First, Jonathan Franzen wrote a lengthy diatribe against Twitter and its adherents, especially bemoaning the “Jennifer Weiner-ish self-promotion” the web breeds. Then, Weiner fired back with an essay of her own. THEN, it seems Franzen subtly called Weiner out without identifying her–we call this a “sub-tweet,” Jonathan– telling an interviewer, “I can’t stop writing and disappear just because someone chooses to project onto me her grievance with a million years of sexist human history.”
NOW, the Philadelphia-based chick lit queen has re-loaded and fired back again. Here’s what she told Salon.
Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is directed at me — and if you look at what I’ve said over the years, it’s been more about the Times as an institution and Sam Tanenhaus as a gatekeeper than JF. He’s more the beneficiary of a sexist system than its architect. However, in terms of what he’s done with his power, I think you can draw a very explicit causal relationship between his ’01 diss of Oprah and her choice to shutter the book club. Post-CORRECTIONS, Oprah never picked another debut female novelist…and the only female writers she talked about were Toni Morrison and Pearl S. Buck. He owns some of that.
I appreciate that he’s acknowledged that too many books get dismissed as chick lit, and that he’s championed Paula Fox, among others. But he can’t rail about Jennifer Weiner-ish self-promotion without acknowledging that, thanks in some part to his dealings with Oprah, social media is one of the things women writers have been forced to use to get the kind of attention he takes for granted. He has benefited tremendously from a system built on double standards, where a woman has to work twice as hard to be acknowledged as his peer, and he single-handedly eliminated one of the few routes women writers had to getting the kind of press he gets just by opening his mouth. His hands aren’t as clean as he’d like to believe.
This is at heart nothing if not a Philadelphia story. Punchy local underdog keeping up blow-for-blow with world-historical-high-fallutin’ Pultizer winner. Please don’t let this end.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s been a big brouhaha over Northeast Philadelphia cheesesteak shop Chink’s changing its name to Joe’s. Supposedly, Joe’s business tanked because his old, racist customers boycotted him over his decision to “do the right thing” and ditch the name Chink’s.
Last week, Stu Bykofsky of the Daily News ran a feature about all this, and on Saturday, Philadelphia magazine’s own Joel Mathis organized an eat-in at Joe’s to show support for the restaurant and its enlightened ways. And I was pretty sure that would be the end of it.
But no. Read more »
Philly industrialist/family-feuding scion Ron Perelman, 70, sat down for a $210, 90-minute lunch with the Financial Times recently. Here are the best tid-bits from the interview with the 26th-richest man in the world.
- This is how he describes his 96-year-old father Raymond: He “works every day and still has his eye on pretty girls.”
- He still uses an “old Nokia telephone” and neither e-mails, texts, nor uses a computer at all.
- He “does not regret any of his marriages,” despite the last four reportedly costing him $138 million. His fifth, to a psychiatrist, appears to have given him a little peace of mind.
- He “is always a light eater,” according to the waiter at Italian restaurant Marea, on Central Park South.
- He was wearing a Penn baseball cap to cover his gleaming bald dome when he left the interview to hang out on his yacht.
Sidecar, the “car-sharing” service that paired taxi-hating customers with rando drivers, has ceased to operate in Philadelphia. Since February, when the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) shut it down after an actual sting operation, it’s been locked in a battle with the city, which claims SideCar vehicles are essentially an illegal, unregulated, uninspected taxi service. After a few months of wrangling, SideCar has now pulled out of its first-ever East Coast location.
So, what’s the narrative here? Rogue start-up trying to cut costs, blow through red tape, and flout the law? Or innovation-stifling bureaucrats loathe to upset the established order? Either way, the “sharing economy” that has given us Airbnb and Zipcar isn’t quite ready to revolutionize Philly. [Newsworks]
There aren’t too many Philadelphia stories that involve Martin Scorsese, his daughter Catherine Scorsese, actor Ray Liotta of Goodfellas fame, or pop prince Jesse McCartney. But this Philadelphia story just so happens to involve all of them. Read more »
Sheetz, that backwatery, red-headed stepchild of a convenience store, is lobbying for liquor privatization so that it can sell beer. Boosters say it will create jobs. Some pro-PLCB Democrats, not surprisingly, dispute this.
“The notion that you’re gonna kill all these family sustaining jobs and that somehow people are gonna go out and work for minimum wage at a damn Sheetz, I think, is outrageous,” [Sen. Jim] Ferlo said.
Senator Ferlo, we don’t know you, but we like you. As long you’re cool with beer and low-wage jobs at Wawa, that is. [ABC 27]
Former meteorologist and feud enthusiast John Bolaris, who may or may not be decamping for New York City, has gotten into another instant-classic spat. This one’s between him and Lenny Dystra’s ex-business manager, Dan Herman, and it has something to do with compensation for the narration of a documentary about a 1982 boxing match. But the tipping point of the fight–which took place via text message–occurred when Herman said Bolaris’s nine-year-old daughter looked like an “anteater.” (Herman said it was a joke about the public television character Arthur, who, ahem, happens to be an aardvark.)
“If you mention my daughter again, I will personally kick your loser ass,” Bolaris texted, claiming that Herman continued to antagonize him.
Bolaris texted back to Herman, “I don’t know when or where but I will see you and you won’t even see it coming when I snap your neck !! Now lose my number.”
So, according to the Daily News, Herman went to the cops and has now lodged a criminal complaint against Bolaris. [Daily News]
Ever since Richie Sambora backed out of Bon Jovi’s world tour, JBJ’s been hinting that Sambora’s personal (ahem, drug) issues are holding him back. He also basically called him replaceable, saying that his absence was “unlike if this were, God forbid, The Edge, and he for some reason couldn’t make a U2 show.” (Though, somehow, he’s “absolutely” the band’s guitar player.)
Well, guess what? Richie has had enough. Speaking publicly about the feud (can we call it that?) for the first time, Sambora tells the Daily Mail, which cares, that in fact, ”Jon wants to see if he can pull off stadiums by himself. He is making it very difficult for me to come back.” Also: “Enough with the trash-talking!” [Daily Mail]
Kobe Bryant’s mom wants to sell off a big collection of her son’s old jerseys so she can buy herself a new home in Nevada. Kobe wants to keep the memorabilia for himself. And so they find themselves sparring in federal court in Camden. Pamela Bryant, you see, says her son gave her the items once, and now wants to sell them to a collectibles company, which would subsequently auction them off. (The West Berlin-based Goldin Auctions has already advanced her $450,000.) Kobe says it’s his property and he doesn’t want his maroon Lower Merion “33″ on the back of some punk. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the two to settle this thing in a therapist’s office, rather than a courtroom. But that’s not really the Mamba’s style. [Courier-Post]
Television hosts and anchors have an unusual relationship with their viewers. It is a relationship that is constantly analyzed, measured and dissected by researchers, focus groups and telephone surveys to find our if there is a “connection.” Read more »