January 24, 2011


I think this is a good example of how to celebrate yr achievements.

I just finished Neal Pollack's Stretch--which is book #3, if you are counting along at home or partaking in the book pact (see also: yesterday's post)-- where he writes a lot about how being destroyed by his jealous and hateful obsessions with other people's success made him act like an extra-extra asshole, and thus he got into yoga. Jealousy is the hardest thing to own up to, I think. I imagine there are writers, peaceful beings, who do not have petty and imaginary rivalries with other writers. I do not know any like that. I know no writer will actually own up to that. You can usually tell how petty and hateful and actualized these rivalries are as soon as you praise a writer's peer to them.

I will tell you, my distant and imagined, though not terribly powerful writing beef is with Chuck Klosterman's books. Not the man, who is seemingly kind and reasonable, but the place his books hold. And that there is not a girl Klosterman, culturally. And so many girls are reading the and Cocoa Puffs book at bus stops. And that he is the pentultimate in contemporary music writing and musical dudesperience. Maybe the ultimate. Maybe I am unfairly pent-ing him. And now he is thee template for success, for music writers, for music books.

I also am occasionally jealous of people who edit magazines I do not even read and think "Oh, if I had gone to college!" and then I think "Oh, then if I had that job I would have to pay attention to American Idol and keep tabs on Justin Bieber. And leave my house to go to an office by 9 am." and the jealousy goes away. It's funny like that.

That is the main part of Neal Pollack's book I appreciated. Sure, there were some laughs to be had. Lots of #realtalktuesday about farting in yoga class. Eventually I grew annoyed with him for leaving his wife at home so much with a kiddo so he could un-asshole himself in yoga classes, and not worry about anything. I assumed that's why he gets stoned every day (in the book), you would think that would work, but I don't know about bonghits. Doing tons of yoga and weed in LA and trying to return to the kind person he was in 11th grade, to re-be his 11th grade self is the plot. Which is like, the plot of every story written by a 35 yr old white dude since Portnoy's Complaint. Self-interest has ruined every book since the industrial revolution says Nora. I don't read enough Victorian novels (any) to vouch for the truth in that, but I imagine she is correct.

"Los Angeles' culture of tyrannical positivity gets another perview--this time from midwestern funnyman Neal Pollack." That is my review. Right there.

Posted by jessica hopper at January 24, 2011 11:35 PM | TrackBack