shit-eating grins, Nyarlathotep, and LiveJournal

Satan's Shit-Eating GrinLike many humanoids, I have several friends who use the expression "shit-eating grin" on a regular basis. Probably more than they use their shit-eating grin muscles. And, unfortunately, like most of the world, they're using it wrong.

Every. Single. Time.

The expression "shit-eating grin," which surely deserves to go down in history as one of the 20th Century's greatest contributions to vocabulary (think about it…vocabulary of the 20th Century…you take my point) was originated, like white suits and pretentious hepcatism, by American author Tom Wolfe. It comes from…oh god, I hope I can find it before WordPress goes down again…lately it's been up and down more than a toi- what was I just saying about 20th Century vocab? See!

Ah, bugger it! When in doubt, go to memory. Since I haven't read that piece for at least ten years, I'm quite impressed with my own memory. It's from "Mau-Mauing the Flack-Catchers," of course. And it's the expression the poor white flack-catcher affixes to his face for the duration of his verbal beat-down by the Samoans.Bill Gates Shit-Eating Grin

The man is being paid to go out there and listen to these people, or at least to sit there and take shit and nod as if he's paying attention, and then to go away and undertake lengthy and expensive therapy to forget about the whole thing. And he has to sit there and take this shit with a polite, encouraging smile on his face, which is somewhat hard to do in a room full of hostile, seven-foot, three hundred pound Samoan activists who are pounding on the floor and chanting. And so his grin becomes fixed. It becomes a rictus. It becomes the grimace the kindly country doctor finds on the face of the mindless yet still uncannily animated corpse of the poor sap who only came out to Arkham to do geneological research and has instead glimpsed the undisguised visage of Nyarlathotep and now cannot stop giggling. And crying.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a shit-eating grin truly is.


I have one on my face right now, for lo, thanks to Gawker I have found something of value on LiveJournal.


P&Ls and how books make (or don't) money: part the first: the mass market original complete failure

In which I explain how we figure out how much money to pay authors for their advance, and also in which I explain how sometimes books make money and sometimes they don't…

Which is really just a more detailed version of something Lori Dunn did at the Shebeen Club a few months back. Sooo nice to be ahead of Manhattan. Still, I'll be an wizened old grannie by the time Gawker gives ME a shout-out. Mark is so much more accessible!

DeLay Shit-Eating Grin

3 thoughts on “shit-eating grins, Nyarlathotep, and LiveJournal

  1. Pingback: The Not-So-Happy Wanderer « icecoaster

  2. Pingback: The Not-So-Happy Wanderer « raincoaster

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