ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Aug 06, 2013

Join us next Tuesday to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Some exciting news! Guess I picked the wrong week for a principled boycott of all Amazon products.

reminded me of why I enjoy reading reviews so much. For sentences like this one: "All of this is delivered with a sure-footed lack of awareness of its cliches."

And what could be more sure-footed than that!

Even Amazon user reviews don't compete!

If Major League Baseball had only let Alex Rodriquez receive his full $250 million from the Yankees, Rodriquez could have bought the Washington Post.

Hey, still better than Dan Snyder!

Every participant in today's Chat will receive a free Kindle HD just for submitting a question or comment. With Free Shipping!

Now now, we're just a Bezos property, not an Amazon property, but -- hey, you never know.

I was worried that ending this chat was actually new ownership's #1 priority.

If that's their number one priority, we're up a bigger creek than I thought, or rather, we're farther up a creek than I thought, or uh, we're up a bigger river, or something something up the Amazon something.

"Even" Amazon user reviews? Why would you expect the average reader to have the sure-footedness of a professional writer? Unless you mean the hilarious fake reviews posted about products like the Bic pen "for women."

Don't know what you're talking about.

Amazon user reviews OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY!

Great product descriptions, quality feedback from users, including but not limited to eminent author and commentator Newt Gingrich!

Time invested in reading Amazon user reviews is time not wasted! Great enhancement for all readers! Great amusement! Much profit!

Jeff Bezos personally did. The way the rich Mr. Meyer bought the Post 80 years ago. Thus continuing a great American tradition.

Exactly, but Eugene Meyer jokes are so much less obvious!

a little sidebar "People who enjoyed Alexandra's chat also liked...."

People who enjoyed Alexandra's chat wound up buying "A Separate Peace" instead.

low sodium bacon, hickory smoked bacon, and turkey bacon. Which do you prefer?

Hickory smoked!

Alexandra, Bezo's ownership offers great opportunities for YOU thanks to your upcoming book - can use Amazon Publishing if you don't already have a sealed deal, and of course, Amazon can promote your book heavily. They certainly can publish / promote books by all your WaPo teammates, tons of cross-marketing potential. Can they promote your plays too?

I do have a sealed deal (Penguin - NAL!) but you're sweet to think of this as an opportunity! Yeah, let's get on this!

Happy 1 yr. birthday to the Curiosity rover! Alas, I bet it immediately found Martians and it was captured by them. Now kept as a toy - like those remote controlled toy cars and trucks many of us own (do YOU own one, Alexandra?) - they probably only let it send us back pictures that they wish us to see. I guess the Martians like to keep us in the dark.

Naturally. But soon enough they'll be here with their heat rays and their Tom Cruise remakes and their other weapons of doom and chaos.

Is it true the newspaper name is being changed to the Bezos Bugle?

I, for one, welcome the name Bezos Bugle, and would be proud to work for such an institution!

If your employer had to be bought by an Internet leader, do you wish it was Elon Musk instead? Free space rides and Tesla Roadsters for the editorial staff?

Given my experience with GoogleGlass, I would definitely not trust myself with a Telsa Roadster.

Turkey bacon and turkey sausage, feh. They're made from the dark meat of the bird which is just as high in saturated fat as pork or beef. All the fat and none of the flavor.


Oh, Alex, say it ain't so. Will your blog posts now be nothing but shills for Amazon? Just kidding. Because I know you're just kidding.

Kidding? Did you mean any of the wide array of wonderful kids products currently offered by Amazon? For instance, tricycles!

I can't believe some woman spent $185,000 to get a top-level domain for Wednesday. I mean, .sat or .sun I can kind of understand. But .wed I don't get.

I mean, .act, but .sat? Everyone knows .sat is on the way out!

Does the sale of The Post to Bezos guarantee that your new book will be an automatic #1 on the Amazon bestseller list?

That is how publishing works, right? Especially under the just and magnanimous leadership of --

I've been informed that I am laying it on too thick.

Of The Washington Post March?

I secretly hope the Company gets it and its name has to change with theirs, so we're suddenly playing the March classic Conglomerate Weirdly We Still Own Slate Artist Formerly Known As Post Corp. March on parade days.

You know what they say - "Always be yourself. Unless you can be a penguin. Then always be a penguin!" Congrats on the book deal!


True words!

...I will have even more trouble telling yours and Monica's chats apart.

Well, I'll take that as a compliment!

Just remember, if it's a poignant and telling musing on the meaning of Ketchup or the Truth of Summer as we know it, or something, it's probably Monica, and if it's a bunch of weird puns about penguins, it's probably yours truly.

It's the first 24 hours after the news. It cannot be laid on too thick. Tomorrow, though, you might want to consider toning it down ever so slightly.

Don't you think Jeff Bezos has beautiful eyes? I've always thought that.

I want a pentacycle.

I heard if you ride those wrong you summon the Devil.

Why hasn't my GE Turntable Microwave Oven been delivered?

I'm SORRY we're just under a lot of stress right now...

You wil know you have struck (stricken?) the right balance when the irony-impaired posts protesting such statements equal the number of riffs on them.

Jeff Bezos can always tell when you're being ironic and when you're not. Those beautiful eyes of his miss nothing.

What say you about the burger grown in the laboratory? Good thing or bad, it brings to mind certain Sci Fi novels where only the rich can afford coffee from coffee beans etc. --although in reverse at the moment.

Ooh, that sounds right up my alley, given my official support for pink slime.

Alexandra, how are you celebrating Shark Week? I've seen so many documentaries, all the Jaws films, as much as Sharknado as I could stand, and San Jose Sharks hockey games that I'm kind of sharked out this year. Maybe Discovery can do a Lobster Week and butter up viewers for that, or maybe a Tilapia Week.

I love the sentence "I'm kind of sharked out this year." I could totally do an Orange Roughy week, especially given that this is the new named of something once called the Slimehead.

Actually, what we should do is some kind of week dedicated to household accidents that kill more people than sharks every year, like "Getting Out Of Bed Carelessly" Week or "Not Watching That Stove" Month.

...also liked Don Graham, Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee, and Len Downie. (Let's hope this works.)


One danger of Bezos purchase and cross-marketing would be if someone on staff makes an oops and links customer service complaints to YOUR live chat. "For all customer complaints, please click *here* every Tuesday at 11am..." and this chat will be an endless stream of messages about toaster ovens, books, computer parts, etc., no more chats about bacon and Bacon vs. Shakespeare authorships.

O ye of little faith, I'm sure we could turn customer complaints into a referendum on Bacon/Shakespeare.


I want one of those.

Do you think Mr. Bezos is a lurker in the chat even as we speak?

You mean, Mr. As Wise As He Is Just And Handsome Bezos?

"Leave it to Bezos."

Followed by the SNL sketch, "Bezos Y Lagrimas"

No, Mr. Bezos the prophet, blessings and peace be upon him.

Here in the Compost chat, we worship the water you walk on, sir!

Does he keep an ironic and a not-ironic list, like Santa does?

That'd be helpful, but hell on Urban Outfitters.

is actually called Patagonian Toothfish. The marketing folks realized that wouldn't be a big seller.

A Patagonian Toothfish by any other name would smell much sweeter, actually.

According to Gene Weingarten, buying the Washington Post is about 1% of Jeff Bezos's wealth, Buying a copy of the Post is about 1% of my wealth.

It's weird when, in relative terms, your entire life's work is someone else's equivalent of finding $100 in a jacket he hasn't worn in a while.

Rock salmon used to be called dogfish. I bet the American Kennel Club and famous canines like Snoopy, Astro, and Underdog probably led a boycott of canine owners to pressure Big Fish industry to rename it. That said, I hope they don't rename catfish. I love catfish (and so does my cat, who will chow down on my fried catfish with pleasure).

I thought Catfish was just what it claimed to be online.

The Royal Baby!

Once we found out the name, everyone lost interest immediately.

I hear he's very patient with his companies. Like with Amazon Auctions. And that spaceship. So we have a lot to look forward to.

I love patience! Almost as much as an HMO doesn't!

Oh God, HMO jokes, and I can't even blame new ownership.

All I have is a dollar in my pocket for the vending machine and a dusty multivitamin. And I'm sooooo hungry.

Dusty Multivitamin sounds like a Pynchon character.

and I'm 5'8". It should be fairly easy to kiss down.

Do tell!

As an Amazon Prime customer, will I now be entitled to free delivery of my morning paper? I hope so, although hopefully not free 2-day delivery, since it still needs to arrive on time.

Well, there's the catch...

Hey, he's a way cooler guy than Rupert Murdoch or Donald Trump or the Koch brothers. Hip, tech savvy, able to make digital connections work in new ways. But I still can't help shedding a tear for Katherine Graham, a tough broad who made all of us proto-feminists proud.

She sure did! But the rest of the family left big shoes, too.

I'm excited to see where this goes. All jokes aside, I trust the Grahams. If they picked him, I think it's unlikely he's going to run screaming through the streets tearing the paper to shreds and cackling POWER UNLIMITED POWER -- or, you know, a more realistic vision of newspaper doom.

And we all know how that ended, Rosebud.


Okay, I think that caps the chat. Have a splendid week! Don't buy too much synthetic burger! Keep reading the AMAZON'S FINEST! and feel free to follow me on Twitter I AM NOW A GIANT KINDLE.

In This Chat
Alexandra Petri
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week,,, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)
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