Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Dave Eggers Took a Cab Ride

"The driver is a stranger to me. He is young, no more than twenty-five, with a smooth face and a tentative moustache. His name is Shadad, but he is not a taxi driver, and this is not a taxi. This car and this driver were arranged hastily by my guide and friend, Majed, who helped me around Jeddah the previous week. Before this drive began, Majed and I considered it a decent, if necessary, idea to employ such a driver for this trip, but now I am pondering how I could leave this car. If I open the door and roll out, would I survive? And if I did survive, where would I go? There’s nothing but rocks and sand for miles in any direction." Does Dave Eggers being a racist asshole lead him to jump out of a speeding car and maim himself? Or does his cab driver kidnap and kill him for being an asshole? Or does he make it back to America to pen a long missive about his cab ride across Saudi Arabia and the lessons he learned about being a racist asshole? We may never know.

12 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

"I recall huddling in that darkened theater, brimming with adolescent delight at the travails and perils of Chevy Chase as he navigated the gritty streets of St. Louis in Vacation. But now I feel his terror in my throat; the abject helplessness, his heroic concern for the fate of the Truckster. . ."

Kevin Knox (#4,475)

Thomas Friedman + James Lileks = this

I can't believe I clicked on this. Dave Eggers is not a racist. And from what I know of him he's not an asshole. Try reading the full essay that's linked here, quit the knee-jerk "racist!" reactions and try to understand how he meant it to be read, not how you want it to read for cheap clickbait purposes.

Backslider (#819)

@Phil Campbell@facebook Yeah, I hate Dave Eggers as much as anyone, but I've also been around the world. When a driver looks at me and says, "American boom boom" I get anxious. It doesn't matter if I'm in Queens, NY or Egypt or Quonset, RI.

Sean Lai (#14,158)

@Backslider No sorry, Eggers' piece is dumb as hell.

"But if Shane Bauer can be jailed for hiking near the Iranian border, is it so improbable that I could be disposed of in some way here in the Saudi desert?"

Yes, that is really improbable. These are two very different situations. Holy shit, the narcissism.

FWIW, I like Eggers' writing, which is why it is disappointing to read something this dumb from him.

Backslider (#819)

@Sean Lai Egger's writing generally sucks and people need to face that fact. He'll be as forgotten as I am in 20 years. But there's nothing out of place about his anxiety here. Sketchy drivers are sketchy. I say this and I have the strength of 10 ordinary men and 20 Dave Eggers.

Yeah, this is pretty lazy.

And I guess this is as good a place as any to confess that I like Eggers's writing. Guess that makes me a neophyte, obtuse, a hipster contrarian, or something? I'm fine with that.

@Clarence Rosario Oh, shit! Was this Snark or Smarm? I can't keep it straight anymore.

@Clarence Rosario Death Cab For Snooty

NinetyNine (#98)

I'm confused. How does Twitter figure into this?

Dave Eggers or Bill Mumy? Because, being under 50, I don't have much of an idea who either of those people is.

MarvinPapas (#273,182)

Um, Saudi Arabia may be the most racist intolerant place on Earth….

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