McLaren Vs. Bigge
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McLaren Vs. Bigge

2006_2_14bigge.jpgWe think the Toronto mediasphere is wayyy to civilized and friendly. Anyone who follows media blogs in places like NYC or London know that there’s constant back-biting, rivalries, jealousies and cattiness. Petty, some would say but entertaining to many many more.
The feud that we thought may have started between Onstad and McLaren after the former Post film critic put a thinly veiled character based on McLaren in her new novel never truly materialized. So we’re happy to see the possible start of another literary/media tiff, sparked by’s Mark Weisblott no less.
In the tall corner we have Ryan Bigge (pictured above), Toronto freelancer for Toronto Life and the Star. Bigge wrote a scathing (Torontoist is trying to practice understatement) review of McLaren’s book in Sunday’s Star which he also reprints on his blog, minus his editor’s changes. It includes gems like:

Even the German word SaumassigeSchreibmaschiene, which roughly translates into “putrid garbage typewriter prose,” fails to convey the stench of this slushpile.

In the short corner we have Globe columnist Leah McLaren (do you really need us to run another picture of Leah McLaren?). A few years ago she referred to Bigge as a “lurper”. To quote Leah:

He is a North American full of contradictory hatreds and hungers, almost invariably youngish, white and male. A Lurper is angry, sometimes clever, and full of a terrible, mind-warping envy. He hates other people for having the many things he lacks — success, confidence, fame, money, sex, charm, recognition, art, conversational ease, style, respect, drugs, a sense of wonder.

We know Bigge and this observation was written years ago and we think that this is an unfair description. But we’re not going to take sides. All we’re going to say is, c’mon Leah, you’re not going to take that review lying down are you? You haven’t written that Saturday column yet, all those column inches waiting to be filled with all the critical indignation, rage and backbitting sarcasm you can muster. We’re waiting. We might even read it.