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May 18, 2011 4:42 PM   Subscribe

John Hodgman's letter to his second child.

I've been (re-)reading and (re-)listening to Hodgmanalia recently (in part due to the mention of Judge John Hodgman in this thread), and stumbled across his letter to his second child. It's four years old, but I had never seen it before. It has a sweet solitude and observations such as "The only child in a family without want is the apex of Western civilization.".

(High risk of being a double, I know, but I couldn't find it on Metafilter)
posted by benito.strauss (21 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I found myself wishing that his daughter's name was really Hodgmina.
posted by not that girl at 4:59 PM on May 18, 2011


The only child in a family without want is the apex of Western civilization.

man, I have totally not lived up to that.
posted by desjardins at 5:04 PM on May 18, 2011


The only child in a family without want is the apex of Western civilization.

The only child in a family without want is the apex of Western civilization.

Conversly, the nadir of Western civilization is Ralph.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:16 PM on May 18, 2011


Ooh! Twins!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:17 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who has a really hard time believing that John Hodgman will have trouble providing two children with a proper education?
posted by sunshinesky at 6:08 PM on May 18, 2011


Kind of a weird fit for Psychology Today, isn't it? Maybe PT was a better publication in 2007, but nowadays I just associate it with bland, blog-spammy articles about empirical research and the pointless, stupid ravings of Satoshi "All Women Are Essentially Prostitutes" Kanazawa.

Regardless, thanks for sharing. This piece has the same lovely mix of wit, eccentricity, warmth, and wisdom that I have come to expect from The Hodge.
posted by mellifluous at 6:44 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who has a really hard time believing that John Hodgman will have trouble providing two children with a proper education?

You're not alone. Why, I suspect that this article is full of half-truths and fabrications! A fine example to set for little Hodgmina, Mr Hodgman!
posted by No-sword at 8:58 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


After a while, I found myself with an irrational yet overwhelming urge to punch John Hodgman in the nutsack. Is this a natural reaction our am I unusually irritable today?
posted by happyroach at 9:02 PM on May 18, 2011


Hodgmina!
posted by bendy at 9:08 PM on May 18, 2011


After a while, I found myself with an irrational yet overwhelming urge to punch John Hodgman in the nutsack. Is this a natural reaction our am I unusually irritable today?
posted by happyroach at 2:02 PM on 5/19
[+] [!]


Either way he'd probably apologize afterward for whatever it is he'd done to deserve that treatment.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:48 PM on May 18, 2011


I found his writing style pedantic and heavy-handed enough that I gave up about halfway down the first page, just a bit after he apologized for being a professional writer. I had to admit to being dubious about the veracity of the claim, so that apology, at least, seemed valid.
posted by arnicae at 10:23 PM on May 18, 2011


As the eldest of two, I read this from Hodgmina's perspective, and it would have explained much to me then.
posted by Errant at 10:45 PM on May 18, 2011


People who don't like John Hodgman are probably confusing him with JOEL HODGSON.

Of course if you don't like Joel Hodgson you are either Michael J. Nelson or a complete moron.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:28 PM on May 18, 2011


Excellent essay, thanks.

Happyroach: I don't know what your usual is, so hard to compare. Hodgman's a very post-something, McSweeney's kind of writer. Not for Hemingway fans, I'll grant you. I think he fits the modern zeitgeist as well as Hemingway did his, though.
posted by msalt at 12:40 AM on May 19, 2011


Follow Hodgman on Twitter, it's full of ferret skeletons. Really.
posted by tommasz at 5:30 AM on May 19, 2011


Hmm, no wonder I like Hodgman. I am frequently pedantic, often heavy-handed, and occasionally feel the urge to punch myself in the nutsack.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:44 AM on May 19, 2011


I found his writing style pedantic and heavy-handed

Not sure if you're joking about doubting that he's actually a professional writer, or what, but: this is John Hodgman.

This is a guy whose entire public persona is crafted as a mockery of the talking-head subject matter "experts" who infest the news media. The very titles of his books are a display of pompous didacticism: "The Areas of My Expertise" and "More Information Than You Require". Forthcoming is a third volume in the same series, to be titled "That Is All".

So, yes, pedantic and heavy handed. That's the joke.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:53 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hogdmina? Hodg-mania!

Still conflicted about whether he's a lot of fun or just a Borat-style pastiche who gets old fast. But I am a father, too, and so I am a soft touch for things like this.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2011


I found his writing style pedantic and heavy-handed...

If you read it in his voice his writing is a joy.
Also, what Ipsifendus said.
posted by opsin at 8:59 AM on May 19, 2011


I was hating the heavy-handed tone, until I made the connection that this is also the actor who plays the PC in the Get-a-Mac ads.

Once I started reading it in his spoken voice, it became funny as heck.
posted by endless_forms at 9:21 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a photo of John Hodgman, John Oliver, and John Darnielle, moments before their proximity caused them to collapse—I presume—into an infinitely-hilarious singularity of brilliance from which nothing unfunny or dull could ever escape.
posted by Zozo at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


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