Do you live in one of those "second-tier" cities that seems woefully bereft of despicable and/or overprivileged and whatever the case self-promoting social climbing youngs? Ever find yourself reading, say, a blog…and feeling just a twinge or a pang or whatever of envy for New York's thriving industry of microcelebrity manufacture? [JUST SAY NO.] But Kate Carraway, a writer in Toronto reflecting on that lofty matter of Jessica Roy, actually claims she does. "We have no Julia Allison, the current Wired cover star, and centre of much debate on media celebrity; no Sloane Crossley…" [sic] she laments. Nor do they have a Keith Gessen nor an Emily Gould nor even much, like, blow! "The NY media circus is ordered and replenished by an anxious, aggressive, semi-twisted sense of value, but value nonetheless," she writes, calling for "a collective pursuit of something better and more worthwhile." Well, Kate Carraway, if this is what you deem "better and more worthwhile," allow me to get service-y with you for a minute and and share with you an abridged and hastily-told tale of a group of anxious, semi-twisted twentysomethings who tried to do exactly what you aspire to do in their own "lesser" city.
Doree Shafrir has a bone to pick with Newsweek. The former Gawker editor recently scored a book deal from her blog of mom emails, and now Newsweek is asking whether she or any other blogger can even write books, much less sell them. "Many bloggers just repackage what they've already done," the magazine said, citing Gawker's book as an example. But the Gawker book did not contain any content from the site at all, so it can hardly be called "repackaged." And there are all kinds of other problems with Newsweek's blogger book slam:
The Observer's Doree Shafrir and Jezebel's Jessica Grose landed a book deal for "Postcards From Yo Momma," their beloved tumblr blog that reprints emails from readers' mothers, because we are all terrible children. Doree and Jessica "are said to have received a comfortable... sum," according to Balk, though not as much a the creators of Stuff White People Like. Of course the Stuff White People Like guys actually have to, like, write their book. Themselves! [Radar] Update: Doree says, "they actually want quite a bit of original content." Of course she'll probably make her mom write it.
Even if the Brooklyn Literary Scene is dead, or as Colson Whitehead put it, annoying and irrelevant, there still are a lot of writers kicking it in the borough of churches. In today's New York Observer, Fort Greene's own Doree Shafrir made an extensive list of the Brooklyn literarati, including neighborhood listings. Not to sound like an asshole, but even I didn't know about some of the writers and editors on the list. The Observer's non-college educated readership will be totally lost.
Tina Fey is a smart woman even dumb men like. But that kind of success comes with a price. Or rather, a point: the saturation point. Doree Shafrir, once of Gawker and now of the New York Observer, asked this morning: "Just curious ... ... when the Tina Fey backlash is gonna start. Because, you know, it's inevitable. Any guesses?" The response, within a small circle of bloggers, was deafening. "It's just a matter of time" says Gabe Delahaye the ex-The Unethicist, calling her the J. Lo of comedy. But wait! A retort! "No way, Jose" says Gabe's co-blogger on Videogum, Lindsay Robertson (paraphrasing). Moms — hers specifically — have no idea who Fey is. My opinion? If Tina Fey can survive endorsing Hillary Clinton, she can survive anything. Also, there's a piece of lint in my belly button that won't come out no matter how hard I stare.
First Liz Smith and some other "Greatest Generation"-aged women launched Wowowow. Then former Gawker Doree Shafrir started Post Cards From Yo Momma. Now this: "I am e-mailing you because u are the first blog. The very first one. You set the trend. But web 2.0 has changed everything. Mom Blogs are a growing voice and they are 'oh my god' sunny. really sunny. Just read them. They don't talk about Omarosa sightings, they don't give us the 411 on Star Jones leaving the view. But they are growing." The rest of the email after the jump.
On his Tumblr today, Alex Balk muses on Nick Denton's morality, suggests that his vision of hell involves doing his current job with Radar, and makes one (1) tit joke. Guest-blogging at kottke.org, Choire Sicha continues mining Times metro sections of days past for ironies and gimlet-eyed commentary on the sorry state of 2008 New York. Doree Shafrir has a photo of Emily Gould's dog. Emily Gould has re-launched her blog. Jesse Oxfeld IMd us earlier to remind us that he has "a very small and entirely static presence" on the Internet. Jessica Coen's website has itself been fairly static since the start of the year. [Previously]
Former Gawker editor Alex Balk is blogging again! No, not really at Radar, where he works, but on his Tumblr. Have you heard of Tumblr? Allow former Gawker editor Doree Shafrir to explain—in the New York Observer, where she works, or on her Tumblr! Turns out blogging's fun when you're not getting paid for it! More good news: Denton has asked our tech wizards to "splice in" Balk's Tumblr, so you can read his drink-soaked classic rock-despising wisdom right here. (Though not at Radar, where you can read Tionna Smalls' East New York Truth.)