If you aim to respect someone, pay them fair attention (6 March 2009)

Re: "Looks like I hit a nerve. Interesting. But not surprising." (Jeffrey J.)

Jeffrey J., You're commending Vanessa for supporting Platrow's blog, but on that subject, Vanessa, after assuring us that it was only "cultural fascination that drove [her] to read her project" (and not, say, genuine curiosity born out of a respect for Paltrow), offers QUALIFIED praise -- she "found SOME of it to be genuinely useful" -- while still pointing out her ridiculousness ("Despite eye roll-inducing recommendations"). She then quickly slips into a more serious engagement with exactly why "it's not all that hard to understand the 'haters'," and terminates with a fearful vison of Paltrow et al.'s vacuous celebrity culture meming their way, en total, into our resisting but hopelessly permeable brains.

Making Paltrow into a meming, channeling worm is not high praise for her, I assure you. In fact, the whole essay could be seen as an example of the kind of "flak" you believe a woman celebrity will receive when she "overstep[s] [her] [. . .] bounds." If you take women writers as seriously as you pretend, surely you would have noted this, surely you would have evidenced some sign that you were really paying attention to Ms. Richmond's writing while you "read."

You're not generous to Vanessa, nor to others you pretend to want to commend. For grouped amongst your trolls was certainly me, and quite possibly Bailey -- that is, two men who noticed Vanessa dissing Goop, and made an effort to offer more enthusiastic support for Paltrow's efforts.

If in the future Vanessa writes an essay on Goop or its equivalent where she doesn't spend so much time covering her ass, and goes for a more involved exploration of how "useful, helpful, interesting" it all is to her -- maybe even daring not cutting/undercutting all such good stuff (off) with a "that said," maybe even daring to suggest she found herself "inspired" -- then please do praise her efforts, while rolling the rest of us into some kind of troll-sandwich -- she and we would deserve no less.

Link: Is the Future of Journalism Goop? (The Tyee)

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