Sunday, December 10, 2006

Actually, I do know how to quit you

Entertainment Weekly, O, EW. We must have a word.

You and I have been like old friends. Those early golden years were glorious. Your weekly arrival was a point of anticipation -- and even contention between my brother and me. Fights broke out over who got to read first, who got to quote what to whom first. You were a thick, heady, densely-packed beauty of insider trivia and careful analytical introspection.

Then came the falling out. Photos replaced text on your pages, then advertisements replaced photos. You transformed from the textbook of "You are here, Hollywood" to a series of love notes crafted by and to celebrity publicists. Even worse, you were routinely behind the Mr. Showbiz curve. I left you, EW, for that whore the Internet, and she was good to me, very good to me, for a long time.

But, unexpectedly, you and I reconciled. I re-subscribed, not even out of some sense of how much I had missed you, but to make some extra points with a coworker whose child needed to up her headcount in the annual magazine drive. I agreed that, indeed, there was original content within your pages the equal of which I could not get from Defamer. You agreed to continue to fill at least some of your pages with insightful, informative, even snarky text, rather than just the same photographs of the celebrities over and over again. In the last year, I have grown to love you again.

Which makes what I'm about to say even more painful for me. But here goes:

1) Putting Mel Gibson on your cover is not exactly taking a neutral position on the whole anti-Semitic rant question. "People won't really refuse to work with you?" you ask him, disingenuously. EW, have you not already put him on your cover? Have you not already interviewed him? Have you or have you clearly not refused to work with him? You make the point ever so finely yourself: If there's profit involved, honey, anyone will work with him.

2) The Holiday Gift Guide? I expect shopping advice from Lucky. I find it less acceptable from you. And then? In the midst of it all, you go and call Masi Oka "pudgy"? No. You. Di'n't. Back off my new crush, bitches. The word you were looking for is "smokin'."

3) And while you're backing off, I was wondering if you could stop ragging at least once an issue on my favorite film of 2006, Stranger than Fiction. Unless "soulless piece of Charlie Kaufman lite" is supposed to be high praise, by which you mean that it's a film that doesn't make me want to cut my wrists immediately? Because if the difference between Charlie Kaufman and Charlie Kaufman lite is that I actually leave the theatre not despising humanity and conscious existence in general, then I will take me some lite any time.

EW, thanks for reminding me that you're selfish and materialistic. And also that you're mean and not in a good way.


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