We somehow have been cc’d into an ugly chain of e-mailed invectives between Nikki Finke, David Poland, Jeff Wells and the organizers of the L.A. Press Club Awards.
This is the equivalent of watching other people’s parents fight. It’s uncomfortable, sure, but terrifically interesting stuff. So, from our inbox to you, here is the latest bit of traffic — a missive to Poland from his “ex-friend” Wells.
There are times when the best course (nitpicky parliamentary exceptions aside) is to give it up and show a little graciousness and noblesse oblige. You don’t seem to have this in you, and as an ex-friend I’m telling you straight and true — you need to step back and take a breath and think this one over. You have an intemperate and unquenchable competitive instinct that always renders the same judgment at the end of the day, which is that somewhere between 93% and 94% of the bloggers, essayists, columnists, reporters out there need to be, in the words of Grady the butler in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, “corrected.” Not just for journalistic lapses but for their gross moral-ethical failings. Your professional mission in life has been, I think, well comprehended. You are here on this planet to correct the godless and unvigilant in the manner of a Jihadist crusader atop a mighty Arabian steed. I realized some years ago that the only action I could take that would truly satisfy you as far as my HE jottings were concerned would be to drink hemlock or do a swan dive in front of a moving bus. All I know is, you could have been a little nicer about this. I’d like to think you have it in you to be a kinder, gentler person backstage, but maybe you can’t help yourself with the ugly sauce. Or maybe you think that showing a little graciousness and noblesse olbige from time to time would get in the way of your game.