Power punks, unangry ironists in Observer

Maybe somebody’s steadfast refusal to shed anonimity kept him or her off the Observer‘s 2003 “Power Punks” roster [update: I have been informed that Mr. TMFTML actually is included in the print version; still later update: a friend points out that a link to TMFTML’s profile has been added online as well], but at least John Hodgman is in there:

In 2001, he began M.C.’ing these “Little Gray Book Lectures,” which were inspired by the instructional pamphlets that were popular during the 1920’s (“How to Seek Your Fortune,” “How to Speak With Strangers,” “What Will Happen in the Future?”, “Europe vs. America”) and which, on paper, sound exactly like the sort of self-consciously twee literary crap that Dave Eggers and McSweeney’s have unintentionally spawned. The only thing is, the “Little Gray Book Lectures” are actually funny, and the vibe is surprisingly cozy. Mr. Hodgman’s deadpan-but-warm manner—think Conan O’Brien in a camel-hair jacket—runs the show.

Elsewhere in today’s Observer is Choire Sicha’s “Entertainment, Weakly: My Evening With The Nice Believer Kids,” about a Believer reading he attended last week:

So, on Monday night, the army of spouses and unangry ironists that publish The Believer presented an evening of literary entertainments to aspiring Believer contributors at the New School Auditorium; tickets, $5. I say “spouses” with a little rancor: I’ve decided all right-thinking heterosexuals should make a lovely idealistic stand and refuse to marry until the gays can. This should be right up the Believer alley.


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