May 04, 2005

Remembering The Best Take Down, EVER

Joshua Norton, if you don't already know, can be a bit of an asshole when the mood strikes him, and it strikes him often, believe me. However, through the amazing medium of Internet blogs, and despite all established rules of normal social engagement, I've taken to thinking of him as a friend. No one was more surprised by that development than myself.

Anyway, I was sitting here pondering the bizarre nature of blog-inspired friendships, and I suddenly remembered the exact moment I decided that Josh, though a perpetual ass, could be one of the funniest people on the planet.

It was back during the Plain Layne days, and the comment discussions that could go on into infinity. Josh made a point, only to have another commenter, named Bob, rip on Joshua's reading proclivities. Joshua's response was one of the most thoroughly annihilating take downs I have ever read. The pisser is, since you can't find the Plain Layne archives any more, I have to restate my favorite bit here from memory, which isn't perfect:

So, you go back to reading Juggs, or Watch Tower, or whatever other literary Doritos you use to keep your malnourished critical thinking skills gasping along.

Bob never commented ever again on anything "Layne" ever wrote.

Posted by Ryan at May 4, 2005 03:29 PM

Aw, thanks Ryan.

One of these days I'll have to find someone who has those archives. I think we both did some of our best editorial writing in the comments of that blog.

I have yet to find anything remotely comparable as a gathering place. I still wish Odin had been just a little bit less ashamed of the whole project-- if he hadn't felt like he had something to hide, he would've just kept writing the bloody thing. Or, to look at it another way, if he'd just admitted what he was up to when I asked him point-blank in e-mails, I wouldn't have said anything about it in public.

Very sad. Such good commenting.

Posted by: Joshua at May 4, 2005 05:10 PM

Yes Joshua. (With a strap on dildo.)

Posted by: Donna at May 4, 2005 10:00 PM

funny...but so wrong. *laughs and shakes head side to side*

Posted by: Desult at May 4, 2005 10:44 PM

Does *anyone* read "The Mexican Year"?

Posted by: David Grenier at May 5, 2005 03:38 AM

I stop in every so often to check his sitemeter. It usually hovers around 100 a day. I think he's kind of being boycotted.

Posted by: Joshua at May 5, 2005 11:54 AM

Well, I think the fact that Odin never bothers to read or comment on anyone else's stuff says a fuck of a lot.

Posted by: David Grenier at May 5, 2005 12:13 PM

I actually got an e-mail from Odin around the time of my birthday, inviting me to dinner or something like that. I didn't respond. It's not that I begrudge the man personally, but I kinda think he owes an apology, at the very least, to those who opened themselves up almost completely to "Layne." The whole Johnny Huh? wedding invitation to "Layne" that came back as undeliverable sticks in my mind as a particularly disgusting example.

For crying out loud, how hard is it to say "I'm sorry about that."

Apparently, pretty damned hard.

Posted by: Ryan at May 5, 2005 12:29 PM

Thanks, Ryan, it still sticks in my craw too. Not that I dwell on it much. I think he does owe a bunch of us an apology but I'm not holding my breath.

And I do actually see Odin comment on Nadablog from time to time.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at May 5, 2005 03:43 PM

I should also note that I do miss the comments as much as you guys. Joshua, Ryan "Quiplash" had the archives. He's stopped blogging but he's a contact on Flickr if you're interested in getting ahold of them.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at May 5, 2005 04:00 PM

If his links are to believed, Plain Layne will soon be in print.
I was late to the scene, but I have emails from 'Layne' and I miss the drama. I just don't know how it's going to translate into a book.

Posted by: Melanie at May 5, 2005 05:57 PM

I'm still around, but time-constrained and mostly lurking. If I knew you from the Plain Layne days I probably don't comment much on your blog, and sometimes that eats at me. Layne was a better friend than I am.

The Mexican Year has been a consuming project for me, but few Plain Layne fans are following it. Some have told me it's just not what they're looking for in a blog -- something they read, instead of a real person blogging (or maybe I should say "real" person blogging) and a place where they can interact. And that's cool.

Melanie, that section of my blogroll -- "Coming Soon to a Payment Model Near You?" -- is kinda tongue in cheek. A couple of those bloggers have real book deals, a couple are self-publishing, but most are fictional blogs that just...ended.

Posted by: Odin at May 6, 2005 08:55 AM

If someone ever finds that particular comment, I'd love to see it. I love a good verbal whipping.

Posted by: Keith at May 6, 2005 02:47 PM

Here's the full quote, written by Joshua on 25 Sep 2003:

I have a quick temper Bob, and am sometimes inclined to argue with stupid people on the internet even though I know it’s a waste of time. But for the time being, I’ll keep it down to this: Anais Nin and Simone de Beauvoir fall pretty firmly in the “RESPECTED” camp of literature and if you ever read anything besides The Watchtower and Jugs, or whatever the fuck kind of literary Doritos you use to keep your malnourished critical thinking skills gasping along, you might know that.

Posted by: Gudy at May 10, 2005 07:33 AM
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