Admittedly, things have been a little bit Spy-heavy around here lately. Spy this, Spy that. Spy invented laughter. Spy invented magazines. Spy invented puppies. Spy raped me. We get it. We're totally down. We love laughing, and puppies, and rape. If Spy was Arrested Development, we would totally be sad that it got cancelled, and we would totally buy the DVD box sets (and we are, and we did!) Which is basically what Spy: The Funny Years is — a book collecting some of the finer moments of the magazine's historical satire, all in one hardcover volume so that people come to your apartment and are like "What's Spy?" and you're like "It was this irreverent magazine published in the mid-80s to early 90s that gained a cult following and has left a lasting imprint on the nature of modern comedy and satire," and they're all like "Wow, you know a lot about ways to bore the shit out of me."
Last night was the official book release party celebration event at the infamous Puck Building, where Spy once kept its offices. We sent the intrepid Nikola Tamindzic, who does for nightlife what William Wegman does for dogs, makes it look like assholes, and our very own Unethicist, Gabriel Delahaye, to see what happens when the laughter gets old. Like, seriously, Graydon, Kurt, George? You guys are sooooooo old. Our gallery of misty memories is worth a laff or three, with Nikola's extended mix here. After the jump, Gabe's journey into the heart of snarkness.
As soon as I walk in to the Puck Building, even though I'm wearing a decent button-down shirt, I feel completely underdressed as everyone else in the spacious ballroom is wearing a very severe suit and tie. I should also mention that I am wearing this pair of jeans that I haven't washed in, like, six months, and it is raining out, so they kind of smell like if a wet dog that then died and as its body slowly disintegrated, instead of becoming some kind of fleshy pulp, it actually becomes a puddle of piss. All of this self-consciousness disappears, however, when a middle-aged man walks in wearing a Paul Frank t-shirt with a skateboard monkey on it. At least I'm not THAT fucking asshole.
Here's the thing, I am not good at this. I don't care about media. I don't like parties. I'm incapable of talking to people I don't know because I hate people I don't know. At one point I'm standing about two feet away from Harvey Weinstein and in my head I'm like, "Is that fucking Harvey Weinstein?" and then in my head I'm like "He's just a fat Jew, you should not think that every fat Jew you see is Harvey Weinstein," and then later it turns out it actually IS Harvey Weinstein, but at that point I'm texting my friend Lindsay saying "I can't do this."
Nikola is running around taking all kinds of pictures, and all these Gawker people are there, like Jessica Coen is there and Emily Gould and Intern Neel and Doree Shafrir, and I'm just standing around when I'm supposed to be ... I don't know, journalising? So I start to feel kind of like when your boss comes over to your desk and catches you playing Minesweeper and you're like "On the one hand this looks bad, and on the other hand I was just about to clear the board in 98 seconds on the 'Difficult' setting, which is a totally good time, if you hadn't come and fucked that up for me."
Apparently Anna Wintour is at this party, as well as Ron Perelman. The only person I actually recognize is the creator of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Andy Borowitz. The guy is about as funny as, oh, let's say, a gallon of milk that you hid behind the radiator in your friend's room. Is that funny? I suppose it has the potential to be funny to someone. Your old college roommate probably finds it fucking hilarious. I don't mind talking shit about Andy Borowitz because what is he going to do? Write a "Shouts and Murmurs" piece about me?
The night is winding down and I have not talked to anyone and I'm sitting on this little settee or whatever, and Nikola has made some kind of comparison between talking to people at media parties and getting laid? I don't really know, I'm obviously terrible at both. I ask the bartender if he has whiskey and he says he has a single malt and I ask for it on the rocks and he gives me this look and is like "It's single malt, you should drink it neat," and I am like "That is awesome, even the guy who looks like he tears tickets at a Loews movie theater is making me feel like an asshole."
Finally, right before I go, I decide to try and get quotes from the three founding editors of Spy. The first one I approach is George Kalogerakis, because let's face it, he is the shortest. Aww. He gives me some quote about how no one can escape getting older, which, I mean, it's true, but that's the kind of thing that old people tell young people and think they're being really profound when in actuality the young person is thinking "I'm never going to look like you." I ask Kurt Andersen if he has anything to say about the party, or Spy, or Gawker, and he shakes his head and talks about how the party is really nice. Jesus Christ! If Spy magazine was really the bukkake party of hilarity (laugh on my face! laugh on my face!) that everyone keeps saying it was, you'd think I could get something a little snappier than "I am happy." Finally, I stand near Graydon Carter, print media's own John-Leguizamo-in-Spawn, waiting to ask him the same basic question, when I see that he's talking to JIM CRAMER from MAD MONEY, which is the most hilarious thing that has happened all night, and at that point I realized that I really needed to stop drinking single malt scotch on the rocks and get the fuck out of there because I don't actually care what Graydon Carter has to say, even though I'm sure that whatever it is, it would have been totally mind-blowing. Back in 1988.