The other day I picked up a copy of The Believer, falling prey again to the allure of the colorful matte cover and the nice square shape of it. When I say "picked up" I mean I took it off the magazine rack and looked through it. I never buy it, because every single time I start to read it, something in it manages to piss me off. Every time without fail. The other day it was this.
If you don't want to follow the link, I'll tell you about it: the mag asked its readers to list their Top Books of 2006, and the winners are listed in latest issue. Not so horrible. But what is horrible -- cringingly so -- is that where a book by one of the writers associated with the magazine would appear, they replaced it with a blank. And in their coy, faux-abashed way, they told you that the blank space represented a writer associated with the magazine. As if everyone who reads that isn't going to guess, correctly, exactly which books those are, and thereby pay ten times as much attention to them. They layers of disingenuousness here are baklava-esque.
I wasn't going to mention it, but then one of the bloggers (Black Garterbelt, formerly at Rake's Progress) on our list down left did, and that emboldened me. Sometimes I think that my feelings about that crew approach the irrational, like my old friend Heather Diamond's feelings about balloons (she hated them). But no matter how obscure or distasteful your opinions are, someone on the internet is bound to share them, which is both scary and comforting.
We like Black Garterbelt.