January 7, 2013

"There is a gap between me and everyone, like a perforated box of polluted air is separating me from people..."

"The space from me to anyone who might understand how lousy I feel seems vast. I am harsh and defeated, and I never thought I would describe myself in either way. The list of things I can’t be bothered with goes on forever. The list of things that bother me goes on forever. I have lost my life."

A fragment of Elizabeth Wurtzel in New York Magazine. It's time to talk about her again, I thought I should let you know.

163 comments:

Maguro said...

At least she's not a Notre Dame fan.

chickelit said...

She's a living, breathing Carrie Bradshaw.

So obvious and predictable.

David said...

She thinks David Boies is the smartest man in history because he told her to move our of her apartment because she had a crazy, dangerous roommate.

Pretty much the same advice you would get from the checkout clerk at Walmart. But Elizabeth would not know that.

Trashhauler said...

Some people grow up later than others. Some never grow up at all.

wyo sis said...

So boring, I quit reading when the fat women cops came, what happened? Who is this person?

Lem said...

She grew up on medication... and so did Adam Lanza.

Quayle said...

Poor dear, it probably never occurred to her, and probably never will, that God's moral law was benevolently created to keep her from that which she now is and feels.

(She thought it was all about a bunch of white males trying to control her.)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Very sad.

I wonder if her mental issues make it impossible for her to enjoy those things of true value in life, or if she could have enjoyed them if only she had the sense to try?

David said...

"a perforated box of polluted air is separating me from people . . . "

Elizabeth describes her own writing.

Mick Havoc said...

WAAAAAAA!
WAAAAAAA!
Reading that was sure a waste of time.

Quayle said...

I am so done with 2012. What a wretched year it was. Some sort, sort of. When I grow up, I thought, I am going to be a damn great writer. Or is that my untruth? Enough. Please. I can only love with a pure heart and hope for the best. But life is kinder than that. It just is.

[The paragraph of the one-lined paragraphs.]

[Enough. Please.]

Marla Singer said...

I had never read any of her writing before that, and I couldn't make it all the way through that essay because I found it incredibly boring, self-indulgent, and superficial. Why would we want to talk about her? You are much more interesting without her, Professor.

rcocean said...
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rcocean said...

She must have friends in the publishing world.

rcocean said...

Who is she? I lost interest after 3 paragraphs.

Looks like the SEC Championship game was the real BCS championship.

Lem said...

Too bad shes past her shelf life... were she to unwrap herself musty and laid away already in lavender not fresh and breathing and redolent of last year’s shining motor-cars and of dances whose flowers were all but withered.

Tim said...

"It's time to talk about her again, I thought I should let you know."

No thank you, it isn't.

Lem said...

Please understand: I live specifically, with intent. The intent is, I know now, not at all specific, except that I have no ability to compromise.

At least she is being honest.

Pogo said...

The aching emptiness is both sad and painfully dull.

She is so veryclose to an epiphany.
I hope it happens for her.

MadisonMan said...

I had forgotten who she was, and like it that way.

Martha said...

Wurtzel should go back on her meds ASAP.

EMD said...

Which generation is the Me generation again?

creeley23 said...

Yet she does have a BA from Harvard and a JD from Yale Law School. She's lost a job for plagiarism. She worked as an attorney for a couple years.

She's a poster child for our most prestigious academic institutions.

jr565 said...

Her essay is the written embodiment of the modern lefty. No underlying principles, loose morals (note, not cslling her a slut just that she seems to have the lib affliction of ot actually judging behavior other than selfishly from her own viewpoint) and a vacuous meaningless existence of ennui and depression. This is the face of existentialism.
Pretty bleak and antisocial.

Note, I didn't finish the essay, as it was to long, so perhaps she ended on a bright note which made all the depressing stuff more sunny.

But yikes. She's very smart, but aimless with o common sense. I can see why she needed Prozac.

Bruce Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lewsar said...

i have to disagree: it is not now time, nor will it ever be time, to talk about elizabeth wurtzel.

EMD said...

not in daily reporting in the New York Times with its rigorous reporters’ desperate fealty to facts

Hahahaha.

lewsar said...

i have to disagree: it is not now time, nor will it ever be time, to talk about elizabeth wurtzel.

Martha said...

Elizabeth no longer looks like the photo illustrating the article. She has aged and is no longer beautiful. She could get away with much more craziness when she was young and drop dead gorgeous. Wurtzel regrets frittering away her youth and beauty with nothing and no one to show for it ..... except for a few best sellers, a Harvard B.A., and a Yale J.D.

Cheer up Elizabeth!

kentuckyliz said...

She should move to Appalachia and become a public defender.

sydney said...

Too bad F. Scott is dead. He could make a novel about her.

J.P. said...

I got about halfway through before giving up. That New York Magazine voluntarily published such a poorly-written and pointless piece says very bad things about its readers.

ddh said...

Compare Elizabeth Wurzel to any of the feckless, self-absorbed females in the Great Gatsby.

BTW, her last name means "root" in German, but she really is some kind of Luftmensch.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

So she choose to die a lonely old maid, not my problem.

edutcher said...

I knew this was coming.

She regrets (sort of) her choices, but she'd die before giving up the chance to sing "I Gotta Be Me" for the rest of her life.

Grow up, kid, it's never too late.

And, more to the point, quit feeling sorry for yourself.

chickelit said...

rcocean said...
She must have friends in the publishing world.

LOL! Wurtzel sued by publisher for breach of contract

rcommal said...

She's gotten caught in the crunch from all sides. I admit to being one of the crunchers: I just don't want to click over anymore. I just don't--or, at least, to be more precise, based on long experience, I weighed the potential value of 1) bothering as against the value of 2) not bothering and instead doing something else.

Chose the latter. So many repetitive people and repetitive stuff. Eventually, whatever: the bottom line and thus "who cares?" anyway.

That's the thing, and it applies across the board, eventually, and most especially to those who write a lot about or of themselves--or even just write a lot but, truth be written, pretty much care not a whit about anyone else.

*shrug*

Shouting Thomas said...

I read the whole thing.

Yeah, it's pretty self-indulgent. But, she's aware that she's a sinner and she blew it.

Awful lot of women out there like her. At least Wurtzel earned her money. Most of the women who are in her predicament are trust fund babies. They can't even come to grips with the fact that they blew it.

Seems to me that this article is something of a breach in the dike of all the feminist braying. It's not a triumphant statement of principle, which is how you folks seem to be reading it.

virgil xenophon said...

At one time in our society she would have been labeled as just a "silly girl." But we've progressed so much since then, haven't we?

Lem said...

Como Todos

If I was born
as all are born
crying, crying

If I grew up
as we all grow
playing, playing

If I lived
as we all
dreaming, dreaming
and what I have I got
fighting, fighting.

Why can I not find
love like you
or like that
if I'm the same
Why can I not have
happiness.

Alex said...

TL;DR

another one of these super narcissists the NY Mag loves.

Shouting Thomas said...

One of the things I really dislike about the way people present themselves on the web is evident throughout this thread.

And, I'm not saying that Wurtzel doesn't deserve to be scolded.

But, the vibe I get from commenters here, which is that you've got your lives together, and you're contemptuous toward Wurtzel for being a fuck-up is probably bullshit on two levels.

First, you probably don't have your lives together as much as you want people here to believe. I certainly haven't always had my life together in a sane way. Second, I think most of you have adopted that posture to buttress your political arguments here.

I'm a sinner. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've fucked up a lot. And, I'm not entirely sorry I did, because that was where the road of my life led.

Mumpsimus said...

From the comments at the link:

"If Wurtzel was 20 years younger you would all be watching her show on HBO."

Though Lena Whatsername will surely not look as good at 44.

tiger said...

Some people need to keep their thoughts unspoken.

Or in her case 'unwritten'.

[head shake]

I just don't get people like this, people who get to middle age and still express themselves in terms of 1970s' teenage angst.

I have a friend who is the same way and it takes all my self-control to not tell her to STFU, stop wallowing in self-pity and get on with her life.

But considering she is almost 60 I'm damned sure that window has closed for her.

Alex said...

ST - there is a difference between not having everything you want in life and being a total supreme fuck up like this woman.

Lem said...

ST... what happened to you?

I had you pegged as a woman hater ;)

Shouting Thomas said...

ST - there is a difference between not having everything you want in life and being a total supreme fuck up like this woman.

Oddly, I thought that that was what she had to say.

She acknowledged that she was a total supreme fuck up.

What can I say? I've met quite a few. The music biz brings me into contact with a lot of people who share the same fate. It's a lot more common than you folks are letting on.

virgil xenophon said...

In view of ST's comments, above, (which I agree with, btw) I'll amend my statement to say that she is still a "silly girl" (albeit an intelligent one) who, who finally has had the presence of mind and introspection (I said she was intelligent, didn't I?) to realize where her silliness has led her. But, like ST, having read the whole thing, it looks like she still can't bring herself to admit that to unalterably, singularly, follow the lodestar of "to thine own self be true" to an exclusion of everything else--while perhaps necessary for some for one's inner mental health--is not necessarily sufficient to cope with the more mundane aspects of life which must successfully addressed to ensure success. The "music of the spheres" is seldom enough..

William said...

I got through the whole thing. It didn't look like a lot of effort went into the writing, but it held my attention.....She writes of law school as if it were some wanton binge where she burned through all her money. That's creative. Law school is not where people ordinarily go to throw roses, roses riotously.....I wouldn't think her job with Boies is a sinecure. Maybe her writing is the affectation, and the binders are where she puts her real self....I bet Hooker Maria and the fat cops could give a different story and maybe the'd appear in a more sympathetic light, but no one would want to read it. That's the good thing about being a writer--you get the last word.

cubanbob said...

ST some people are born fucked up. Some others work at being fucked up. She is the latter. She's 20 years past her she is so cute stage to be able to get away with her shit. To have two Ivy degrees and be a fuckup is an achievement of sorts I suppose.

Shouting Thomas said...

During my years of working in corporate law, I met a mess of young kids entering the legal profession who didn't have a clue why they were there.

They had fought like hell to win the grade derby in grade school, high school, undergraduate school and law school, without ever really stopping to wonder why they were doing what they were doing.

I saw a hell of a lot of these people flame out in all sorts of incredibly creative ways. For a few, the total flame out didn't emerge until they made partner.

Quite a few of them had dinner and drinks with me at some litigation site on the road and expressed admiration and a bit of jealousy for the rather odd life I had led.

The women, especially the intelligent ones, have been in an odd position for the past 50 years. I can only explain it by saying that one of my favorite books can be completely understood solely by reading the title. It's Alan Watts' The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

Feminism has cursed women with this.

rcocean said...

"LOL! Wurtzel sued by publisher for breach of contract"

So? The phrase "Publishing world" doesn't only equal "Penguin Book publishers". Guess you were to busy trying to play "GOTCHA" to notice.

chickelit said...

She acknowledged that she was a total supreme fuck up.

She did not. She admits to making some mistakes. Like you, she's not entirely sorry she did, because that was where the road of her life led.

I predict she'll be singing a different tune in a couple years.

chickelit said...

Guess you were to busy trying to play "GOTCHA" to notice.

I thought it was ironic.

wyo sis said...

I judge her boring based on what she wrote. I don't claim to have my life together, but I can be bored without being self-righteous.
I don't know her, haven't read anything she's written, and don't care about her politics.
She writes like a self-indulgent child and I don't care enough about her to continue.
I am interested in why you are so passionate about defending her. You I care enough about to read and respond.

Howard said...

Screaming Tommie:

She didn't admit she blew it. Reading comprehension 101. She basically admitted she was Popeye: I yam what I yam. Regrets, sure, but no apploggies and no vanity, except the 10K dye job.

However, I'll give you credit for not having a "Little Boxes" flatlander Walmart Facebook reaction like most of the knuckledraggers here who pay the meadehouse vacation freight.

Shouting Thomas said...

Have any of you ever read Henry Miller?

I suggest that you do.

Shouting Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

This person has a female status and she wants more fulfilling relationships. So do we all, lady.

I suspect she has a problem establishing her boundaries with people so that they use her but leave her behind after she gets too boring.

No one can stand a saint who gives herself away to all in need...that's not interesting at all. She needs to say what she wants and what she will not allow and let persons actually interested in a real person adjust to that. Then she will become the opposite of boring.





Lem said...

Aren't we singing a little schadenfreude here because of Elizabeth's unbowed feminism?

We want to say her feminism is responsible for her misery?

Shouting Thomas said...

Aren't we singing a little schadenfreude here because of Elizabeth's unbowed feminism?

She didn't seem to me to be much of a doctrinaire feminist.

Mostly a woman dragged down by addiction to coke, drama and sex. Also incapable of finding direction.

People talk a lot of crap to rationalize these kinds of things. Women are inclined to talk feminism as a rationalization. Unfortunately, they find a lot of support for that, too.

cubanbob said...

Why go through the trouble of penning the not-so-mea culpa when she just could have quoted Frank's "I did it my way"?

mccullough said...

This chick is in a perpetual adolescence.

Shouting Thomas said...

xThis chick is in a perpetual adolescence.

Well, yeah, and that's about half the population.

So, you don't think it's worth contemplating?

wyo sis said...

I'll read Henry Miller if you'll read C S Lewis.

Marla Singer said...

Mr. Shouting Thomas, I did not expect you to be in here defending that essay. As I said, I couldn't finish the thing, because there are more interesting things to do in life than check out the lint in her navel. I am contemptuous of her not because she is a fuckup. It's that she is not just a fuckup. She is a public fuckup who publicly tells people who are less of a fuckup than she is that they are false people, inauthentic, dishonest, prostitutes. When I was a young fuckup, I did that, too--I was living so authentically, taking no bullshit, and it was those dishonest prostitutes over there who should really be ashamed of themselves.

Alas, there came a time in my life that I realized that being a relentless fuckup meant that those who were less fucked up than I was had to keep rescuing my dumb ass. And that struck me as dishonest and inauthentic. I was believing awful things about people then asking them to help me when I gave them nothing in return. It seemed to me then, and it still does, that if you are really committed to living an honest life as a relentless fuckup, then you can't ask much of other people. You can't ask them to come and save you from your crazy--what's the word? sublessor? That looks like one of those word verification words. Anywho. You can't ask them for anything that you aren't honestly willing and able to reciprocate, and being a relentless fuckup, that's probably not much. Taking advantage of others does not, in my book, count as living honestly and without compromise.

And, unless she changed her mind somewhere in the essay, she still thinks that those of us who have built real, solid relationships and have saved money and have children are really quite stupid and beneath her, so I don't think she's going to change. Which means she is taking advantage of society in general. She will happily steal from my 401(k) in a few years because she failed to take care of herself. She will happily steal the income of children she herself was too selfish and immature to bear in order to support her in her dotage. She will happily take all that and tell us we are assholes for having had those children and saved up that money. But, yeah, she'll be so authentic then.

So, no, I'm not contemptuous of her because my life is so perfect. I'm contemptuous of her because, while she needs people like me more than I need people like her, she is contemptuous of me. It seems only fair.

wildswan said...

Yes, it was pretty boring. It was like reading about Little Nell as persecution #55 happens and she starts crying again. It was Victorian in its picture of a helpless, sniveling female whose problems are all caused by a heart as pure as the driven snow into which she is routinely driven by louts.

But what I wonder is: how typical is she? Is this New York City as it really is right now? So that the editors published this piece because it documents a widespread reality there. Maybe these days NYC is LA and there is no there there.

miss j said...

She sounds depressed. Is she off her meds? It's too bad if she is.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'll read Henry Miller if you'll read C S Lewis.

I'm not sure I'd recommend Miller to a woman. The brand of stupidity from which he struggled to escape is kinda uniquely male. But, I'll try Lewis.

I'm contemptuous of her because, while she needs people like me more than I need people like her, she is contemptuous of me.

Wurtzel is awfully defensive. The lashing out is to be expected. She's hitting bottom and dealing with the remorse of knowing she'll never have a family and children.

Shouting Thomas said...

Is this New York City as it really is right now?

Yes, there's a hell of a lot of this shit going on.

rcommal said...

Marla Singer: Stand up and take a bow. **Excellent** comment.

Shouting Thomas and wyo sis: I've read both Henry Miller and C.S. Lewis extensively. I read them both when I was a teen-ager, and then later again as an adult.

And... ?

chickelit said...

She will happily steal from my 401(k) in a few years because she failed to take care of herself. She will happily steal the income of children she herself was too selfish and immature to bear in order to support her in her dotage. She will happily take all that and tell us we are assholes for having had those children and saved up that money. But, yeah, she'll be so authentic then.

I don't pretend to know her psychology but I think it will be more in character for her to pretend to be sad about these things rather than happy. As long as it will sell her books.

wyo sis said...

Marla
On the nose!
ST
If she is really representative of a large group of people it's not only sad and frightening, it's a black hole. Individual stories like hers will be like Stalin's tragic deaths.

EMD said...

"flatlander Walmart Facebook reaction"

We're called Philistines, thank you!

wyo sis said...

And, They both have important things to say, according to me and ST.

rcommal said...

Next up, there'll be people talking about reading Watchman Nee or Anais Nin. Whatever. (I read them, too.)

Let's get back to Elizabeth Wurtzel. Isn't that the point?

Shouting Thomas said...

Miller's work really took hold of me at one point in my life.

He wrote quite ruthlessly about his own life, and it wasn't pretty. He was born into utter stupidity... not so much on a pragmatic level, but on an emotional level.

Miller struggled for decades to try to figure it all out. He was a preposterous sinner, and something of a human wrecking ball when it came to how he affected other people's lives.

The whole of his work is a kind of pilgrimage to his awakening.

Inga said...

For an intelligent talented woman, she has fucked up her life. I find her essay nothing more than an exercise in self pity and then she rationalizes her messed up life by saying at least she's authentic and true to herself. Well then STFU and quit complaining.

So in another year, expect another sob story.

Also she could be playing up her own situation to make it more interesting and easier to sell, maybe she needed a paycheck.

I do think she is still quite beautiful.

William said...

Check out the picture that chickelit posted at 10:54. There's a lot of madness in those eyes. She looks like the kind of person who not only develops obsessions readily but nurses them to full, festering swamp plant growth. You wouldn't want to be alone with her at 3 a.m......In the picture above her article in New York, she also looks mad, but it's a holy madness. She's in hot pursuit of some sacred truth.....It's her photos and not her prose that sell the books.

wyo sis said...

She is quite beautiful. According to something she wrote in Harper's Bazaar in August she thinks everyone should be just as beautiful, because it's easy. More proof she's not really aware of anyone but herself.
(Yes, I confess I Googled her, thanks to ST)

Shouting Thomas said...

If she is really representative of a large group of people it's not only sad and frightening, it's a black hole. Individual stories like hers will be like Stalin's tragic deaths.

Well, yeah!

A really honest short story writer could spend a lifetime just writing stories about women who moved to NYC from the hinterlands, acquired a rent controlled apartment, and became stuck in eternal adolescence as a result.

Shouting Thomas said...

Oh, well... off to bed!

I've always preferred the sinners to the saints.

wyo sis said...

ST Happy dreams.
Don't stories like hers get old after awhile?

Maybe not, but to me they're nowhere near as interesting as people I love who would bore you to death.

Awareness.

Shouting Thomas said...

Before I go, I should say that one of the underlying themes in Wurtzel's bit was the fight over what was probably a rent controlled apartment.

This is a unique phenomenon of Manhattan.

If you got your hands on one in the 1960s, your rent was frozen in perpetuity.

So, the crazy woman in the story probably was paying $400 a month for an apartment with a market value of $2,500 to $3,000. If this is the case, then Wurtzel's living situation is even crazier than she let on in the article.

It's a fight to the death over these rent controlled apartments.

rcommal said...

St. T:

Entirely not startling, that statement of yours, considering the point of view from which you generally write--which is that you are the bestest, baddest boy of all (and the most perspicacious, by golly!):

I've always preferred the sinners to the saints.

Oh, la la la, Mr. Music. What-evuh. ; )

rcommal said...

And, They both have important things to say, according to me and ST.

.

Shouting Thomas said...

Oh, la la la, Mr. Music. What-evuh. ; )

I guess you enjoy that bullshit, but it has no affect on me.

I do know who I am.

Alex said...

Notice how Althouse thinks NY Magazine is IMPORTANT and needs to assail us with their urinations.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcommal said...

I do know who I am.

That, I do believe.

Sleep well, Shouting Thomas.

Lem said...

Its art... take it or leave it.

Inga said...

She's not a sinner, she's a dope. She admits it, then cries crocodile tears over it, oh boo hoo, but it's all good , because I'm so authentic. What the hell?

There are plenty of women who have had succesful lives and have enjoyed a bit of "sin", but knew how to not let it ruin their lives.

Alex said...

I'm shocked Inga isn't berating us for not worshiping this she-devil. Maybe there is hope after all.

Jason said...

That essay has more "I's" and "me's" in it than a Barack Obama speech.

Oh, wait. No it doesn't. Carry on.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I couldn't finish the article either. Self pity is so unattractive. I think she's wrong about how she ended up as impoverished as she appears to feel. She thinks she only needed to plan things better, but no amount of planning could have countered her unwillingness to give of herself, to be grateful to others, and to put the happiness of others before her own. That's how you cultivate lasting happiness in yourself.

wyo sis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

I don't respect women like her that have had so much opportunity and have thrown it away. She has beauty, intelligence, talent and a JD.

The only way that I could find sympathy for her would be if she had an authentic mental illness. Which might be a possibility. I knew a woman somewhat her that had it all, lost it all and is practically a bag lady now, she was always a bit neurotic, but able to function and was very succesful. Spent money like there was no tommorow. She lost it all and wanders the streets of Milwaukee.

wyo sis said...

"A really honest short story writer could spend a lifetime just writing stories about women who moved to NYC from the hinterlands, acquired a rent controlled apartment, and became stuck in eternal adolescence as a result."

And, who would read them?
They're empty stories about empty people. You get tired of it after awhile, because it's all the same. Unless she gains some insight it's just another crazy self-indulgent 8th grade girl story. Tragic only to her.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

She acknowledged that she was a total supreme fuck up.

In fiction after the character gains self knowledge--for example after realizes she's a fuck up--there's usually an attempt to change. There's no movement in Wurtzel's narrative arc. She's been telling us she's a fuck up for something like 20 years now.

We've come to agree with her.

At this point the logical response when she shows up on your doorstep is to lock your doors and pretend to not be home. Being a supporting character in another of her tales of woe is not so appealing.

Basta! said...

If I ever knew who she was, I have forgotten.

The first line you quote reminds me of Plath's "Cold glass, how you insert yourself between myself and myself" --- the glass being the reflective window of a storefront before which she had stopped to look at oranges. A representation of terminal separation.

If Wurtzel's suicidally depressed, given the way she seems to have alienated everyone, who will even bother to try and save her? Maybe with this piece she was hoping that someone might give enough of a shit to help her, without her having to *lower* herself to risk actually asking. But she's so incompetent and ineffective and self-destructive, she could only pen something that's having the opposite effect.

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dustbunny said...

Wurtzle exists solely for everyone else on earth to feel better about themselves for not having to be her.
She clawed her way out of a desperate life to serve this pathetic function.

joe said...


bong bong Inga;

/For an intelligent talented woman, she has fucked up her life/


For an intelligent talented women, she has pleasured(f--k) up her life.

Another Aleman that proves sex and food identify the wurzel(root) of the Aleman. Her talent is secondary to her culture base.
Once again, "the penalty of vice is the vice itself, the not seeing the good in its full, the good that ought to be there."
Unconsciously or unaware that she is playing out her own version of religious thought of innocence,victim,redemption, to empowerment, while she stays a victim of her empowerment of being a women(feminist).
Logically, she must equivocate, as Vox Tommy does his life. Pleasure is the purpose of using your reproductive organs for non-reproductive activities. But, everyone always writes; Pleasure is the purpose of using your sexual organs. Hence, we have the comedy of a intelligenct woman, being a loutish Aleman. And millions of abortions from "intelligent women" too.
"Demoralized people can't access/assess true information", it's impossible, which leads to never thinking that pleasure is a by-product, of your "sexual organs". Same with eating, it's for nurishment, but, we all know it's for taste, which leads to pleasured up people that have diseases(diabetes,heart,etc) from their pursuit of pleasure as the product(purpose) of their eating.
Soo, bongs bonga Inga, what's the difference between your "sexual organs" and "reproductive organs", and when you get a disease or abortion, is it just your "sexual organs" that were diseased or your "reproductive organs" when you get a abortion. Equivocation, it's what's on that fatso Humpty Aleman's plate.

FleetUSA said...

I stopped reading after about 5 paras.

She's the type you might meet at a party and initially seem interesting. Then after about 1/2 hour you would want to get as far away from as possible. Never to see again.

Self-absorbed is too little. Self-consumed is about right. The libs are filled with this type.

Darcy said...

Like others here, I found this writing very sad. Fascinating, though. I would love to ask her to describe how she loves with a "pure heart".

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I would look at the forms in white, pink, and yellow triplicate, all very 1986."

This is very funny. Picture her looking and disapproving the forms. She's too far advanced beyond these archaic pieces of pulp she needs to write it down and let us know that's what she was thinking.

We don't know if she filled out the forms, or why she moved into Crazy Hooker Maria's place if she knew she was crazy from two friends from years ago.

"I was intensely downcast, with a chronic depression that began when I was about 10, but instead of killing my will, it motivated me: I thought if I could be good enough at whatever task, great or small, that was before me, I might have a few minutes of happiness."

Me too. Nothing has ever motivated me nor made me as happy as my chronic depression.

Bob said...

The redeeming item after reading this drivel is she is child-less.

Nichevo said...

Or using non-reproductive organs for pleasure...isn't she the one who (claimed she) gave so many blowjobs she had chapped lips? At least in this way she was of use to mankind, concerned with the welfare of others, and had developed a valuable, marketable skill. Now, not so much. Headmistress or not, she will not be missed.

And why must people insist that she's so smart? There are ten thousand waitresses smarter than she. Yes, Harvard and Yale degrees, ooh. Those degrees are ALMS! They can do that. That's the nature of power, it's arbitrary. The difficult thing about the ivy league is not the work, it's the getting in. And anytime they like, they can pick any miscreant with a soupcon of notoriety and let 'm in.

virgil xenophon said...

Circling back again to pick up on what Wyo sis said @12:49 about being tired of hearing such stories because "its all the same" reminds me of what a bartender once told me at one of my favorite watering holes: "The stories are always the same, it's only the faces that change." LOL.

virgil xenophon said...

Oh, and what Nichevo said, above--as well as Marla and almost everyone else. This crowd has pretty well bracketed the target..

JohnBoy said...

Elizabeth is Exhibit ZZ of what happens when you swallow society's lies about what's supposed to make you happy: beings rich, attractive and self-centered tends to curdle as you exit your 20s.

She'll never do this, but she really should leave NYC and spend a year in a "real" place doing stuff for other people. She should also unplug from popular culture and study the great spiritual thinkers.

Bob_R said...

Putting a Gatsby-sentence-a-day on the web site really makes writers like Wurtzel look bad. Being a fuck up wouldn't be so bad if she could turn it into art (Fitzgerald was certainly fucked up). But it's clear she can't. She has some talent, but "the space between her and anyone else is vast," so she doesn't understand (or even closely observe) other people and therefore can't write about them. Her only subject is herself. As the comments show, it's a boring subject to most people.

Paco Wové said...

A nice try, but nobody does self-pity like the Brits.

Craig said...

When Fitzgerald was Wurtzel's age he'd been dead for about a year, and that's seven years older than West was when he died.

kentuckyliz said...

The BJ-chapped lips comment made me recall a news item that was on the morning news, about the rates of cancer deaths going down overall, except for HPV-related cancer deaths including cervical, anal, and oral cancers. HPV infection is skyrocketing and these cancer death rates have tripled in the last decade.

So who's with me in viewing this sperm dump as a loaded petri dish, in every relevant orifice?

Awaiting the pity piece when she does get diagnosed and treated for an HPV related cancer?

rhhardin said...

She should open a casino.

Rusty said...

What a boring woman. Writing about art she cannot create.

virgil xenophon said...

LOL. Wurtzel and Jones need to talk!
(But of course, given their psycho-pathologies that'll never happen..)

gerry said...

...were she to unwrap herself musty and laid away already in lavender not fresh and breathing and redolent of last year’s shining motor-cars and of dances whose flowers were all but withered.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's ghost speaks. I like it.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

From Shouting Thomas:

"I'm a sinner. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've fucked up a lot. And, I'm not entirely sorry I did, because that was where the road of my life led."

Yeah, that's kinda what I think. I'm not sure where all the contempt is coming from. I didn't read all of the piece due to time constraints but what I read I found pretty insightful and interesting. But I had quite an extended adolescence myself. It still comes up from time to time.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

This story was much better told by Mary Karr in her trilogy.

(Lit: A Memoir, Cherry, and The Liar's Club)

Henry said...

I keep forgetting why she's famous.

Pogo said...

This is how it's done:

"“I'd spent way more years worrying about how to look like a poet -- buying black clothes, smearing on scarlet lipstick, languidly draping myself over thrift-store furniture -- than I had learning how to assemble words in some discernible order.
― Mary Karr, Lit: A Memoir

jaynie said...

Ha! I got stung. Having not remembered what this woman was about, I clicked the link and read the article ... kept expecting there to be some interesting RESOLUTION to the article. Or, if not resolution, at least a point.

Anyways, she so very much reminds me of the idea I have that cool, or coolness, is a tyranny. Coolness is itself holding her prisoner lest she deign to be less than cool. When my child was a youngster, I met mothers who were in this dilemma also. They saw me as a problem for my son as I, being illiterate as to what is or is not cool, was not sort of leading or nudging him in that direction and he would surely suffer the slings and arrows of ostracism because of me. Oh, they would be so proud when one of their kidlings would be provocatively, aggressively cool in a clothing style or an action or so on.

Funny thing is that these ladies were actually motivated by kindness and generosity because the supreme coolness is to be in on the leading edge, alone. Yet here they were trying to hoist schleppy me and my schulb of a son onto the hallowed heights of coolness.

The tyranny of the cool!

Too cool for school.

Need I say that I never did get it? My poor, delightful son is only middling cool, I guess, if cool at all. I really would not know.

And the author seems to be stuck, too, slave to being precious and cool. It is difficult for me to tell whether she is genuinely suffering. She has so much to be proud of herself over, but she messes it up with contortions of grandeur. Maybe if she had left NYC, the city of her impoverished youth, distance may have released her from her demons and fears.

Gahhhh, why am I spending psychic energy on this person?

A friend of mine, a psychiatrist, informed me that my problem is that I am kind of a fixer (usually a quality more found in men) and I get stuck onto people who she terms help-rejecting-complainers just like Brer Rabbit does with the tar baby. And this author seems to have pushed the button.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

The Mary Karr trilogy is brilliant. She finally grew up.

I see hopeful signs of the same thing happening to this writer. You have to know how screwed up you are to get better. Some people never figure it out. Why some do and some don't is the big mystery.

LuAnn Zieman said...

This looks like a stream-of-consciousness piece written during a bout of depression, but manipulated in such a way as to provide justification for the immaturity it reveals. It's excruciating.

LarsPorsena said...

Couldn't get passed the third paragraph.

carrie said...

I couldn't stand to read the the whole article but what I did read made me appreciate what duty, loyalty, postponing instant gratification for something more meaningful, putting one's self out to help/care for someone else, etc., add to my life. Unfortunately, she is the poster child of what the current culture has in mind as the ideal life for women (not the stalker part, but the doing only what you want, when you want, letting lust and desire be the sole basis for all of your intimate relationships with the other sex and then being miserable when you start to age and lose your looks and are alone).

Martha said...

the put down of David Foster Wallace and David Remnick--but the kiss up to David Boies--
Too funny

and the part about going to law school on a lark-- a lark that bankrupted her

the condemnation of those who live conventional (moral) and therefore DULL lives...

I repeat: Wurtzel is no longer the luscious gorgeous woman in the photo gracing this magazine article.
My son graduated from Yale Law School in 2008--the year Wurtzel graduated after taking a year or so off. I have seen her in person. She is no longer the beauty she once was. And she evidently never nurtured any depth of character or substance to hang on to as she aged.

The loss of her youth and beauty is the root of this cri de coeur.

66 said...

I don't really get it. I take it from your post, "it's time to talk about her again" that you have linked to this person before. I have not been lurking long enough to understand the point of linking to the self-indulgent, poorly written musings of an infantile faux ingenue. Can you give me a clue?

Carol said...

I predict she will next turn to the Church, take private instruction from cardinal McCarrick, and write about it all ad nauseam.

TMink said...

Sounds like she really needs Jesus.

But then, we all do. 8)

Trey

Kelly said...

What a waste of intelligence and talent. She has to call her old boss to find out what to do about living in the same house as a crazy lady (move. duh). She feels like she was forced into renting an apartment she hates and that's only recently.

She's lonely, no real human connections in her life. She's perpetually 22. it reminds me of that song by the Eagles, New Kid in Town,

They will never forget you 'til somebody new comes along Where you been lately? There's a new kid in town.

She is no longer the new thing, she's aging and sure she has some amazing degrees to hang on the walls, but they don't keep you warm at night or leave smeary, peanut butter flavored kisses on your cheek or care if you're down with the flu.

I can't even tell you what a fuck up I was when I was younger. Weren't a lot of us? i guess I should be proud, but I'm not. I'm so glad I grew up. Guess I'm just not that cool. Life definitely isn't perfect now, what life is? But if I look back on what could have been and what nearly was, my life is good enough. Despite her bluster, I don't think Elizabeth thinks her life is all that good.

Deirdre Mundy said...

It seems to me that she's one of those people who's so tied up inside that they work like crazy to prove that they're a free spirit, darn it! And they just make themselves more unhappy, because, actually, when we talk about the 'ties that bind' we don't mean that they tie us up and leave us unable to move, but that they anchor us to somewhere, so we don't float off into the atmosphere and shrink into nothing like a balloon lost at a parade.

She does have a resolution of sorts. She got a dog, and a man who she likes to spend time talking to, and she feels a bit better.

Reading the article (from Instapundit) I sort of saw her as the Anti-Althouse. Both were artsy people who went to law school, but Anne chose (ex)husband, kids, houses, a career, Meade.... and seems more stable...


Maybe Althouse v. Wurtzel is actually a way to clarify the distinction between flyover country and New York...

Or maybe I forced myself to read the whole essay, and now I'm trapped writing rambling prose that means nothing. Ugh. Got to go read some Flannery O'Connor and cleanse my palette.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Maybe New York is what destroyed her. In New York, they petted her and stroked her and told her what a clever and brilliant thing she was for trying so hard to live like an artist.

In the Midwest, they would have rolled their eyes and told her to grow up.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I used to dream of being in love but I'm older, now, and I dream mostly of being an Olympic weightlifter.

I don't know much at all about Ms. Wurtzel but I feel pretty confident she'd have no use for me.

Shouting Thomas said...

Remarkable responses.

None of you seem to have noticed that Wurtzel's problems with drugs and sex were already in place when she was a child.

Althouse was born in boring, well-to-do suburbia with an intact family. Wurtzel was born into a not so boring, and not so healthful welfare high rise in Manhattan, to a broken family.

Your notions that a storm of moral outrage will cure a woman of the problems Wurtzel experiences are truly puzzling.

chickelit said...

@ST: Your notion of "boring" creates a lot of friction.

Deirdre Mundy said...

ST - so we're all just a product of our genes and our environment? Marbles on a path, who are set in motion and then must continue on, unstoppable and unchangeable, to our destinations?

Or are you just pointing out that children from single parent homes lack the resources to make good decisions?

Shouting Thomas said...

There's something very Ingmar Bergman about Althouse, with her penchant for iMac black and white style and intense legalism.

I worked in law for a long time. Corporate law firms are emotional deserts where nothing ever happens. Yes, they are orderly and they produce a lot of money.

Life at the top levels of academia and business is sterile and boring. I tolerated it to the extent I had to in order to make a living.

paminwi said...

Thank goodness this woman did not procreate.

Shouting Thomas said...

I like stories, Deirdre. Not so much policy prescriptions. I don't look at stories from the vantage point of worrying about whether they present the proper moral at the end.

I view life as pretty chaotic, because in my experience it is.

I'll stand by my statement. I'm quite puzzled that obviously intelligent people think that expressing a torrent of moral outrage will fix problems that have plagued Wurtzel since she was born.

I didn't read her story for the purpose of advancing a political agenda, nor do I think she wrote it for that purpose.

Nichevo said...

St, you think I want to fix her? You funny.

"D'ye expect me to talk?"

"No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!"

I don't insist that she die but I would be happy to never hear from or about her again.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I think Wurtzel demonstrates that the gap between NYC and Flyover country is pretty much unbridgeable. There are islands of flyover country on the coasts and islands of coastal thinking in the middle, but we're really two completely different tribes operating with two completely different sets of first principles.

Shouting Thomas said...

Deirdre, I don't agree.

The same thing happened to Wurtzel that happened to Jimi Hendrix. She garnered wild praise and a shitload of money for entertaining the audience with her attempts at suicide by excess. This killed Hendrix.

No, it doesn't just happen in NYC.

I worked with a Midwestern rock band when I was a kid that went through the same shit. Tons of money, women and fame thrown at them when they were still kids. The results were the same.

LordSomber said...

Part of becoming a mature, responsible adult is getting over your dysfunctional childhood. Not by whining to the media and navel-gazing for twenty years.

Ivy League law student, Manhattanite, white girl, First World problems.

Shouting Thomas said...

Jesus, LordSomber dude!

You are one dreary bastard.

Have a drink, pull all of your money out of the nearest ATM and head for the nearest whorehouse!

William said...

Some artists mine their anguish and failure much better than others. Fitzgerald was, by all accounts, a tiring and boorish drunk. He spent most of his life going splat, but he was able to find the patterns and beauty in the splatter marks. Wurtzel not so much, but there are more chapters to come.....I've only read this piece by Wurtzel. First impression: Her personality is a weird, jerry rigged contraption of ambition and self destruction, intelligence and madness, focus and self indulgence, vanity and humiliation. Like the bumblebee, you wouldn't think such a creature would be capable of existence, much less flight, but there she is.....Maybe she's just a Paris Hilton or Snooki for lawyers, but she keeps pressing on, oars against the current. I don't think she'll find a happy ending, much less an orgiastic future, but the fact that she's managed to survive with all her contractictions intact to middle age is a fairly impressive achievement. Most people grow up or choke on their own vomit, but she keeps the ball in play.

sydney said...

From the comments at the original piece:

This piece reads like the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party.

Exactly. I read it all and I am still not sure why or how the previous tenant of her apartment was stalking her, or why the police sided with the stalker.

Darcy said...

I don't know. I have a heart for people who acknowledge that they're messed up. There is a whole lot of pride running through this column, but I also know that desperate, miserable people cling to pride as if it's all they have left. And pride kills us.

I think I see something similar to what Pogo sees in this. She's right at the edge of truth and I hope she gets there.

Self-absorbed, selfish, prideful, yep. No better or worse than I've been or am.

Scott M said...

The list of things I can’t be bothered with goes on forever. The list of things that bother me goes on forever. I have lost my life.

No wonder Morrissey hasn't put out a new studio album in a long time. He got a couple of operations and turned into an unreadable American chick.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Your notions that a storm of moral outrage will cure a woman of the problems Wurtzel experiences are truly puzzling.

It's not so much a question of curing her as it is a question of why we should pay attention to her.

Is she doing great art? Not so much. Prozac Nation was OK as far as it went, but where it went is a dead end. There was no second act, and she hasn't come up with one yet.

EMD said...

No wonder Morrissey hasn't put out a new studio album in a long time. He got a couple of operations and turned into an unreadable American chick.

At least Stephen has had some fun with being depressed.

Carol said...

Got to go read some Flannery O'Connor and cleanse my palette.

I suggest "Good Country People" and "An Enduring Chill."

Skookum John said...

@Maria Singer: "So, no, I'm not contemptuous of her because my life is so perfect. I'm contemptuous of her because, while she needs people like me more than I need people like her, she is contemptuous of me. It seems only fair."

This +100. Hits the nail on the head. This lotus-eater's useless life depends on the little people who wake up to go to their boring jobs at 6:30 each morning so they can afford to buy her vapid scribblings. She has pissed away more money on her own empty, selfish desires than they will make in a lifetime of productive work and child rearing. For some reason she hates them for it.

Alex said...

So THAT's what she looks like now. No wonder she's depressed, what man would have her ugly mug?

Scott M said...

At least Stephen has had some fun with being depressed.

He would probably be too apathetic to debate the point with you.

Kirk Parker said...

Shouting,

I think the moral outrage is primarily triggered, not so much by Wurzel herself, but by her reception among the intelligentsia. You don't see the folks here spending much time chewing out, e.g., the low-level drug couriers that exist in far greater numbers, do you?

joe said...

Passages Malibu.

I too had chapped lips, I had them for ten years. We treat the underlying causes of chapped lips.
Our secret is off labeling Replens, using it where it counts, not where it's intended.



PAX!

Caution: results vary depending on lip smacking, tongue thrusting,grimacing head bobbing, from (MAOI,SSRI)anti-depressants or anti psychotics.

yashu said...

I find Wurtzel's writing (and this narcissistic autobiographical genre of writing) insufferable. Yet thanks Shouting Thomas & Darcy-- on this thread I'm with you.

PS I'm a fuckup too (and in some respects relate to to what Wurtzel writes here). Even fuckups-- as mortals, and all mortals do-- are compelled to justify, rationalize, try to wring some redemption out of their fucked-up lives in progress.

The fact that she acknowledges her own (inevitable) self-deception, merits a measure of compassion and identification from me.

Sam L. said...

I am unable even to wish that she...whatever. Life's a bummer and then you die.

Also: Life is hard. It's harder when you're stupid.