Friday, November 30, 2007

Erin O'Brien: Pynchon of hack feature writing

Wow. I am sure getting my ass kicked over here.

Here's my favorite:

If I ever find myself teaching a journalism class, I'd hand this out first day, and tell the kids to memorize the first three paragraphs. That way, they'd have learned damn near every lazy-ass trick and trope in the book, they'd have a deep understanding of how to make a mess of an already awkward metaphor (a smoldering pit of ether and porn footage births Rosemary's baby?), they'd know intimately the perils of hamfisted neologism ("cyberborg"?), and most of all they'd learn that a good rule of thumb is that there's never a good reason to let just one or two words stand alone as their own paragraph.

Never ever.

Erin O'Brien of the Cleveland Free Times, you are truly the Pynchon of hack feature writing, and I salute you. The density of cliched phrasing and misused language in your prose will take you very, very far.


Jeepers Creepers! Thank you for your comments Gompa, baby Hey, wanna forget all about this and go make out?

No? Oh, okay.

Now then, for all you other Metafilter babies who stopped by, thanks. For your efforts, here is my companion post to the YouPorn article. Enjoy.

12 comments:

ajooja said...

Oh, don't you just love random criticism? :)

Hang in there, dear.

Darrel said...

Congratulations on your "major award." Seriously, though, those of us lurkers who read your prose do so because it's almost always a fun read. Keep up the great work, Pynchon!

Erin O'Brien said...

I'm so proud of this criticism, I think I might have tee-shirts made up:

Erin O'Brien: Pynchon of hack feature writing

mal said...

Loved the article. I'm all for more discussion, and I thought you did a great job. Cheers!

Glass Houses said...

I find it interesting that when you visit his profile, he doesn't seem to have any writing exploits of his own.

It's easy to criticize when you aren't the one putting your self out there, isn't it?

Noah said...

Seriously, though. "Cyberborg" is pretty bad.

deangc said...

I did some checking, and he actually IS a writer. Has a couple of books out and everything.

And a stick up his ass.

Erin O'Brien said...

oh effing hell ....

Felix said...

In a case of "Pot Meets Kettle", Gompa's blog/homepage/whatever is doing what he accuses you of.

Hell's donkeys, does everyone expect the frickin' Gettysburg Address when they read blogs? I admit, mine's not even close to National Enquirer-level yet. Gompa's pseudobabble is not even up to the Pittsburg Steelers level. (Yes, I said it.)

Anonymous said...

I think I remember you from high school... I'm thinking more toward Motown, though... (maybe not, then).

Regardless, keep up the good work!

Darby M. Dixon III said...

The price of my secret Erin O'Brien video footage just went up.

Anonymous said...

"A screaming comes across the blogosphere. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late, mighty Gompa is pissed off again. His delicate journalistic sensibilities have been offended by the RDW (Rainy Day Woman)..."

Thomas Pychon, "Gravity's Gompa"
(his best novel, IMHO)