Monday, December 18, 2006


Hey everyone, after renting a UHaul in Philly (note to future movers: Philly rentals are MUCH cheaper than NYC/NY/NJ prices), driving it back to Jersey City, loading all our shit, taking off around 8pm last night (after a final coffee/tearfest with my Russian landlords/adopted family), and heavy rain and fog in PA, Brad and I have finally made it to Iowa City. We are currently getting drunk on champagne, sitting in front of Mom's lovely Christmas tree, trying to pound it into our skulls that we aren't actually going back to our jobs after the holidays. Oh, we're also reading the internet (Judith Regan got fired! My old publishing habits die hard), which constitutes "alone time" after 18 hours in the car together. Kevin, by the way, came through with flying colors. The truck was big enough that she got to sit bitch in her cage, up front with us. After a couple of hours of paralyzed quaking, she chilled out and is now officially a car bunny. She'll be happy to know that we have a new (old) car!--a very adult-looking burgundy Honda of some model I have yet to determine, in the dark.

The stars are amazing. It's quiet. Happy to be home. Officially moving in tomorrow. Talk to you all soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why ________ Aren't Funny

So, of course everyone’s all pissed off about the Christopher Hitchens article in Vanity Fair this month. It’s called “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” and it’s basically about, um, why women aren’t funny. But here’s the thing: Explaining how and why someone (or some group of ones) isn’t funny is also not, in itself, funny and therefore difficult to credit. It’s kind of like being told you’re out of shape by Orson Welles. Also, I suspect that you could probably take the word “women” out of the title of the article and substitute it with practically any other group of people in the entire world and come up with a similar thesis. Let’s try it out!

Why the British Aren’t Funny

Be your national identity what it may, you will certainly have heard at some point about the legendary wit of the British. “They’re so off-color!” your friends may say after having watched The Life of Brian, stoned, for the forty-third time since eighth grade. “The British are sardonic and wacky!”

But I want you to shine the flashlight of truth deep down into the guts of your soul and try to remember the last time you really, actually thought something a British person said was funny. You can’t, can you? The Ab Fabs--Patsy and Edina--are all plastic-surgery jokes and fake cocaine. One can’t help but equate Hugh Laurie’s tired, desiccated one-liners on House with the fact that his head-skin seems to be shrinking onto his skull, mummy-like, with each passing episode.

And does any American who’s ever read P.G. Wodehouse actually think he’s funny? Or are we just afraid of looking like we didn’t get the joke?

Even the original British TV show The Office has been outdone by the American version. What could be funnier than watching Dwight Schrute drive Michael’s car into a telephone pole, stagger out, and concussively vomit on the back windshield? Sorry, Ricky Gervais, the answer is: Nothing.

Admit it. The last time you sincerely laughed at something British was the first time you saw The Holy Grail, or possibly People magazine’s unveiling of Elton John’s latest hairpiece. Even Princess Di jokes don’t make anyone laugh; not because we feel bad about her untimely and tragic death, but just because there has always been something so inherently unlaughable about every single member of Britain’s aristocracy and/or ruling party. Unlike our beloved bumblers in the White House, the Royals and members of Parliament are just not funny. Dick Cheney shot some guy in the face, for crying out loud!

I would almost allow for Sacha Baron Cohen, except for the fact that there is nothing even remotely amusing about hearing his signature Borat or Ali G lines recited incessantly by annoying coworkers and frat boys in cube farms and Irish pubs across America.

Here are some more examples to illustrate my point:

Tony Blair: Not funny.

Soccer hooligans: Not funny.

Jack the Ripper: Not funny.

Earl Grey tea: Not funny.

Colonialism: Not funny.

Hedgehogs: Okay, kind of funny.

Oliver Cromwell: Not funny.

Boddington’s Ale: Not funny.

The Sex Pistols: Not funny.

Stonehenge: Not funny.

Roses: Not funny.

Big Ben: Not funny.

Christopher Hitchens: Not funny.

See what I mean?

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Did It.

I'm finally cool.

Does this balance out the fact that my going away party is on the embarrassingly lame Saturday night?

No, it's simply proof that I will never be able to afford to live in Jersey City again. It's been a swell five years. Welcome trustafarians, hipsters and grups!

P.S. Come to my party if you want to live! (Saturday, December 9, 7:30 The Magician, 118 Rivington at Essex)