Failure, loser or jackass?

Fine distinctions...

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Now that we’ve finished reading James Atlas’s “I was fired” essay in New York magazine, we’re going to go watch “Dying Young,” look at photos of starving people in Africa and think about how no one loved us when we were eight—to cheer ourselves up. (Whose idea was it to schedule that on Valentine’s Day? Is Xanax advertising on the opposite page?) Between the scene at MSG with his 12-year-old son and Atlas bursting into tears one…two…three times in the course of 3,900 words, we’re one Willy Loman reference away from curling up in fetal position under our desk and never coming out.

And now for the Mad Libs portion of the blog post:
Not that the essay isn’t appropriate for the audience—failure is a condition that New Yorkers categorically think they feel more acutely than other people. And failure in the media industry means bad publicity, which is all the more painful because it would seem to imply some level of previous success. But there’s an important distinction to be made here: failure does not necessarily make you a loser. (Unless you’re [INSERT YOUR OWN MEDIA PERSON!]. Then everything makes you a loser.) It doesn’t necessarily make you a jackass, either, if there’s any confusion. It is possible to be a failure without being a loser or a jackass. (See James Atlas [INSERT YOUR OWN MEDIA PERSON!].) And it’s possible to be a loser and a jackass without technically being a failure (See Les Moonves [INSERT YOUR OWN MEDIA PERSON!]) It is also possible to be all three. (See Edgar Bronfman, Jr. [INSERT YOUR OWN MEDIA PERSON!].)

We’re just saying there’s a distinction.

Send your Mad Lib answers to fishbowlNY@mediabistro.com.