Friday, October 06, 2006

Writers on the Radio

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.


Alan Lastufka said...

On the other end of things, check out this interview with 'rebel bookseller' Andrew Laties:

Not only is he energetic, I think he does a great job at boiling down his 320 page book into 3 minutes of chit-chat. Something that's not always easy to do.

His was the first book I added to my distro because I was really inspired by his work and life.

King Wenclas said...

Thanks. Good balance.

King Wenclas said...

p.s. Got your zine, Alan. Good stuff.

Alan Lastufka said...

Thanks King, glad you enjoyed it. Thought it might be fun to include alittle content with our catalog, helps it to stand out from the piles of other catalogs with nothing but ads and descriptions in them...