11 Reasons You Should Never Fuck a WRITER

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In our concrete jungle, few species of humans are as ubiquitous and dangerous as WRITERS.

Not to be confused with writers, WRITERS are a breed best characterized by their habitat (over-priced speakeasies) and their method of stalking romantic prey ("I mean, I want to write a sitcom.") Though it is very likely you will encounter WRITERS in the wild -- say, scribbling in a Moleskine at Cafe Loup or dozing in your writing workshop -- do not approach WRITER.

They might appear charming -- seductively brooding, with an endless supply of backhanded compliments -- and might even offer to buy you a drink, but WRITERS are actually dangerous animals. As lovers, they are emotionally damaging and must be avoided at all costs.

So, here are 11 reasons why you should never fuck a WRITER:

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The Columnist: Joseph Alsop's Fabulous Gay Life As A 'House Faggot'

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The Voice's Michael Feingold already reviewed The Columnist, in which John Lithgow brilliantly portrays columnist Joseph Alsop in David Auburn's new play on Broadway. But, we wanted to share a few thoughts about our experience watching it this weekend, in light of other things we've been writing about lately.

By chance and choice, we've been taking a bit of a wander through gay American history recently. After writing about How To Survive A Plague this week, David France's documentary about the heyday of ACT UP mostly made of home video footage, it was fascinating to watch The Columnist, a completely different, Broadway exploration of a very dissimilar kind of gay life. Both represent gay American history, though from extremely different points of view.

We also couldn't help but think of Dan Savage's recent label of the gay Republican group GOProud as a bunch of "house faggots" when we were watching The Columnist. You don't get much more closeted than Joseph Alsop, and you certainly don't get any closer to the Big House (and, in his case, the White House) than that homosexual did.

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Nora Ephron, R.I.P.: We'll Always Have What She's Having

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It's no understatement to say that this New Yorker would not be a New Yorker but for Nora Ephron.

It's kind of bizarre, given how much my writing life has drifted from what first, in a roundabout way, brought me to New York City: the writing of Nora Ephron. Friends and readers who are familiar with my work might giggle at this, but I must admit it's true; there is perhaps no other writer more responsible for shaping my professional aspirations than the 71-year-old Ephron who died today.

As a 14-year-old freshman in high school drama class in Oxnard, California, I was enthralled when seniors did a scene from a new movie I'd never seen called When Harry Met Sally. Intrigued about how they'd learned their lines from a movie still in theaters (and not a play), I asked them and found out they'd gotten them from the screenplay of the film.

Screenplay? I'd never heard of such a thing.

And off I was to the Oxnard Public Library, checking out this screenplay by Nora Ephron.

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R.L. Stine: The Lost Interview

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R.L. Stine, wondering why this piece took so long.
Sometimes in the nonstop world of blogging you do something that takes a little more time, and which you're very excited about. But because of the nonstop world of blogging, and because you want to do it right, and because it takes more time to do that, the idea or scoop or interview you were so excited about gets pushed to the side, to do at night or on weekends, or in the rare blogging breaks. And sometimes by the time you get around to it, the peg -- and occasionally, the enthusiasm -- has been lost. Such pieces have been sacrificed for the greater good of "feeding the beast." They never get their day in the sun, and that is sad.

Today is my last day at the Voice (thank you, readers, coworkers, Tony Ortega, who hired me and set the last two crazy/wonderful years in motion, and everyone who supported and/or stayed friends with me throughout). And thank you to everyone I ever spoke to whose words didn't make it onto the published page. This one is for you.

On Thursday, January 13, 2011, I left my blog-shackles and my computer and trekked from Voice HQ to the Upper West Side to meet R.L. Stine at a Mexican restaurant for lunch and, presumably, what would become a published interview. He had been the inspiration, on the basis of a tweet, for my first viral blog post, "50 Reasons to Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in New York City." I wanted to thank him for that (I think/hope I picked up the tab!), and also, I mean, it's R.L. Stine, a name I'd seen on bookshelves since childhood, a writing success story, an inspiration. He had a cranberry juice and his usual choice from the lunch menu; I drank Diet Coke and then coffee and, too nervous to eat, picked at whatever lunch I ordered. Three hours later we parted ways, me with a signed copy of one of his books from the Goosebumps stories; him with my promise to send him the link to the piece, "as soon as it was up."

That promise comes due today. Here is the lost (and, now, found) interview with R.L. Stine.

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Dorothy Parker Fan Attempts to Save the Writer's Childhood Home

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Sad news today for the old(er) New York includes Cooper Union denying St. Mark's Bookshop a lower rent to help keep them in business. And in other news of historic import, Dorothy Parker's childhood home, a 1890s limestone row house at 214 West 72nd Street, is slated for possible tear-down, with a 12-story luxury apartment complex to be put in its place. Kevin Fitzpatrick, president of the Dorothy Parker Society, is fighting the demolition with a letter-writing campaign to Community Board 7. He asks all fans of Parker to join him in writing a letter, or an email.

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Salman Rushdie Joins the Save the St. Mark's Bookshop Effort

Was William Shakespeare A Pothead?

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Did Shakespeare get the inspiration for his plays and sonnets from smoking weed? A South African anthropologist named Francis Thackeray is seeking permission from the Church of England to exhume Shakespeare's body and analyze it, determining whether the Bard liked to chill with a fat joint every now and then. Science serves an important purpose in our society by answering these urgent questions.

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David Mamet Is Crazy About Sarah Palin

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David Mamet (who, lest we forget, is no longer a brain-dead liberal), is a big fan of prolific emailerSarah Palin. "I am crazy about her," he told the Financial Times over lunch. "Would she make a good candidate for president? I don't know, but she seems to have succeeded at everything she put her hand to." The interview coincides with the release this month of Mamet's latest book about his relatively newfound conservatism, The Secret Knowledge. Suspiciously for a so-called conservative, Mamet has decidedly froufrou liberal taste in food! Salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side, eh? Filet mignon rare with no mashed potatoes or sauce, hmm? We smell a rat, Mamet.

[Slate/FT]

[@_rosiegray]

Norman Mailer's House (and Stuff) Is for Sale

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Ooh. Would you like to own Norman Mailer's nautical-themed Brooklyn Heights home, on Columbia Heights near Pineapple Street? Of course you would, though if you don't have $2.5 million, that will be difficult. But you could own other things the literary icon once touched, like his 1960s-era jukebox, his hundreds of books, his African masks from Zaire, his framed picture of Marilyn Monroe, a button from his 1969 mayoral bid, and more! Mailer's nine surviving kids from his six wives will soon divvy up what they want, and the rest will be offered to the buyer of the house (for, as the Brooklyn Paper puts it, "an added fee") or will be part of an estate sale.

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R.I.P., Possible Great Gatsby Mansion

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We were warned this would happen, but it's still a sad day for nostalgists and fans of F. Scott. The Wall Street Journal, which has a pretty dramatic picture of the razing, reports that the Sands Point, New York, mansion believed by some to have inspired The Great Gatsby has been demolished. The lot can look forward to becoming home to a subdivision of $10 million homes. The house was built in 1902, and people like Dorothy Parker, Groucho Marx, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ethyl Barrymore, and Winston Churchill all partied there, quite stylishly, we imagine. R.I.P, possible Gatsby manse. Video after the jump, via CNN.

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