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Comments: Week of May 7, 2012

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1. Last week’s cover story, a nineteen-rule guide to success in the New York art scene (How to Make It in the Art World,” April 30), was greeted with some praise, however qualified and self-consciously knowing, by a number of members of the tribe that was its subject. “Nails it,” wrote Rena Silverman on her blog. “Besides the obvious, the magazine also throws a few surprises into this goody bag for emerging artists. While some of this might be hyperbole, I still think it’s a must-read.” “Leave it to New York to point us in the direction(s) that we all need to be [going] for the next year,” wrote Matthew Langley on his blog. “[The article] comes across as a typical pedestrian guide to half truths and ultimate fallacy. Unless it’s right, and then it’s brilliant.” Others were more disdainful. “So in essence what’s being suggested to subsequent generations of artists in this series of missives is: Suck up to power, fake an anti-market stance in order to conquer the market. Hardly new thought for NYC,” wrote a commenter on nymag.com. In response to Jerry Saltz’s essay on rejecting the market, one commenter wrote, “I think you are describing an attitude toward work and the art market that many of us living outside major art centers have been exemplifying for years. The true change will happen when I don’t have to move to Bushwick to be taken halfway seriously.” Speaking of our resident critic, he would like to clarify that while he was happy to contribute an essay to the rulebook, he did not conceive of or create the other eighteen.


2. Frank Rich’s investigation of the men behind the curtain pouring cash into Republican super-PACs (Sugar Daddies,” April 30) unnerved some readers. “A nice comprehensive terrifying roundup,” wrote Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice. “Little of this is news to those who’ve been diligently following the progressive blogs, but it’s useful to have all the links collected in one four-page article.” “A scary fact has been eloquently and compellingly elucidated,” praised a commenter on nymag.com. Others went after the well-heeled donors themselves. “The billionaires are able to give vast amounts of money to political causes. That means your voice and mine have been greatly devalued,” wrote another commenter on nymag.com. “These sugar daddies rail against the very government that has provided the foundation and structure for them to accumulate their massive wealth, and they condemn the very notion of shared sacrifice even though they have gained considerab­ly from the shared sacrifice of others,” wrote a third. Some readers took on the president. “In 2008, when Obama chose to opt out of the federally funded scheme, he lost all moral authority to complain about an opponent pursuing all legal means of fund-raising,” argued a commenter. “Besides, even with the advantage Republicans may have with ­super-PACs, Obama will probably still raise more money than Romney. Money won’t decide the election—the electorate’s view of the job Obama has done will.” “If Obama was raising money like he did in 2008, you think Rich would be carping and whining about old, white, rich men buying this election?” asked Noel Sheppard on conservative website Newsbusters. “He’s just frustrated that at this point in the campaign the old, white, rich men are bankrolling the white guys.” The presumptive Republican nominee didn’t go uncommented upon either. “Mitt Romney is a really awful candidate for many reasons,” noted an nymag.com commenter. “Accepting funds [from] and being liked by crusty old rich white men is not one of them.”

3. Paige Williams detailed the notably deep, perhaps on-trend friendship between mother-daughter duo Julie and Samantha Bilinkas (My Mom Is My BFF,” April 30). On the pro-BFF side, one nymag.com commenter wrote, “I was genuinely excited that in today’s world there are women who actually find that they can learn from spending time with their daughter. I too am very lucky to have a daughter, and I find that we enjoy each other’s company, but the point is that the relationship is still a mother/daughter one. The daughter is learning from the mother.” And on the anti side? “I am not BFFs with my mom,” wrote Jen Doll on the Atlantic Wire. “Like best friends, we are generally honest, but we also know some discussions aren’t worth getting into. And some are, even if it means you fight. My mom is not my best friend. She’s something more rare, something you typically only get one of: my mom.” “Close relationships between parents and kids are admirable as long as they are not enmeshed,” added an nymag.com commenter. “It’s one thing to be really into your child; it’s another to fear her growing older and more independent because she’ll get other friends and leave you behind.”

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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