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Revenge of the Smith

March 3, 2008

Just coming down off a brutal geek-bender. I gave into my instincts for hibernation, but wonder if I went a little bit too far after completing My Boring Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith. That makes it the second Kevin Smith book I have read in the last year, after Silent Bob Speaks.

How’d this happen? Well. See. I came across the diary in a Book City last Fall. Looking at it I first thought, pfft! Kevin Smith has a book? Whatever. Then started flipping through it. Turning pages rapidly, scanning for interest. Hmmn. Eliza Dushku. Clone Wars. Die Hard 4… No! I had to put it down. It was too much. That fucker was nearly 400 pages of unstoppable nerd-crack pushing all my nerd buttons. There was no way I could pick it up. Not just for the shame, as the wife already arched an eyebrow as she caught a glance of it. No, I just simply wouldn’t get anything done while it was around. But that wouldn’t stop me from telling someone else about it.

“You Asshole. What you tell me about those Kevin Smith books for!”

“What–I thought you’d be interested!”

I had sent a quick email to Mike Leone, co-writer with me on Freelance Blues, long-time comic collector, and hardcore Kevin Smith fan–the Silent Bob to my Jay.

“I’m interested. Sure I’m interested. But now I’m too busy reading about his boring ass life to get on with my boring ass life. ‘Huh, he took a shit huh. Watched some Batman cartoons. Hmmn, I wish I could watch some Batman cartoons. Oh he went out. Got some Quiznos. Quiznos sounds good right now… I’m sure getting hungry here, but I’m too busy reading this fucking book! You see what I’m saying?”

“So what are you saying?”

“I’m saying listen up Fuck-o. This is your fault. You’re getting these next.”

It was a karmic debt that that needed to be paid. And yeah, Silent Bob Speaks is the barest fart of a book–a collection of internet rants and articles blown up to 26 point font with extra margins clocking in at maybe maybe a mean 200 pages. That was nothing. And some of it was wankery–but some of it was really sharp. Smith’s a writer damnit and can tell hella good tales working his ‘insider-outsider’ perspective, the Jersey guy raised by movies counting his good fortune for ending up in Hollywood, and gives incredible access to shit you couldn’t guess at, like an interview with Tom Cruise.

And then the diary landed. And it’s no lie. Good fucking god it was boring. I honestly would pick it up when I couldn’t sleep going over painfully detailed accounts of taking the dogs for walks, playing the gameboy while taking a shit, online poker played and occasional phone calls to producers to remind you that he was making a movie. It’s deadly dull–but there’s enough little hits of movie and comic geek gossip all the way through it to keep you’re interest just stoked enough to keep turning the pages. With all this crap you might wonder how he does anything–but along Smith actually makes a movie, chronicling the creation, release and aftermath of Clerks II. And then just over three-quarters it switches gears as Smith recounts a painful story of his buddy Jason Mewes’ battle with heroin addiction. Powerful stuff–the real life story that was going on behind the scenes of his entire Jersey series. The book ends with another blast of movie fan-tripping as Smith gets cast as a computer hacker for Live Free or Die Hard.

Helluva weekend–one spent with Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Appropriate reading since I was stuck on a bus for some twenty hours over the last three days. More on this later.

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