Friday, July 04, 2008

Gee mister, I'm not much of a drinker... Steinbook Roundup, Pt. 5

"[S]itting in their underwear in their parents' basements" -- Neil Steinberg's portrait of bloggers, Sun-Times, June 30, 2008.

One day a psychology grad student will submit a thesis paper exploring the early 21st century newspaperman's reoccurring fantasies about this
platonic ideal of the blogger. The dissertation will examine the list of fetishized characteristics published time and again by a variety of ink-stained journalists to describe the idealized mental-model of those who blog:
  • isolated,
  • subterranean,
  • half-naked,
  • with parents lurking just out of earshot.
Of course, the paper would also have to address the niggling question: How exactly is this fantasy anything other than creepy as hell?

Sadly, at the risk of dashing the dreams of newsmen everywhere, this blogger must confess the following: I do not live with my parents. I'm not lonely. I don't blog in the basement. And I don't wear underwear.

Anyway, speaking of Neil Steinberg,
award-winning children's author Ilene Cooper has a review of Neil's "Drunkard" on the Booklist Online:
Incredibly honest (perhaps too honest for his fellow AA members), Steinberg initially wants no part of rehab or Alcholics Anonymous. For one thing, he doesn’t believe in a higher power, and if he did, he would not be inclined to surrender to it. Nor does he have much affection for his fellow addicts, “characters in a mediocre play.” What he loves is booze, and his tone turns almost jaunty as he describes his lapses. He wants a sophisticated life where he can drink, hoping liquour will turn his nebbish-like persona into Mike Royko.
At which point, we ask ourselves, "Just what would it mean for Neil Steinberg to turn into Mike Royko?" Actually, we needn't ask ourselves, because last year Steinberg himself told the Chicagoist exactly what that would mean:
C: Did you know Royko?

NS: Yeah, I did. He was an asshole.
Now I don't profess to know all the magical powers of alcohol, but I do know that turning a man into "an asshole" is well within its meager abilities.

Bonus -- Laurie of Three Boscoe Blog provided this previously unpublished six-word review of Neil Steinberg's "Drunkard":
The guy really loves to drink.
Now that is a pithy writer.

1 comment:

Lily Strange said...

Well, I am kind lonely a lot of the time and I do wear underwear. But I don't blog in the basement (don't have one) and I don't live with my parents. At least I've managed that much in life!