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A round-up of this week's best discussions, discoveries, provocations, backlashes, calls to arms and all-out wars about film on the Internet.
This week's must-read: Tom Scocca's novella-length Gawker essay "On Smarm" defends snark against a "no haters" world that blindly (and, he argues, cynically) advocates for relentless positivity, taking on subjects as far-ranging as presidential elections, 9/11, Buzzfeed, UpWorthy, JP Morgan Chase, Dave Eggers' claim that only someone who has made a movie can critique one, and many more, punctuated by illustrations of Thumper from Disney's Bambi.
To cleanse the palate, re-read our Adam Epstein's Why I Can't Be a Hater, in which the SNL editor confesses/bemoans his inability to judge even the lowest of reality-TV fodder now that he's seen how much work goes on behind the scenes. (One can appreciate both essays without the burden of cognitive dissonance simply by reminding onesself that creators and critics have different roles and we need both.)
"His son asked why he couldn’t be with him every night, and Mandela told him that millions of other South African children needed him too. So many people have said to me over the years, It’s amazing that he was not bitter. I’ve always smiled at that. With enormous self-control, he learned to hide his bitterness." - Nelson Mandela's biographer Richard Stengel writes beautifully in Time Magazine about the leader's many legacies.