So it goesSorry for the lateness of this morning’s post; a server migration kneecapped my access to the site. But everything seems to be up and running now.

Here’s something to ponder, though: Which seismic cultural event is likely to get more traction this week? Is it …

… Variety’s decision to lay off veteran film critic Todd McCarthy and most of its other full-time critics and switch to cheaper/younger/less opinionated freelancers?

… Corey Haim’s sudden death at age 38?

… Armond White getting critic-blocked by Noah Baumbach’s people when he wants to see “Greenberg”?

… or the protests over Farrah Fawcett’s absence from the Oscar death reel?

Sadly, my money’s on l’affaire Farrah. Which carries even less importance than the Armond White thing, which is about as insignificant as you can get.

10 thoughts on “Priorities”

  1. It may not be the most significant news of the day, but besides being mean-spirited, treating Farrah Fawcett’s exclusion as thoroughly insignificant is off base. She has worked with Alan Pakula and Robert Altman, and she co-starred with (interestingly enough) Jeff Bridges in two films. So, she was much more than a TV actress. She was also a towering icon of the 70s. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t have been included.

  2. I realize my closing line could be read as thinking Fawcett’s death was insignificant — that wasn’t my intention. I was referring to the kerfuffle over her absence from the death reel.

    Maybe it’s because I don’t regard the Oscars as the ultimate authority of artistic relevance or importance, but seriously, wasn’t there enough talk about Farrah Fawcett’s contribution to entertainment and pop culture when she died? Is this really that much of a slight?

    Frankly, I’d be saying the same thing if they’d left Michael Jackson out. Icon or not, he wasn’t primarily associated with movies.

  3. I’ll be honest, I’ve actively avoided reading Variety for quite a while now. Was McCarthy the one who started sentences with words like “Pic” or “Laffer”? As in, “Pic expected to do boffo business with teens.” Or, “Jen Aniston laffer appeals to middle-aged crowd.”

  4. That’s a house-style thing — you’ll find those in every review, regardless of the writer. Every job comes with weird restrictions.

    Adam, Jennie and I were talking about Variety’s slanguage at the CBC last week; I predicted that if “Avatar” lost out at the Oscars, Variety’s headline would be “Academy to Avatar: Screw You, Blue!”

    I am very disappointed in them.

  5. Regardless of who’s at fault, I won’t shed a tear if Variety as a whole disappears off the face of the planet tomorrow.

  6. ‘Variety’, like ‘Rolling Stone’ in the 1990s, has proven itself to be vestigial and ultimately irrelevant.

    A reasoned and articulate soul turns to other media for consumption.

    (yes, present forum included).


  7. I’m not sure why anyone would cheer layoffs, but that’s your right. But the main point everyone’s ignoring is that if a high-profile publication can dispense with their chief critic who has been with them for 31 years, it means any publication can do it. And yes, that includes Now Toronto. Regardless of your opinions of Variety and McCarthy, it sets a chilling precedent.

  8. @ atyl — Who’s cheering layoffs? I’m not seeing a lot of respect for Variety here, but no one seems to be positioning this as a positive.

    Certainly, I’ve seen enough friends lose their jobs to a balance sheet — and been cut loose myself, under similar circumstances — to be sympathetic to McCarthy, and disappointed in Variety. Brand names and reputations are not always interchangeable.

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