Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Heart Mike Judge

I read something rather heartwarming in Esquire this past weekend:

Writer Brian Raftery wrote a painfully-but-sweetly honest profile of Mike Judge, the brains behind Office Space and Beavis and Butt-head. First off, I liked the way it was written, specifically when Raftery detailed the excruciatingly awkward pauses in the interview to back up the point that Judge is just a normal, suburban guy who doesn't much like to shake things up or talk a whole lot -- much like Hank Hill, Raftery said.

Good writing aside, though, this quote from Judge made me like him more than any repeat viewing of Office Space with my best college buddies ever could:

"In Hollywood, everybody you meet who's running these things, 80 percent are from this corridor of Manhattan, up through Connecticut, up through Westchester," he says. "I don't really feel the urge to mock suburbanites. It feels more rebellious to make the show on their side."

I read that passage over and over because, "Finally," I thought, "someone else gets it."

In a few pithy sentences, Judge distilled down -- for me, anyway -- exactly why I bring this inferiority complex with me to the city: that feeling that most people who are from the tri-state area have a leg up on me because, in the end, I'm on their home turf. And I love that he's giving respect to my people: the families who live honest lives in their little bubble somewhere out West, have no idea who DJ A.M. is, and don't really care about the Jared Paul Stern scandal. (I have to add, though, that in the two aforementioned cases, I think ignorance might actually be bliss.)

But as far as siding with the suburbanites goes? Mike Judge, I'll join in your rebel yell.


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