How David Shapiro, Creator of Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, Does Money

David Shapiro is the pen name of a writer who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. He then wrote a novel (You’re Not Much Use to Anyone, out now) about a character named David who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. We talked about his career and his money.

What do you do?

I work as a summer associate at a white-shoe law firm. I hope to get an offer to come back to my firm after I graduate law school next year, meaning I would start full-time around September, 2015. I also write a little bit at The Wall Street Journal (in the paper) and The New Yorker (online). And I also wrote this book, obviously, the reason we’re here.

What does white-shoe mean?

It generally refers to old, large, well-respected law firms. Like, my firm has about 1,000 lawyers. It’s peculiar—in America, in general, the biggest corporations are the best at one particular thing. ExxonMobil is the biggest/best at producing oil and gas. Pfizer is the biggest/best at making pharmaceuticals. In other parts of the world, it’s different—Samsung, the biggest/best corporation in South Korea, makes toilet seats, phones, coffee machines, cars. They own an amusement park. In May, when the CEO of Samsung had a heart attack, they took him to Samsung Hospital. But law firms in America, the biggest ones (which are generally the best ones), can provide any kind of legal service that you need—much closer to the Samsung model than the Pfizer model.

So that’s what I do, this summer. I work in the private equity group.

Is your real name David Shapiro?

No. My legal name isn’t David Shapiro. I’m a lawyer and law student under my legal name, and I write under the name David Shapiro. I picked it because it’s like the John Smith of Jewish names. It’s hard to Google. I wanted to separate my writing life from my legal life because when I was 22, me and my friend wrote a Village Voice story about heroin dealer/addicts and I thought no employer would ever hire me if they knew I had spent time with heroin addicts. That seems naive now (I didn’t actually do the heroin with them), but I felt paranoid about it then.

But being David Shapiro has some definite upsides—someone on Tumblr the other day reblogged my post announcing my book, and he said, “I’m so psyched about this book, I loved his scholarship on the Shakespeare author debate, I’m definitely going to order this,” and I was like, “Sick!” There is David Shapiro the poet, David Shapiro the party photographer, there was a David Shapiro in the index of my constitutional law textbook.

My publisher was not excited that I had chosen this name because it does indeed make my work very difficult to find through Google, which makes the marketing department’s job harder. I used David Shapiro, Jr. for a while, which is the opposite of David Shapiro, because among Jews, it’s untoward to name someone after a living person, so there are almost no David Shapiro’s, Jr. There is one, actually—I think he is about 14 and he may or may not have frosted tips [in his hair]. But then I switched back because it sounded really stupid. So now I’m David Shapiro again.

No But Really, Do 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

I just made myself open a piece of certified mail from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Did I want to? No. Was it kind of painful and scary? Yes. Was I inspired by the blue skies and sunshine? Sure. Appparentttllyyyyyyyy if I am reading these 5000 pieces of paper correctly, I owe the state $480 and they are prepared to take it from my paychecks if I don’t start paying them back. CALM DOWN NEW YORK STATE, I’M ON IT. Anyway, calling them now.

1 Thing Is Gonna Melt All This Stuff

1 thing 2 do.

Driver Roll Up the Partition Please Don’t Need You Seeing Yonce Doing 1 Thing

1 thing 2 do.

You Ask Me, 1 Thing Is Winning

1 thing 2 do.

Let 1 Thing Go

1 thing 2 do.

The Most Effective Product Placement in True Detective

True detective.

I Don’t Sleep I Just Dream of 1 Thing

1 thing 2 do.

A Brief Chat with a Person With Tax Season Affective Disorder

Vanessa hates taxes.

A Chat With a Woman Fielding Four Job Offers (Our Hero)

What’s it like to get a bunch of job offers?

Time Is a Flat Circle Every 1 Thing We’ve Ever Done or Will Do We’re Gonna Do Over and Over and Over Again

1 thing 2 do.

Should You Apply for That Job?

Yes apply for that job.