Book Review: I Don’t Care About Your Band…
I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated
FULL DISCLOSURE: This review was not written by Fallopia or anyone (yet) associated with Fallopia. The review was quite simply cut-and-pasted from Amazon.com. The actual author goes by the name of Snark Shark, and has my complete gratitude and admiration.
Julie Klausner dates a lot of losers. Which is weird, she tells us, because she is AWESOME.
Which begs the question: so why is she dating such losers?
Disclaimer: I don’t know Klausner the person, probably never will. I’d very much like her to be awesome — there should be more awesome people in the world.
But Julie-as-portrayed-in-a-book-written-by-Julie-Klausner did not impress me.
The book is a series of essays, loosely connected in that they all address Klausner’s sexual life/romantic life/theories on men. I found some more interesting than others; usually where she left the personal and examined cultural icons like Kermit and Piggy or Jim and Pam (from The Office US) to see if she could suss out a relationship zeitgeist. The essays about specific hookups had a depressing sameness to them: Girl meets Guy. Girl deducts Guy is not on her level, but Girl is single, so why not. Girl has sex with Guy, hopes that this will improve the relationship. Eventually, a)Guy dumps Girl or b)Girl decides relationship is not improving, dumps Guy.
Klausner isn’t dull, don’t get me wrong, and sometimes she delivers killer black humor. But she is incredibly frustrating as a memoirist, because “I Don’t Care About Your Band” reads like an extended version of that joke about the terrible food served in too-small portions. Although she tries to persuade us her escapades are rooted in romantic optimism and the belief that, some day, she’ll meet someone who deserves her, she doesn’t actually like any of these guys. With few exceptions, none of her hookups are all that captivating: they’re not as funny as she is, not as mature, not as intelligent, not as attractive, not as generous in bed, not as thin, not as sane, not as sophisticated, not as talented. “So why didn’t they like me?” she mourns, bewildered.
Klausner has a really interesting thesis (I did say she had moments, right?) that most guys want is a girl no one else knows is pretty. (See above: The Office US, Pam.) I think it’s a fascinating idea, but I also think Klausner suffers the gender flip: she wants a guy no one else knows is a mensch, whom she can elevate from his squalid extended boyhood into a Real Adult Relationship. Either that, or she’s setting up her ego to fail: she confesses to crushing on the disinterested, as if getting him interested will prove her self-worth. Once he’s interested, though, the real test begins — can she make him love her enough that he’ll “grow into the man he knows I need to be with.” Yes, that’s a quote.
The style of the book is chatty and breezy, but the overall effect felt like getting cornered at a party by That Girl. You know the one, she’ll get hammered and trot out her theory that she is actually a gay man! Trapped in a straight woman’s body! Get it? Because she enjoys giving oral sex (and women don’t) and is hilariously witty (which (white) women aren’t). I picked this up because it came recommended by the writers at [...], and they should be ashamed of themselves. A liberal feminist website has no business promoting a book with such strong undercurrents of biphobia and bi-erasure (“a lot of bisexuality” in a girl means she’s just straight and “horny,” but even a “little bit of bisexuality” in a guy means he’s actually gay), transphobia (a woman who doesn’t have ex-friends she hates must be “a convincing tranny,” because she’s not actually a woman, haha get it?), and misogyny.
Yeah, you heard me.
Klausner talks a good talk. She encourages women to do their own thing, be their own ego-boosters, and entertain the idea that what they find attractive in romantic partners is what they really want for themselves, in their own lives. All good stuff. But the actual women populating her book are a mix of mean girls, backstabbers, frumpy friends, boring lesbians (they advise her to dump guys she dislikes — haha, what do they know about dating men, right ladies?), and the faceless “mousy” girls she accuses guys of defaulting to in the face of her intimidating awesome. She encourages her readers to go out and get a gay man as a best friend ASAP, as they are the only true BFF material. (She confides, in a masterful stroke of pigeonholing men on the basis of sexuality, that she can judge a woman’s level of taste and sophistication on her number of gay male friends please observe AS MY JAW DROPS.) Friendships with women are undermined by innate competitiveness and jealousy, according to her, and other women are never truly happy about your personal or professional successes. Not all female friendships are like that, Klausner demurs, but she’s warning you.
Seriously? That’s the kind of message you want to package in with go-girlism and rah-rah “we ladies deserve real men” dating anecdotes?
Sorry, Ms. Klausner. I just don’t care about your book.
from amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Care-About-Your-Band/dp/1592405614