The Valley Of The Shadow of Death
March? Already? That’s horrifying.
When the first leg of the book tour was concluded, I slept a full thirteen hours in a black sleep which was beyond dreaming. That’s how long it took for my skin to excrete our experience with Jesse Thorn, thereby returning my body to normal function.
The schedule we were given commanded us to be a part of a program entitled “Jordan, Jesse, Go,” and grudgingly we obeyed the document. Already, we were put out; the next episode of Maury promised to feature searing video of cheaters confronted literally in mid-cheat. When we arrived at the address to discover it was someone’s house, I began to mentally embroider grim scenarios. The organism who answered the door had worn a bow tie - and I am not making this up - on purpose. The next forty-five minutes were spent engaged in absolutely the most stultifying kind of nonsense while we awaited the co-host. Recording the show wasn’t much different than the previous hour, except that now there were two people to ignore us. We were steeped in a high PSI stream of cultural detritus, which culminated in an attempt by the hosts to engage seriously the subject of “Waterworld.” I made a note in my iPhone about the experience, which reads:
- Actively fellated by a dog.
This last bit was actually the high point. There was a period during the interview where I began to read the titles of his CDs, one after the other. I honestly didn’t know what else to do. I had nothing to offer these people, and they didn’t give a shit anyway, and all the while a klaxon was sounding: “get out, get out, get out.” They managed to bring out a side of Gabriel that I’ve only seen three or four times in twelve years, and only once directed at me: the implacable judge who becomes (without warning) the unadorned aggressor. You must work diligently to bring out this monster; a feat they managed in record time.
I looked him up online, in an attempt to figure out what his deal was exactly, because actually being around him did nothing to illuminate his character. I stumbled upon a manifesto entitled The New Sincerity, and if you’re wondering what that could possibly mean, let me tell you. The New Sincerity is simply The Old Irony, with better PR.
Outside of our harrowing encounter with this man’s carefully manicured artifice, the trip still resounds in the mind. Energite levels were low the second night, an unfortunate fact for which I apologize, but I’ve never done anything like this before. It feels strange to go to a bunch of different places and do the same thing, the polar opposite of honesty, which the night at Barnes & Noble more or less epitomized. The first night was at a Library, and the last one was at a Comic Shop, which felt more like neutral ground.
The last one in particular, at L.A.‘s Meltdown Comics, almost had a tent revival feel to it. We signed early, spoke, signed again, then spoke again, whatever felt appropriate at the moment. Fascinating questions were offered up, proffered by a region of darkness whose occupants were not entirely visible. I strive, above all else, to be useful to you; occasionally, I am able to manage it.