Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Articles [NAJP]

Nauseating Is an Adjective

From NAJP-er Michaelangelo Matos comes this link, which really is worth a click, believe me:

Just in case you didn't, let me summarize. The link is to the Veraville blog of a writer named Liz Colville, with whom I am unfamiliar. It concerns a site called that from what I can see specializes in movies despite its all-encompassing name. Has an Alexa rank of around 187,000, which Colville says is pretty good (a relativity of scale worth noting--comments appreciated). "Churns out" lots of original content. Hotsy totsy.

Only actually, Colville goes on, maybe not:

Yes, there is original content written by a small staff, but these articles are boosted by a prominent and frequently updated news section featuring articles cut and pasted from dozens of reputable publications--BlackBook, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Paste Magazine, AFP, and, most frequently, The Hollywood Reporter--to name just a few I uncovered in the first two pages of an 18-page news archive. Not only are the publications not cited, but ShowBizCafe lists the byline as someone named "Mack Chico" (a pun on the CEO's name, Jack Rico, perhaps?) At the bottom of each article is this charming phrase: "Source:"

There's more--told you it was worth clicking. Need I go on at any length about how appalling this is? James Fallows is writing about it, for Chrissake. Website feasting off the ever-diminishing store of good writing that increasingly cash-strapped traditional publications are subsidizing, can't go on, etc.--with the added fillip that these creeps aren't even acknowledging the sources, or authors.

What I do have to add to the hue and cry is this. I went to the site and found a piece by the above-mentioned Jack Rico, who since Matos brought Colville's post to my attention has offered her a rather unconvincing apology/explanation. Here is his first graf. I thought I might just rewrite it, then decided it would be more poetic to do one of those bracketed all-caps edits that came in with online publishing. I hate 'em myself.

I had the chance to see the heavily anticipated screening of 'Sex and the City 2' a few days before its release in theaters nationwide. [PERHAPS OPTIMISTICALLY, WE ASSUME YOU SAW THE MOVIE BECAUSE YOU'RE WRITING ABOUT IT. EXACTLY WHEN IS IRRELEVANT. DELETE SENTENCE.] Just so you know [PROBABLY UNNECESSARY EVEN IF YOU WANT A CHATTY TONE], I am [I'VE BEEN] a fan of the show [SEX AND THE CITY] since its pilot debut [DEBUTED] on HBO in the summer of 1998 when [1998, BACK WHEN] the characters used to talk to the camera and men were bashing women [COULD BE WITTIER, ALSO CLEARER]. Since then, I've been hooked and have followed [HOOKED, FOLLOWING] our four voyagers through the ups and downs of their lives [THEIR UPS AND DOWNS]- which is why the two SATC movies have crushed my expectations of what could have been [HOW 'BOUT: FOR A FAN LIKE ME, THE TWO SATC MOVIES HAVE BEEN SOUL-CRUSHING DISILLUSIONMENTS. AT LEAST IT PARSES.] - and am nauseating at a possible third installment. ["NAUSEATING AT" IS NOT IDIOMATIC ENGLISH. HOW 'BOUT: THE THOUGHT OF A THIRD INSTALLMENT MAKES ME RETCH.]

And this clown is the site's star.

Articles, June 6, 2010

Book Publishing Made Easy, 144 Characters at a Time The Return of Deems Taylor