Monthly Archives: April 2008

Bissinger vs. Blogs

I finally caught the Bob Costas sports media special tonight- the first half of it, anyway- and oh lord! I knew Buzz Bissinger was eccentric, but had no idea he was completely crazy:

Thoughts: I renew my usual objection to any sort of 100 percent generalizations of big media as a whole, or blogging as a whole. Something isn’t stupid just because it’s on a blog, nor is it genius.
Similarly, Bissinger doesn’t sound like he’s, you know, spent much time on blogs, and therefore has no idea what he’s talking about. Loud, ignorant and profane is no way to go through life, son.
In all, though, what I’ve seen of the special so far was top-notch; Michael Strahan telling off that idiot Chris Russo was especially a highlight. More on this later.

Strausbaugh Speaks

I pointed out last week how odd it was that New York Press put out a 20th anniversary issue that, on the front cover, included the names of several prominent former writers for the paper, which would seem to imply that they had in fact contributed to the issue. The paper’s former editor, John Strausbaugh, noticed too, and he wasn’t as nice as I was:

I have not been, and would not be, associated with the New York Press since the pigfuckers who bought it from Russ Smith unceremoniously canned me, via a phone call from a flunky, two days before Christmas 2002. Merry Xmas, Mr. Strausbaugh, and rots a ruck. So I was surprised to see my name on the cover of the 20th Anniversary issue (April 23-28). The roll call of fallen heroes on the cover clearly suggests we all had something to do with this issue, when obviously most of us did not, and a lot of us definitely would not… Armonds having written half the issue notwithstanding, the pretense that theres an unbroken timeline connecting the original New York Press to the current version is misleading and disingenuous at best. Using my name to front for this fantasy was, unintentionally Im sure, kind of an insult.

A New Fox News Low Point

Bill pointed this out, and I’ve been laughing about it since this morning:

I don’t know what’s worse: that they questioned whether they could find “video” of an event that took place in the 1850s, or that they couldn’t tell the difference between Stephen Douglas and Frederick Douglass. It’s pretty embarrassing when a joke about “messing around with an intern” is the third-worst moment in a 25-second clip.

Book Addiction: It’s Real!

From Cracked’s list of “6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get Addicted To,” here’s a disorder I think I may have:

When you hear there’s such a thing as book addiction, you figure, hell, it’d be rad to be addicted to the Western literary canon. You’d be so quick with quips and quotes at dinner parties you could wear a damned monocle and nobody would dare call you on it.
The horrifying reality:
The most prominent modern bibiliomaniac was Stephen Carrie Blumberg. From 1974 to 1990, this bookish chap raided the archives of about 185 North American universities. When the FBI finally raided his Ottumwa, Iowa home, the feds discovered 28,000 stolen books and manuscripts he had been compulsively hoarding.
Bibliomaniacs like him don’t necessarily read their books or even collect valuable ones. They just collect them out of a compulsive need to have a fuckload of books. So you could be a bibliomaniac while remaining completely illiterate, though you could build a kick-ass fort.

I’m not THAT bad, I’ve never stolen books, and unlike Philadelphia politician Mark Cohen, I’ve never charged the taxpayers $28,000 over two years just in books. And I don’t think my wife would enjoy it if I built a fort in my office.

Little Journalists

Anyone else watching this reality show “The Paper” on MTV? It’s really something- the day-to-day goings-on of a high school newspaper staff in Florida. My favorite parts are that the editor in chief, Amanda, is a complete lunatic who is totally oblivious that the rest of the staff hates her, and that it appears all of the males on the staff are gay. Yet so far, we haven’t seen them do any actual journalism at all. In all, it’s much more interesting then a show about my high school’s newspaper would’ve been.

Farewell, MZS

I was sorry to see this week that Matt Zoller Seitz, one of my favorite film critics for nearly ten years, is getting out of the film writing business. I read MZS for years in New York Press, before he left a few years ago and started the excellent criticism site The House Next Door. Seitz directed an excellent small film a couple of years ago called “Home,” which is worth checking out, and supposedly he’s going to be going into filmmaking full time.