You’re just jealous

Last week I was arguing with a friend about the sucktasticness of Chuck Klosterman’s Downtown Owl . I supported by case by citing the adverbs, the weird omniscient narrator from the future, and the general amateurish writing.

My adversary countered with, “You’re just jealous.”

This is often the argument I get whenever I yip at those hipsters hold in such high esteem (see: Diablo Cody). It’s also the argument that levels me. My knee-jerk reaction is to howl in protest about how much I am not jealous, how I rip on it because it is not good and not out of jealousy.

But on some level I am jealous. Klosterman and Cody has two of the awesomest jobs ever. For the record I am also jealous of Heather Armstrong, Kevin Brockmeier, Maud Newton, Junot Diaz, Aimee Bender, and whomever is sleeping with John Cusack. And, oddly, enough nobody ever thinks I’m jealous of those people.

I’ve been wondering about this jealousy accusation. Where does it come from? Is it because I am an unsuccessful writer where Klosterman and Cody are successful writers? Because I love great gobs of writers (see the list above)

Do people who dislike musicians who aren’t so great at what they do and yet get a lot of acclaim for it also get called jealous? Nobody has ever accused me of being jealous of Gwen Stefani.

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  1. Will Tupper 05.Apr.09 at 11:56 pm

    Dear Jodi,

    As a reader of your blog for many, many, many years, I would say that you are a very successful writer.

    Did it make Woody Guthrie a failure as a musician just because he sold far fewer albums than, say, the Beatles did?

    No. It just made him different.

    I’d say you’re a far more populist (i.e. “writer of the people”) then any of the fine folks you mentioned. And I think that’s a worthwhile place to be in this world.

    How’s that old saying go? “If you can do it for love, then you can do it forever.”

    I, for one, am confident that you’ll be writing forever.

    Long your admirer,

    Will Tupper

  2. Kristin 07.Apr.09 at 1:05 pm

    My boyfriend and others accuse me of the same. It’s harder to stand out these days, but the Aimee Benders of the World SHINE to those of us who are paying closer attention. And I’m on the fence about Diablo Cody, but that’s only because United States of Tara is actually a pretty decent show. But I’d never rank her with Aimee Bender. You are a writer if you write. Audience doesn’t matter! Being subterranean is better, anyway. 🙂

  3. Jodi 07.Apr.09 at 6:46 pm

    I haven’t seen United States of Tara. My esteem for Cody fell after reading Candy Girl. It fell so much that it made me like Juno a lot less than I initially did.

    It’s a shame Aimee Bender doesn’t get more acclaim.

  4. Kristin 08.Apr.09 at 12:17 pm

    The good thing about United States of Tara is the Toni Collette makes the show. Much of what she delivers could have been written by my 6 year-old nephew and it wouldn’t matter…Toni is just that good.
    Yes, Aimee Bender doesn’t get a fraction of the acclaim she deserves. And you know about Jessica Alba playing Mona Gray, right??? WTH. Why does the Universe ruin EVERYTHING good.


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