After the introduction of our newest writer, Laura Burstein, yesterday, some of our readers mentioned that they were confused about hearing that she's the first female to enter the formerly all-male Jalopnik clubhouse. "But... but... like, isn't Murilee a gurl?" they stammered, oblivious to every one of my hundreds of attempts to set the record straight on the matter since I made the jump from commenter to contributor back in February. So, to quote Mr. Henrietta Collins: We'll leave nothing to your imagination this time. We tried that last time and, in our opinion, uh, it didn't work...
The deal is, Murilee is a made-up name! It sorta sounds like a girl's name, but it's actually a randomly selected group of three syllables. Wishing to emulate bands like Negativland and Psychic TV, and under the influence of the Cut-Up Technique, the name of the crypto-nihilo-surrealo band I put together in my early 20s was generated by drawing random syllables out of a hat, thus: Murilee Arraiac.
Then, years later, when my dot-com employer imploded and I needed money, I got talked into cranking out a smut novel (with all sorts of Project Car Hell-esque vehicular references, not to mention a 10-foot-tall electro-sodomizing Richard Nixon robot) for British purveyers of pervdom, Nexus Books. Naturally, Murilee Arraiac was the pseudonym I chose to use... but Nexus'
cowardly suits marketing managers nixed the unpronounceable surname. My editor, knowing I'd straight-up ripped off the novel's style from James Ellroy, suggested I use the name Martin instead of Arraiac, after the serial-killer character Martin Plunkett in Ellroy's Killer On The Road. There you have it: Murilee Martin! Not trying to fool you into thinking I'm a member of The Other Team, folks! I'm a man! Not only that, I'm a burly, hairy, sweaty, balding man who doesn't worry about butt-crack exposure when bending over an engine compartment with a Mickey's Big Mouth in one hand and a wrench in the other, so those of you who acknowledge that I'm not female, yet are still clinging to the hope that I'm a lithe young catamite, are just plain SOL. OK? Good!
So, as part of my plan to forever banish any lingering traces of gender uncertainty that may hover around my Murilee Martin persona, I present Mr. McKinley Morganfield and his declaration of XY chromosomehood.
But maybe Muddy Waters just can't get through to you, for whatever incomprehensible reason. For you, we have some British Invasion lads who will reiterate my point:
And for those of you who still aren't convinced, here I am mixing stripes and plaids, sporting a vast unemployment-ensuring beard, and brandishing a high-powered semiautomatic rifle! Hell yeah! I'm a man! Hold on while I go leave the toilet seat up!
And, just so you don't go thinking your Left Coast Jalops are a bunch of dishwater-weak parlor pinks, here's the Loverman doing the facial-hair-and-firearms thing as well. See, what's the point of the Second Amendment if you're not willing to use it to protect the First, Fourth, and Fifth? Cold, dead fingers, baby.