OK, everybody! Raise a glass and extend a warm blogospheric welcome to Peter Bart, the notoriously blogophobic Variety editor in chief who finally succumbed to the medium yesterday at PeterBart.com. We're not sure why he decided to jump in on a summer Sunday of all days, but thankfully, as bloggers, we're free to pass judgment without even asking. We just think of his pleasant column from last September ("[T]he new lexicon of blogdom is all about traffic, not about ideas. ... Here are all these folks sitting at home on their computers, and what's the biggest thing on their mind? Traffic. By the way, I don't have a blog. Not that I know of, anyway") and then his comments last week to Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici:
"We have a sense of humor and that's lacking in this business. People take things too seriously—some people are just whacked out. It should be a lot of fun, if I can make people smile."
After the jump, smile along with the highlights from Bart's first day — including a revisionist Sydney Pollack obit and Variety's latest round of Che-hating.
On Sydney Pollack: "Sydney Pollack was a gracious man and an accomplished director, but he never knew how to work the press. That was reflected (inadvertently) in the tributes extended by critics and film writers following his death last week."
On Che and Steven Soderbergh: "Che was a Communist thug who, through myth-making like Soderbergh's, has been transformed into an iconic hero, especially around Europe where Che caps and T-shirts are a major industry. ... Perhaps Soderbergh's next film will be a biopic about Stalin that, oops, forgets to mention certain trivialities like mass murder.
On Sex and the City: "Witness the shrill critical contradictions being hurled at each other by two journalistic doyennes. 'A movie for grownups of all ages,' enthuses Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times. 'Vulgar, deeply shallow and totally "ick," ' rants Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. ... Sarah [Jessica Parker]'s not 'deeply shallow,' nor is her movie. In fact, I think any critic who uses that expression needs a better editor."
Hilarious! Traffic City, here we come!