Special Midweek Reblogging Maureen: Cuttin’ ’n’ Pastin’ To Glory
An early-morning tragedy (my camera broke) means yourHot Topix with Michele Bachmann is not happening today (she will return to frothy-mouthed ranting later this week). And so, in an unprecedented move, we summon the spirit of Nellie Bly and examine the legendary journamalististical stylings of Maureen Dowd in the middle of the week. She has literally just cut and pasted emails from 28-year-old author Sam Wasson, letting him write her entire column so she doesn't have to do the hard work of thinking about the deeply troubling political issue of Why Today's Romantic Comedies Are Shit.
This is what the entire column looks like.
Me: "Why can't studios and stars find witty writers to go beyond bridesmaid dress movies?"
Sam: "I am not joking when I say that because there is nothing to see (especially, and tragically, in romantic comedy) my girlfriend and I have had to stay home and in some cases fight. If there were better movies out there, I am sure so many relationship disasters may have been averted. Also, romantic comedies, the good ones, taught me how to love, or at least instructed me on how to try. If I were falling in love now for the first time and going to see this garbage thinking this was real, I would be in deep [expletive]. It was only after I saw 'Annie Hall' as a wee Jew that I realized what it was to be a person in love. It has been a touchstone ever since. Back in the days of one-foot-on-the-floor, wit was the best (and only) way to talk about sex. Wit was -- this is incredible -- commercial. Even something as ridiculous as 'Pillow Talk' winks at you. If people only realized that Paramount in the '30s and '40s was the golden age of American wit. Algonquin Round Table, eat your black hearts out. The question is, will there be a backlash? A renaissance? I don't think people realize how dire the situation is. I mean culturally, emotionally, the whole idea of romance is gone, gone, gone. ... And I don't care how good the novelist, I've never read anything that touches Kate Hepburn and Cary Grant in 'Bringing Up Baby.' Is it too early to drink?"
Like, without paragraph breaks. She just literally hit Control-C (or perhaps COMMAND-C, Slavish Jobsuckers) and then pasted his responses into a Word document (I seriously doubt anyone at the Times has ever taught Maureen Dowd to use a content management system) and then emailed that to her editor. Then she goes back to the nail salon or the hair salon or the nail/hair day spa and smiles in amusement while she reads yet another sweaty love letter from Charlie Rose.
The one nice thing we can take from this column is that Sam Wasson is a pretty funny guy -- a pretty funny guy who probably thought MoDo would at least do him the service of breaking up his early-morning pop-culture diatribes into digestible chunks suitable for readers of newspapers and Internets.
Still, moments like the following are chortle-inducing, in a good way:
Sam: "Even the studios that are run by women aren't run by women. They're run by corporations, which are run by franchises. Unfortunately for us, Jennifer Aniston is a franchise. So is Katherine Heigl and Gerard Whatever-His-Name-Is, and even when their movies bomb, their franchise potential isn't compromised because overseas markets, DVD sales and cable earn all the studio's money back. I'm told that 'Knight and Day,' that awful Cruise/Diaz movie, has already been good for Fox for exactly this reason. The worst part of it is, from Hollywood's point of view, it ain't broke. I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for TV. O.K., now I am drinking."
While he shamefully neglects to acknowledge or appreciate the extreme fuckability of Gerard Butler, the kid's got a way with the words. Maybe Maureen Dowd should just give her column to this guy. By "maybe" we mean "definitely please do it now dear God."