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  1. #1
    Incandenza's Avatar
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    Great negative reviews of our time

    There have been two pans lately that are worth reading. Pitchfork editor Jeremy Larson's review of the Greta Van Fleet album, and Andrea Long Chu's review of Transparent creator Jill Soloway's memoir. The latter has at least one devastating sentence in each paragraph.

    None of this matters, because Jill Soloway lives in a world where the words “radical trans” can be followed, without a hint of irony, by the word “content.” Her production company Topple, which featured prominently in a recent, glowing New York Times profile, models its core tenets after Amazon’s corporate leadership principles. (Number 2 is “Be Chill.”) In Soloway’s voice, one finds the worst of grandiose Seventies-era conceits about the transformative power of the avant-garde guiltlessly hitched to a yogic West Coast startup mindset that speaks in terms of “holding space” and “heart-connection.” It’s like if Peter Thiel were gay.

    But self-importance alone could never guarantee writing this atrocious. Narcissism can be wildly compelling in the hands of a professional. That this is the prose of a celebrated television auteur may be explained only if one recalls that TV writing, unlike the art of memoir, is a group effort. The narrator of She Wants It is a Gen Xer in millennial drag: precious, out of touch, and exceedingly prone to bathos. Without a second thought, she rattles off lines like “I woke up with a Zen koan in my head” and “I decided I would have to have an interesting life if I ever wanted to be like Jack Kerouac.” The following is an actual sentence: “As we all took over the bowling alley, the sheer variety of the ways to be queer and alive in Los Angeles in 2014 exploded my mind.”

  2. #2

    A hyena dancing on the grave of a lion
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    Hugo Dyson on "Lord of the Rings"

  3. #3
    Gangster Octopus's Avatar
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    Elucidate.

  4. #4

    A hyena dancing on the grave of a lion
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  5. #5
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    Taylor Parkes on that Tim Lovejoy one.

  6. #6
    Kevin S's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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    None of this matters, because Jill Soloway lives in a world where the words “radical trans” can be followed, without a hint of irony, by the word “content.” Her production company Topple, which featured prominently in a recent, glowing New York Times profile, models its core tenets after Amazon’s corporate leadership principles. (Number 2 is “Be Chill.”) In Soloway’s voice, one finds the worst of grandiose Seventies-era conceits about the transformative power of the avant-garde guiltlessly hitched to a yogic West Coast startup mindset that speaks in terms of “holding space” and “heart-connection.” It’s like if Peter Thiel were gay.
    I feel like the critic is just showing off how angry and bitter they can be.

    I've discovered that "holding space" is really a thing, even though I want to hit myself whenever I say it and its probably not the best metaphor for what it is. And it's sure as hell not avant garde. It's very old. It's what most religious rituals are about.

    I always thought Jill Soloway was the singer who did "I Kissed a Girl." But it's somebody different.

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