I Trust That The Reason I Found This Desk Sign Amusing Will Be Readily Obvious to the Readers of This Site

If it’s not obvious, then, well. I don’t know what to tell you.

Also, hello, I’m here in Austin. Keeping it weird, as instructed.

61 Comments on “I Trust That The Reason I Found This Desk Sign Amusing Will Be Readily Obvious to the Readers of This Site”

  1. I’m guessing the meaning is “whatever you want, whenever you want it” which leads me to think it’s a sign on a hotel’s concierge station. Much different meaning than the title of meaning of this blog, which is to dismissively say “whatever” to those you intend to disrespect.

  2. I always thought it was more about “‘Whatever’ I want to write about at any given moment.” Maybe I’m too literal…

  3. If Mr. Scalzi came out in favor of oxygen, would Scorpius suffocate himself?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

    Perhaps a test case?

  4. John,

    Being a snarky blogger with a published book titled “Your hate mail will be graded” you must see how your using the term “Whatever” can be seen as a snarky, disrespectful dismissal.

  5. Scorpius:

    Which is, as it happens, entirely immaterial on the matter of the origin of the site’s name — which is, also as it happens, explained in the About Whatever link on the sidebar of every single page on this site, wherein it says, of the site: “It is about whatever John Scalzi feels like writing on.” Indeed, that description of the site goes back to the very first entry on the site, in which I described it to be like a .plan file, i.e., “not about anything in particular, just what that person is thinking at that moment.”

    It’s trivially easy not to be wrong about this particular thing, Scorpius. But I suppose it’s even easier to make an incorrect assumption that fits your worldview.

  6. Welcome to Austin :)
    You picked the perfect time for the weather.
    Feel free to snap some of our sunsets while you’re in town, they’re free!

  7. [Deleted because Scorpius is apparently too stupid to stop digging when he’s made himself a hole. Scorpius, for reasons unrelated to you, I’m in no mood for you poorly justifying your bad assumptions. Go fuck off for a while, please — JS]

  8. Whatever happened to the font of your posts? Seems to have gotten barely readable recently. The comments, sidebar and everything else are OK, but the text of each post is hard to make out.

  9. Huh, guess it’s just me then. I’ll have to see if something got changed in my browser. Doesn’t seem to have affected any other site I read though. Bit of a puzzle. Thanks.

  10. OK since you seem to monitoring here goes with a stupid with a stupid respectful question. I am also having trouble viewing your site ever since my Galaxy Nexus updated to jelly bean OS a few days ago. Thought it was me but maybe same thing the last commenter sees?

  11. I think I wondered a bit about how the title was to be interpreted when I first saw the motto, “Taunting the Tauntable since 1998”.

    Since I’ve started reading the site, I haven’t really noticed a great deal of energy spent taunting the tauntable, except in the case of people who are so thoroughly self-taunting that it doesn’t matter what you do.

    Does that motto refer to an earlier era on the site that I missed?

  12. Yep looked great on my ice cream sandwich. Thanks for letting me ask…now I’m having a “OMG scalzi just commented on my comment” moment and it makes up for the simple text version of your site that I see. (Probably just my phone )

  13. On an entirely different tack of interpetation:
    I showed this to my lovely wife who happens to be a Methodist pastor, and she rolls her eyes and goes, “Calling the Rev. Quivering Mass of Availability!”

    (If you’re interested – it relates to the burn out of social services workers, particularly religiously-affilliated – http://www.christiancentury.org/all/887?page=2)

  14. I am not sure how scorpius’ theory, however incorrect, on the origin of the sites name is related to his world view…., another assumption I reckon. But yes, welcome to Texas, you are clearly in the window of “possible” good weather here in Texas. A few weeks ago it seems it was hell on earth still.

  15. “. . . leads me to think it’s a sign on a hotel’s concierge station. . . .”
    One of the Starwood brands: Westin, W Hotels, Sheraton, . . .

    (I’ve always thought that ‘Whatever’ is malleable according to mood, with different meanings at different times, the disclaimer being something to point to when convenient.)

  16. *sloshes wine-glass with pinky raised*
    “Whatever” reflects the pre-postmodern exploitist decadence of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie Establishment as expressed through its ultra-right-wing propagandists such as John. Once our century-long plan to undermine Western civilization by ensconcing a secret Marxist Muslim Atheist in the Oval Office pays off, our language will be liberated from the tyranny of capitalism and all workers will rejoice in shucking off the etymological chains of the greedy Zionist nihilists. All hail Marx, Engels and Lucifer! Viva la revolution!!!

    How was that, did I slot neatly into the liberal stereotype?

    #sarcasm (just ‘cause I’m not as deft a satire as I thought I was)

  17. W hotel. The one in San Diego was aiming for achingly hip and just ended up annoying. Nice rooms though. I think there is another W but I’m glad to say I’ve forgotten what it was. They did have a sand floor on the roof bar but it has been remodelled

  18. chris: Oh, I dunno — I thought the one in San Diego had a bit of “unintentionally funny” to go with the “annoying”.

    Then again, this was a large work event being held there, and so my boss was comped one of the grand suites on the top floor. That room, I assure you, was aiming for achingly hip in such a direction that it was hilarious. Especially when we played lowbrow geeky card games in it.

  19. “[Deleted because Scorpius is apparently too stupid to stop digging when he’s made himself a hole. Scorpius, for reasons unrelated to you, I’m in no mood for you poorly justifying your bad assumptions. Go fuck off for a while, please — JS]”

    Hmmm. I’m just admiring the stain left by your mallet. I’ve never actually told anyone to fuck off in my own blog’s infrequent comments, but apparently, whatever corrective measures I did take once caused someone to start a blog entitled, “Judy Linklater is an Asshole.” While, in your case, Scorpius just keeps coming back for additional bludgeoning, albeit at a later date. Is there a double standard, I wonder? Is my corrective action considered more heinous because there is bias against female corrective measures in general? Or do the likes of Scorpius revel in their beatings from you because you are a NYT hardcover bestselling writer? I think I just answered my own question.

  20. I agree that you definately need to get one for your desk. And I know you would never stoop to thievery…no matter how tempting, or how encouraged by others upthread. Do find out whoever makes whatever/whenever, and perhaps they can make a whatever/whyever for you.

  21. Chris – There’s another Dubya Hotel in San Francisco, just across the street from Moscone Center. I don’t remember if the bar is still called XYZ.

  22. Enjoy your stay in Austin, John. I’d love to see if we could meet up, but I’m in New York right now “enjoying” their fall weather. (It’d be pleasant without the high humidity that just barely sometimes tips over into drizzle.)

  23. John, if you find that you like W hotels, I highly recommend the W Hoboken next time you’re in NYC. Your “view from the hotel window” will be of Manhattan across the river through a huge picture window…the best view I have seen in my life, hotel or otherwise (AFAIK all the rooms have the river view, but wouldn’t hurt to ask). The City is easily reached from the ferry/subway terminal a couple blocks away.

  24. John – what scopious is doing is called “projection”. We’ve seen it here before but not so clearly displayed I think.

    Also too plus – I didn’t know there was going to be a test on the reading material. Was that in the syllabus??

  25. also too plus again also – I have Jelly Bean (gad I hope they don’t pay someone to think up that crap) and the site looks as bad as any site on a 4 inch screen. No worse than it use to look the font is readable. Must be some other explanation.

  26. I use an iPhone, so I can’t speak to Driod Phones. But on my tablet I can view the site just fine since I updated it to Jelly Bean, font looks the same and everything.

  27. It’s gotten dribbly this morning, most unfortunately. Austin mornings in October are usually just about nearly perfect weather.

  28. Mrs L: “Is there a double standard, I wonder? Is my corrective action considered more heinous because there is bias against female corrective measures in general? ”

    I know a male writer who had someone start a similar “I hate this author” website against like you’re describing. I think it’s a slightly more diluted form of mentality that causes stalkers to stalk. A slightly weaker form of obsession. I also know a male friend of mine who was stalked by a woman. But statistically, there is a gender bias against women.


    a January 2009 report from the Department of Justice in the United States reports that “Males were as likely to report being stalked by a male as a female offender. 43% of male stalking victims stated that the offender was female, while 41% of male victims stated that the offender was another male. Female victims of stalking were significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67%) rather than a female (24%) offender.”

    i.e. women are more likely to be stalked by men. Men have about an equal chance to be stalked by another man or a woman.

    Tjaden and Thoennes reported a lifetime prevalence (being stalked) of 8% in women and 2% in males (depending on how strict the definition)

    Another report here:


    During the study period, females experienced 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 or older. The rate of stalking victimization for males was approximately 7 per 1,000 males age 18 or older. Males and females were equally likely to experience harassment

    So, women are more likely to be the victim of stalking then men. Harrassment seems to be split more evenly by gender.

  29. Mrs. L:

    “Is there a double standard, I wonder?”

    Possibly, although people have left here in a huff to post “John Scalzi is an asshole” entries on their own sites as well.

    I think Scorpius (and other people here I have malleted) come back because I let them come back, and because they like coming back. I don’t know if there’s much more to be read into it than that.

  30. Whatever, whenever, we’re meant to blog together
    I’ll be grading hate mail here, and that’s the deal, my dear
    Read over, post under, you’ll never have to blunder
    We can always “Big Idea” and that’s the deal, my dear…

  31. >> If it’s not obvious, then, well. I don’t know what to tell you. <<
    As someone who is stuck behind an image-blocking firewall, I have to say that it is NOT obvious! Does WordPress support alt tag functionality for images? :-)

  32. Once again the hat triumphs over the hen. Does this have something to with Neil Gaiman’s hat?

  33. Ruby’s has okay BBQ, but not the best in Austin. Now, if you’re up for catfish, the best is at Catfish Parlour.

  34. Welcome to Austin. Ruby’s is NOT the best bbq in town, but it’s pretty good if you don’t want to get out of the city limits. If you have some spare time in the evening and want to indulge, I highly recommend trying Gourdoughs Speciality Donuts on south 1st street. They’re not just for breakfast, and you won’t believe your tastebuds

  35. As usual, the comments here are as entertaining [even useful] as Scalzi’s entries.
    Thanks Greg for your interesting assembly of statistics — I believe my stalker was a woman and after a burst of outrage, she melted away, no doubt because I blocked her.

    John — how generous of you to let people return. I freaked. At least in this place, people like Scorpius, while insufferably irritating, can write compound sentences and spell.

  36. One day for $5, I found a pretty wooden carving, about 2 feet wide, that says: WHENEVER. Which I keep on my desk , since it tends to represent my relatinoship with my deadlines…

  37. Jim’s inner blonde says, “I don’t get it.” And then Jim’s inner bully slapped her, ‘cuz let’s face it, she had it coming.

    Don’t look at me like that. These voices are in MY head. I’ll do whatever I want with them. (Goes back to stabbing his inner kitten.)

  38. Seems like it would be more useful if the “whenever” went the opposite direction, so you could flip the sign to display whichever word applied to your mood at the time… but I like it!