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Comments: Week of September 5, 2011

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1. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian’s article on eating afterbirth (as pills, milkshakes, or even jerky), in part to lessen postpartum depression or boost milk production (The Placenta Cookbook,” August 29), made quite a few readers queasy. “A perfect lunchtime read,” joked John Del Signore at Gothamist. “Maybe I’m being a stereotypical male here, grossed out by the birth process and anything related to it, but [this article] has me wishing the whole thing is a hoax,” wrote Dan Gibson at Tucson Weekly’s the Range blog. “This is one fad I’m not going to follow,” agreed Monika Bielanko on Babble’s Being Pregnant blog. “A lot of things come out of my body that I have zero interest in consuming, and my placenta is one of them. Even if it is a ‘joyful’ placenta.” “Personally, I think placentophagia is New Age–y and utterly unappealing,” announced Jessica Wakeman at the Frisky. “Not only is there really not enough science to back up all the effort expended to prepare a placenta, but I don’t think I could stomach eating something that had been inside my body for nine months.” “We’re generally pro-organ eating,” wrote the Huffington Post Food blog, “but are feeling a bit challenged on our stance when it comes to human placenta.” Others were more interested in what the placentophagia movement meant culturally. “I thought we were done making fun of Brooklyn, but it appears Brooklyn’s residents aren’t done holding themselves up for mockery,” noted KJ Dell Antonia at Slate’s XX Factor blog. “There can be no practice that better reflects all of the stereotypes of the Brooklyn new parent than the serving of ‘placenta jerky’ at a dinner party.” “Tell me it doesn’t make you think of Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal, ’ ” wrote Gina Barreca at The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Brainstorm blog. “Is this where 60 years of the women’s-rights movement has brought us? To a kitchen where some poor woman is cooking a rich woman’s afterbirth and making it into pills or jerky or some other kind of more palatable foodstuff so that the fancier woman can—taking narcissism to new heights—consume herself?” Commenters at Gawker, which published a post on the story, were inspired to compose placenta doggerel: “I would eat it on a bun, / with Cholula and A1 / organic, local, from the Earth / that lovely, tasty afterbirth,” wrote one. Added another: “Yummy and chewy, I eat ’em rare. / I’d eat ’em raw, hell, I don’t care. / Oh fuck, that’s nasty, would you looky there. / On my placenta sandwich is a human hair!”

2. Is the new crop of female-driven TV sitcoms good or bad for women? (She-Runners,” by Emily Nussbaum, August 29). “I think the New Girl concept is one whose time has certainly come,” wrote one commenter on nymag.com, while another was less convinced: “Chick comedies that all feature the same-looking chick. I wouldn’t call it a step ahead if they all are based around the same type, i.e., skinny white brunette girls who are ‘edgy.’ ” Another commenter thought the shows were modeled on another type altogether: “The women in the photo could be quadruplets. In fact, they could be Roseanne Barr’s quadruplets if she had married a pretty boy. Roseanne is in fact the metaphorical mom of all these shows.”


3. Mark Harris’s story on Moneyball, which had trouble getting made even with Brad Pitt behind it (Brad’s Pitch,” August 29), caused some to comment on the movie’s production history. “A great story about the movie and how it had to jump through hoops,” wrote Evan Brunell at CBSSports.com’s Eye on Baseball blog. “Well, it has at least piqued my interest. Just knowing the struggle to get this far with it has me interested in at least seeing how it all turns out,” said one commenter on nymag.com. “Pitt is due for an Oscar, and this will probably be his shot,” opined another, noting Pitt wouldn’t have done as well had the film been directed by Steven Soderbergh, as originally planned. “If it was done the Soderbergh way, it would not have happened, but now that it’s reworked with Sorkin’s words and [Bennett Miller’s] more commercial retelling, he’s probably on that path.” But others were more focused on the pictures accompanying the article: “Maybe the best Brad Pitt photo shoot in a long, long time. ­Goddamn he is hot. Soooo hot,” enthused blog Lainey Gossip. “And before you start huffing and puffing about it, try first to look at the images without the prism of your ­bias—­about the Jolie, about the hair, about the whatever.” One correction to the story: When cast by Steven Soderbergh, Demetri Martin was meant to play real-life baseball executive Paul ­DePodesta; the role was only later fictionalized, and Jonah Hill was cast as “Peter Brand.”

4. Go to New York Magazine’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/NewYorkmag) to view a gallery of reader-submitted photo­graphs from 9/11, as a supplement to this week’s anniversary issue.

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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