Sunday, April 18, 2004

Speaking of Steve Martin
I enjoyed Steve Martin's writing in his book of essays, Pure Drivel, but over time I realized that he didn't do much that was new, always chose easy targets, and then used incorrect stereotypes to mock them. His piece on Mensa is awfully inaccurate, for example. As Dwight MacDonald wrote about Tom Wolfe, such work "exploits the factual authority of journalism and the atmospheric license of fiction."

His recent comic piece on The Passion of the Christ not only has an lame target—studio execs rather than Mel Gibson or the film itself—but it also comes across as trite. Oddly, newspapers standardly report that his piece mocks the movie.


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