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A Misstep from our Favorite Uncles.
on February 9, 2014
There's a frequent admonition on Tom and Lorenzo's wonderfully entertaining blog: "Girl, That's Not Your Dress." After reading this book, I can't help but think they, too, made a mistake.
Girl, This Isn't Your Book.
It's so condescending, among other things, to say, "I wanted to like this"--but I really did. I am a super fan of their eponymous blog. But the point of this book confused me. This book lacks generosity, wit, the cleverness fans have come to expect. I don't think I smiled, let alone laughed, at one single sentence in this book -- a surprise for someone who gets his RDA of biting, yet inciteful humor from them.
Ostensibly, the point of this book is to deconstruct the modern celebrity, but this book -- page after page -- only reminded me that Cintra Wilson, the author of A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations, already wrote that book, 15 years ago, and it's a brilliant, choke-on-your-own-snot kind of funny. Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me is the humorless, bitter step-sister who aspires to her own reality show on TLC.
T-Lo refer to themselves frequently as "bitchy fashion bloggers," but if you are a regular reader you know that they're way more charming than bitchy. The only bitchy behavior I've ever witnessed are aggressive smack-downs when someone veers off topic in the comments section. Bitchy, it turns out, is unbecoming on them.
What makes them interesting, and what I suspect keeps the fans coming back, is the fact that they write about TV shows as superfans and write about celebrity fashion from a common-sense point of view; which is to say, they're not "experts," but they have an interesting point of view. They charm and entertain as bloggers who are complete outsiders peering into a rarified world of incestuous insanity that we all take part in. They knock the celebrity machine down a few notches.
But the book is another story.
Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me spends too much time stating what most people already know -- that the whole celebrity thing is one big facade -- while using a truly bitchy and bitter voice that just doesn't seem to suit them. These two guys are great writers when they're writing about something they love -- nerdy TV shows, one-liners about the motivation behind a red carpet dress. On their blog, their fashion commentary is typically pithy, sometimes hilarious. This book is neither of those things.
Which is a long-winded way of saying I do not recommend this book.