This is the smartest god damned thing I've ever read. Hilariously it's also more martyr fuel and attention for Jia. She wins no matter what.
How about that part where Oyler burns Tolentino for her frivolous, completely interchangeable use of "internet" and "social media"?! That is such an epic 3rd-degree burn for a technology journalist of Tolentino's stature, and what makes it so fierce is that it's so true.
Flip side: Who the fuck cares? Don't read Jia if you're not looking for someone who chooses words for the way they sound (or, dare I say, the way they appear) versus the real definition.
What's Jia doing? And what is she making? News or art? A better life for herself or a better world for everyone? The former, it would seem. But most us aren't Gandhi, and, in fact, very few of us even try.
The moral of the story is this: Tolentino needs to sharpen the point, pronto. In the race* to become the next Joan Didion, she's losing ground to Anna Wiener. And, now, Dayna Tortorici is in the game too.
*It's not a race. Everyone has plenty of time.
Jia's definitely not a technology journalist. I had the same thought as Oyler when Abadesi brought up Jia during our interview, but I felt like it would be pretty hypocritical for me to comment on her book without having read it! One thing I feel like I know for certain though is that she doesn't really know what the internet is.
Right on. (But, also, does anybody really know what the internet is? Remember when it was a series of tubes? That was the best.)
Well worth the read. The humble-brag has become so common today.
Yep. I'm stoked that you liked this. I enjoyed imagining that basically every single person on the staff of The New Yorker read this and thought, thank you. I think that many of us who have been reading Tolentino for a while for waiting for this.
Jia isn't the only one who lives split lives. We all do. But she's doing it in a very specific way that she critiques, profoundly well, in her writing, though always with a brilliantly written, sometimes-honest mea culpa. It's exceptionally brave. But it's also exceptionally weak. Everything is nothing and nothing is everything. It's all crazy-making. "Hysterical" really is the word! All eyes on Lauren Oyler!
Three cheers. Finally, the Jia Tolentino critique I’ve been waiting for!
Several of the articles mentioned here have appeared on Readup.
I went back and read a few of her articles. Yes, I think the review is well deserved.