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Comments: Week of August 20, 2012

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1. “Didn’t realize how much sex i wasn’t having until I picked up the newest issue of @NYMag,” tweeted @NYCArt­Snob of our kaleidoscopic special double issue, “A Romp Through the Urban Libido” (Sex: The Multiplicity of Desire,” August 6–13). Others picked up that thread, too, dividing the stories into those they found depressing because the subjects were having so much sex and those they found depressing because the subjects were having so little. “This appears to exist to convince the unmarried and childless to stay that way,” tweeted Amanda Marcotte of the anonymous married couple’s sex diary (Married, Pregnant, Frisky. Sometimes,” August 6–13). At nymag.com, many readers protested that the wife’s low-libido experience wasn’t at all representative. “Oh puleeze! When I was pregnant I was randier than ever, and I know this was true for my preggers friends. My kids are now teens, and I long for those days when I felt so incredibly sexy,” wrote one. “This chick is completely losing out,” wrote another. “It is a poorly kept secret that a lot of women have mind-blowing sex during pregnancy. Crazy, dirty, amazing sex. A ton of it.” A third found the woman’s tone a little self-pitying. “Your life is changing because you’re having a baby? I’m playing the world’s smallest violin, just for you.” Readers found Molly Young’s group portrait of an all-male threesome running a Long Island City gay-porn company much more heartwarming (He & He & He,” August 6–13). “Young paints a picture of unconventional bliss that both defies convention and appears, quite honestly, about as conventional as an evolving relationship can be,” wrote Victor Hoff at Queerty. “To dismiss these cocky boys with a condescending tut-tut misses the larger point: Adrian, Jason, and Benjamine are forging a new dynamic and, once again, thrusting gays into the forefront of what defines a relationship. If that gives some people pause, oh well. The French have been indulging in ménages à trois for centuries, and it doesn’t seem to have sped up the demise of their culture.” At the Awl, though, Choire Sicha was less impressed: “I’ve known plenty of happy long-term threesome couples, so I don’t find this tale of a very content throuple particularly shocking or exciting.”

2. “One of the great revelations of this political season has been the pettiness and whininess of many of the very wealthiest Americans—not to mention what awful people they are,” wrote Paul Krugman at his New York Times blog, pointing readers to Jessica Pressler’s profile of billionaire Jeff Greene, who’s chastised other one-percenters for their lack of concern over America’s growing income divide, which he worries could lead to real populist backlash (The Other Barbarians at the Gates,” August 6–13). At Salon, Glenn Greenwald found Greene’s confession of class fear disingenuous. “I see no evidence that ‘rich people are very, very afraid’—at least not by their actions. And that, to me, is the problem. That fear—a lot more of it—is necessary. Their ability to rope themselves off from the society they are degrading, combined with the paramilitarization of domestic police forces (aggressively displayed in response to the Occupy movement and related protests), and the rapidly increasing domestic powers of surveillance and detention (designed to intimidate the citizenry and thus deter and guard against mass protests), have convinced them, I think, that they need not fear any protest movements or social unrest, that America can and will become more and more of a police state to suppress it. An elite class that is free to operate without limits—whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior—is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.

3. “Judith Crist helped set the stage for New York Magazine as a place for popular and yet essentially serious and wide-ranging film criticism,” wrote David Edelstein of the critic who inaugurated this magazine’s film coverage—with a column in the very first issue advocating Bonnie and Clyde for the Oscar—and died last week at the age of 90. “She was tart, sensible, and irresistibly readable, and she cut a colorful figure on the festival circuit, building bridges between filmmakers and audiences in her famous weekend seminars. Ms. Crist didn’t have much use for disreputable genre pictures but opened her mind (and her columns) to the more adventurous directors of the American New Wave of the late sixties and seventies. We argued with her vigorously but read her avidly. She was a force. I won’t say she will be missed, because for the last two decades she has been. It is an honor to hold her position.” Added one commenter at nymag.com: “She and Pauline Kael were the gold standard for film criticism. I miss them both.”

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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