Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

This is going to be one of those promised short reviews.

All kinds of people recommended and loved this collection of “humorous” autobiographical essays. I find this a little disturbing. I suppose it’s just another example of how out of sync I am with… well, most people.

To me, he came off as quite mean and rather off-putting personality-wise. Like those clever, cruel kids in the schoolyard. The others laughed because they were terrified that if they didn’t they would be the next target. He’s obviously a very sharp fellow, but seems quite proud of the fact that he makes little or no effort.

He appears to be a member of the “ironic” crowd. This largely involves being sarcastic, looking down on everyone and everything and embracing kitsch.

At a recent reading he was recommending a book that told you how to zombie-proof your house. Why anyone would waste two seconds of their life on this is beyond me. It’s not even mildly entertaining. It’s just dumb.

Then there’s his comments about the Louvre:

The last person to ask the author a question inquired whether or not he’d been to the Louvre yet. Sedaris had once written that he wouldn’t go to said art museum because they didn’t allow smoking.

“I’ve been in Paris for eight years and I’ve never been to the Louvre,” Sedaris said. “Now it’s like it’s almost too late to go.”

His logic was that after holding out this long he doesn’t want to give up being the only person living in Paris who hasn’t been to the famous museum. Instead, he prefers things like local art auctions.

“I just like art better when there’s a price tag on it,” he said. “Even if you can’t understand it, you can make sense of it if there’s a price tag.”

If this is humour, I certainly don’t get it. I’ll end with a quotation from this book; for me, it sums it all up.

“…like all my friends, she’s a lousy judge of character…”

Now that’s funny — whether it was intentional or not.

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