Doting yuppie parents are annoying. Maddox, the one-name blogger and writer of the bestseller (!) The Alphabet of Manliness, has staged a bloodletting that's worse than the migraine. In his nauseating new book, I Am Better Than Your Kids, Maddox spends 300 pages being an asshole. He writes short captions for pictures drawn by real children, attached with grades of F, F- and F+. Sometimes, just to up the fun factor, he will juxtapose a drawing he's done with a child's drawing.
Maddox writes a short defense of this premise as an introduction to the book, arguing that children should be discouraged from drawing if they suck at it: "If a kid wants to impress me, he has to draw something awesome, just like an adult would. Kids don't get a free pass just for being kids." A problematic caveat arises when he actually pseudo-praises a drawing ("I can only infer that you want to eat your cat. Awesome.") but still gives the kid an F. C'mon, Maddox.
His commentary ranges from straight-up mean ("Look, Emily, I'm not going to sugarcoat this: your entire family is retarded") to just plain dumb ("I realized that this picture was upside down after I put it in the book and left it that way because it looks about the same right side up") to cringingly vulgar ("This artist deserves a beer and a blow job, simultaneously") to borderline misogynistic ("This is so boring it could make women miscarry").
There are 43 sections. Standouts include "Bowls to Throw Up In," "Unintentional Hitler," "Nice Boner!" and "Sexism, Drugs, AIDS and Crib Death." Yup, there's a little something for everyone. So if you like the idea of an adult providing abusive commentary on children's innocent artwork, have at it. If you have a killjoy relative who gets off on that sort of thing, I Am Better Than Your Kids would be a great Christmas present.
GO: Maddox will speak at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm Monday, Dec. 5. Free.