Gawker might have lost some of it’s edge, but it’s still pretty fucking on point from time-to-time. For example, this post today:
Gawker writer envisions an American Idol/Project Runway reality show about young literary types trying to make it at the most pretentious lit mag in the city: N+1. The title: American Pretension. Here’s my favorite part:
PANEL OF JUDGES: JUDGES are the crucial element that makes a voyeuristic treatlet into a FRANCHISE. Important to cull panel from three universes: PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL WITH LITERARY MERIT (Hitchens as Simon Cowell figure)…Has-been female with drugs (Wurtzel) …
The thought of Wurtzel and Hitch bickering like Cowell and Paula Abdul is very amusing.
However, I dug further into the post and found that this whole satirical idea stems from a blog post written by Jessica Roy, a 20-year-old NYU student, blogger, and very genuine seeming gal. I read Jess’s blog (Jess and Josh Talk about Stuff) and actually she reminds me a lot of my self as collegesnob (chubby cheeks, eyeliner, literary dreams, etc). She is currently going into Exile in Paris for a semester abroad because New York has taught her it’s impossible to be an honest writer.
I think it’s an extreme gesture, but it is true that the scene here in NYC made up of sexy, young, smart things (semi-famous on the internet literary icons) is really lame. I read Joshua David Stein’s piece about Emily Gould before her book came out and I still conclude she is that crazy girl your boyfriend is happy he broke up with (oh and why the fuck did she get a book deal again?).
Also: THE OBSERVER IS A PIECE OF SHIT RAG NO ONE CARES ABOUT.
Ok, that said, really these types put intelligence and “who do you know?” above human compassion, friendship, love, etc. It’s not any different from the days of Virginia Woolf. Really does anyone want to be Woolf’s buddy? No. (And I like Woolf’s writing). This reminds of me a true story! Recently I had a friend who dated one of these wannabe types who might be a good contestant on American Pretension. Not surprisingly, he’s rich, went to “the Ivy of the Midwest,” wears loads of argyle even in summer and lives in sorta-Williamsburg. At a party he drunkenly asked me how I know Maud Newton because he was stalking my Facebook page, apparently. (For the record I don’t “know” her, she is a professional acquaintance that I am facebook friends with and I have huge respect for her taste in books and innovative blogging style). I told him I merely facebook added her and he acted I had a special “how to be friends with hipster lit types” pill and he wanted to know where to get it (answer: uh, I’m a book publicist asshole, it’s my job). Blech. Later at the same party he told me he didn’t like third wave feminists and then his friend (also in argyle) tried to get me to get him a job because he said “I think publishing would be really good for me.” Later this friend macked it to every girl in the room except me, girl in weird non-slutty dress who denied him job help. ICK ICK ICK.
Here is the point of the story: eventually she stopped being my friend because I dared to point out his asshole-ness. Anyhow, he broke up with her and we’re not friends… so no one won out, apparently. In the long run, no one wins out in literary fuckhead world!
So in short fuck people who get drunk and talk about grammar (and yes, this happens all the time…I don’t know why…it just does. I have terrible grammar and make no apologies for it.) Fuck the sexism of N+1. Fuck editors who try to sleep with young editorial women under the guise of mentor ship.Fuck it all. Just write, live, find a boyfriend who DOES NOT work in publishing (he can blog as long as it’s about music or sports not his personal poetry), and live happily. Suck dick ’cause you want to, not to get a book deal or a magazine column.
Girl, you just gotta not take it seriously and realize all these people like Gould and company will fall into the Tama Janowitz category in a few months. Who’s Tama Janowitz? Point proven.