New York Observer

melissa-mccarthy

How Not to Write About Melissa McCarthy

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Melissa McCarthy’s new starring role, in Tammy, and the fact that she’s more of a household name than ever mean she’s garnered quite a bit of press recently. While not purposefully malicious, some coverage can be insensitive about her weight in a particularly ignorant way. To call an actress whose last several films have earned over $100 million at the box office “America’s plus-size sweetheart” instead of merely “America’s sweetheart” fixates on her differences, despite the intended compliment.
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Rex Reed

It’s Time to Fire Rex Reed

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Let’s get this out in the open: being a movie critic is a pretty easy job. It’s not all fun and games and popcorn — you have to deal with publicists, for one thing, and coming up with new and intelligent things to say about cookie-cutter studio movies is a challenge, and you often have to sit through movies you’re not all that excited to see. But, to be clear, we’re not breaking rocks here. You get to see movies for free before they’re released, often in the comfort of private screening rooms, and you get to pontificate about them for (hopefully) lots of readers. It’s a pretty cushy gig. And that’s why it’s so maddening that the New York Observer’s Rex Reed continues to fuck it up — and why it’s time to take the job away from him.
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mandy stadtmiller

In Defense of Mandy Stadtmiller: Why Internet Oversharing Isn’t Just xoJane’s Problem

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As long as there are blogs, people will overshare. The term that came into popularity in the late aughts is a catchall to describe those who willingly offer up embarrassing details of their lives for the entertainment of others. It’s a word usually lobbed at female writers, particularly those whose personal essays are reduced by male critics (a nice way of saying “Internet commenters”) as self-indulgent, navel-gazing screeds that serve no purpose other than directing attention to the writer’s byline. And in an era with a multitude of ladyblogs, there are as many female writers who respond to these personal essays with derision, usually questioning the source material’s brand of feminism (or lack thereof). The mass response to anyone who is willing to share parts of her (or, sometimes, his) life online usually stems from the fact that the critics wouldn’t personally share the same type of material themselves. Because someone is doing something they wouldn’t do, that person must be doing something wrong.
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Trend Watch: Naked Book Covers

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Keeping up with the Jobses is a struggle for the publishing industry, this we know. This fall, three new releases coming to a bookstore near you are sounding a battle cry for the antiquarian hardcover book. The twist? Their cover designs are imprinted directly on the board binding the book, meaning no fussy dust jacket and heightened tactile pleasure. (‘Tactile’ not currently available in the iPhone apps… Read More

All the Sad Young Literary Men

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The New York Observer has a piece up today on the latest trend in literature: the anti-hero. So cutting edge! Apparently, there are two kinds of modern anti-heroes: the “emotionally misshapen,” socially dysfunctional tough guy, of which the prime examples are Holden Caulfield and the narrators of Notes from Underground and Fight Club, and the “the somewhat indulged, un-grown-up guy who has sort of philosophical ideas or objections to society and doesn’t know what to do with himself.”
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