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All About 'The Chair'

UPDATE March 3, 2013: "The Chair" is now closed, hopefully not permanently.  Our readership has gone down for some reason and most of our contributors have lost interest in writing.  Sometimes when you discover that fewer than 20 people read your work, there is really no point anymore to blog. We decided to find our venues for our writing. Thank you for all our readers.  You can still access all of our past articles.  

Here's to resurrection!

The Chair,” which is short for “I Sit on Dottie Parker’s Chair” was established on April 12, 2010. 

As some of you may know, Dorothy “Dottie” Parker was an American critic, poet and satirist. She was one of the founding members of the so-called “vicious circle,” also known as the Algonquin Round Table.  She was best known for her wit, wisecracks and eye for the 20th century urban foibles.(1) One of her best known quips was the one she said about Katherine Hepburn’s performance in the play “The Lake.”  Parker said that Miss Hepburn “ran the gamut of emotions from A to B."  You should also watch Jennifer Jason Leigh’s brilliant portrayal of Mrs. Parker in Alan Rudolph’s “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.”

“The Chair” was originally just a page from my old poetry blog.  I was relatively free in 2010 after resigning from my position as the “Boss Who Bought the Devil’s Prada.”   I decided to write what was going on in my twisted head. I needed a venue in which I can practice my newly-awakened sardonicism and pour my vinegary words. In its first seven months, "The Chair" received less than three visitors a month. One of those visitors was me.  Little did I know that this pre-conceived doomed project would become more popular than its slowly dying literary parent. This blog may turn out to be my last boat to fame or perhaps in the future, notoriety. Both of which, I am not seeking if you could believe that.

In December 2010, by some ironic twist of fate, there was a deluge.  On December 19, I had seventy-two visitors and from then on, everything went up hill.  I think it was perfect timing.  I just decided to quit smoking and started the “Smoker’s Diary” series.  I also reviewed some of the entries in the last 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival and everything snowballed from there. (Yes, I know there’s no snow in the Philippines and so the word “snowballed” is so colonial.  The use of that word is intentionally sardonic.) 

Finally, this blog is not a solo effort though.  I do have my own select group of eccentric characters in my very own vicious circle, now called "The Movable Circle."  Unlike Mrs. Parker’s circle though, my members are very adamant in remaining anonymous. Moreover, not all of them are present at my round table.  During our many round table conversations, I ask them various questions and they dump their ideas on me like a horny Victorian character dying to burst, if you know what I mean.

Thank you so much dear readers. You have kept this blog alive.  You are now the reason that I blog. Really.

Sardonically yours,

Our founder: The focus is on the issues not the person

I often get this question. What’s the difference between being sarcastic and being sardonic?  Do you remember that episode from the TV show “Monk” when Monk’s brother said, “I wasn’t being sarcastic; I was being sardonic.”

In a nutshell, you are being sarcastic if you intentionally mock a person to hurt him and to amuse others who may be listening. You are being sardonic if you intentionally mock yourself for the sole purpose of amusing others, and there’s a possibility that what you say is untrue.  But only a possibility…
Life is a sardonic ride. Hop on and enjoy the thrill. There’s no use griping, whining and moaning. The only time you’re wasting is yours. There will always be someone more beautiful than you, more talented than you, richer than you, luckier than you, taller than you, thinner than you, more famous than you, more notorious than you. If you want to be the best b****, stand in line next to Lucifer, he’s still trying to beat God. And God is the biggest b****, in the best possible sense of the word, of course.

(1) "Dorothy Parker," 2011, (accessed March 13, 2011).

Mrs. Parker and members of the Algonquin Round Table.
Taken from Wikimedia Commons. Photos are part of Public Domain

Rob San Miguel is a freelance writer and English instructor. He took up Master of Arts in Comparative Literature in the University of the Philippines. He studied Film Criticism with the "Missing Artist" with a martini on one hand and a cigarette on the other.