Plenty’s been written about today’s offering from L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re on your own because I’m not even going to link to it. If you’re that hard up to be shown the sorry state of the Times go type wwwdotlatimesdotcom your own damn self and read on. Personally I suggest googling “assnapkin” or “feydouchsky” and chances are you’ll only be you’ll be one click away. Maybe two — and just you nevermind that I’m probably on the third results page.
Anyway, you won’t like what he has to say — though I shouldn’t say that. What the hell do I know about you? Maybe you’ll just go gaga over his POV and agree with what he has to say, which freaks me out a little bit but as Copernicus or Caligula once said, “de gustibus non est disputandum.” Or maybe it was Jimmy Carter.
Personally I gave up reading Stein over a year ago (and by “reading” I mean cussing and slapping the page upon which his wafer-thin inkstains appeared), June 26, 2005 to be exact. Nowadays whenever I happen across his byline in the paper I can’t avert my gaze and get the hell away fast enough… kinda like that time I was 12 and bounded through the closed but not locked bedroom door one Saturday afternoon to tell my mom I hit the game-winning homerun in little league and found my mom and her boyfriend in bed together, on their way to third base if you know what I mean. That ‘s a scene burned into my retinas and psyche never to be forgotten, let me tell you. Gah!
Focus people! My point is a simple one. Since there was obviously just n-o-t-h-i-n-g else in the city or world to write about Stein in all his pissy smarty smarminess shits all over the paper and its readership today by going on at length that any dialogue with him is a waste of time. That as a columnist he doesn’t want to talk to or with his readers, he wants to talk at them. He puts himself on the same level as Philip Roth and Tom Hanks to get his point across but when he pulled Martin Luther out to further substantiate his case, I turned the page. Actually I ripped it out, crumpled it up and threw it away. And I’m thinking about playing the cancel card and doing away with the entire paper.
See, In the way back of my unsteady move through youth to adulthood I’d eagerly dive into the Times hungry to digest whatever it was that Jim Murray or Jack Smith saw fit to share with me that day. I’d seek that shit out. It was a reason to crack open the paper. Hell, In high school after reading a reprint of the column Mike Royko wrote the day Jackie Robinson died, I made regular trips to the local library specifically to pull the current available issues of the Chicago Sun-Times off the giant rack of hanging newspapers threaded through those wooden holders.
Yeah, I’m a dinosaur. And as such I remember those heady Mesozoic days when being a columnist in the big city meant something more, or at least a helluva lot more than Stein does.