Comments: Week of August 16, 2021


Infinite Self,” August 2–August 15

Photo: New York Magazine

For New York’s latest cover story, E. Alex Jung profiled Anthony Veasna So upon the release of his posthumous story collection, Afterparties. The New York Times’ Ashley Wong wrote, “How do you profile the life of someone who’s already passed? [Jung] untangles the tricky, shifting perspectives about the life of a complicated artist just getting started with such sensitivity.” Actor Michael Cyril Creighton called the story an “incredibly written profile that hit me in the gut and made me want to know more and more,” adding, “I can’t wait to read Afterparties.” Writer Alexander Chee complimented how the “brilliant constellation structure to [Jung]’s profile of So allows for so many stories about him and from him to co-exist.” And author Anne Elizabeth Moore wrote, “There are a lot of kinds of heartbreak in this profile of Anthony Veasna So … This thing of layered, generational trauma is so difficult, all-encompassing, and indescribable.”

Art: New York Magazine


“Scott Rudin in the Wings,” August 2–August 15

Benjamin Wallace reported on the notorious producer’s downfall — and whether his career is really over. The Washington Post’s Dan Zak said of the report, “Thorough, dishy, fair, damning. Have been waiting for one like this.” Theater critic Rob Weinert-Kendt tweeted: “This is a 360-degree portrait of a deeply sick industry, with complicity and complexity rippling out in all directions. My 2 cents: It’s time to give great producers who aren’t psychopaths a run.” The Undefeated’s Soraya Nadia McDonald wrote, “There are plenty of artists who know how to collaborate, in part because they could never get away with behaving like Scott Rudin. Being an asshole is not a prerequisite for being great.” Playwright Jesse Jae Hoon called for more institutional change: “Most deeply saddening to me … was reading about playwrights and actors who are worried that no producer will pay them as well. This, in my mind, doesn’t mean we need another ruling class mega-producer—it means we need a playwrights’ union.” And David Graham-Caso, who has publicly accused Rudin of inflicting the emotional abuse on his twin brother that precipitated his suicide, wrote, “Scott Rudin continues to lie, gaslight & sociopathically avoid any responsibility for the horrific and lasting abuse he inflicted on people. My twin brother is dead, in part because of this monster. Don’t forget Kevin. Don’t let this bully off the hook.”


“Everyone in San Francisco Has Something to Say About Chesa,” (August 2–August 15)

Daniel Duane reported on how many residents of one of America’s most liberal cities are ready to cast out its progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin. S.F. police commissioner and criminal defense attorney John Hamasaki tweeted, “It’s nice to read an actually insightful article about criminal justice politics in San Francisco from our friends on the East Coast. Think it is pretty balanced in addressing the complexities, with all sides having their say.” @GryphKnight agreed it was “particularly refreshing to read a piece that doesn’t try to make heroes of anyone; it shows the flaws in persons and systems both.” However, Bay Area journalist Susan Dyer Reynolds thought the story was far too generous: “This is an embarrassing PR article for a DA 3,000 miles away. Or is it about surfing? Hard to tell since [Duane] is interviewing [Boudin] about the stabbing of a 94-year-old woman while catching waves.” Commenter LanceMH asked, “Crime is on the rise everywhere. Why? Certainly, rising economic inequality has nothing to do with it. Nor a global pandemic, resulting in people at the bottom losing their jobs … If you want to lower crime, focus on the causes … not the effects.”


“Space Invaders,” August 2–August 15

P. E. Moskowitz reflected on how tweeting a photo of their parallel-parking job unleashed a torrent of online vitriol. Writer Alicia Kennedy said the column was “less about parking and more about how Twitter is fucking deranged, and it’s excellent.” But many readers were quick to relitigate Moskowitz’s parking job. @eliahhh_ asked, “Did the other cars have enough room to get out? You never really responded in the article to people calling you selfish/inconsiderate. Should people not be upset at you exploiting the inaccessibility of the city?” Writing for the A.V. Club, Reid McCarter pointed out, “Because their parallel parking might appear to have inconvenienced others, Moskowitz became the sin eater for issues including city infrastructure shortcomings and anger over other aspects of the respondents’ personal lives.”

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Comments: Week of August 16, 2021