The Genius of Mallory Ortberg

"Mallory Ortberg" isn't a household name, but it should be because she's a damn genius. She's what I want to be when I grow up. (In that she's a paid writer and part of that salary compensates her for writing ridiculously funny comments on Renaissance paintings. That's, like, pretty much the definition of my dream job. It could only be better if they were Renaissance paintings of dinosaurs.)

This is not by Mallory Ortberg. I'm not great at staying on task.
I stumbled on her Women Having A Terrible Time At Parties In Western Art History and laughed SO HARD that I decided to blog about it. She's so dry and understated and contemporary and perfect. It's so simple...and yet it's totally humor that your mom wouldn't get, you know what I mean? (Sorry mom, but read it and tell me if you get it. Was I right? Don't answer me in public unless you agree.) You can check out the whole collection at her home, The Toast, but here are just a couple of appetite whetters*:

  you found us
  you found us with your guitar
  hey guys he found us and he brought his guitar with him
if she plays another fucking organist recital i will literally and actually die right fucking here
twenty more minutes and i’ll have made it through this entire night without talking to any–
fuck, fuck, the dog sees me
She also wrote one called Dirtbag Dionysus, which is the same conceit but with fat, slutty babies, so there's nothing wrong there.

no let’s
shut up
no shut up lets go over there
take me over there there’s a bunch of girls over there
youre my best friend
they look like sluts lets go over there
I would've sung her praises just for that, but then I learned these captions were just the beginning. She's also the ladybrains behind "Texts From," a series of fictional texts from famous (sometimes also fictional) people (and sometimes things).  There are texts from Cormac McCarthy, texts from William Blake, texts from Edgar Allen Poe, texts from The Lorax. They're all amazing, but my favorite favorite is definitely Texts From the Outsiders:
Just a bunch of beautiful guys who read poetry and get in knife fights.
hey how do you pronounce “Soc”
i mean is it like “sock”
because it looks like that’s how you’d say it
but in my head I think of it as being pronounced “soash”
like rhymes with cloche
I guess that makes sense
why do I even know what a cloche is
what kind of a gang is this
what do you mean
i mean i feel like we’re different from other gangs 
different how
i don’t know i guess
we’re just a bunch of regular beautiful guys who like to read poetry and get in knife fights
nothing like putting your hair in place
stabbing a rich guy
then talking about Robert Frost in an attic with another guy
if that’s different, then i guess i’m different
no you’re right

Her humor milieu is something I didn't quite know existed and am still not quite sure how to describe.  It's like genuine social commentary wrapped in high-brow humor disguised as low-brow humor. Sometimes affectionate, sometimes scathing, it's super esoteric-literary-bluestocking stuff for sure, but it's also raw and current and explosive and bloggy-texty-short-attention-spanny.  It's kind of like "Drunk History," but for language arts kids instead of soc (pronounced "sock") studs. (That's what we called social studies kids back when I was a virgin.)  She has a book called Texts from Jane Eyre and y'all should buy it because let's keep this lady in business, right?

AND THEN there's even more! She writes the elaborate Ann Rand's Sweet Valley High, the long-overdue Notes On Other Household Appliances From William Carlos Williams, and the darkly surrealist I’d Love To Help My Wife Do The Dishes, But I’m Trapped Under Something Heavy. 

I shared this stuff with a few favorite friends but then I remembered I had a blog where I could share the genius with all of you, so here you go. A little hump-day*** happiness for my peeps.**** Enjoy some well-deserved humor, my smart, lovely readers.

*Whetters is a gross word remind me not to make up words like that anymore. It's sounds like something a pervy** pirate would have.

**Not to be confused with a scurvy pirate.

***I also hate the word "hump-day."

****This blog post is out of control.

(Remember that time I promised to write more and censor less? THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. I'M FULFILLING PROMISES HERE.)
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