Hamilton Nolan · 11/07/14 04:50PM

A James Wolcott think piece on why selfies are "here to stay" is just what the America of 2007 has been waiting for.

What Twilight Tells Us About Kids Today

Alex Carnevale · 11/09/08 04:25PM

Teen vampire drama Twilight arrives in theaters on Nov. 21. With a huge teen audience ramped up for it, cultural critics have already started deciphering the meaning of Twilight's popularity, a thankless task that resulted in a massive Vanity Fair photoshoot this month. For people who will take anything seriously, James Wolcott's essay on Twilight proves the movie is the ultimate shell for anything and everything: Gossip Girl, Michelangelo, Chopin, Into the Wild, Superman, the gays, Sarah Palin and, of course, Bob Dylan. What are adults who should know better trying to read into Twilight?Here's the full list of cultural references from Wolcott's piece: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dracula, Vampire Academy, Gossip Girl, The Morganville Vampires, Vampire Kisses, The Vampire Diaries, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, Into the Wild, Mary-Louise Parker, Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries, Six Feet Under, Harry Potter, Debussy, Rudolf Nureyev, Chris Isaak, Michelangelo, Chopin, Superman, the gays, Sarah Palin, James Dean, David Lynch, Bob Dylan, Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction, and Brideshead Revisited. An impressive array, to say the least. Even the books themselves are part of the Twilight phenomenon, says Wolcott: "The physical properties of the books themselves may explain their popularity. They’re thick, chunky, promising a fat read—you don’t so much curl up with them as gulp them down." Salon's Laura Miller also noted the chameleon-like qualities of the series written by Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer:

Choire · 06/05/07 10:31AM

"The beads of Peggy Noonan's pearl necklace have come unstrung, clattering and scattering across the floor like the beautiful remains of a broken dream..." [James Wolcott]

Gopnik And Wolcott Draw Their Party Lines

Doree · 03/28/07 12:26PM

Last evening, a genteel literary crowd gathered at the Tribeca loft apartment of Slate editor Jacob Weisberg and his wife, Domino editor Deborah Needleman, to f te the cultural critic and historian Clive James. His new book, Cultural Amnesia, is a kind of highbrow Cliffs Notes for Important Figures of, mostly, the last couple centuries, ranging from the well-known (Jean-Paul Sartre, Hitler, Tony Curtis, Beatrix Potter) to the obscure-but-should-be-known (Dubravka Ugresic, Ricarda Huch, Robert Brasillach), with a decided favoritism toward the Central European intelligentsia of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nothing about Paris Hilton, sadly.

Media Bubble: Why Are These Jews Smiling?

Choire · 02/12/07 09:16AM
  • The New York Post's and NY Observer publisher Jared Kushner's PR man Steven Rubenstein spoonfeeds NYP media columnist Keith Kelly super-fun-happy-times-yay-team item on New York Observer redesign and accompanying editor 'n' publisher lovefest. [NYP]

James Wolcott Finally Does the Adam Gopnik Takedown We've All Been Waiting For

Doree Shafrir · 02/07/07 02:40PM

For anyone who ever rolled their eyes at one of Adam Gopnik's overly precious New Yorker pieces, or had the misfortune of sitting through Paris to the Moon, his collection of yarns about living with his perfectly winsome children and appropriately acerbic wife in Paris, Vanity Fair contributing editor James Wolcott's brilliant diatribe in this week's New Republic should give you a heaping helping of vindication. It's really worth reading the whole 4,500-word piece, but in the meantime, some highlights, starting with Wolcott's opening graf:

If He Read It: James Wolcott Liveblogs The O.J. Book

Emily Gould · 01/22/07 09:20AM

Even though Newsweek already excerpted the only chapter that anyone remotely cares about, James Wolcott breathlessly trumpets Vanity Fair's acquisition of "the whole enchilada" — a shiny new hardcover edition of If He Did It — today on VF.com. (Now we know who was bidding on Ebay!) So what's the book (well, the part we haven't all already read) like? Well, Wolcott calls it "a shameless yet ingeniously opaque cockteaser," and, surprise surprise, so is his 'review.' We learn that O.J. and Nicole Brown had a tumultuous marriage, and that Nicole frequently enraged her husband by wearing whorey outfits. Yawn yawn. Ultimately, the only sort of new information here seems to be that James Wolcott is a weirdo who makes up his own nonsensical slang. Simpson's B-list milieu is given to "normo" leisure activities, while Nicole is "for cert" nothing like Gloria Swanson, though the book is (somehow ) like Sunset Boulevard. But our favorite moment of Wolcottian semicoherence comes later, when he's describing the chapter entitled "The Two Nicoles":

Media Bubble: 'Times' to Send Its Sons to War

Jesse · 06/07/06 03:18PM

Times Baghdad bureau likes 'em young; Times Mag editor Gerry Marzorati likes 'em late-30-something and in business. [NYO]
• And James Wolcott likes 'em monocled and on a compiliation DVD set. [New Criterion]
• Seth Mnookin says Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown is a plagiarist, if not necessarily by the legal definition. Brown says Mnookin is a pain in his ass, if not necessarily by the legal definition. [NYT]
• Huffington Post launches a media blog, "Eat the Press." Clever, eh? [HuffPost]
• Laddie McLadlad Greg Gutfeld also launches a blog, "The Daily Gut." Clever, eh? [Jossip]

James Wolcott Pimps His Glossy

Jessica · 01/06/06 09:18AM

From the blog of Vanity Fair contributing editor James Wolcott, earnest praise for the latest issue: