Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lose This Skin

Good thing none of you were anywhere near me yesterday afternoon. I was insane, blind with rage. Much of it had to do with royalties from "Savage Mules," though until I get a more accurate picture, I won't divulge many details. But if what Verso Books says is true, then I'm depressed as well. I can usually handle a fair amount of adversity -- getting your ass kicked on a regular basis growing up helps develop a thick hide -- but there are times when it's too much, or I'm in a weakened position. This is one of those times.

Okay. Enough sobbing. Just wanted to give you the background, so if I seem chippy or cheap, you'll know why.

I've received a lot of interesting emails about my Jon Stewart post. Some of you thought I was too rough on Stewart, that he's "only" a comedian, not a journalist or philosopher, which is true. My world doesn't hinge on what Stewart says or does, so I'm not that caught up in his act. I simply pointed out the limits of his satire, which stems from the limits of his professed political knowledge.

I thought his backpedaling on Truman's war crimes was pathetic, but not surprising, given where Stewart sits. If Stewart ever adopted the Chomsky approach to presidents and war crimes, I doubt he'd be around for long, especially if he really went after Obama. His liberal fans would turn on him faster than it took them to vote for Joe Lieberman, then hate Joe Lieberman. Stewart would be seen as the next Dennis Miller.

I got a taste of this yesterday when an reader asked what I thought of my comment thread at Huffington Post. "What comment thread?" I replied. I cross-posted my Stewart piece at Arianna's petting zoo, just to see how long it would last. Since Obama's ascent, most of the stuff I send HuffPost lasts an hour or two at the bottom of the page, then disappears. It remains in my archive, but most visitors aren't going that far to read my musings and rants. The same thing happened with my Stewart post. Ho hum. I shrugged my shoulders and moved on.

Then, out of the blue (and in the midst of my anger), I was sent this. Seems that someone at HuffPost took my piece from the Entertainment page and slapped it on the Media page. I had no idea this happened, but 59 other people did, commenting on my critique from a variety of angles. Scroll down and read them yourself. You'll see why I don't allow comments here -- not that there aren't some intelligent, sometimes flattering responses, but there's enough idiocy and projection to keep my No Comment policy in place.

Without explaining or justifying too much, my mention of my TDS submission was an attempt to be open about my feelings toward that show. I don't think I'm "cooler" than the current writers, but I am different and tried to demonstrate why. I don't envy Jon Stewart, nor do I want to write for him, not under existing conditions, anyway. Is it posing to say that my material would be considered "off" for TDS? I think that's exactly the case. How that reality makes me "jealous" or "sour" I've no clue. But those kind of epithets are easy to throw, especially anonymously.

And the Seth Meyers line at the end of my post was a joke. Again, I thought this was obvious. But clearly, my antennae are in need of waxing.