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Pissing on The New Yorker while Watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

It’s not that we’re obsessed but when they keep making egregious mistakes there is a certain (grim) sense of satisfaction to be had in pointing out what a gang of smug hypocrites they are.

The current issue of The New Yorker has a review of the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

They like it and so do we and their review pretty much follows all of the other reviews by highlighting the template: She’s grim, it’s feminist, it’s moody, it’s clever, and it drags a little (or a lot) until the “villain” is revealed.

All well and good except for the pratfall in the middle of the review.

We’re told that (emphasis added): “At first, the second season drags, hampered by rapidly multiplying subplots that achieve little. An angry rival detective, who tries to poach Jessica to work for his firm, could be dispensed with entirely, and so could a strange affair between Trish and Malcolm (Eka Darville), Jessica’s handsome assistant, which seems mostly like an excuse to show two very good-looking actors in their underwear. The show suffers, too, from the absence of the charismatic Kilgrave, who was played by the excellent David Tennant; he provided direction and moral stakes, and was satisfyingly hateable (imagine a well-read Martin Shkreli).”

Well, funny thing about that rival detective who could be dispensed with entirely. He shows up again in the review as an essential example of Jones’ feminist angst (emphasis again, added).

“Throughout Season 2, Jessica is awed and terrified by her own anger. A man who finds her professionally threatening tries to ruin her business, and she throws him through a glass door. This moment and others prompt horrified self-reflection: Who has she become?”

Yes, the same man who we have just been told is irrelevant turns out to be a crucially important component in the character’s moral arc and the social significance of the show and after he says he never takes no for an answer Ritter/Jones says (just before chucking him through the window): “How rapey of you.”

Which of course highlights the essential nature of the show’s feminist context, issues of power, and works precisely because the irrelevant/crucially important character gets tossed through the glass of Jones’ office door.

That he (and the oh so pretty Malcolm) later show up at the end to go to work for Jones’ sometimes employer, Jeri Hogarth (Carrie Anne Moss who goes through her own angst in the story yet is MIA in the New Yorker Review) again serves to undermine the review’s credibility as well as the idea that The New Yorker has any credibility left.

While the rest of the review is fine (in spite of itself) as far as it goes, and we agree the show has some significance to it and is a fine addition to the already well-developed Marvel legacy, what irritates here (again) is just how bad The New Yorker has become. And of course that the corrupt mainstream media is not about to say: the emperor has no clothes.

We’re reminded of a bit from the currently exiled Louis CK in which he mentions as an aside that he no longer bothers with Starbucks because they don’t even bother to pretend that they care – it’s just crap pouring from a machine and give us the damn money – NEXT!

Well that’s pretty much the level at which The New Yorker is operating. Smug, sanctimonious, slipshod, faux journalism riding on the vapor trail of a reputation that long ago faded into a bucket of rust.

We ask, yet again, where was the editor? Where was the writer? Are they in collusion in foisting this pile of crap on the public or is the writer simply a moron – a journalistic version of an unguided weapon dropped from a great height with the hope that it will hit the target? Or is the writer the type to figure – well the editor wont notice because they don’t watch Marvel, wouldn’t know Kristen Ritter AKA Jessica Jones from Mrs. Jones the florist so who gives a fuck?

Of course even if some or any or none of that is accurate the fact remains it’s sloppy and smug and condescends to the reader as if to say fuck off; we’re the New Yorker and we can be sloppy and disdainful of your intelligence as much as we please because America is one gigantic corprotocracy in which neo-liberal aristocrats in the caliphate of Manhattan can piss on the pleabs from a great height and there’s fuck all you can do about it.

And in the vast universe of zeros and ones amid the cacophony of media no one of any consequence to Conde Nast (the plantation master of The New Yorker) is going to say anything about it. And even if they did it would be done sotto voce over smart water at a bistro or in passing somewhere equally safe so as to minimize any chance of embarrassment.

This of course is what a pre-revolutionary state of collapse looks like. The establishment, utterly devoid of the ability to police itself (vs the innate ability to exile any member who steps out of line which is distinct from self-awareness) goes right along marching to the trenches and then, waits for the signal and goes over the top into mechanized slaughter. And insists that we come along as cannon fodder.

Were this simply a question of one or even a few bad reviews (and we mean bad in the sense of being poor journalism fraught with egregious errors in fact and stylistic collapse) that would be of minor importance.

But this is a systemic problem. As we’ve outlined, it’s consistent across the whole of the magazine from the blatant hypocrisy of the political coverage, to the hypocrisy of screaming for Louis CK’s head in a manner that has more in common with right wing goons than what claims to be a bastion of liberal enlightenment, to the utterly facile, smug and slipshod work of the odious James Wood, The New Yorker reeks of fin de siècle malaise.

It was said, some time ago, speaking of the impulse towards self-destruction that was common among certain circles of power in Europe:

The Bourbon Monarchs had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.

As Trump lurches and spasms his way towards a political gotterdammerung that may yet still crash the country and the planet, take a moment (however brief) to ponder the extent to which complicity is insidious and the extent to which far more than the obvious knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing right wing goons, it’s the feckless, arrogant liberals who are just as responsible for this disaster as anyone else.

And the next time some annoying conservative points out that the liberal elite are a bunch of smug hypocrites and gets defenestrated by the liberals, hit pause, and give their point some due consideration.

See the review here:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-television/jessica-jones-season-2-is-a-portrait-of-female-rage

For a look at our previous critique of The New Yorker:

https://rauldukeblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/vichy-liberals-the-new-yorker-calls-for-a-fatwa-against-louis-ck-and-deviant-art/

 

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