01 April 2013

The $500,000 Deal

Photo by Tommy Mas for Vice
I don't know anything about Cat Marnell as a person. But I know a surprising amount about her.

I know that she used to work for xoJane in New York, was maybe fired for her rampant drug use, and then wrote about said drug use for Vice. She just signed a $500,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster for her memoir, How to Murder Your Life.

Along the way she has written about how she only uses Plan B as a contraceptive, how she sleeps with A LOT of people, and how she uses a TON of drugs. A lot has been said about her. The Atlantic alone has posted this, this, this, and today's announcement of the book deal.

I have no interest in slut shaming Marnell. She can sleep with whomever she wants. I don't really care about the drugs either. There have been great books and articles written by and about drug users.

My problem is that she just isn't a very good writer.

That Vice column, Amphetamine Logic, is a hot mess of barely coherent ramblings with little point. Her ridiculous final two posts were a shameless attempt to tack on meaning at the end of the column right as her book deal was closing. The first opens with her having lunch with her agent...

I honestly thought the drug-addict socialite was passe. Do people really enjoy reading about someone who clearly has money wasting themselves and then flaunting it?

Maybe she's a good example of the neo-yuppie that has taken over New York City. That hipsters have just turned into yupsters should surprise no one. They were halfway there. I guess my shock is that this tired old trope is somehow being dusted off at all.

Just because you put something in a slightly more gritty light doesn't make it less obnoxious. It's like she's living out some weird Chuck Palahniuk/David Foster Wallace hybrid.

The drug use? OK.
The sleeping around and not using protection in 2013? OK.
The glorification of all of it? OK.

Because she's being meta about it. She's winking as she does it. Or something else incredibly tiring. Didn't we get bored with this public self-destruction and class showmanship in the 90s? Is this what people complain about when generations recycle themselves because seriously. I was thinking it was going to just be clothes and TV and music.

Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit. Maybe it will play well on the twitters to her 20,000 followers. Or something.

I looked up her age. Marnell is 30. This is my generation. I'm supposed to understand this behavior, be able to somehow identify with it. I can't help but feel like she's trying too hard to still be a teenager. That somehow it's all an act.

But maybe she's an incredibly fucked up young woman who needs help not $$$. Maybe none of it matters and I take it too seriously.