing early Tolkien influences since as their Facebook page stipulates, “Burzum” means “darkness” in the black speech of Mordor. The fact that Attackerman is pants-less means he’s flashing you his knob. Because that’s what knobs do: put their dickhood on display.

I’m not a dream interpretation expert, of course. You might want to run this by Hackerman himself. Though he doesn’t seem to be answering many questions lately, not since his Journolist bleatings were released. Instead, these days he’s pretending that he’s a buttoned-up national security reporter for Wired magazine’s website. Some critics think he should be fired due to his history of intemperate outbursts, poseur thuggishness, and all-around crappy writing. I don’t. Wired is a reputable organization. They presumably have an able staff and a good health insurance plan. So here’s hoping they can give Attackerman something he’s desperately needed: mood stabilizers and an editor.