For a decade, I’ve fantasized about appearing on the cover of the Jewish Journal.
I’ve spent more time thinking about what I’ll say in that ultimate interview than I’ve spent trying to pick up chicks.
(I have a far richer inner life than social life.)
I always thought this article would come at the hands of Amy Klein. I pictured us over lunch and how I would whip out my tape recorder when she started the on-the-record part of our conversation and all the brilliant justifications I’d give her for my abominable behavior. (Some people use their intelligence to make the world a better place. I use mine to rationalize my sins.)
But then my time came at the hands of 25-year-old Christian Brad A. Greenberg. Brad’s a good reporter but he’s no Amy Klein. And when he started asking me questions, well, I just answered them. The whole thing didn’t run anything like my fantasies. We didn’t even hook up afterwards because that would’ve been against the Torah.
In case you’re wondering, I think I am a very important person who deserves to be on the cover of the Jewish Journal.
Other people have lives. I have my blogging and I want recognition for it.
In Orthodoxy, you’re supposed to be self-abnegating and to flee from honor. I suspect my Orthodox friends (and anybody who knows me) see me as an attention-seeking clown.
They’re not wrong. I am a clown.
I might as well embrace who I am and make the most of it.
For the nights leading up to and coming down from my appearance on the Journal cover, I couldn’t sleep.
On Shabbos, people kept asking me how I was doing and I’d reply I was fine. They’d ask me what was new and I’d say nothing. And then they’d mention the cover story.
"What’s it like to be a celebrity?" some would ask and I’d mutter something about my small world…
And now it’s Monday night I haven’t even gotten a date from the whole thing. So what’s the point? It used to be that when I had this sort of media triumph, good things would result from it with the opposite sex. But no such luck. Danielle Berrin didn’t even answer my email.
(At Starbucks Sunday, a friend gave me $20 and said, "Maybe use it to take Danielle to drinks.")
(No wonder my ex-mates at YICC regard me as an internet terrorist.)
I’ve gone from my manic high to a crashing low. Nothing excites me anymore. Aside from writing vicious things about people who’ve died, I spend my time at Starbucks sipping sugary drinks and reading books on writing creative non-fiction. The homeless and mentally ill approach me. I’ve always been huge with the retarded and the marginal. They recognize a kindred soul.
Now the drinks are gone and I have a bad taste in my mouth.
Ten years ago, I looked good in my pictures. Maybe the ladies didn’t swoon, but some of the skanks went down.
I suppose I should go back on my lithium but I’m already 20 pounds above my normal weight. If I take it every day as prescribed I go up 50 pounds and start to drool.
P.S. I’ve gone back on the lithium.
Chaim Amalek writes: "There comes a time in every man’s life when his youthful twinkdom vanishes, and he is too old to appeal to any fertile woman’s maternal instincts. You’ve had a nice long run of it, but looking forward, you are going to need money to get anywhere with sane, sexually desirable women, few of whom want to share their lives with you on the floor of a converted garage."
A guy sits in beis medrash learning and a bunch of kids hover around him, bothering him, so he tells them there’s a man giving away free candy two blocks away and they run off, finally leaving him alone. A minute later he gets up and starts running after them, because you never know, they might really be giving away free candy over there.
How could you possibly buy the line that there’s any connection between your face appearing anywhere and getting laid, making money, getting reservations to really hot restaurants? It’s media jocks like you pumping out this nareshkeit, which is fine as blog fodder when real things aren’t happening at the moment, but to trust that the event has any meaning outside a brief, personal drop of egotistical pleasure?
In early 1994 I made the cover page of the Jerusalem Post Magazine and my wife framed a few copies. I sent one frame to my dad, who had a lot of naches from it and put it on top of the TV. I look at it occasionally (like once every 2 years). It’s a nice image. There’s absolutely no other value attached.
But you already know all that.
I read the interview and was very upset by it. It was shallow and uneducated and missed all the serious points about you and the phenomenon associated with your name. In that it was reminiscent of one of your own profile jobs: Boy turns on tape, boy transcribes tape, boy publishes tape. Except in this case boy made more than one phone call. So little insight, so little sense of Net history.
Been there, done that. I had a full page picture in a major news magazine, with a big article, but after three days its old news; the trick is to start planning for the next one. Or get a steady performing gig where you get used to a big high on performance night, two days of post performance fetal position sulking, then when the next performance starts coming around, you come alive again. Those huge ups and downs are part of the performing package, which is why tmz.com has so many stories. I know the feeling well, which is why I have to keep up all my public speaking gigs. And its an illusion to think that marriage, kids, sex, drugs or other kinds of happiness will supplant it. Fame is the most addictive drug there is, and it doesn’t matter if its being a rock star, a rabbi, or an exhibitionist (or all three at once).
Anyway, even if you do five more covers, when one day you are the most desired person in the world, and then you are told that you are not in fashion anymore, you either reinvent yourself or go down hard. So choose your path – Bruce Springsteen or Britney Spears? Figure out your next gig now.