If you ever see a Twitter from @cklouis advertising a secret free show that will be filmed as part of his new pilot, you should follow the instructions that that Twitter offers and go to that show. But you should know that it is not free. Like all things in this life, it is not free.

For one thing, when you get there 10 minutes before all of the instructions say that you should get there, you will end up still having to wait in line for 30 more minutes, plus the 10 minutes early, so 40 minutes, and it will be raining. It’s not that the line is so long. It will be a totally reasonable line, actually. In fact, you won’t be entirely sure what it is that is taking so long because when you do get inside it will be another 45 minutes or something for them to set up cameras and stuff, which is what you would have assumed they were doing while you were forced to wait in the rain, around the corner from the entrance, watching a yellow umbrella bobbing in place above the crowd because you know that if that umbrella isn’t moving, then the line is not moving, then you are not moving, and it really is raining out here. Just a bunch of nerds out in the rain. Forever. You think of jokes to make on your own Twitter about divas and how Louis CK is a diva, but you don’t really want to do that because a) you recognize that in television production, or even just in life in general, sometimes things take time, and it’s not Louis CK or Entertainment’s fault that you purposefully decided right in front of your own building not to go back upstairs and get your umbrella even though it obviously looked like some serious rain in the sky. You made that decision. And besides, if you did post such a Twitter, something like “Apparently the CK stands for Celine KDion because of how divas are,” you would really only be trying to kind of show off that you were in line for a secret Louis CK show while simultaneously shitting on Louis CK, and the event, and everyone around you (there is also a Twitter idea about how many nerds are in the line, as if you, yourself, are somehow not a nerd) which is just the single worst thing, because you are the worst, and your instincts are terrible and mean-spirited and rude and self-indulgent and also, to be honest, boring. So there are already two costs to this “free” show: 45 minutes in the rain, and a stark self-realization. Or at least a stark realization about your Twitter Twendencies.

And then you get let inside.

As mentioned before, once inside, you will spend 45 minutes waiting. In Hollywood, time is money. Which is the kind of thing that you would say to people in Junior High, like, for no reason whatsoever. You’d be standing at your locker waiting for someone to finish going to the bathroom before heading down to the cafeteria for lunch (they have personal pan Little Caesar’s pizzas now!) and when they came back you’d say “hey, time is money,” and both of you would laugh about this expression that seemed somehow both adult and infantile, because it is. Because time is time, not money. Money is money. And anyway Junior High School was a long time ago, but what’s weird is that you’re at a point in your life now where time actually is money. Or at the very least time has a measurable value, and time spent waiting feels like value lost. You play Sudoku on your phone, which only makes things worse. What a stupid game. If time is money, then Soduku is anti-money. You literally lose money every time you play it. There is no cell phone service, so you cannot Twitter about this fact. Which is probably for the best.

Eventually Louis CK gets up on stage and explains that it’s going to be another 20 minutes before they’re ready to start taping, and you deflate, because you’re that guy. You’re the princess and the pea over here. “I can’t sleep, there’s something wrong with these mattresses.” But Louis CK does something kind of great, which is he spends most of that time talking to the audience. Riffing! He tells a really funny story about something that happened to him earlier that day. That day! It just happened, and already in his masterful hands it has become a charming and funny story that you enjoy very much about aging and acupuncture and the weird situations that human beings find themselves in. He answers questions from the audience, and is just so naturally funny and disarming that it almost makes you angry. Why can’t you have natural gifts like that? Why can’t you be funny and disarming? And then it becomes this inner-monologue about you, because ultimately it always comes back to you, right? Yes. And so now you are basically not even enjoying this rare moment with a world-class comedian telling stories off the cuff because you’re absorbed in this long-winded, self-absorbed interior monologue you’ve been having a lot lately about where your life is headed and what you really want and blah blah blah you are so pedestrian, seriously, get over yourself.

Also, Louis CK tells a really funny story about how he single-handedly ruined Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, although that can’t be true. If anything, Louis CK was one of the few saving graces of that terrible movie, one assumes, because one hasn’t seen it, because no one has seen it.

They pass out waters to the audience, and pitchers of Coke. Some people wonder if it would be possible to get beers and other alcohols, and Louis CK retracts his previous announcement that there won’t be any drinks, and suggests that everyone get drinks, because let’s have some fun, but eventually it turns out that no one can have drinks because this is after all a place of business and they would have to ID everyone, and have we already forgotten how much work it took just to get people inside from the rain, much less to verify their legal age and also take their orders and serve them. So this will be a sober audience. In any case, you don’t care. But that is a thing that happens. If nothing else, the time that it takes to reverse position on the whole drinks thing, try to get people drinks, and then reverse back to no drinks is a frustrating reminder of how long the wait is.

And finally it is time to tape the show, and one thing that is true remains so: Louis CK is the single best working stand-up in the United States of America. He talks about air travel and what people used to say before they could say Jesus Christ, and other really funny bits, and the crowd is really enjoying this. And as his show progresses, the jokes get a lot darker, and the bits are a lot more honest and pointed than stand up comedy tends to be. He talks about dating as a precursor to death, which leads into a joke about a pile of dead dogs, and the best case scenario of love being that in a few years you’ll be walking home alone, a bent over old widower, carrying heavy D’Agostino bags and waiting for your turn to die. And it’s fucking hilarious. He talks about how his car (and in turn, everybody’s car) is responsible for global poverty and you are laughing and of course you are thinking about global poverty as if somehow you’re going to leave this show and do something more for global poverty, but of course you aren’t. No one here is. In fact, on your way to the show, a college-aged girl with a lanyard around her neck and a binder full of laminated documents tried to get you to sponsor a needy third world child, standing in the rain without an umbrella as she tried to explain what her organization did to help people who needed help, and you barely stopped walking because you had to get to Starbucks to get an iced coffee before going to the free comedy show in the middle of the day, because some people starve to death and some people attend pilot tapings.

But here is the other thing about the show besides how funny it is: Louis has to keep taking breaks to let the Steadicam operator have a rest, because the Steadicam is very heavy. Fair enough. And then he has to figure out where the Steadicam should go next, because this is, after all, for a TV show. But the show needs to wrap soon so that they can clear the club because Louis is actually doing a paid show that night for real adults with money in their wallets and everything. There are some things that he needs to make sure to get for the TV show that are interstitial and not really funny. And so what ends up happening is that after all of the waiting, you really only get about 30 minutes of comedy. Which is plenty. Especially from Louis CK, that is a high laffs-to-time ratio. And this was all new material. And it was great. But you are kind of annoyed because somehow 30 minutes of comedy doesn’t entirely feel like it justifies the three hours this whole thing takes in total.

Because just like the gas-faced malcontent at the center of a Louis CK joke, you’ve grown dissatisfied with the world as it is, immune to its wonders. Just a few years ago you would have been Nintendo 64 Kid caliber excited to see Louis CK perform under any circumstances, and to be part of a pilot taping would have seemed incredibly neat and special. But now you are old and grumpy and jealous of the people who paid because they’re going to see a full comedy show without having to wait in the rain, as if somehow a short wait and a free show are actual BURDENS, as if you were just PUNISHED, which was not the case at all, you clown, it was great, but this is how you are thinking about it now out on the sidewalk. You look at the time and realize that you can’t go to the gym because the show got out later than you had anticipated, and somehow that’s someone’s fault or something. Because now you’re going to get fat and bed-ridden or something (you’re not going to get fat and bed-ridden) because you went to this fun, free, special comedy show. But it’s not free. It’s adding up. In your head, because you stink.

Out on the sidewalk after the show Louis is graciously thanking people for coming, stopping to take photos with anyone who asks, signing DVDs, being an all-around nice guy. Later he will send out another Twitter thanking everyone for coming and apologizing for the very problems that you’ve spent the whole time bitterly mumbling to yourself about. Which is why even for Louis CK there is no free Louis CK show. Not only because he has to actually put in the work and perform, but because he’s going to be blogged about the next day by some jerk who’s going to complain about the waiting and the rain and the Steadicam operator as if somehow that is Louis CK’s fault. As if somehow he wasn’t aware of the mild unpleasantness of these things, and grateful for people’s patience, and in return doing his best to keep the audience entertained while actually directing his own pilot. It’s going to feel like he’s getting shit on when he doesn’t deserve to be shit on, but that’s how it’s going to feel, because that’s what blogs feel like. Just a diarrhea waterfall. Or maybe that’s a bad metaphor. More like a perpetual motion machine powered by diarrhea. Better. “That’s just how things are now, with the internet,” someone will say. “You have to expect that now.” As if we don’t make up the rules. As if the world just is.

And as you walk to the subway, thinking about how you could possibly turn this mostly enjoyable experience watching your favorite comedian perform for free while most people were at work into a self-indulgent, misanthropic blog post for work the next day, you realize that this is perhaps the final and worst hidden cost. The show functions as a painful reminder that your life now is spent in constant hyper-awareness of what can be most easily ripped to shreds for an audience of fellow monsters who don’t care what you say just as long as you say it quickly. Comments and observations and opinions that are often hurtful and barely even thought through are thrown on-line as fast as possible in order to feed this rapacious, miserable animal. And knowing that, being reminded of that, is expensive. It costs you everything.

Tags:  
Comments (113)
  1. Blogger who has a painful epiphany and then blogs about it, c’est moi.

  2. BORING TOO LONG 2 READ

  3. lzr  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +14

    “hey, time is money,”

  4. All that being said, Louis C.K. is still THE BEST.

  5. It’s about time Videogum had an existential crisis. Well written.

  6. Philip  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +6

    I am still quite jealous. Even if you are being Señor Sad Pants.

  7. gabe is gay  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -30

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  8. i had almost this exact stream of consciousness yesterday morning, but it was a over a donut. because i live in the tulsa, oklahoma.

  9. Do we start the “Save Lindsay” movement now?

    • upvote times infinity. I hope this is the top comment on Friday.

    • I know times are tough, bad economy, etc., etc., but laying Lindsay off seems like a bad idea for two reasons.

      1) We love Lindsay! She’s great! Obvs, etc.

      2) Videogum works because of the back-and-forth. Gabe brings the snark, Lindsay brings the cute as balls videos with just a taste of the acerbic. We need this back and forth!

      • 3) If she goes, i will be torn like natalie imbruglia circa 1997; cold and ashamed, all out of faith, bound and broken on the floor, etc.
        i’ve been taking this whole thing a lot harder than i’d have thought i would considering it’s someone else’s job. but damn am i going to miss her around here.
        remember that time gabe had a friday fight with himself? i think VG is going to become something like that: funny and interesting yet profoundly lonely and kinda sad.
        TEAM LINDSAY

    • Save Lindsay, indeed.

      Videogum just wouldn’t be Videogum without Lindsay.

  10. I’d like to emend a famous quotation: “Sometimes, brevity is the soul of wit.”

  11. bluewindiron  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +34

    Gabe, honey…it’s ok. We know we’re animals. We know you know – and we’re all glad to be at the table, because even a little Schadenfreudic satisfaction can help ease the pain we’re enjoying in our own, personal existential crises.

    Plus, you’re funny – a good writer – and totally hot. It’s always a good time. Chin up little camper, you make us smile.

    • Gabe is hot! (though my heart belongs to max silvestri) google can confirm this.
      especially for a divorced 70-year-old man in the autumn of his life. or even for a (20-something?) blogger.

  12. Santa  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +10

    Dave Eggers …Ben Kunkel …Keith Gessen …Gabe? Novel time. Just stay away from Oprah.

  13. sally  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +32

    possibly my favorite videogum post ever.

  14. On the one hand: bravo, amazing, wow. On the other: that last paragraph makes it seem like the weight of blogging (in general? here?) has just gotten too heavy to bear and is just crushing you with its load of rapacious, miserable animals and well, after the news of Lindsay leaving, this last paragraph just makes me capital letters :( .

  15. This is fantastic, Gabe. And we, the commenters and readers, aren’t ALL monsters. A lot of us come here everyday to read your top-shelf cultural criticism.

  16. “high laffs-to-time ratio.”… brilliant gabe

  17. I think this is my favorite VG post now. It felt a little like reading Don DeLillo. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, let me get you a beer and make you play bocce ball with me.

  18. I can imagine working for a blog that comments on culture is hard because so much of culture is terrible and after a while we can just see the terrible in everything. I wouldn’t really know how to reconcile that, except maybe to occasionally talk about things you find exciting and interesting too. As a part of the monster, I can say that we do sort of get wrapped up in negativity, which at the time seems more funny than poisonous but after a while…I don’t know. that’s just the internet in general I guess.

    In the grand scheme of things videogum isn’t that bad and for the most part not terribly unreasonable. You’ll never be as truly awful as the commenters on Brooklyn Vegan. so one point up for everyone here.

    that all being said, i’m really going to miss lindsay’s happy posts :(

  19. Actually kind of heartbreaking. I read that whole thing, and my coworker looked over after a couple minutes and said, “What are you working on?” all accusingly. I AM WORKING ON NOT CRYING. Please don’t both of you leave.

  20. epg  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +27

    Yes, we agree, Gabe. It’s awful that Lindsay got laid off.

  21. Gabe, you’re the king of this corner of the internet. This is your time to be drunk with power. I imagine you typing crazy things and yelling “dance, commenters, dance!” in your mesh shirt.

    now let that ruminate and come down from the ledge.

  22. Santa  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +1

    I think I’m late to the party, or busy on acid or something, but is Lindsey leaving? Whys?

  23. yeahisaidit  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +30

    You all, along with Rich @ four four, are models of how the internet can do cultural critique in a way that doesn’t have to smack of self-righteousness, easy cynicism or perez-style bileism. Yeah, we want trashy-info and weird youtube shit, but we want it spun with gentility and humor, and optimally, smart insight, like an old Southern man in white linen sipping lemonade on a hot day. (or not?) Sidenote: Where did those PBS tv-alerts go!??!

    But seriously, don’t get your ears double-pierced like Jon gosselin during his mid-life crisis.

  24. i might be in the minority but i think that you and lindsay are taking the awfulness of the interweb and making it bearable and fun. Even taking the awfulness of certain events and pointing out the lighter side of it. BRAVO! (and fade out with a slow clap)

  25. madfishes  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -10

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  26. I actually requested to go to the taping and never heard back, which I am definitely thankful for. I saw Louis CK perform at Tearing the Veil of Maya on Sunday and he fucking KILLED, and while he probably killed yesterday, I would have felt the same sense of entitlement to an enjoyable experience as Gabe did. It’s like the whole Louis CK bit about internet on airplanes.

  27. Personally I think the internet is the greatest thing ever (actually. not just saying that phrase in its typical. over-exaggerating way.) And Gabe and Lindsay (or, Videogum) is the penultimate of my internet experience for the past year or so.
    Yeah, the internet can be shitty, but what it’s done for communication and also, for those people who don’t really fit the mold, but can find others like them only through the internet, that’s pretty beautiful (and I’m not just talking about nerds!)

  28. thanks for the report. i’m not going to touch the self-realization stuff…but i was one of those people that got offered tickets via twitter. the actual tweet said “free show in NYC” and being as i will be going there next month, i was like “awesome!”. of course, 10 minutes later he added that the show would be the next day (and being as i live in Kansas meant i was immediately unable to attend)…but since i hadn’t heard anything i figured i missed the window.

    so yesterday i got the invite…called the 3 people i know (like…in real life) who live in NYC to see if they can use them…and no one could. i thought about trying to alert the Videogum posters to these tickets i had going to waste…but i didn’t want to threadjack Lindsay or Gabe, so ultimately i wrote them back and told them to send it to whoever was next on the list. the whole thing was kinda sad and bummed me out for the rest of the day.

    anyway…thanks for the report. even if it was bittersweet. i saw Louis the last time he came through here and he did 2 hours of new stuff…all of it great. so funny. so dark (clearly he enjoys getting people to laugh at horrible things which is awesome because you can’t help it). I concur…he’s the best out there right now. followed closely by Patton.

  29. We all love ya, buddy! Stay strong.

    Sometimes I am wracked with similar torrents of despair: as an aspiring “popular blogger”, what does it say about my life that my endeavor is to feel The Worst

  30. Uncle Jesse Barfield  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -71

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Shut up, diaperface.

      • Uncle Jesse Barfield  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -20

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • Jenn  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +9

          Ok, bro, I can deal with you being a jerk and insulting someone that I don’t know in real life but I CANNOT deal with you saying the new Animal Collective isn’t that good. Seriously. What were you listening to because what I was listening to was incredible-ness.

        • There is a little blue box in the upper right hand corner of this post that will take you back to Stereogum. How about you go there.

    • go fap to an episode of family guy.

    • Congratulations, you’ve cultivated a world view where you will only allow ideas to affect you if they come from famous people, but not bloggers or strangers, no, you’re far too smart to empathize with a commoner. This all must be working great for you. Have fun at dinner.

      • Uncle Jesse Barfield  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -18

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  31. This is just a massive pile of sad. I love you Gabe, we all do.

  32. next top best friend  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +22

    aww, gabe. just as louis ck brings moments of joy/transcendence to your generally meaningless life, you and lindsay bring moments of joy/transcendence to MY generally meaningless life. see how that works? human beings! interdependent!

  33. I wish I had half your talent for writing down what’s in your head. Beautifully written, Gabe.
    On another note, next time you see a college aged kid with a lanyard and a binder full of laminated documents trying to get you to sponsor a needy third world child… I dunno, yell at them or something, because assholes didn’t give me a job despite my spectacular interview. (Probably worst interview in the history of ever.) Or you know… Sponsor a kid or whatever. WHATEVER.

  34. Decades ago, you would’ve been writing commentary for a top newspaper and syndicated nationally. Now, we live so much in the present that we liveblog experiences and/to distance ourselves from any kind of spiritual feeling. Case in point: the lady who simultaneously spoke on her cell phone and took pictures with her iPhone (why did she need two phones?) at the Grand Canyon two weeks ago. She literally said, “Hey, Mom, thought I’d call you from the Grand Canyon.” She was so relentlessly documenting that she was there, she kept herself from being present in the moment. It’s like a bed-post of experiences, where notches are all that count and not the connection.

    Am I making sense?

    I think this is to say that: 1) I’ve been sad all week long and will really miss Lindsay, and what does it say about me that one of my favorite bloggers being laid off has so affected my daily life; and 2) what you’re doing is meaningful, and us regular readers of Videogum come here to read intelligent culture commentary and engage with others like ourselves.

    Maybe you should start your own McSweeney’s.

  35. soooo….. good day?

  36. Wait, what???? Lindsay can’t be leaving :(

  37. NR  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +38

    Gabriel Delahaye. You have made me tear up, and for once it isn’t because despite my most fervent efforts at bargaining with God, those Gawker pin-ups have yet to burst into beautiful, living, breathing, be-sweatered being.

    You are so funny, so sexy, so goddamn smart that I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the fact that you’ve been driven to a place where a post like this became something you had to write. I honestly (stupidly) thought you were impervious to the undeserved hostility this job of yours entails, and now I feel like a jerk for not saying something to balance out the negativity sooner.

    So, okay. This comment isn’t particularly well thought out, it doesn’t offer any new information, but for what it’s worth it comes from the heart, a death sentence though the use of that cliche may be. All I can say is this: It might not seem like a big deal to some, but Videogum means a lot to me, and to quite a few people I know. We appreciate the effort that you (and Lindsay, and Scott) are constantly putting into this site, into entertaining us and making us think, regardless of whether or not we agree with your opinions. Not many bloggers – no, wait, not many people have the same capacity for combining real insight into pop culture with sharp, uniquely-voiced humor as you, which makes you ridiculously good at what you do, and it would be a great shame, a huge loss if a few foul-mouthed, illiterate, inconsiderate monsters played any sort of role in convincing you otherwise.

  38. Biggest irony of all: Lindsay’s approach was measured and considerate. She was the light side of the blog, the one who really discerned who deserved to be ripped to shreds. She made the shred-ripping go down easy. She was the fiber in the perpetual motion diarrhea machine. :(

  39. HB  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  40. Steeze  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +5

    gabe, i think you need a hug. dont be so hard on yourself buddy.

  41. Thank you for posting a sample chapter from the forthcoming David Foster Wallace novel. (NOTE: This post is very reminiscent of what it was like at the Michael & Michael taping I attended — only without any water or bathroom breaks.)

  42. Paul Rudd  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +18

    you know what sucks about how good this post is? it is that it is impossible to provide any kind of consolation or commiseration from the comments section, which is what we want to do, for once, to actually vocalize a connection with another human being instead of vomiting whatever illiterate nonsense about True Blood, but the thing is that whatever we try to say is going to come out sycophantic or just misinformed, right? If we say “Gabe this is weirdly great writing which touches on some kind of sad human truth from an unexpected direction” it is not going to translate, because we don’t know how fundamentally worthless and fraudulent you are, or if we DO know then that means we are just as pathetically minutely self-obsessed as you are, just as weirdly dependent on the idea of our own empathy without actually behaving in an empathetic way, so anything we have to say is automatically the worst because that is the worst, anyway that is how I would feel, and plus who cares whether we give this blog post an A+ and a Grape Job sticker or not, what does that contribute, nothing, like I sort of already hate myself for writing and probably double-posting this terrible comment (the saddest kind of double-post with the tiny edits) but I would have hated myself no matter what, so would we all, so, ugh, maybe we should send this to Ted Leo and get him to Twitter about it, who knows, maybe that would help.

  43. I enjoyed this post, but um… I don’t think Gabe really meant it as an invitation to validate his worth. This is just getting weird.

    • yea. everyone likes this post for the same reasons young urban misanthropes like garden state, but we’re all making asses of ourselves for all eternity.

  44. quadruple x  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -14

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • chuck bass  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +1

      yeah, because that worked really well for Emily Gould, the Queen of Dignity.

      • quadruple x  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 0

        Gould wrote a long boring screed too.

        • chuck bass  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -4

          Point! but it ended in “i quit” which this one does not, I thought that was the objection. if it’s just the tl;dr then well, yeah, it’s a de gustibus thing, whatever. i’m sure everyone who had Special Feelings about this post already regrets them. I do!

  45. Wow, you did it Gabe, you’re done with it, you win at life and no one can take that from you.

  46. I have really missed Corporate Casual, welcome back Worker #3116.

  47. I don’t want to rain on the Gabe parade or anything, but what’s up with this, Videogum?

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /autofs/isilon1/stereogum/videogum.com/htdocs/index.html on line 6375

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /autofs/isilon1/stereogum/videogum.com/htdocs/includes/thick_column.html on line 770

    I can only get here through individual posts on Google Reader. The more you know :(

  48. Jenn  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 +25

    You have a job where you find funny things on the internet and write clever and hilarious things every day, you live in the greatest city in the world and you’re a pretty attractive and seemingly well-balanced human being: SHIT COULD BE WORSE.

  49. It’s alright, Gabe. I will always be hopelessly devoted to you (in a totally non-creepy, not-disturbing way). Cheer up, champ! You’re all kinds of awesome!

  50. This just reminds me so much of your article for ‘This American Life’.

    Only, you’re not really an asshole.

  51. You wanted to know what happens after irony? This is it. This is post-irony. It isn’t sincerity, not quite. It’s not so naive. It’s not so easy. It’s painful, and it’s not an enviable position to be in.

    But today it is almost sort of a necessary posture to adopt, or else if you’re thoughtful at all, if you’re cognizant of all the terrible shit that’s going on in the world and your utter inability to do anything about it besides lamely attempt to cope and make people laugh, the only recourse is suicide. No, I’m not calling you lame, but I’m sure we all understand that basically any one person’s response to this world is by definition lame, pathetic, incapable of effecting change on a meaningful level except maybe to the people in your immediate life.

    Gabe, you don’t know shit about any of us and we don’t know anything about you, but reading Videogum is one of the highlights (read: sole activities) of my boring-ass workday. And even when you’re being so 200% snarky, it helps me assume I have a handle on at least one? granted, pathetic?aspect of this existence. So if the price for us readers is having to carry you across a beach when you can no longer walk, I’m pretty sure everyone here would volunteer.

  52. GABE WE PROMISE TO STOP BEING MONSTERS! JUST DON’T GO!

  53. So Louis CK got you thinking, it seems? Ha ha. Ha. Ha? This rant is genius. I love it. I give it two champy arms up. Looks like you’re getting some potential dates. Too bad the world makes you fucking miserable? Well I’m laughing anyway. And monsters! Well I never! Speak for yourself, mate.

    • Finally, someone who’s taking all this in the right spirit. The hand-wringing on this thread was getting out of control. I think it’s safe for everyone to man up a bit now!

  54. Gabe, the costs go even further than you realize. I am a fairly successful lawyer with a job I generally enjoy. I work for a big firm, take interesting cases, work with brilliant people, and make a good deal of money. So yay. The problem? I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and legal briefs ain’t cutting it. I’m happpy, sure, but I’m not living my dream.

    But the fact is, I’m probably not even that good. I’m definitely not as good as you. So I come to this blog to sort of live vicariously through your inevitable rise to fame. (Trust me, dude; it’s coming.) In the meantime, I enjoy your smart observations on the inane banalities of day to day life on the webernets. And I think, “man, this Gabe guy has the life.” He gets to sit there all day just writing his thoughts, which–lucky for him–are interesting enough that people actually go out of their way to read them. And then comment! What a trip. I bet this guy loves every second of his life.

    Then I come here today and read this, and I realize a sad but obvious truth about the universe: no one is really that happy. On the one hand, yay, because if I quit lawyering and took a stab at writing, who says I’d be any happier? I could wind up broke and miserable, and the only thing I’d have achieved is proving what I’d always feared: I’m not very talented. Or I could gain some measure of success, perhaps even eek out a living writing about things that interest me, honing my wit on some blog or another until the fateful day I put out a book and hit it big. But who says I’d be happy then? I’d basically have your life, and (although I still think it sounds pretty great), I’m not naive enough to think you have achieved nirvana.

    I guess we are all at some version of the free Louis CK show, standing outside in the rain or (if we’re lucky) inside staring at the stage waiting for the lights to come on, certain that we only have to endure a few more minutes before whatever we’ve been waiting for finally happens. But even when our moment comes and Louis takes the stage, we’re too busy thinking about what’s next to really enjoy it. And it’s over before we’ve even had time to realize what we had.

    • “because if I quit lawyering and took a stab at writing, who says I’d be any happier? I could wind up broke and miserable” You will. Trust me.

  55. mike  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2009 -14

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  56. Paul Sheridan  |   Posted on Jun 26th, 2009 -1

    Stereogum usually posts about great music they love. Imagine how sad Stereogum would be if they spent most of the time focusing on how bad most popular music is. Sure, there’s a lot of bad music, and making fun of it can be entertaining sometimes, but after a while you would just feel miserable. Like VH1 miserable. So they focus on what’s good, what’s worth spending time on.

  57. Gabe, I think you’re great.

  58. Margot  |   Posted on Jun 26th, 2009 +16

    I understand that Noah Baumbach is optioning this blog post for his next film. Second pair of slippers = free Louis CK show. Not trying to be a dick at all with this comment, by the way, though I know it sounds like it. Nor am I trying to be funny. Just saying, yeah, this kind of thing hits hard when it hits…perhaps hardest when you think that “the aches and pains of our petty bourgeois existence” are meaningless in the face of what is, admittedly, the relatively insanely large amounts of suffering going on outside of that existence. Step one in helping that pain is realizing that it’s denying your own humanity to pretend like it’s immoral or shameful that it exists, even if you make your living as a tremendously gifted and handsome blogger/writer/entertainer while other people are fighting in wars or starving to death or being shot by riot police for demanding their rights. I’m just glad that some people have the courage to admit they’re sometimes confused about their place in life and having a hard time even when they know people are going to write things like “More like ‘GAYbe’.” Sincerity is so much harder than irony. In fact, it’s so difficult that I became nervous while writing this potentially contentious comment and decided to use an arch pseudonym instead of my normal one…as though I had a “Videogum Commenter Reputation” to protect! But this post was good to read…sincerely.

  59. I’m glad people enjoyed this here post, Gabe, but have you ever considered getting a Live Journal? It seems like a more appropriate venue for this kind of solipsistic, meta-self-absorption. Take that shit elsewhere, this is a business. We’ve got important business stuff to deal with, like “Been had kittehs.”

    Also, hey, at least you are still white! Perhaps you should re-purpose your review of Margot at the Wedding to respond to your own ramblings.

  60. Every writer cannibalizes their own lives for their writing. You’re lucky in that it’s only the pop-culture part of your life, not your friendships or family or sex life or any of the other potentially more affecting areas of your personal life.

  61. Expressing your honest views and feelings is much more important than making sure you are saying something nice. Don’t walk on egg shells at the internet’s (or anyone save your dying Grandmother) behest. Gabe takes responsibility for his words and actions like an adult, and should be able to speak his mind freely here without everyone going “Aww poor baby Gabe needs a nap” or “Lindsay posts cheery stuff! Why can’t you be more like Lindsay?” Though I agree that the back and forth between the two is an integral part of what attracted me to the site, I am going to go ahead and agree with Margot’s above comment and support this post as though I were taking the internet too seriously.

    I too believe the internet has ruined everything sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time.
    :( sad pants

  62. Gabe, I know you think that white people complaining about being white makes for awful drama, and I always assumed it was because you were very much a realist. But you’ve seemed to fall – somewhat reluctantly, I admit – into the trap of thinking that being pessimistic makes you realistic. Yes, yes, your job is to dissect popular culture and to keep in-touch with the internet and you wonder if it’s made you jaded to the wonders of the world, blah, blah, blah.

    You wrote this in the second person, so you obviously know that everyone has these same thoughts, and that part seems to bother you the most. So get over it. You’re nothing special, but you’ve a soapbox that most people don’t get, so don’t take it for granted.

  63. I’m just now getting around to reading this post because when I first saw it, I was like FUCK THAT VERBOSITY. I’ll admit that I didn’t even read all of it just now, but I read most. And I read the last paragraph. I must say, I’ve been wondering what the toll is for writing like you do, Gabe. You don’t hate everything, obviously. But you do hate everything. You “hate” — wink, wink, lots of love — everything. It’s a precarious precipice you’ve placed yourself. I fear with Lindsay no longer around, you’ll become like a kind of pithy Lawnmower Man blogger of infinite regress. Read some Rilke!

  64. woodbee  |   Posted on Jun 29th, 2009 -2

    YOU CAN MAKE IT UP! “Gabe Passive-Aggressively Solicits An Outpouring of Treacly Garbage-Love from His Cult of 15 Commenters with a Boohoo-Woe-Is-Me Post About the Perils of Blogging-While-White-and-Educated.”

    [Please see above.]

  65. i can’t be the only one who thought “eggers” after reading this. and that’s a compliment; i love dave eggers! this is maybe the best thing i’ve ever read on videogum. certainly the most cathartic.

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