Four-plus years ago a kind of left-handed tribute to Hollywood Elsewhere was posted by John Lichman, aka idiotsavantonline. I happened to re-read it last night, and the natural absence of any comments about SJW goon-squad thinking (which began to take shape in late ’16) made me almost weep with nostalgia for a simpler, less terrifying time.
Excerpt: “If Armond White is the king of Online Film Criticism from Under Troll Mountain, Jeffrey Wells is the wandering samurai-poet on a separate continent.
“Wells resides in the other end of entertainment journalism where euphemism, contacts and advertising are an essential issue but completely alien to folks that treat the Tomatometer or CinemaScore as the scales of justice.
“Wells has always been a strange figure — a traditional print reporter from back before the time most of the online editors that gripe about him on Twitter even knew what a lede meant (whether they still do is arguable). Even then, Wells is the prototype for the modern online film columnist. So much of what Wells writes has become tied into his idiosyncrasies about wifi, fatness and a bit of reporting per se, but also random bursts of striking street photography. The closest encapsulation of his writing resume can be found here.
“I’ve said it before, but for lack of a better term Hollywood Elsewhere is spectacular performance art that happens to involve entertainment media.
“Everything is strife to Wells and how he’s had to adapt to constant reaction whether from his commenters, his peers or his infamous peanut gallery that have their own set of memes and rules at their special circle of comment hell.
“What Wells is responsible for is different than the iconic Internet Trolls of Film Criticism. Wells is, going back to the idea of performance art, the template for the freelance film writer as we know them. Inside every Filmdrunk, /Film, Film School Reject or Gothamist — no, seriously, they used to love him — is the spark of what Wells represents.”