Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

Why There Isn’t A Great Moment in Jeffrey Wells 2010

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A funny thing happened way back at the end of 2008 while screwing around one night. At some point or another, I threw myself on the mercy of Karina Longworth–then editor of Spout Blog–about any freelance work. Turns out I got lucky: she was off on a vacation, needed some slots filled for lists and video-of-the-day posts. So I got to listing!

This lead to a few hours of sitting in my living room on the sole chair I owned while plowing through Brooklyn Lagers for ideas. As always, a Gchat conversation led to a favorite past-time among myself and a friend: quoting randomly from an assortment of blogs to see if we could guess the critic or author. The rest, as you could imagine, was history.

Or mainly, me sitting in my apartment drinking a beer and going, “Oh wow. I could totally make a list out of all the stuff Wells wrote during the last year on Hollywood Elsewhere.”

And so I made good on that list along with a guide to recognizing your magical negro as a nod to Benjamin Button. But going over the moments that made up 2008 for Jeff Wells was never meant to be an attack. It was, as I originally wrote and forever gone now indieWire lost the original Spout Blog server, a glimpse inside a truly unique voice that covered film on the Internet. Of course, Wells found it and was graceful enough to link to it. First and foremost, the Hollywood-Elsewhere commenters are some of the fiercest supports of Wells you could ever ask for; they’re a built-in fanbase that recognizes the point of conversation versus trolling or exclaiming they’re the first in a thread.

That was the start of the Great Moments. Because they really were meant to look into the off-beat moments of what is a personal blog from a seasoned vet of a world that used to be entrenched in glossy monthlies under a heavy sky in Los Angeles. But more importantly, posts would–for lack of a better term–be incredibly artistic. Wells’ missives on recent screenings would cut off halfway because he’d have to get to a cocktail event, but not before snapping a photo of a decent halal cart where he just had lunch.

I did a second Great Moments for 2009 when I worked at Current. The tone shifted a bit.

And finally, around last November, I started getting my notes ready for 2010. But a weird thing happened among the online film personalities that took to Twitter and comments sections the last two years since I started this: it got really nasty. In fact, once I started doing the Great Moments I got sucked into the attention I received from some members of the online film world. I’d get a ton of first and second hand stories about people, Wells included, that seemed like potential lists in the making. All the stories kept spiraling darker and darker through DMs, e-mails and off the cuff discussion in bars that as of a week ago when drinking with an old boss I realized just how fucking pathetic that mode of thought is.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m incredibly guilty of it. I snipe at people and discuss how I’m a better writer, have a better idea and how could they be picked up to write for that site/publication/newsletter when I am clearly superior in every way. After all, I have a pair of black rim glasses and facial hair. This is currency in some circles–mostly the WeHo and Park Slope ones, but that’s implying a number of different things that are neither here or mostly there are.

Regardless, I had a moment of painful clarity about the disgusting animal that this mode of thought creates, doubly through Twitter. My god, you’d never imagine people on that were actually adults, would you? Let alone the sniping over whose criticism is best or who has the superior ethical standard when shilling content. And yet, it also is used to feign as much sincerity as Gerry O’Hara gives a good godmotherfuckingdamn.

This isn’t an apology. It’s more a redundant protest for folks, myself included, to quit being such pitiful losers. Doubly to the kids who claim they’re too good to ever drop to “that level.” That’s the same excuse Eddie Haskel used to tout before he fucked the Beav over. You don’t want to fuck the Beav over, do you?

That’s just wrong on so many mixed message levels.

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Written by john lichman

February 25, 2011 at 2:12 am

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