For those of you who’ve been asleep for the past thirty years, Nate Waggoner is an author who recently came under fire for an article he published in WordSplooge called, “I’m Still the Best and All You Kids Today Are Doing It Wrong.” In it he mansplains how the whole dubstep mystery genre is quote, “a complete waste of time,” and even goes so far as to suggest that Steve Roggenbuck has not produced anything good since his conversion to militant Mormonism.
Many of my fellow ‘20s kids don’t remember this far back, but Waggoner rose to prominence in San Francisco just before the time of the Great Tech Mass Suicides. His first novel, “Dilettantes and Heartless Manipulators” was a minor comic work that earned him comparisons to both John Kennedy Toole and Katt Williams. But sometime after the election of President Franzen, Waggoner became angry and entitled, possibly a side effect of fame. His next book, “Nobody Understands Me,” detailed the exploits of a young, successful writer—it was an obvious echo of his own life. It began like this: “I told my publisher over brunch, deconstructed chicken and waffles with a Sriracha and mayonnaise foam and a bloody Mary, to go fuck himself, told him I was too busy with Paris Review parties, doing coke with Salman Rushdie, and fighting off every woman in the undergraduate Creative Writing class I teach at Columbia to go to his wedding.” Waggoner compares his alter-ego protagonist to Christ through visual symbolism at least once per page. It is not so much a novel as an angry, bitter, resentful mess by a man who might have taken another course. His next work, “All Y’all Haters Can Suck My Damn Nuts,” came just after his high-profile divorce from Lena Dunham, and was even worse—yet it garnered him an even greater legion of unwashed white male teenage fans and confused, misunderstood, bespectacled groupies. His work now represents, for many, an awful, embarrassing phase you might have gone through early in your undergrad years, a phase of sexual confusion and cornering people at parties and driving drunk, a phase most people leave once their mom stops doing their laundry.
Waggoner began spending his money foolishly. He bought Dave Eggers’ entire cargo shorts collection. He had an acre of succulents planted behind his house in the Hamptons, all of which died in the winter. Roughly a football field’s worth of incredibly expensive land turned, in the course of a week, into a nauseating jungle of wilted black bulbs. The jungle became a haven for teenage degenerates and sex criminals, who would flock en masse to litter its floor with bottles of Boon’s Farm and used condoms. An average of three people per year have disappeared into the jungle of dead succulents, never to return, since 2031. Waggoner was driven out of his Hampton house, along with his three personal chefs, a masseuse, five zookeepers, a magician, a mixologist, a cryptozoologist, and four women, all named Solandra. He was also forced to auction off many of his ill-advised purchases, including a jar of Paul Williams’ sweat from the movie Phantom of the Paradise, a tragic half-elephant, half-tiger creature who spoke only in terza rima, and his now-worthless stock in a company called Facebook, a popular social media platform in his youth that was found to cause insanity in its users. He tried to auction off one of the Solandras, as well as the cryptozoologist (actually just his friend Jason,) but human rights groups intervened. Waggoner, who had at this point grown out a long, sheep-wool-looking beard and put on some three hundred pounds, started wandering in the dark, wilted forest that once belonged to him, soulfully wailing Fleetwood Mac songs to whoever would listen.
This new letter is his only publication since then, and his most egregious. For one, he spends much of it denigrating many of the fun new literary genres everyone has been enjoying for the past several years without him, like some mean grandfather not invited to a family gathering. He tears into Wordless Poetry, the poetry-reading movement started in 2040 in which everyone in the audience runs around the room flapping their arms until they get tired, then the featured reader says, “You are all poets now.” He’s mad about contemporary MFA programs, just because they include new classes that he didn’t get to take back in his day, such as Appreciative Nodding 101 and “No You’re the One Who’s Privileged”: The Art of Taking Complex Social Concepts and Turning Them Into Childish Insults. No one should question these things, ever, because they are lucrative and most people seem to enjoy them. Worse still, he won’t stop bragging, despite his fall from grace. He claims he is now happily married, lives in a “nice” townhouse, and has “two beautiful daughters.” He works at a convenience store , and he doesn’t let us forget that they let him eat whatever fried chicken they don’t throw away at the end of the day. Check your chicken privilege, Waggoner.
Do not be impressed by this man. He’s pathetic, but don’t feel sorry for him, either. He has brought this all on himself. Do not feel sympathy for him. Don’t forget: Nate Waggoner is a piece of shit.