Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Getting distracted, dismissing Obama talk, and rolling down your sleeves

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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 question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Dear Matt, you haven’t written a column since April. What the hell have you been doing? — Jonathan M.

Oh, you know. A little of this, and a little of that. Kicking ass. Taking names. Handing those names over to Homeland Security, as a patriot/hero in the War on Terror. Taking personal inventory. Realizing I was overstocked on ennui, while clean out of ambition. Looking at the man in the mirror. Wondering why he had a beard. Realizing that I had an intruder. Calling the authorities. Raising dyslexia awareness. Or “raising awareness dyslexia,” as we in the dyslexic community say. Volunteering at church. Organizing food drives. Eating the canned peaches from said drives. Because feeding myself helps take the obsessive focus off of other people, and helps get it back on me, where it belongs. Doing Glass Tiger lip dubs, uploading them to YouTube, getting no views. Burying my houseboy Tristan in a shallow, unmarked grave in the backyard. Running through the sprinkler in my Spanx, because I enjoy the extra support when wet. Weed-eating. Writing, producing, and starring in my own one-woman show, even though I’m a man, because breaking gender barriers is what I do, as anyone who has ever seen me sit down on a urinal in the men’s room can attest. Reading the New York Review of Books. Digging Tristan back up as I hear his muffled screams, since he wasn’t actually dead, he was just resting his eyes. Offering Tristan some canned peaches, to atone for the mix-up. Hosting a Zumba Fitness Party. Learning how to live again, laugh again, and love again. Licking and re-licking the back of PETA’s new Natalie Portman stamp, since it’s as close as I’ll ever get. Working the lemonade concession at my underground fight club. Writing Shep Smith sayings down in my wisdom journal with a quill and animal blood. Finishing up my koala at the local Build-A-Bear — even if the koala is technically not a bear but a marsupial — though the Build-a-Bear attendants don’t have the balls to stop me. Hitting Red Lobster for the Shrimp Lovers Feast. Waiting for death or inspiration, whichever strikes first.

So I’ve been keeping pretty busy. But I’m back now. At least until I once again grow easily distracted. Wait, is that a pretty butterfly?…………