We've always found Steve Almond's writing enjoyable, mostly because of his willingness to write honestly and hilariously about his own neuroses and flaws. But his New York–cover–story–inspired piece today, in which he claims that he "never paid much attention to Gawker" and only "had a vague sense that they were a gossip website that had something to do with New York" until someone e-mailed him a link, whereupon he found to his great surprise that they'd been "talking shit about me for a while" sounds to us like, shall we say, total bullshit. First of all, are we really expected to believe that Almond, who writes frequently for Websites, has not self-Googled once in the past two years (Gawker first wrote about him in 2005)? Uh-uh. Second, it was just two short years ago that Almond wrote a five-page think piece about the loathsome behavior of literary bloggers in Salon. During the course of research for that piece, did he really not come across the blogosphere's largest? We suspect Almond's actually deploying the same techniques he used when he encountered a blogger who made fun of him back then:
"Any sign that I knew who he was, that he mattered to me in any way, would simply give him too much pleasure So I had to be very detached. My plan was simple — I would pretend I didn't know who he was."
In the previous essay, Almond admitted having a "wide and intractable self-righteous streak," and it's on full display in his Huffington Post piece, in which he writes that Gawker is "driven by the need to shame others, rather than facing up to your own shame." Which is well and good, but if you are going to shame the shamers, shouldn't you at least own up to your own … shame?