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Comments: Week of September 30, 2013

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1. Rebel Wilson “does not shy away from her size—instead, she embraces the fact that she is different,” wrote Lynn Hirschberg in a cover story on the ­Australian-born, plus-size star of ABC’s new sitcom Super Fun Night (Misfit,” September 23). “Rebel Wilson is one of those DGAF girls who will make fun of herself in the name of comedy,” wrote Madison Vanderberg at Hollyscoop.com. “When she’s on the cover of New York Magazine looking like a straight up dimepiece, we have to stop and pause in honor of her flawlessness.” But some readers were skeptical Wilson could be the next big thing. “Love her, but I think her humor isn’t for network TV,” wrote a commenter at nymag.com. Added another: “I do not get the appeal. I wonder if there is some amount of patronizing to prove big girls can make it in Hollywood.”

2. “The Republican Party has voted unanimously against establishing the Affordable Care Act in the Senate and then in the House, then voted some 40 times to repeal or cripple it,” wrote Jonathan Chait, “yet somehow, in the wake of all this, the party is consumed with the question ‘Have we done enough to stop Obamacare?’ ” (The Plot to Kill Obamacare,” September 23). “No plot required,” joked one critic of the law on nymag.com. “This unmanageable bureaucratic disaster will collapse from its own internal inconsistency.” And another thought Republicans were just doing their job by pushing for repeal. “It’s not just the GOP, it’s the electorate. Not one poll, before, during or since its passage has shown that it had the support of the people.” (The effort even got support from a reader on the far left: “It isn’t affordable and it does not protect me from financial insolvency due to illness. I want universal coverage for all. So I would be pleased to see this garbage legislation in the Dumpster where it belongs!”) But most readers were supportive of the law and frustrated with the GOP’s efforts to wipe it off the books. “We are all in one boat, so some day we may argue less about whose end of the boat leaks. It also contains some incentives for cost containment and adds a fairly large chunk of America to those who may be able to afford basic health care,” wrote one reader. “For all those who are worried about the end of freedom, just hold on, and in a year or so, it won’t feel so bad,” another commenter added. “An earlier generation learned to live with Medicare protecting old people from financial ruin. You’ll do the same with Obamacare, perhaps once you or some relatives begin benefiting. And Fox News will give you something else to focus on as the imminent end of the American way of life.

3. “In the past decade, hundreds of people who live near wind turbines in places like Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, and Japan have reported that the windmills are giving them a litany of ailments,” wrote Kristen French in an investigation into the infrequently diagnosed (and often derided) “wind-turbine syndrome” (Never Stops, Never Stops. Headache. Help.,” September 23). Readers debated how seriously to take the syndrome, which has been blamed for anxiety, insomnia, even monks’ inability to meditate—not to mention those living near turbines who’ve felt compelled to relocate. “Poorly understood syndromes are always hard to get people to take seriously,” noted Lindsay Abrams at Salon. “When people are desperate to abandon their homes, something is very, very wrong,” agreed a turbine-sickness believer on nymag.com. “Neighbors of every wind project in New England are complaining about the noise and health effects.” “Some people get cancer from smoking. Others don’t. Do you remember how long it took for the government to recognize the health impacts of smoking?” wrote another commenter. “I’d much rather have a wind turbine with a little noise pollution next door than a coal-powered plant—with its cancer-causing chemicals, smog, burning choking lungs, and CO2,” argued yet another commenter. “Get some perspective.”

Correction: In A Bull in Pyongyang” (September 23), about Dennis Rodman’s relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, it should have been noted that the International Crisis Group had no involvement in the basketball star’s visits to the Hermit Kingdom, merely that Daniel Pinkston, who works for ICG, consulted on the trips.

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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