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Comments: Week of November 30, 2009


1. Diane Schuler’s tragic drive the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway last August left eight dead and a slew of unanswered questions. Steve Fishman’s exploration of how the two families affected are dealing with the aftermath of the accident ( “I Dream of Diane,” November 23) elicited powerful feelings. Some felt no sympathy for Diane’s widower, Danny Schuler. “This husband’s denial is the exact reason all of these people are dead. Just a meathead with no emotional life. Her anger, compulsiveness, and impulsiveness overcame her that day for what reason will never be known and you can see the result,” accused one commenter. Others felt the Bastardi family, who lost two members, was too harsh toward the Schulers: “A man lost his wife and daughter, what more is there? They should stop with the finger-pointing.” The bloggers over at Jezebel plumbed the Schulers’ marriage for clues to the tragedy: “It’s hard to know how much of this cycle of despair was caused by Diane Schuler’s own particular pathology, and how much by an American idea of marriage that often positions the spouse as sole confidant even when, as was the case with the Schulers, that spouse may be physically unavailable. Only one thing is clear: If Schuler had felt able to open up about her own life, she might have avoided destroying countless others.” Others simply wanted to forget fault and focus on condolences. “It’s impossible to qualify grief, but while the need to find someone to blame may be the most immediate reaction, pointing fingers won’t bring anyone back and it won’t make anyone feel better. The only person who could really answer for such a thing is dead, and it is unfair to make assumptions without the full facts—which we will probably never have.”

2. Everyone’s familiar with tweener Twilight-mania, but Em & Lo took it upon themselves to explore a different subset of fans: the Robert Pattinson–obsessed moms ( “Twilight, Take Me Away!,” November 23). Commenters on didn’t see the appeal of sparkly teen-vamps. “I am terribly embarrassed for these women,” asserted one mother who is definitely not a fan. “Their poor children, and their poor husbands! I wish they’d get some perspective and see how sad they really look.” Another groused, “Is it too much to ask to recognize the enormous amount of women who hate Twilight? It’s really damned annoying to be swept in with the rest of the crazies who think these books and movies are brilliant when they’re just awful.” Drew Grant over at chimed in, noting that “31 is not that old, but it is too old to go on record (where your kid might find it one day!) and say you keep pictures of Robert Pattinson on your fridge.” At least one older fan came out to defend her fondness for the franchise: “Basically the series makes me feel young and in love again—without all the white noise of life’s pressures/monotony. I think a good bubble bath does the same thing. Good to know I’m not alone and can read the books in clear daylight now.”

3. Will Leitch struck a painful nerve with his column about the Knicks’ ineptitude ( "There Is Crying in Basketball," November 23). But it is clear from the comments section of that fans are willing to suffer a bit longer for the sake of a legitimate youth movement. Which they see no evidence of. “Why should we feel any sympathy for Donnie Walsh?” wrote one reader. “He’s blown the draft two years in a row. His only ‘plan’ is to get LeBron. Fine, but in the meantime the team should be going super-young rather than giving any playing time to retreads.” Or, as another commenter put it, “Let the team stink with young guys that can develop.”

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