Sunday, August 26, 2012

Joel Stein is Manlier than Me

Saturday night generally suck for me, because everyone I know/like is either a) living a hundred + miles away from me, b) married with kids or c) off having some lovely grand love affair.  Or d) at work, like Ian, so I'm stuck home.  And since Ian works with kids and kids get whatever they want, like his Xbox, I don't even have access to the wide world of MST3K on youtube, which I'm sure as hell not going to watch on my teeny tiny laptop like some commuter.

Being lonely and therefor in a bad mood, I decided that Tom Waits Nighthawks at the Diner would be a good choice for music, since the conversational parts of it make it seem like Tom is hanging out in your own living room, drinking all your beer, and having a drunk hipster around might remind me of college.  I had just picked up Joel Stein's Man Man: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity and decided now was as good a time as any to sack out on the couch and read a few chapters.

I read the entire thing.

I didn't even get up to turn over the record.  I barely got up to eat.  I read for five straight hours.  It was that good.  Waits generally trumps everything, but lat night, Joel Stein was the only man in my life. (Sorry Joel Hodgeson).  I read for so long that the next day, I couldn't turn my head.

I've always found Stein's work witty, engaging and conversational, which is what I like/strive for in my nonfiction.  Also, if by some chance he's reading this, he is also handsome, especially with his Marines-issued Buster Bluth haircut.  And generally I find stunt memoirs trite and tiring (although I'm really looking forward to My Year of Living Biblically) Man Made lacked the petulant selfishness all-to-inherent in the traditional memoir, but this one lacked all of that too.  Instead of the usual "I am awesome and special so look at me" bullshit, there was a sweetness, a genuine sense of wonder and enough gray matter to realize what the whole thing was really about.

Joel Stein is a literary rock star.  He can come hang out at the diner with me and Tom Waits any day

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