Thursday, March 15, 2012

Generally Horrible Questions: Seamus McGraw (Irish Guy)

It’s that time of year where we get all Irish on your asses. For the next several days we will be all Irish all the time. That’s full time, full throttle Irish! Liz will also be using a fake Irish accent just like James Joyce did for all those years.

Seamus McGraw is an award-winning journalist published in Radar, The Forward, Readers Digest, and Playboy among others. We had the great fortune of selling The End of Country (which was on Gianna’s best of 2011 list) for Random House. The End of Country is a incredible book about what happened when the natural gas industry landed in McGraw’s hometown in 2007.

1.    What are you reading?
My wife, who exclusively reads thrillers, went to the library the other day and I asked her to surprise me. She came back with David Sedaris' When You Are Engulfed In Flames because she figured he had enough syllables in his last name for me to take him seriously. I'm enjoying it. The other stuff I'm reading are various threads online that might help explain why my MacBook turned on me, and ate the last two years of my notes. [Guess who isn’t going to get a free MacBook from Apple?]

2.    Is  “The Halliburton Loophole” as fun as it seems? 
Oh, yes. But then again, I find naked displays of corporate arrogance strangely arousing. [When we read what the Halliburton Loophole was … we were turned on too.]

3.    I’ve never read _______ and I am so ashamed. 
I've never made it all the way through Finnegan's Wake, but if I admit that to my mother, she'll have the family bust me all the way down to a Welshman. [My God, this dude is Irish.]

4.    Seriously…do you read Playboy for the articles?
Seamus McGraw
I really do, but that's because I kind of prefer women who look vaguely like real women. I mean most of the women in my past have barely been touched by a hair brush let alone an airbrush. Actually, when I first started writing for them from time to time, my youngest daughter was still an infant. When the first issue came in the mail, my wife hid it. I asked her why and she explained that she didn't want Seneca to be exposed to it because it would lead her to body image issues. I told her I agreed with the sentiment, but I pointed out that Seneca was still breast feeding and that as far as she was concerned Playboy might just as well be a menu.

5.    What book are you always trying to get people to read?
Seriously, for the past four years, I've been trying to get everyone I know to read or re-read The Grapes of Wrath.   [We love this answer!]

6.    Phillies or Pirates? 
My wife was the first female baseball columnist for the New York Post. I, on the other hand, have very little interest in watching fat juicers chase little balls around a fake grass field in their pajamas, no matter what city they visit for home games. There's a great scene from an old movie from the seventies called The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, in which Cole Younger, played by Cliff Robertson, watches his first baseball game. A fly ball soars through the air, and a character turns to Younger and says, "It's the great American past time." Younger takers aim with his rifle and blows the fly ball out of the air. "Shootin's still the great American past time," he says. That pretty much sums up my attitude about baseball.. [We hate this answer. Go Cubs!] [Liz: I hate Gianna's comment. Go 'Stros!]

7.    I have read ____ and I am so ashamed (don’t say Playboy
My father in law left one of Glenn Beck's books here once…..Give me a minute to compose myself…. [Talk about arousing…Helloooooooooo Mr. Beck!]

8.    Liz or Gianna? 
That depends entirely on which one of you is going to be reading these answers first. [Ahem.  The correct answer is now and forever-more LIZ.]

9.    We think "Men in Granny Panties: A Love Story" (available exclusively for the Kindle at a steal by the way) is one of the best titles ever. Did you sort of predict Rick Santorum? Why would you do that? 
Liz has never heard of this band.
It was an accident. What I did was take a number of Santorum quotes from the last two decades. I cobbled them together, and tried to fashion a totally fictitious character who would be so culturally tone deaf, so dull witted and yet megalomaniacal that he would strain credulity. How was I to know that Santorum himself would come back from the political dead and top me? 

10. U2, Sinead O’Connor, Enya, Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Frames, or Thin Lizzy? 
Black 47. Neither of you are Irish, are you? [Awkward.  Liz's last name is "Sullivan."]


  1. collen devine ellisSaturday, 17 March, 2012

    'I mean most of the women in my past have barely been touched by a hair brush let alone an airbrush.' Is maybe the best thing I've ever read. Mr. McGraw, you just made yourself fan.