Friday, July 18

Literary Whiz Def Not A Psych Whiz

Dear Jess Roy,

Regarding your insightful and successful blog post that took you exactly where you wanted to go: I think you may have underestimated your subjects when penning your obvious, though quite well-written, opus about the insincerity of the New York writing galaxy, where people get famous via shameless self-promotion and kissing up to the right people (though sleeping with them doesn't always work, so make sure you'd actually want to hit that in any other situation.)

J. Ro . . . we kind of know what you're doing. Reverse psychology has actually been done before.

Jess's Dear John letter to New York c/o New York Magazine (highlights of which are reproduced below), namedrops her heroes (who are, undoubtedly, still her heroes) and the ways in which they disillusioned and disappointed her upon meeting them in the flesh.

But the poor thing, who mentions feeling "hollow," failed to mask her hypocrisy. After all, she is doing precisely what she insults those fools for: Calling them out, by name no less, for being self-serving, fake, and egomaniacal. And what could be more so than a college sophomore salivating at the chance to tout her morals and artistry to media's biggest gossip outlet? (I have no proof of Jess's enthusiasm here, only my powers of assessment, seeing as she was so vague on her original blog and detailed every moment, person, and perv for the New York piece, which naturally ended up on Gawker.)

Personal (transparent) faves include:
I felt sad for him, for having all of these assholes in his house who made fun of him . . . He was an empty trust-fund hipster in his parents’ mansion where all the literary kids came to play. Everyone there went to Columbia or Harvard or Yale. They argued over grammar and syntax, the difference between a metaphor and a metonymy. Someone sparked a joint and everyone drank and simmered in their own self-congratulatory pseudo-intellectualism. For the first time in my life I felt intellectually inferior.
Did she just say that never once in 20 years did she ever meet anyone smarter than her?
A guy I am friendly with who used to work for Gawker, Jon, came up behind me, "Do you want to meet Emily Gould?" "No," I said. "I don't want it to be awkward."
This sounds suspiciously like a girl avoiding speaking to someone she considers an equal/competitor than a girl nervous to meet her idol.
I don't understand how people can exist in such a dishonest way and still call themselves writers. Isn't it the responsibility of a writer to be honest?
So Jess is mimicking these actions by pretending she disagrees. In a way, isn't that how everyone builds themselves? She's not putting anything past us. As one Gawker commenter said, this confession screams of "Points finger: 'One of us! One of us!'"

I must, however, give Jess props for this line: "I did not move to New York to return to high school, but that's exactly what it felt like." Yes! You got it! High school repeats itself over and over in life and society. Hence its fascination. I also see I have fallen victim to her tricks, as I keep accidentally typing "Emily" in lieu of "Jess."

And she's totally right about those old guys and the interns.

But my ultimate point is this: The telltale sign. I feel it quite coincidental that Jess needs to flee the shallow pool of New York's literary society right as she begins her junior year of college—the semester when many, many American students choose to study abroad. But I mean, it's not like she'll be leaving in August and coming back right before the second half of school starts or anything. Oh, wait . . . .

Looks as though Jess's sudden desire to "get out of New York," which is "not a place for serious people," isn't so much a product of a grave disheartening, but a sign-up sheet and application turned in a year ago.

I went to art school too, J., and my advice to you is this: Forget the heady intellectualism of Paris.

And get thee to a beer-pong table.
*Photo courtesy of my desire to prevent being sued by people who take themselves too seriously.

SOUNDTRACK: "Reverse Psychology" by Laura Branigan.

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