I will have a hard time shutting up about this

Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott, who has been a hero of mine since I don’t know when, has very kindly mentioned my McSweeney’s column on his blog.

For a quick understanding of why I love Wolcott’s writing so much, read this post about Bernie Kerick, from back in the dark days of 2004:

Kerik exuded too much quiet authority and dramatic effect, trying a shade too hard to convey that he knew things he couldn’t speak of and was working from the deep inside, privy to secrets that he carried locked inside the bank vault of his barrel chest. I could see how this tough-guy shtick–which obviously wasn’t entirely shtick, but a tough streak that had been refined into an urban lawman persona–would impress fake swaggarts like, well, George Bush, who likes to play dress-up as a range hand and fighter pilot to show what a Hungry man entree he is.

I’m still trying to come to terms with the knowledge that Mr. Wolcott likes my work. The only thing that would top it is if E.B. White came back from the dead and told me I was pretty.


2 thoughts on “I will have a hard time shutting up about this

  1. And well-deserved, from a quick perusal of some of your Bitchslap writings. The movement through a sentence is not so different from movement through a kata, or better yet, a sequence of moves in an actual sparring match, where you anticipate and block the incoming and deliver the blow in such a way that the force transmits to precisely where you want it (which might be somewhere well below the surface). Wolcott does this with a lot of rather baroque side trips, so with him its always interesting to see how he keeps himself ultimately on track despite his lack of mental discipline. Your style is to me more lucid, since each sentence accomplishes its task efficiently and you achieve the complexity through the cumulative effect of the essay (whereas James builds complexity into each sentence). Kudos.