by Max Brantley
Humorist Roy Blount Jr. explains to the New York Times why he ended his regular column in the Oxford American after 15 years.
He replied that he ended the column because he “just ran out, at least for the time being, of things to say about the South. “I’ve been doing that column for, I don’t know, 15 years or so, which is the longest I’ve ever persisted in anything other than my personal battle against sinusitis (which no one will ever want me to write a column about).”
The best thing about writing for a magazine like The Oxford American, he said, is that “I could assume a literate Southern liberal (for lack of a funkier term) audience, an audience not readily rounded up. I could bitch about Northern obtuseness without being taken for a Republican, and about Southern obtuseness without being taken for an obtuse Northerner. It is good to stick up for where you’re from, without blustering, and writing from the Northeast, I could do that.” He added: “Writing for The Oxford American, I could get down to brass tacks.”
There are plenty of others happy to pick up the Southern shtick, no doubt. Shoot me. I'm weary of it.