Dear Sunday Times' Stephen Ambidon:
I know that you love Dave Eggers. I read your article: DAVE EGGERS IS TOTALLY AWESOME, LIKE THE GREATEST!!!. However, you are making me hate Dave Eggers, and I think that's not right. I think, instead, that I'll just hate you. Also, FYI, your message of love might be undermined by your overexuberance, your rather meager knowledge of These United States, and perhaps a failure to understand the American version of the English language. Or you might just be a douche. But here are some problems with your encomomuimum (sic) that I've identified so far:
The Title: Their master’s voice: the rise and rise of brand McSweeney’s
You might be coming on a little bit strong by using "Master." I know that I only CHOOSE to kneel in Mr. Eggers' presence. He never makes me.
A description of douchebags as the "ideal" McSweeney's Reader:
The ideal McSweeney’s reader (or writer) lives in Brooklyn, wears interesting T-shirts, has a blog he works on in coffee shops, and knows it’s cool to oppose globalisation but uncool to go on too much about it.
A use of corporate marketing language to deify the "anti corporatist" Eggers:
What really sets Eggers’s empire apart, though, is that it possesses that most elusive and valued of modern attributes: a brand.
What I am 99% sure is a grievous misstatement of the actual aims of McSweeney's:
McSweeney’s also strives to be socially relevant. It wants to make the world a better place – or at least more like the cooler parts of Brooklyn.
A rather obvious misunderstanding of what a consumer consumes, and the role that advertising plays:
One thing the consumer immediately notices when entering McSweeney’s is that he is not really a consumer after all: there is no advertising.
Calling out established writers for greed based on absolutely no evidence:
All proceeds from the book go to aiding Sudanese refugees in America and Sudan. It’s hard to imagine Granta superstars such as Richard Ford or Tobias Wolff following suit.
And, most egregiously, after hundreds of words advertising how great Dave Eggers is in a newspaper that already has an advertising section, he reserves his only criticism for that one thing a Barrelhouse editor holds dear:
True, a decade on, McSweeney’s still has a tendency to indulge in cartoonish self-congratulation and wry in-jokes that is more appropriate to a cheeky start-up than the market leader. For instance, Eggers edits, with pop icons such as the musician Beck and Simpsons creator Matt Groening, a yearly volume called The Best American Nonrequired Reading, whose slackerly, aw-shucks title is his way of saying that the book’s contents are actually very required reading.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading IS TOTALLY REQUIRED. PLEASE SEE HERE.
With ball washers like these, does Dave Eggers even need enemies? (hat tip: NY Observer)