Buzz Bissinger Regrets His Dallas Tirade, Thinks He Should Maybe Get Off Twitter (Audio)

Categories: Arts

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BuzzBissinger.com
Buzz Bissinger: He doesn't hate Dallas, after all.
So, Dallas, Buzz Bissnger regrets what he said about you, and your schools, and your freeways, and your collective IQ, and more or less everything else that defines you as a city. Not what he said about that lousy book review. No take-backs on that. But everything else? Yeah, he's sorry. It's a problem, this Twitter thing. Something he should maybe quit.

Bissinger told me this late on Friday, a couple days after the Friday Night Lights author penned one of his signature Twitter meltdowns, eviscerating Dallas one 140-character sonnet at a time. The tirade was ostensibly his response to a harsh review of his new book in the Dallas Morning News, but it also was part of an ongoing series of theatrical Twitter performances that star Bissinger as an angry, blustering, unyielding asshole.

I suppose I get it. Even our best authors have to hustle their brand these days. But Bissinger is such a thoughtful writer, I was having a hard time believing that he didn't eventually regret these meltdowns. So Friday morning, I sent him an email:

I'm having trouble letting go of your Dallas rant. Love your writing, love your point of view on most things. ... But the Dallas stuff: Ugh. I know it's performance art, but it's just so patently dickish, even when it's grounded in truth. You do realize that the city didn't collectively write that shitty review, don't you? I feel like you think we were all standing over his shoulder, egging him on. "Selfish! Say Selfish! That will really piss him off!" That would be a highly inefficient way of writing a book review.

Anyway, I guess I wondered if, with some distance between you and your tirades, whether you ever feel lousy about them. And this one in particular.

After a game of phone tag, we eventually talked on the phone. But he couldn't say it better than he already had in my voicemail. He left this message not long after I emailed:

I'm not sure what the takeaway is. My colleague Jim Schutze, who holds a PhD in Rantology, blames the immediacy and permanency of social media. Bluster that used to be reserved for the bar is now broadcast far and wide, he says, and it can't be taken back with a drunken hug at the end of the night or a hungover call in the morning.

There are no hugs on the internet, in other words. Funny, though: It sounds like it's Buzz who could use one.



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8 comments
Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

This city is an overgrown medieval  trailer park full of superstitious idiots and drug addicts. In other words: Everything he said was true.

Will
Will

"Sounded (or read, more aptly) like the ramblings of a pissed off, potentially dangerous, alcoholic." Indeed.  It came off like an early-stage case of Charlie Sheen disease.  Unfortunately for him, "douchejuice" just isn't nearly as quotable as "winning!"... 

SurlyZ
SurlyZ

I wouldn't be saying anything if the Observer wasn't keeping the beef going. I saw the tweets at the time, laughed them off as another of Bissinger's crackpot (though entertaining) rants and went about my day. Twitter is not known for reasoned critique. And I only bring up the Austin comparison because it seems like every year, Dallas posts a story complaining about Austin's reputation. It's usually about music, and yet Dallas doesn't support its own music scene like it should (based on my years of going to under-attended local shows). And just last year, the Houston Press wrote an "Austin is overrated" piece that the Observer promoted, and it came off as pissy and petulant. The jealous rivalry seems unnecessary. Can't we all join forces and wage war on Oklahoma as god intended?

SurlyZ
SurlyZ

*thin-skinned* My fingers and brain are fightin' and feudin'.

LJT
LJT

Sounded (or read, more aptly) like the ramblings of a pissed off, potentially dangerous, alcoholic.  Dallas just happened to be the battered wife in this case.  It'll be something else with this guy later this week. 

pleasedon'tshockmymonkey
pleasedon'tshockmymonkey

From whence the cavern of fear and ignorance, shall the fair maiden spring forth from, covering the newly minted dew of the morn with her graceful elegance, of which my grotesque visions shall be assuaged with the brightness that her eyes shineth of...

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

my fault, I flew by Bissinger's tweet to Wilonsky and figured he said something about it.

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