Comments: Week of October 15, 2018

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images (Protester); Mark Peterson/Redux (Booker); Nigel Parry for New York Magazine (Graham)

1. For New York, David Edelstein profiled Jamie Lee Curtis, whose performance in the latest Halloween installment exemplifies why horror has become the genre of our time (“Revenge of Jamie Lee Curtis,” October 1–14). Readers took the opportunity to voice their love for the actress, including @RobCurrieMusic, who tweeted, “Read the first two paragraphs … and try to tell me that [Curtis] is not the awesomest of the awesome women.” Mariannabare commented, “She seems egoless. I love that about her.” And Alexandra West, co-host of the Faculty of Horror podcast, wrote, “Curtis is not only a Hollywood icon but also the horror community’s perhaps most beloved Scream Queen. David Edelstein’s story is a testament to not only her iconic status but also the warmth she exudes, which fans (and Edelstein himself) easily respond to. I find it interesting that in pieces on the new film there is little to no mention of Halloween H20, a strong entry in the franchise that tackles a lot of the same issues the new one does. But, frankly, providing a strong yet flawed female lead at any age is a rarity in and of itself, so it’s always nice to have another one at the party.”

2. Andrew Rice traced David Boies’s descent from renowned liberal lion to Harvey Weinstein’s hatchet man (“The Bad, Good Lawyer,” October 1–14). Mike Vorkunov tweeted, “This … story on David Boies is so, so good. It’s not just about the late-life bout of amorality from a famed liberal lawyer.
It’s reading about how conviction morphs into the convenience of preserving friends and face above all.” Attorney Rachel M. Baird, a former associate at Boies’s firm, wrote, “I am the associate that David Boies deposed in the lawsuit that settled for $37,500. Your reference to Boies intimidating a judge validates my experience and impression. When I entered the chambers of Judge Chin for a conference in my case, I knew immediately that I had to settle. Judge Chin treated Boies like a rock star and looked at me with disdain for daring to accuse a great man of discrimination against women in his firm. It took 17 years, but now people (perhaps not all) see what I saw.” Scott L. Cummings, a professor of legal ethics at UCLA, responded, “In the face of substantial evidence that he knowingly assisted Harvey Weinstein in thwarting multiple legitimate investigations into Weinstein’s predatory sexual abuse, the eminent lawyer David Boies has this to say in his own defense: ‘A lawyer does not have the choice of how to represent a client.’ This is flat wrong. It is affirmatively unethical to assist a client in actions the lawyer knows are criminal or fraudulent. If Boies knowingly assisted Weinstein in this effort, he has violated his most basic ethical duty as a lawyer. Past legal contributions — like Bush v. Gore and same-sex marriage — notwithstanding, Boies’s conduct here seems only to be explainable by blind loyalty or sheer greed.” To his colleague Richard L. Abel, a professor emeritus at UCLA School of Law, this looked like more of a gray area: “David Boies may have violated the rules of professional conduct through his actions on behalf of clients, but for good reasons, the rules of professional conduct do not make lawyers ethically responsible for the character or prior actions of their clients. Boies must answer only to himself, in the dark night of the soul, whether these are the clients and causes to which he wanted to devote his life, talents, and wealth. I fear those choices painfully illustrate the addictive lure of celebrity.”

3. Daniel Engber unpacked the growing anxiety over male infertility, separating the science — or lack thereof — from the paranoia (“Why Is Everybody Freaking Out About Sperm Counts?,” October 1–14). @AbbeyMarshall tweeted, “One of the most hilarious commentaries on toxic masculinity I’ve seen in a while — quoting all men who are absolutely serious about their ‘penis panic’ … Great work.” Fertility specialist Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, also known as the Egg Whisperer, responded, “To be blunt, I don’t feel sorry for men at all. Unlike men who experience lower sperm count, women don’t just see a lower egg count but they can run out completely before completing their family. There is nothing more cruel than infertility. For women with no eggs? No such luck. Women must look for an egg donor. There is a freak-out about declining sperm count, but where is the same sympathy for women? Where’s our headline?” Reader Michael Seinberg chimed in on those who are so fixated on the issue: “The most important takeaway from Daniel Engber’s piece on dropping sperm counts is that the men most concerned about it are the ones who really shouldn’t be reproducing in the first place.”

*This article appears in the October 15, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

Comments: Week of October 15, 2018