Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Lo, for he shall not prove productive at the keyboard, so sayeth the Lord, for Bookfraud hath turned his back on his embrace of the Lord (of Writing) by incessant worship of the false gods of television and Sudoku, and it will be with a mighty hand that I shall deliver literary plagues upon his house. Bookfraud shall never publish, lo, for he hath been lazy under the guise of Baby taking up all his time.

Go forth, ye Bookfraud, and face the woe that has befallen your wicked house. For thou shall reap what thou has sowed, and yea, let word of your sloth spread forth throughout the world, and you shall be marked with “666,” the Number of the Beast, which also happens to be the total number of words you have written in the past year.

No, my Lord, forgive me, for I have seen the light. I have been saved. All because of Tina Brown.

Brown is no savior, but she is an inspiration. For I have been despairing that I would never be productive again -- not that I would never write, but what emerged from my word processor would be unintelligible, unreadable slop. (Even worse than what I normally write.)

It’s been a rough couple of months. I can blame Baby and the intermittent sleep he bestows upon me. I can blame diaper duty, burping duty, clean up the spit duty. I can blame my job and the commute. There’s a lot of stuff I can blame.

There are some who might argue this would be no change, but having read reviews of Brown’s new “book,” I feel better. If Tina Brown can get her whaleturd of a book published, I have hope.

Not that I’ve actually read Brown’s account of Princess Diana and her days in (and out of) Buckingham Palace. Not that I actually intend to buy it. Not that I intend to even pick it up at Borders and run to the bathroom to wash my hands.

Tina Brown: Literary necrophiliac

It’s that I canceled The New Yorker and because of Diana — or, rather, Tina Brown and Diana.

When the Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident, the last place I had expected her to appear was in The New Yorker, that bastion of sophistication, wit, and great writers and reporters. But there she was, a drawing of the unfortunate un-Royal on the cover.

Inside, the accompanying story started (to the effect) “The last time I saw Diana, she was wearing a lime-green outfit with chiffon stuff...”

Of course, the author was New Yorker editor and all-around starfucker Tina Brown.

The same day I received that issue, I canceled my subscription.

Brown had taken the helm of the creaky old magazine a few years earlier, and injected some life into it with celebrity reportage and other types of features that really had no business being in The New Yorker. She did some good things, no doubt, notably getting rid of the deadwood in the place who hadn’t written for (sometimes) decades, and no longer paying for pieces by the word, which would result in 30,000-word stories about pothole repair or canned tuna.

But Brown generally ruined the magazine for me, and the Diana cover was the last straw. It wasn’t until David Remnick (he of the amazing access and pen) that I started reading it again.

Now, a decade later, Brown has a book on Diana that has definite “buzz” but is about as appealing to me as eating ketchup-drenched olives.

Angry (self-appointed) God

But she has inspired me, lo, for I hath written my first blog entry in a fortnight, and it was good.

It is quite stunning what will get a writer going. Anger and jealously are often near the top of the list -- such fetid emotions have actually produced great works of art.

I can’t say that I’m angry at Tina Brown, or even jealous of her publishing a book of
dubious achievement
and subject matter. (Honestly, given her connections, she could have crapped on some typing paper and found someone to publish it).

Whatever motivates me to write, I will take it, so long as it doesn’t involve Madonna or Dick Cheney.

And the Lord said, “Yea, Bookfraud, for now you are of the righteous. You have obeyed me and have been washed of your sins. Be fruitful and multiply your blog entries.”

And the Lord also said, “I read your last piece on your inability to write. I command thee: for God’s sakes, stop writing about yourself.”