The preponderance of outstanding evidence has finally and inexorably built up to the point that no reasonable person can avoid coming to the conclusion that "Alternadad" author Neal Pollack, who enjoys both chronicling and defending his decision to chronicle his young child, is just not much of a writer at all. Despite his background as a professional writer with the Chicago Reader, McSweeney's, Vanity Fair, GQ, and other respected outlets—as well as his ability to convince publishing houses to pay him money in order to write books—it is now impossible to deny the fact that Pollack is just not cut out for this whole writing thing. The scale-tipping work is his new Men's Journal profile of Woody Harrelson, in which the sheer lack of insight, or even cleverly redeeming turns of phrase, has us vowing never to read anything by this fucker again.
In this article—much like his recent diarrhea-soaked paean to Josh Brolin—Pollack manages to phone in thousands of words about spending quality time with a celebrity without even making an attempt to do anything except to confirm the most simplistic version of the conventional wisdom about said celebrity. It is also badly written. We find out, therefore, that Woody Harrelson is "a guy fully at ease with himself, but still unique, even deeply strange."
Woody's decision to "hang with the fam" was the "Best decision I ever made."
How does he like his home in Maui? "I'm sure glad I found it."
Woody greets a woman "as if he's known her his whole life."
A friend reveals that Woody is "an affable character."
The lone possibility of an intriguing passage emerges when Pollack touches on Woody's father, who was a contract killer who died in prison. Pollack kills it.
"He was asked to do some special things for the government. The wanted to know if he really wanted to serve his country," [says Harrelson].
"What are you referring to?"
"Let's leave a little ambiguity there."
This is obviously a source of deep discomfort for Woody, who is normally open to talking about anything.
So does Woody think his dad was a government assassin? We don't know. What Pollack does tell us is: Woody Harrelson is smart enough to know when he meets the cool folks. Here are the final two sentences of Pollack's story, and hopefully the last of his we will ever see:
When I get home there's a text message from Woody, my new best friend, waiting for me on my cell phone.
"Pleasure hangin' bro," it says.