A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing DC’s most prolific blog commenter – Monkeyrotica. Anyone who is a regular reader of DCist or many of DC neighborhood blogs will surely be familiar with this nom de plume. He was even featured in the City Paper’s mock lawsuit against City Paper readers. Those who are familiar with his comments will know that he is iconoclastic and irreverent to say the least. Based on his comments I was fairly certain I was going to meet someone from the fringes of society. I couldn’t have been more wrong. You know most people think that prolific blog commenters live in their mother’s basements and haven’t had a date or any social interaction in years. Well with Monkeyrotica this couldn’t be further from the truth. When I entered Duffy’s for the interview I spotted an all American family and slapped my face a few times in disbelief. Who would’ve guessed? Monkeyrotica is a family man!
I actually found Monkeyrotica through his wife’s blog, Nylonthread. Pictured above are Monkeyrotica, 41, his wife Nylonthread, 38, daughter Rosie, 6, and son Dash, 3. Ed. note: I have to add that throughout the entire interview I was regaled by Dash’s recollections of recent movies he had seen, particularly the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His knowledge was amazing.
Monkeyrotica is a lifelong DC area resident. He has lived in Capitol Hill, Mt. Pleasant, and Shaw though since 2003 the family has lived in Alexandria, VA. He explained his love/hate relationship with DC as such: “I love the city but she’s expensive and needs to clean her shit up, but you know she never will, but you still love her even if you want to punch her in the face from time to time.” Did I mention that some people find him offensive?
For his day job Monkeyrotica is an editor for a government agency. He explained that he has a “really boring job with a lot of downtime” and he frequently comments on blogs during this downtime because he finds it “essential to exercise my brain”.
Monkeyrotica originally started commenting on the blog plastic.com but started commenting on DCist shortly after it was founded. For DCist readers – his icon is from the “Church of the Subgenius” which basically “makes fun of cults.” In all the time he has been commenting on DCist he has only had one comment taken down. About that comment he explains, “I thought it was a positive way of poking fun at menopausal women”. Let me just take a moment to say while his sense of humor may be offensive to some, the dude really is hilarious. He delivers most of his answers in an absolutely deadpan manner.
In addition to his commenting, Monkeyrotica, an English major in college, also writes fiction that can be found here at monkeyrotica.com and here at feedbooks.com. However, the amount of his writing has decreased significantly since he had children. Another random fact about Mr. Monkeyrotica is that he is an accomplished cook according to his wife. He has three Webber smokers and is pining for a fourth.
I asked him why he doesn’t just start a blog of his own. His response was simple, “Why? I get to read blogs and write on blogs where I’m worshiped like a God by urban hiptards”. I don’t think the written word does justice to how funny this response was, because the secret that Monkeyrotica probably doesn’t want you to know is that, despite his often crass comments, he is really a nice guy. And he really is admired by many. His wife relayed a story of how he was at a party with one of the Washington Post’s going out gurus and a woman at the party was far more excited to find out that Monkeyrotica was also in attendance.
Monkeyrotica cuts in and says very seriously, apropos of nothing, “you know what I’m afraid of?” He answers “I’m afraid of white people and particularly tourists who stink of bengay and failure”.
It is comments like that that have made him a near legend in the DC blogosphere. And comments like these allow many people with lots of “downtime” at work to get through their days without going crazy.
At the conclusion of the interview, he says to me, “Everything I just told you in the last hour was a lie. I’m really a homosexual contortionist.”
And that my friends is Monkeyrotica in a nutshell – irreverent, family man, iconoclast, and most importantly for the DC blogosphere – very very funny.