The Playgoer: John Simon Fired by a Website

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Monday, December 06, 2010

John Simon Fired by a Website

After being bumped from his longtime perch at New York Magazine five years ago, that critic you love to hate, John Simon, now can't even hold down his cushy sinecure at  (Where the expenses of keeping him surely can't be much damage to the conglomerate.)

But the old man ain't going away yet.  Behold!

Like a giant tortoise from its shell, I am re-emerging on this web site. Here I will continue, freer and more independent than ever, to dispense my opinions, critiques and enthusiasms about our arts and culture. I hope to be as interdisciplinary as all get-out and separate with might and main what might remain from what must go.
Well I guess the internet won't suffer from yet another angry old white guy.

Welcome to the blogosphere, John!  And in the eternal spirit of your "independent reviews" let me say that I wish your site better "legs" than what you're showing us on that profile pic!


Scott Walters said...

As an angry old white guy, I am getting pretty annoyed lately by the lack of respect showed elders in our culture. No, I'm serious. We now are subjected to the 20UNDER40 book, whose claim to fame is not the quality of its ideas but that they were written by people under the magic age of 40. Well, I am old enough to remember when "don't trust anyone over 30" was all the rage -- I guess 40 is the new 30, and that slogan is a superficial now as it was then. Yes, John Simon's work is often offensive, but Robert Brustein wrote an excellent essay on the "good" Simon and the "bad" Simon, and when he is "good," he is articulate, insightful, and rigorous. Oh, and by the way, commenting on an old man's legs is a cheap shot that reflects a superficiality that is less than admirable.

Anonymous said...

Given how often Simon has criticized the physical appearance of actresses, I think he's earned some disrespect.

Edward Einhorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Einhorn said...

Funny story. Some years ago I was invited to a dinner, along with Mr. Simon. He regaled me with personal anecdotes about how he had approached actresses in person and had either driven them to tears or inspired them to throw something at him.

I always imagined it was a persona. It was not.

Even more bizarrely, he asked to share a cab back, then stiffed me on the fare, saying "I'll get you next time."

John Simon, you owe me nine bucks. In lieu of that, I will take reviews based on the quality of what you see, rather than the cleverness of the cruelty with which you express yourself.

I don't expect to receive either.

Edward Einhorn

Anonymous said...

I wonder if theaters will be giving him press seats. Anybody know?

Thomas Garvey said...

Yes, his attacks on actresses are legendary, but let's not forget his open bigotry against gay men! One show was "faggot nonsense," another was a "faggoty Jewish collegiate musical," and of course he famously made the comment, "Gays in the theater! I can't wait till AIDS kills them all!" (New York Magazine finally suspended him after that one, leading, perhaps unsurprisingly, to an apology and a "change of heart.")

Anonymous said...

Guy is ridiculous and notorious.

It has nothing to do with his age. After all, it would be hard to gain that sort of reputation by the time someone was, say, 30.

Anonymous said...

The guy was the Rush Limbaugh of theater critics and he won't be missed. He was racist crank who had no business discussing art. Why was he given a podium for so long? If a Black critic had ever spewed that kind of nonsense he would been out on his a-- in heart beat. Good riddance.