Speaking of being only a little funny, Lileks today proves that like many people on the right (I think specifically of Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly), he is capable of the massively hypocritical lack of self-knowledge necessary to rip someone a new asshole for doing something you yourself do on an almost-constant basis. His target today is bland Los Angeles Dog Trainer humorist Joel Stein, who had the bad taste to write a column in which he let some of his private opinions about the war seep into the yuks. Ha ha! Good thing Lileks never does that! Anyway, here's the lead-in:
Some people tell me to read such and such, guaranteeing I will sunder my abdominal walls with convulsive mirth, but it often turns out to be that curious sort of humorous writing that’s never actually funny. It has the structure and appearance of humor, but it’s a honeycomb without honey. Having judged a few humorous writing contests, I can attest that this sort of stylist is common in the small-town weeklies. They don’t often make it up to the majors. It’s truly rare for a C-grade humorist to fail upwards nowadays, moving one from national gig to the other, making a series of sweaty attempts to connect with an audience that has no clear idea why this oddly charmless fellow has been given another gilt-edged soapbox. But it happens.
I would sure love to give Jim-Jam the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he knows exactly who this bitchy spitball at Stein is going to put a lot of writers in mind of. Anyway, he goes on to say:
Picking on an average Joel Stein column is like arranging your old Powerball tickets in chronological order; it’s something to do, but the effort seems misplaced.
Here Jimmy has stopped talking about himself while talking about Joel Stein, and is now talking specifically about me. My obsession with Lileks in this space is nothing if not a collated, sorted and numerically cross-referenced collection of losing lottery tickets. He concludes:
A tip for Mr. Stein from someone who also does the self-deprecation-via-self-aggrandizment schtick: The goal is to make yourself appear endearingly clueless.
Good tip, James! Physician heal thyself! Good luck with no fuckin' head.
Today should be a fun, if exhausting, day. When I leave work, I have not one, not two, but THREE interviews for various freelance gigs: I'm doing a face-to-face with Anna Fermin (of Trigger Gospel pseudo-fame), and then two phoners with (first) Brian Weitz, a.k.a. Geologist, of Animal Collective, and then one of my hip-hop heroes, DJ Stretch Armstrong. Let's hope I don't get sonned...interviewing Stretch will be not unlike talking to Sam Phillips, at least from where my fat ass sits. Wish me luck. And also pizza.