Eating The Postmodern Novel

The White Boy Shuffle, by Paul Beatty I had read Beatty’s latest, The Sellout, a few months ago and didn’t much care for it. When this happens, I usually ask, “What’s wrong with me? What did I miss?” I did miss something, but I’ll sort that out in a sec. I’m afraid, dear reader, that…

Good Prose, No Win Satire

The Sellout, by Paul Beatty You might be in the den with some pals waiting for the Super Bowl to begin, and someone cracks a joke, then another. Then another. And you think, “Jokes and satire can’t be all that hard; maybe I could do a stand-up act, or write a satirical book.” So weeks…

Wanna Satire?

It’s been said that humor is a corrective social device – it presents imaginary or exaggerated situations that poke at falsity, whether in an individual’s ego, or in the more collective social sense, but it does so without being seen as a diatribe or personal attack. I

Being Funny and Writing Funny

I read something today by a respected journalist about his early career. He wrote funny stuff, he said, but you can’t be funny yourself in journalism – you have to collect funny data and let the data be funny.

The Last Plaint on Family

We all seem to have overdeveloped expectations of family during childhood, and then when we’re older, we compensate by being overly critical of those who bear similar seed. But, even later, if we’re not too headstrong, we’ll forgive and settle in at some appropriate emotional distance from one another.