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.â€™ing these “Little Gray Book Lectures,” which were inspired by the instructional pamphlets that were popular during the 1920â€™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 McSweeneyâ€™s have unintentionally spawned. The only thing is, the “Little Gray Book Lectures” are actually funny, and the vibe is surprisingly cozy. Mr. Hodgmanâ€™s deadpan-but-warm mannerâ€”think Conan Oâ€™Brien in a camel-hair jacketâ€”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: Iâ€™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.