It's a long holiday weekend, so perhaps by Tuesday there'll be nothing left to say about former Gawker editor Emily Gould's extensive New York Times Magazine cover story about sleeping with people and blogging about it and having panic attacks on bathroom floors? No? Well, in any case, The Huffington Post's Rachel Sklar, a Canadian, provides a tasty summary of the essay and the ensuing media cluster-fuck. "This was an extended blog post, an overlong 'Modern Love' essay, 7,937 words that did not venture beyond the author's own experience; for some perspective, the NYT's investigative expose on the Pentagon's purported ties to on-air military analysts had 7,486). And for what?"
"To attract reader comments that will be so overwhelmingly negative that they will close after less than 24 hours? The chance for Gould to settle a score and for the NYT to play catch-up to Page Six magazine, which had the 'he-said' version of this story back in February? To shine a light on the strange and mysterious world of blogging? (If so, mission not accomplished: NYO writer (and former Gawker editor himself) Matt Haber notes that the piece is 'light in sociology or cultural grasping,' and New York's Daily Intel notes acidly that 'Some bloggers are able to write about things other than themselves. Seriously.')
"You don't need to have heard of Emily Gould previously to judge her harshly (Wonders NYT commenter Mark Kasen of St. Louis, MO: 'Don't you have important things to do? Don't you have real issues to write about that might affect your generation and the country generally?'), but it helps - it provides the context of having heard the story before, of knowing by the second page that you've hit the sentence that pretty much sums it all up:
'I walked down the hall of my high school passing out copies of a comic-book zine I drew, featuring a mock superhero called SuperEmily, who battled thinly veiled versions of my grade's reigning mean girls. In college, I sent out an all-student e-mail message revealing that an ex-boyfriend shaved his chest hair.'
"But for those unfamiliar with the saga of Emily Gould (which, I should note, was never so much an internet pastime than something that occurred as a result of reading Gawker and starting to notice her posts becoming more and more self-referential, her barbs more careless, herself in a metallic-toned bathing suit (two, if you saw her Facebook page). There was the time she summarily 'executed' a number of Gawker commenters for criticizing her, castigating male commenters for mocking her looks even as she dissed four other women in the process ('Gawker is a safe space for women. Any by 'women,' of course, I mostly mean 'me'). That was around the time she did something similar on her personal blog, striking back at mean commenters by publishing their email addresses.
"What else? The sudden cultivation of friendship with Julia Allison, with whom she seemed all too happy to appear in photographs (though she certainly doesn't treat her like a friend in this piece); the public commentary on Gawker about former beau and current co-worker Josh Stein; the New York magazine cover story last fall in which she expressed angst about her job, yet still managed to reveal more details of her love life; the revelations in Stein's Page Six piece - all combine to provide the backstory to Gould's newly-minted version, which may be one of the reasons it has so far been received with cynicism." [HuffPo]