It is unfortunate that circumstances have forced the Writers Guild of America to go on strike, but one beneficial by-product has been the unforeseeable outpouring of approbation for David Owen’s March 13, 2000, profile of George Meyer. (Witness the requisite evidence that said outpouring has occurred.) And not only that, but this outpouring has spawned a kind of sub-outpouring directed at New Yorker mainstay Ian Frazier, whose September 2004 interview in The Believer is cited in most of the same places. I’m not sure, but I think the comedy blog Dead Frog started it all.
So what’s it all about? Army Man, man.
Long story short, the WGA went on strike in 1988, and George Meyer happened to have a little zine going, called Army Man, and it was really funny. He ended up being a very important writer at The Simpsons. Check out the links above for the mining of strike-relevant meaning, it’s all stimulating stuff.
The two things that stuck in my mind from when I first read that Meyer profile in 2000 were the story about the arm and the sandwich and Meyer’s spiel about Country Crock. I think two salient, entirely intact bits after seven years is pretty darn good, David Owen.To a semipro scrutinizer of The New Yorker like me, it’s not every day that I stumble upon such a phenomenon: people, unprovably regular people out there, cherishing a New Yorker profile with such ardency. Check out the start of Ed Page’s post over at Maud Newton lo these four years ago:
I’ve read this New Yorker Profile of George Meyer about a gazillion times. I love it so much I cuddle with it at night. When I’m feeling blue, I sing to it. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I lick it.Now that’s some approbation! As well as a nice rebuke to the whole stupid “New Yorker appeals only to snobbish monocle wearers” contingent. —Martin Schneider
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Emdashes, founded in 2004, is written and drawn by Emily Gordon, Martin Schneider, Pollux, Jonathan Taylor, and Benjamin Chambers, as well as occasional guest contributors. All posts before October 2008 are by Emily Gordon.