So we all read and loved the comment last week telling me that I’m an uneducated moron with the reading skills of a newborn dyslexic kangaroo. And you’ll be pleased to know that there’s been a follow up too.
On Sunday, The Reader sends me another message, but this one is quite long and I don’t want to bore you with it (after all if The Reader wants to rant he should set up his own blog), so here are some edited highlights. Sometimes it’s just best to leave things without a comment… and this is one of them (well apart from when I can’t help myself and I have to say something).
Right then, amongst his (approximately) 500 words The Reader tells us:
I haven't read your blog for long, but it seemed to me that your not 'a reader' (Quotation marks Reader’s own)
I've mostly been a reader: a 7 day a week, every evening reader for the last 40 years (I’m trying to work out with my simple brain how old The Reader is. If we assume he learnt how to read at the same age as me – 26 – that must make him…let’s see…66)
I'm a librarian, so recommending books is something I've had practice at
The books on your list are all well-known and fashionable (Yes. Fashionable. Everyone knows that Isabella Blow was recently buried with a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea on her head instead of a Philip Treacy hat)
I don't want you to give up reading - you'll need it (Am I the only one who this sounds like a threat to? The “you’ll need it” part. What is he planning to do? Turn up at my house, tie me up to the radiator and cross examine me with literary questions?)
It wasn't condescension - it was a librarian's desire to shepherd someone back on the road to reading pleasure (A mild Messiah complex there)
I actually do think that The Reader has good intentions and I don’t want to lay on him like I would on some irrational aggressive commenter that just messages me to vent anger and bitterness. What The Reader suffers from is a) a naturally patronizing tone (which I don’t think is deliberate) probably due to limited human interaction and b) too many opinions that we didn’t ask for. So I’m going to slowly move away, walking backwards and keeping my eyes on him, like you would from a drunken great-uncle at the Christmas table once he has started discarding war stories and moral advice when all you want is to pass out in front of the TV watching Police Academy repeats with a glass of port in hand.
Now then, while we’re at it, let’s mention another reader comment from the last couple of days (relevant to this). You may remember that I made reference on Saturday to having a “literary tattoo”. Well actually you will probably not remember because you don’t cling to every word I write and leave the house occasionally. Anyway, I did. I was referring to my Bret Easton Ellis tattoo obviously.
Anyway, in response to that a different reader says: “I WOULDNT EXACTLY SAY HAVING B.E.E COUNTS AS A 'LITERARY' TATTOO. HARDLY A SHAKESPEAR SONNET.........”
Got that people? Hardly “Shakespear”. Maybe I should have “Shakespear” tattooed on my forehead next, that will make everyone think I’m smart. (I’m being facetious here, this reader actually also takes the piss out of me for writing “Notre Dam” instrad of Notre Dame last week, so at least he has a sense of humour and he’s cool).
So then, just when we were safe, drunken uncle (aka The Reader) butts in again (presumably bored of sitting behind his desk in the library and checking out a copy of Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophia Kinsella to ANOTHER semi-literate housewife) and tells us:
“That's interesting - is BEE literature? In bookshops in australia there's a big Fiction section, where'll you'll find BEE, and a small Literature section, where'll you'll find Shakespeare, Penguin classics etc”
“I'm not sure where BEE will end up, but so far the critics haven't been exactly wowed. Have a look at the authors who are getting the prizes - try Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee, another Nobel Prize winner - (you know I'm referring to the author, not the book). As Truman Capote might have said - that's not just typing, that's writing”
At this point I am starting to lose my patience with drunken uncle. If I’m dumb and illiterate and don’t know what books to read etc, why does he come back and read my blog and comment relentlessly? Is he trying to educate me? Am I his Eliza Doolittle? I seriously don’t get it.
Are there no other websites out there where he can have serious literary debates with people who actually care? Or is my blog the only website he can access from the library PC?
If he has these amazing options of Nobel prize winning writers to read (and has been doing so every evening 9 days a week for the last 250 years or something as he points out), what is the attraction of my lame little blog, with my shallow gym / diet / clubbing / clothes stories? Also it's amazing how somebody who has dedicated his life to reading, doesn't manage to understand the tone and manner and humour of this simple little blog. It makes you wonder what he actually understands from J.M Coetzee (whoever that as - I'm a moron, remember?)
I never claimed to be a genius and I never claimed to be a great writer. I give myself 6 out of 10 at being intelligent and I’d like it to stay like that. Can I be left alone now please?
No actually, I take that back. I AM a fucking genius and I am stronger than MENSA and Miller and Mailer and I spat out Plath and Pinter. But please The Reader – leave me alone.
Now then, we’ve dedicated enough time to this subject and I have stories to tell from the weekend and I haven’t been able to. So this is the end of it, and I will NOT read any further comments from The Reader and I will NOT dedicate any more time to ranting about negative comments. I will just not publish them or think about them, because it’s my blog and my blog is a monarchy where I am King and I will eliminate everything that I don’t like. Ha.
Back with normal stories tomorrow.