I’d like to thank everyone who wrote in alerting me to I Blame the Patriarchy’s having been namechecked in the New York Review of Books. I got the word while on some grim business up in North Dallas. Naturally I was interested to see upon which of my blogular morsels the reigning English-language guardians of complex sentence structure and long-winded librophiliac smartyness could possibly have fixated, so I set out on the quest. However it was a struggle, in that cultural morass, finding a copy of the publication in question.
“You mean the New York Times Book Review?” they asked me at Barnes & Noble.
“No, I mean the New York Review of —”
“Because we can get you the New York Times Book Review.”
“Thank you, but that wouldn’t be quite the same th—”
“Let me ask Pete.”
By this time there were two Barnes & Noblians working on my case. One of them got on the blower with the mysterious Pete, who after a short exchange, passed the pronouncement. Nugatory. No New York Review of Books. The Barnes & Noblians eyed me narrowly. Obviously I was just making shit up.
“It’s a fairly well-known publication,” I said defensively, “among people who read books.”
I shuffled off into the horizon with a haughty sniff. These strip mall philistines couldn’t know what rarefied aether that I, a writer featured in the exalted New York Review of Books, was currently breathing.
I never did dig up a print copy of the magazine. When I got home I looked it up online. It turns out that the fraction of my genius upon which the New York Review of Books had seen fit to seize was limited to my views on — what else? — fellatio (remember the Great Blow Job Wars of ’06?). I am quoted as referring to the practice as “gross,” ha ha. In a longer quotation ascribed to “the feminist in Texas who writes I Blame the Patriarchy,” the author actually inserts an ellipsis. Lard help me, it’s a four-pointer! Jesus Huckleberry Christ.
The New York Review of Books piece, concisely entitled “Blogs,” is by Sarah Boxer, an editor with whom I exchanged several emails during the pre-publication phase of her book Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web (Vintage, 2008). The piece begins with this line: “Two years ago, I was given a dreadful idea for a book: create an anthology of blogs.”
That she would eventually choose, presumably because of their wild-webbiness, to anthologize several of my most asinine posts concerned me not a bit, since I was certain that far fewer people would ever actually read this lame-sounding book than had already read the actual essays. But I had not grasped the degree of condescension with which Ms Boxer viewed her task as editor of this work. It saddens me that ‘real’ writers, by which I mean the academic henchmen of the status quo, view their clunky, musty old literary culture as more legitimate than the contemporaneous, convention-flouting exhilaration exhibited by the outlaw blogger.
Because, you know, lately practically all books fucking suck.