The Joy of Reading a Bad Review

I have only a passing knowledge of the Amazon TV show Transparent, and even less knowledge of its showrunner, Jill Soloway, still, when I came across this review of her memoir, She Wants It, I realized that I had stumbled on a gem, one one that might make Rex Reed, master of the snarky review gasp in awe.

Also, unlike Reed, Andrea Long Chu actually gets into the weeds of the book, and not how Soloway looks, or dresses, etc., which to my mind puts her a pretty big step above Reed.

She demolishes the recollections of a narcissistic asshole on their own terms:

As a lightweight behind-the-scenes look at a critically acclaimed television series, Jill Soloway’s new memoir She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy is just south of worth purchasing at the airport. As a book about desire, power, or toppling the patriarchy, it is incompetent, defensive, and astonishingly clueless.

This is a story about someone who responds to criticisms of her TV show by taking “a glamping writers’ retreat” to El Capitan: “We had a shaman come. She did magic incantations as we lay on the floor of a yurt.” It is an unwitting portrait of a rich Los Angeles creative type with a child’s knack for exploiting the sympathies of others, a person whose deep fear of doing the wrong thing was regularly outmatched by an even deeper distaste for doing the right thing. The nicest thing that can be said of this oblivious, self-absorbed, unimportant book is that it proves, once and for all, that trans people are fully, regrettably human.

Those are the first two paragraphs, and it goes on to skewer Peter Thiel (who I should note is literally a vampire who wants to use the blood of the young to extend his lifespan) in only 7 words, along with lambasting former Transparent star Jeffrey Tambour, Louie C.K., and Lena Dunham

Still she conclusively shows, with Soloway’s own words, that they are not as much of a self absorbed asshole as Soloway is.

This is beautiful, and I know two thing for sure:

  1. I never want to be on the bad side of Andrea Long Chu.
  2. If I ever need a speech writer, I want her.

 There are tears of joy pouring down my face.

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