Why was I not rapt? Why did I feel so uncomfortable with the unanimous adoration, the gasps at his wise and funny pronuciamentos, the general assent in the room that this hipster-bespectacled, Kermit-voiced Jew from Baltimore was a cultural treasure? Here’s a better question: Why, walking afterward from the Shubert to the parking lot a block away, did I feel the need to harsh on my wife’s flush-faced, post-Ira glow by being so contrary?
Here, as best as I can remember, is what I said:
“I mean, look, I recognize that the guy has talent, and that was pretty enjoyable. But have you noticed that there are no ideas in his ideas? He lets people talk, he edits it well, he makes it entertaining, but there’s nothing remotely intellectual about it. And so he gets people happy in the same way that Garrison Keillor gets people happy with his Midwestern-minstrelsy shtick, in that NPR-middlebrow way, where the audience thinks it has just had some sort of cultural experience. And they’ve been voyeurs of some sort, but I guess I just like having ideas in play, not just narrative. He seems to resist ideas;it’s all narrative. Which, as I say, is good enough as far as it goes, but it’s just so predictable how all these lefties fall over themselves loving him.”
Why would anyone marry the man who said that? Why had my wife?
In any event, she had the perfect reply: “Look, I really had a wonderful time. Why would you want to ruin it for me?”
I felt suitably low.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
More Love-Hate for Ira Glass
There is a slight trickle, a faint thread of Ira Glass backlash forming in alternative media outlets. First the Onion article and now this engaging piece by Mark Oppenheimer in Zeek. His Glass-bashing is a bit guilt-inducing but enjoyable to read. A quote: