Back story: I'm lurking around one of the low-rent haunts of the highbrow magazine elite Wednesday and come upon a friend of mine, Jess, who introduces me to Donavan Hohn, a brilliant writer whose recent piece on a Hong Kong toy fair had inspired me to write a handjobby post about how much I love 'Harper's.' Anyway, like pretty much all journalists under 40 who bother with the whole "crafting exquisite paragraphs" thing anymore, Hohn has cash flow issues. So Jess suggests — naively, I'm assuming — he get into the celebrity profile racket. Her friend Mark Kirby does it! He just wrote a profile of Megan Fox for 'GQ' that was really actually a rewarding effort! And I'm thinking, "Oh Jess, guys like Donovan Hohn are just not wired to hustle celebrity profile assignments. Not least because guys like Donovan Hohn probably didn't know who Megan Fox even was when he saw her at a comic book convention at which he was busy jotting down the philosophies of some enchanting small-time hucksterpreneur, and plus, everyone knows celebrity profiles are the lowest form of hackery." Well shit, was I so totally wrong. Jess had just tipped me off to the best celebrity profile in years. Seriously, you know how the celebrity profile is totally dead? This profile could do for the genre what…Megan Fox does for impotence or something!
The March issue of Men's Journal (not online yet; subscribe, why don't you?) features a cover story on Josh Brolin, the mustachioed leading man who is stalked by Javier Bardem in "No Country For Old Men." As if that wasn't exciting enough, the story is written by child-loving Josh Stein nemesis Neal Pollack! Pollack doesn't get a chance to talk about his kids in the piece, but he does throw in some mentions of Brolin's kids, like this telling, priceless anecdote: "We did this one trip to Scotland. Just me and my kids. We had absolutely no plan...We used to have a running joke where I'd yell, 'Where do you wanna sleep tonight?' and the kids would yell, 'We don't care!'" Hahahahaha! We mention this by way of pointing out that this is potentially the least insightful celebrity profile in any magazine so far in 2008. Brolin picks Pollack up, they get stuck in traffic, they drive to Palmdale, they eat tacos, they go home. This is a completely accurate summary. Judge for yourself by this post-taco excerpt, which is, without exaggeration, the crowning achievement of Pollack's story: