Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol XXII: Journolist dreams, reader penalty box, and stealing Dear Prudence

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

EDITOR’S NOTE: Have a burning sensation? Consult your doctor. Have a burning question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.

Spencer Ackerman has me cornered in an alley. Somehow the alley is composed entirely of glass. He is wearing a Black Flag t-shirt and nothing else. Could you please interpret my dream? – Jim Treacher

Yes. It’s symbolic. Spencer Ackerman symbolizes Spencer Ackerman, the embodiment of spittle-flecked, finger-sniffing bloggerhood, whereby, some churlish ewok with a Napoleon complex who was likely pushed around by high-school football players who used to hide his lint brushes when he was trying to clean the fresnel lens on the overhead projector (his duty as vice president of the Audio Visual club) is now all grown up, and has found a racket where he can regularly act out his revenge fantasies from the safety of his dank little blogging hole. From there, he has given himself his own comic-book nickname  – “Attackerman” — because he likes to read comics in addition to sniffing his own finger (he doesn’t know where its been — and that excites him!) But if you think that’s a honking dork coming at you in the alley, pants-less in a Black Flag t-shirt, then think again. Because he’s ferocious and you might get attackered. How do we know? Because Attackerman also likes punk rock music, and has multiple tattoos, not unlike many of the lasses on the cast of Jersey Shore.

From his hermetically sealed masturbatorium, he can then rhetorically threaten people who have soft hands and who type about politics for a living, but who could still pound the Bad Brains out of him (punk reference!) if they ever came face to face, even if it devolved into a girls-school windmill slap-fight, which it probably would. Though they won’t come face-to-face, of course, because being a tough-guy Washington blogger is a bit like being a phone-sex operator: you can pretend you’re sexy, even when you’re wearing a ratty terry cloth robe, hot curlers, and bunny slippers. Just like as a tough guy blogger, you can pretend on the outside that you want to crease the skull of Frank Foer with a baseball bat or annihilate Ryan Lizza in front of his toddler, while on the inside, you’re a moony-eyed trembling fanboy who writes unicorn-and-silly-bandz sentences such as “Yes we did!” when your swain wins an election. Which is sooo not punk rock. But that’s where the Black Flag t-shirt comes in. It’s a symbol. And what it symbolizes is that Hackerman is a dangerous man, not to be trifled with, since Black Flag was an ur-punk band whose former lead singer, Henry Rollins, was a genuine American badass, the Attackerman of his day. You could tell this, because he swore a lot, and wore tight black t-shirts. Even now, screwing with Rollins is like making a death wish. There’s no telling what that muscled wall of menace might do. He might write a really bitchy spoken-word piece about you, then release it as a podcast.

The glass alley symbolizes what Hackerman will put your head through, just as soon as he’s done tweeting about one of his favorite bands, Burzum, because they are BAD ASS. They’re kind of like the Attackermans of Norweigan black metal, showing early Tolkien influences since as their Facebook page stipulates, “Burzum” means “darkness” in the black speech of Mordor. The fact that Attackerman is pants-less means he’s flashing you his knob. Because that’s what knobs do: put their dickhood on display.

I’m not a dream interpretation expert, of course. You might want to run this by Hackerman himself. Though he doesn’t seem to be answering many questions lately, not since his Journolist bleatings were released. Instead, these days he’s pretending that he’s a buttoned-up national security reporter for Wired magazine’s website. Some critics think he should be fired due to his history of intemperate outbursts, poseur thuggishness, and all-around crappy writing. I don’t. Wired is a reputable organization. They presumably have an able staff and a good health insurance plan. So here’s hoping they can give Attackerman something he’s desperately needed: mood stabilizers and an editor.

  • killtruck

    Finally. I hate politics like Kanye West hates stuff that isn’t Kanye West.

  • stickeenotes

    haiku are funny
    when executed smartly
    like a mime or clown

  • DaveT3000

    YOU ARE RISKING A THRASHING at the hands of Ackerman and his three droogs