Q: Who is Orson Swindle?
Orson Swindle is a real goddamn American hero, that's who he is, tulip. His full bio's here, but all you need to know is that he flew jets in the Marines during Vietnam, spent six years and four months in the custody of the North Vietnamese government, worked for the Department of Agriculture, and was the commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, and is still alive, kicking, and splitting time between Honolulu and Washington, D.C.
Q: Then...um...does he write this blog?
NO. NO. NO. The blog is written under the pen name Orson Swindle by Spencer Hall, who didn't even realize Orson Swindle was still alive when he started it, and has not spent any time under the supervision of the North Vietnamese government or as head of any serious organization. If Spencer Hall were put in charge of an organization, he's name a horse as consul and have the place in flames in a matter of hours.
Q: They why use the name?
I've used it for years in a number of nefarious ways. Orson Swindle first came to me on C-SPAN in 1992, speaking on camera as "Director of Communications, Orson Swindle." This struck me as being the most awesome collision of title and given name I'd ever seen, and I used to sign in at hotels and then ultimately as an internet moniker.
I have a job, and a life outside of the blog. Or used to have, at least, until I willingly surrendered it to Girdon, the one eyed bullfrog-god of college football.
Q: Does the real Orson Swindle know, then?
Yes, he does. He told us to be careful how we use the name, and we try to honor that. You'll notice that political speak of any sort really isn't allowed on the blog, and that's one reason. We've also never claimed to be him, which should be obvious to anyone reading the content--do you really think the true Orson owns an XBox 360? He might, being a badass and all, but we doubt it.
Q: Then why use the name?
It's an internet tradition, no? Wonkette is Ana Marie Cox when she writes for wonkette.com;
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga is the Daily Kos; and many, many other people stroll the internets daily calling themselves everything from "Allahver Fist" to "Pat Dye's Liver." It's a masqued ball, and we're the ones excusing ourselves from the waltzing to go sip a vodka tonic and watch the game over in the parlor.
Ditto for the use of the royal "we." Like most things on the blog, it's a joke carried too far.
Q: Then who the hell are you, then?
Spencer Hall. Born in 1976. Watched entirely too many cartoons as a child, including Star Blazers, which was the best moral education a young person can get. Lived in Franklin, TN, suburban Atlanta, and Pinellas County, Florida as a young, dependent person. Graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in English. Lived in Taiwan and traveled through Asia before settling in Atlanta, GA. Got a Masters in International Affairs from Georgia Tech. Has college football problem.
Spencer Hall used in "the international community," a loving, peaceful place where everyone gets along and flowers bloom from gun barrels. Oh, wait, that's Portland, Oregon. Sorry--rewrite: we work in "the international community," where most people will do everything short of winging landmines covered in flaming napalm at each other to kill people they don't like for murky, arbitrary reasons.
He now works full time for SBNation and EDSBS.
Q: Is that it?
Yes. If you care to know anything else, email me, and I'm happy to answer questions. Otherwise, this is the internet. Put on a mask and get to waltzing.
Q: Do you have a picture?
Q: Wow. Going for a Hunter S. Thompson look there, right?
No. It was the Tennessee '07 game, a 3:30 kickoff, and hot as Satan's earlobes out there. I don't wear baseball caps for spiritual reasons, and a bucket hat made the most sense. The shirt's a gift, too, as I wouldn't spend a hundred dollars on anything that didn't beep, whirr, or help me blow virtual things up in style.
I plead guilty to ventilating the chest carpet, though. That's all me, and in that photo, that's a felony count of fur exposure.
Q: Do you like cookies?
Of course I like cookies. Except Danish Wedding Cookies. Those things tumble through your gut like boulders rolling downhill. Danes know nothing about cookies, decisive murder, or the power of positive thinking. They did give the world Tycho Brahe, who had a silver nose, which is something to be proud of, indeed.