Righteous: me and God. Or at least me.

I have this really antagonistic relationship with blogs. For a minute there, I had stopped thinking about them, I had stopped writing in them, and I had stopped reading them. I didn’t feel any better, per se. But at the same time, I didn’t really need them.

Then, two dumbasses whom I like to entertain had to be like, “hey, why don’t you blog more.” Then I was like, hey, why don’t I drink? Then I was like, well shit, I always drink, I might as well blog. And here I am.

I am, by definition, not a good blogger. I don’t have an investigative mindset. I’m a curious conglomerator of information, but not at all a good purveyor of information. On any given day, with an hour or two to spare, I can give you 1,000 words on how shit is fucked up and why I’m pretty miserable. But it’s 1,000 words that any sane, sensical person with any priority at all wouldn’t care to read. I have no head for truth, and no talent for registering things that other people might find interesting. I have even less talent for expressing to the “mass of men” the contempt I feel for the trends that govern our current climate of political, administrative, religious, ethical, social, and aesthetic jurisprudence. Plus, let’s face it, I still think the word “jewbag” is funny.

I’m just saying.

I’m impossible to offend, and I’m generally of the opinion that everybody in the world should be impossible to offend, and I pretty much go from there. Check that: I’m impossible to offend, unless you’re talking specifically about me. Which probably means that I’m self-righteous. I mean, seriously, I just laughed hysterically at the urban dictionary entry for jewbag, and you can make fun of white people all you want. But if somebody started needling me for any of my plethora spectacularly variegated underriding flaws (that don't have anything to do with my heritage), I’d probably get just a little bit huffy. I am, like most people that nobody gives a good goddamn about, and some that people do, a hypocrite.

I don’t have an obsessive personality. But I have a personality that desperately craves to be obsessive. I’m too lazy to be an actual, functional obsessive. I’m jealous of lunatics, because they usually have a pretty good sense of what they think is important.

The only thing that I’ve managed to figure out in the three years that I’ve been blogging is that you have to be able to temper your own instincts. You have to make your desperation tenable, so that other people feel like they can “identify” with it. But you can't go overboard and figure that, yes, what you feel is more or less akin to unredeemable despair, and people will identify with that. Because that would be creepy to the mass of men. What you want, as a blogger, is for people to read your blog and say, “yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel, too.” What you don’t want is for people to read your blog and say, “whoah, what a sad sumbitch. I’m glad I’m not THIS asshole.” It’s a very, very, very fine line. And the problem isn’t that you don’t know where the line is. The problem is, crossing that line feel SO GOOD. Or, at least, so ACCEPTABLE. Which, we’re all sad to say, is a general improvement.

It’s not that I run out of third-party things to have a vague and general interest in. Anybody who runs out of things to be entertained by in today’s cultural climate is just flat-out lazy. But whenever I think about this – the blog as cultural criticism, which is kind of what I intended for this blog to be – I start thinking about Richard Roeper. You know Richard Roeper, the guy who replaced Gene Siskel on Siskel & Ebert. Now, Roger Ebert is one of my heroes. He’s populist, incredibly smart, informed, and well-spoken without being academic – a great but transparent writer whose style you can always tell, and you always like. You’d think that, when I thought about a critic, I would think of Roger Ebert.

Instead, I think of Richard Roeper. The man has pretty much impeccable taste, from a kind of midtown intellectualist (which is not to be confused with intellectual) perspective. He has, in the abstract, very very very good taste. Before joining Ebert as the other half of the binary that is arguably the most respectable film-criticizing entity in the world, he was a “humorous columnist.”

The problem is that Richard Roeper isn’t funny. He’s informed without being revelatory. He’s mildly clever without being particularly engaging. He’s “humorous.” But he ain’t fucking funny as far as I can blow him. And, while I have a motherfucker of a gag reflex, I can also hold my breath for longer than you'd think.

On April 5, Richard Roeper wrote: “For once I applaud the FCC for saying "no." Heck, I may go all 1-800-Flowers on the chairman and the commissioners. Striking a blow for sanity and common sense, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it will continue to back a ban on cell phone use in the skies.” And, as research goes, THAT’S THE FIRST PARAGAPH OF RICHARD ROEPER’S WRITING I BOTHERED TO READ to blast him for this blog post. Check out the “joke,” yo!

What? Didn’t you lol?

With the coup that came in the form of the death of Gene Siskel, Richard Roeper became one of the most famous writers in the country. One of his thumbs has more power than the average professional writer’s body, let alone body of work. One of his thumbs casts a shadow that eclipses a thousand citizens of the United States. One of his thumbs overshadows the student body and faculty of Harvard University. (Of course, I exclude the alumni, because some of them actually go on to do impressive things. )

And, as I said, as a critic, Richard Roeper is impeccable. He knows what’s good without being able to do it.

In fact, he has all the creative instinct and impulse of a retarded wombat.

This is one of the most visible critics in the world.

It should be, but somehow isn't, enough to strike terror into the heart of the average blogger.

As a blogger and citizen of the United States, particularly as a citizen of the educated cult of the university – educated people who have tried to learn what the can about what they love – my sentiment about the world at large can be roughly encapsulated as follows:




(except steve, josh, and my mom).”

But I’m certainly not going to get paid to say it. In fact, nobody even wants me to say it. In fact, nobody even cares IF I say it. What people want people to say is, apparently: "This Sunday, millions of people of my faith will participate in a number of Easter rituals, including actually dressing up (which these days means no gym shoes) for church, lavish brunches and ham dinners -- and if you have children, the early morning search for goodies left behind by the Easter Bunny. Or as I like to call him, the lamest holiday mascot of them all. To quote Jules from "Pulp Fiction," when it comes to animals, "personality goes a long way" -- and the Easter Bunny has no personality. Zero."
~Richard Roeper.

Holy fucking shit. He got paid?

So it’s pretty fucking funny that this is the way I would choose to use my time. Look at it this way. Two fucking pages well spent. It’s a good thing computers are paperless these days.

Now everybody go get a copy of the Sun Times tomorrow and read Richard Roeper’s column. I’ll go fucking douse myself in gin and set myself on fire.


Will Arnett is married to Amy Poehler. And he was on Arrested Development. And his favorite band is Built to Spill. What a cool guy.


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