We would have ignored this silly Toni Bentley profile altogether, but we were inexplicably drawn to Chip McGrath’s willingness to confess his own embarassment. This sort of thing amuses us. We’re not sure why. Perhaps because it reminds us so much of the randy balderdash that often passes for “criticism” in London newspapers. Even so, Chip McGrath strikes us as a man who should know better. Strike one was his out-of-touch comics novel. This Bentley profile is strike two. We’re hoping that McGrath will prove us wrong and not falter like an unfortunate Sox player that you don’t want to see go down. But it’s looking likelier that we’ll soon have two NYTBR editors to look out for.
“a must-discuss among the sorts of people who would never let themselves be seen hanging around the porn shelf.” Wake up, Chip. You can download pornography or get it through mail order.
“No less a highbrow than Leon Wieseltier.” Oh, he’s lesser. And randier.
“an extremely graphic memoir.” Does sodomy translate into “extremely graphic” for you? What does it take for you to be truly shocked, Chip? A man tied up naked in hemp? That’s so…1968.
“We have the more clinical term ‘anal intercourse.’” No, most folks call it “ass-fucking.” Wake up and smell the vox populi.
“The subject is still not so embarrassment-free.” Maybe in upstate New York, but in most major metropolitan areas, it’s peachy keen, thankya.
“Ms. Bentley hits the grand rhapsodic note, as when she writes, ‘I became an archetype, a myth, a Joseph Campbell goddess spreading my legs for the benefit of all mankind for all time.'” And I suppose George Lucas is Zeus by way of throwing in Campbell every time he talks about his flaacid space operas? Come on, Chip. Don’t tell us you weren’t so easily suckered.
[Incidentally, in all fairness to Ms. Bentley, we should confess that we read and enjoyed Sisters of Salome. But enough already!]