Muckrakers R Us

Good thing tomorrow is my day off. I’m starting to feel a little dirty, a bit like a gossip columnist, but one who goes around digging up dirt on literary scandals and then makes a living from it. Of course, we all know there’s no such thing. Don’t we?

And besides, this website hasn’t made me a single shiny penny. It’s all just a labor of, um, OCD and bad judgment.

Anyhow, far be it from me to let any sort of scruples, or indigestion, or simple boredom with all of the vitriol spewing forth, stop me from mentioning Ian Speigelman’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place interview at The Black Table today.

In it, Spiegelman reveals that he’s “still waiting for the opportunity to punch a fellow novelist in public.” Dave Eggers and Neal Pollack are mentioned as potential victims.

It’s all in jest, though, you see. Oh, of course it is. Spiegelman doesn’t hate Eggers:

Hate between individuals is an intimate thing and we don’t even know each other. I hate what he’s come to stand for, which, to my mind, is behaving with a rabidly superior attitude merely because you have a knack for being clever. Cleverness was celebrated in Victorian parlors and we had pretty well done away with it as a virtue until his posse filled a void in which the children of the ruling class decided for themselves that nothing was “happening” in the world. Plenty was happening, just nothing that they could see or speak of. In any case, men are far too concerned with the dimensions of their genitalia. Eggers might very well have a larger package than I but he’d probably riff in a woman’s ear about Duran Duran while he was mildly pumping away, and if that’s your thing we shouldn’t be together anyway….

I don’t even know where to begin. Is Dave Eggers a member of the ruling class? I thought he was a middle-class kid whose parents died when he was young, but it’s not like I read that in a memoir or anything.

Have we gotten to the point now where writing itself is less important than the way we imagine a writer’s sex life would go?

Is a Page Six columnist really able to claim the high ground here? A friend of mine, who shall today and in the future remain unnamed, thinks not:

You might not want to bait Spiegelman but I wish someone would point out that the immorality and disgustingness of human nature he’s always railing against he’s actually making money from? Page Six supports the whole icky ‘celebrity’ world – people like the Hilton sisters would barely exist without it. I really think that if you earn your living the way he does you’ve relinquished the right to take the moral high ground. And if he thinks anyone would have published his flimsy little tome if he didn’t have the ‘insider’ status of a NY Post staffer he’s dreaming.

Thanks to the “Eggersed out” tipster for passing the link along. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go track down some Tums.

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