Feb. 18th, 2008

phamos: (Default)
I was extremely disappointed with the Lee Siegel interview on The Daily Show last week. To recap, Lee Siegel is a writer for the New Republic who wrote some really crappy blog post about Jon Stewart, then sockpuppeted his way through the comments talking about how Lee Siegel is an authentic American hero, and you guyz r totally teh suck, so shut up! When his douchetastic sockpuppetry was found out, his blog got shut down and he was briefly suspended from the magazine. To kill time during said suspension, Siegel decided to write a whole book about how the internet is totally stupid anyway, and he totally doesn't care about what all the webdorks think of him. Actually, the totally BRILLIANT irony of the book is that his central thesis is that the web is an invalid forum for social criticism because you never know who is doing the posting. Everyone's a sock puppet! Not just me! And it's destroying Western culture, through its mass sockpuppetdom! As such, he insists that his "Sprezzatura" alter-ego on the blog was created as "a prank and a provocation", not because he's a whiny baby. So he's not really a petulant flouncy sock puppet, he's simply a damn troll.

Given that Siegel is a giant wank, and given that the post that started the whole thing was ABOUT JON STEWART, I was expecting at least SOME MENTION of the original incident during the interview. But the interview was surprisingly inert -- the New Republic blog disaster never came up, so there was a glaring lack of context for the book itself. Siegel just sat there, choading it up in his black-mock-turtleneck/tweed-sport-coat/self-satisfied-shit-eating-grin combo. I honestly think Jon Stewart was going to talk about it, but as soon as Siegel opened his mouth, he realized it would be totally futile to talk about anything of substance with the man, so instead he decided to make the interview as boring as possible to avoid stoking book sales for this absolutely useless human being. Pretty much the opposite tack as he took with Jonah Goldberg. (I'm still dying to see the unedited cut of that interview, by the way. I'm hoping against hope that now that the writer's strike is over, they'll post it on the web.)

But yeah, here's the Siegel interview. If you click it, prepare to be bored stiff. (Although it's kinda worth it just to see how lame and smug this guy is.)

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