Be My Valentine, 2011.

For many years, I have quietly chosen a yearly Valentine. Gender is no deterrent. Mostly, I just look in my heart for someone who has done or continues to do something unrepentantly cool that I find really interesting.

(Actually, upon further research, it turns out that every year I ask Wendy Carlos to be my Valentine only to forget and offer up my undying appreciation of her the following year. I love you, Wendy Carlos.)


Dear Louis Theroux-

What can I say? I’m not trying to be deliberately obscure just because you are about as popular in the United States as I am. You are, hands down, my favorite documentarian, a word I may have created just for you. This should mean a lot because my boyfriend and I watch a lot of documentaries yet, we always come back to yours. The earlier ones are wonderful, silly, and slightly brash. They make me wonder how I wasted my 20s reading about all this weirdness while you spent your 20s mopping it up. While your newer shows paint you as a very human journalist (a difficult prospect, I think) I still could watch your piece on southwestern alien and UFO enthusiasts every day, expertly miming along to Thor Templar telling us that, “you wouldn’t shoot a ghost with a real gun; you’d shoot a ghost with a ghost gun.” It’s my favorite, sir.

So, Mr. Theroux. Be my Valentine. And please officially release your work stateside… so that we no longer have to steal it. And, if you happen to find this while Googling your own name, please contact me. I have some questions relating to the pictures featured on Rev. Bob Short’s walls.

Your friend in Valentine’s Day and TV land-

Liz Novak.




Hear Louis Theroux being interviewed by my 2011 Valentine Runner-Up, Jesse Thorn, on his labor of love and my favorite podcast, The Sound of Young America!


But, truthfully, guys, this is how I will be spending my Valentine’s evening:

All curled up and dreaming of scrambling and then unscrambling human speech.

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