Gauntlet Thrown [Kevin D. Williamson]
Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times responds to my critique of his Juno dismissal in a way that is either ignorant or dishonorable or both. I'm betting on both.
I would love, love, love to debate this fellow (who missed my Ebert reference in that construction and thought I was just being self-important), but Kevin D. Williamson, who thinks I'm "humorless (and, oddly enough, simultaneously humourous)," is pathetic in his puffed-up, narrow-minded, right-wing bravado and, oddly enough, simultaneously cowardly: There's no email link for him on the site, and no way to post comments to his blog. Hey, buddy: You know where to find me!
Bear in mind that this schoolyard nonsense is from a featured columnist for a major American newspaper.
Readers will notice at the top of our page a link handily labeled "E-MAIL," which leads, conveniently, to my email, a fact which many of you have discovered. Mr. DeRogatis, clearly a creature of the pre-Internet golden age of Count Chocula and Schoolhouse Rock, doesn't quite spot the link, labels me a coward, and then offers a little bravado of his own: "You know where to find me." Yes, I do.
More telling, though, is that fact that he dismisses my criticism as "right-wing bravado." I think that anybody reading the piece in question would find it difficult to locate a right-wing argument made by me in that post. Abortion politics were not the subject; journalistic vanity was. DeRogatis takes the cheap way out of the argument. My question: "Why would a feminist hate Juno, a pro-choice movie?" remains substantially unanswered.
DeRogatis serves up a tantalizing spread of easy targets in the buffet of buffoonery that is his prose, but I'll end where I began, with his risible, bloated vanity:
We can debate whether the message of “Juno” is anti-abortion and therefore anti-woman, despite its arch post-feminist veneer. But there’s no arguing that the movie is anti-rock, at least if we still define rock as an honest expression of youthful rebellion.
Sure, Juno gives lip service to loving Iggy and the Stooges and Patti Smith. But there isn’t a hint of the anger and lust for life of those pioneering punks in the sort of twee indie-rock that Juno loves.
Egad. Iggy and the Stooges were ancient when I was in high school. And Patti Smith? But this is from a guy who thinks Juno is an artistic failure because the heroine doesn't speak like a character from Roseanne, a television show that had its debut while the Berlin Wall stood. Sure, I could go on and on about how The Simpsons was edgier back when it was a feature on the Tracey Ullman Show and how I Against I is superior to any album made in the past 10 years and how these kids today just don't know what a real mosh pit looks like. You know what the world needs? Fewer lectures about "youthful rebellion" from fat, middle-aged men. DeRogatis cannot distinguish rebellion from nostalgia.
I suspect that he really hated Juno because he identified with the film's least sympathetic character, the would-be adoptive father who is trapped in permanent adolescence, who eventually loses his wife, his home, and Juno's respect (and friendship) because he refuses to grow up.
02/15 04:18 PMShare