I had the misfortune to catch snatches of John Hodgman being interviewed on a local radio show yesterday. A few weeks ago I heard Jonathan Franzen interviewed by Terri Gross on PBS.
Both men represent everything wrong with established literature. Their interviews verified this.
What would a non-literary person think about hearing Franzen taking large gulps of air, like a flailing fish, while attempting to put his jigsawed thoughts into one piece; a mish-mash of foggy-glassed confusion over the trivialities of a gentrified life? Few signs of intelligence-- much less energy, passion, or purpose of a kind to pull listeners like me away from sports radio. It was more a chapter of a Terri Gross therapy encounter.
Hodgman on the radio is worse. The smugness of an empty-brained apple polisher substituting "cute" for "smart" and getting away with it. During the part I listened to, he took shots at "anarchists" and dismissed the idea of a homeless writer. "How can someone be homeless and still have e-mail?"
Newsflash, Sherlock: Every day scores of homeless people use the Internet on computers at the Philadelphia Free Library, the very place where yesterday you were scheduled to read! No wonder you wrote a book about nonsense. Unlike said homeless writers (several ULAers at various times have been homeless), you clearly know little about this society-- which leaves you with nothing to write about except childish made-up stuff which appeals to intellectual five year-olds.
Apt that this smarmy poser is one of today's most prominent literary figures.