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An American in Paris Watches ‘Emily in Paris’

Courtesy Netflix

The Netflix show tells us exactly what TV producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains

For what felt like ages I held out against watching Emily in Paris (2020). As an American in Paris I loathe the stereotype of the American in Paris, and only relented when BBC Scotland 北京“限竞房” 打起价格战 同质化造成选择困难. Ah, I thought. A chance to tell the world – or, well, Scotland – how much I loathe this stereotype.

I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit I watched the whole show in two nights. I may even have giggled at a few of the jokes, and sighed at some views of Paris, even though Paris is right outside my door. ‘Paris of the mind is preferable to the real thing,’ as Moyra Davey once wrote. But once I’d left the bubble of pleasure the show created, I was left with a hangover of ambivalence.

The writing is objectively terrible; it feels like it was written by a scattershot team consisting of The One With the Jokes, The Hack, and The One Who Went to Paris Once. The Hack is responsible for all the flat-footed dialogue (“you’re not stepping on my toes, you’re stepping into my shoes!”), coming up with lines like Carrie Bradshaw at her punniest (“I’m petit mort-ified!”). The Funny One is, occasionally, very funny (see the vagin jeune storyline). And The One Who Went to Paris Once must be responsible for the white-washing of the city, the xenophobia towards the French, the unflinching commitment to being as ringarde as possible, and no that does not mean basic.

Courtesy Netflix

But what rankled about the show, I realized, isn’t all it gets wrong about France and the French – this is fantasy, not Italian neorealismo. It’s the show’s limited and, yes, misogynist conception of who Emily is, and who it allows her to be.

There is an element of Everywomanness to her. She is hard-working, plucky, and resourceful when faced with challenges and trials, and doesn’t have any inconvenient special talents like, I don’t know, speaking French to get in the way of the target audience identifying with her. Like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, she’s your average questing hero(ine). But where John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century religious allegory wonders if salvation exists, and if so, how can we attain it, in the world of Emily in Paris, redemption comes in the form of Instagram followers and bank. “Beyoncé’s worth far more than the Mona Lisa,” quips her best friend, approvingly. Paris is the City of Destruction and the Celestial City all at once.

雨人的原型没数过牌,但脑力也很出众。金·皮克是个独一无二的天才,拥有近乎完美的记忆。他丰富的技能包括记住地图上的每一条路,无数歌曲的作曲家和日期,以及详细得令人难以置信的的历史事实。《雨人》出名后,皮克将毕生投入到在美国各地奔走,为残疾人发起活动,用自己的独特天赋鼓舞他们。
Why does beauty exist? To answer this question, Richard O. Prum, an ornithologist, is working to revive an idea advanced by Charles Darwin: the attractiveness of an animal to another of its species isn’t only tied to fitness and good genes. Rather, animals — especially birds in Dr. Prum’s work — are making subjective decisions. He hopes that evolutionary biologists will stop “explaining away desire.”
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Insead is top of the 2017 Financial Times global ranking of the best 100 MBA programmes. It is the second year that the multi-campus international business school has taken the number one spot, after claiming it for the first time last year.
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Klay Thompson added 19 points and Andrew Bogut scored 13 for the Warriors, off to the best start by an NBA team since Dallas won its first 14 games in 2002-03. Golden State needs three wins to equal the league record of 15-0, held by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
不会。当然,这种情况可能发生,但是只要运气不是太差,梅眼下至少可以确保英国经济不会在2019年因掉落“无协议”悬崖而急剧下滑。2017年12月,“共识预测”(Consensus Forecasts)预测2018年英国将增长1.5%。该机构对日本和意大利的预测值更低,为1.3%。因此英国明年成为G7中经济增长最慢国家的几率应该在四分之一左右。
超八成中国留学生会在国外完成学业之后归国,而2016年我国留学生的数量达到了544500人。
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但是我们波士士顿波士顿咨询集团不认为中国本次改革会导致中国经济不稳定。我们相信中国经济在习主席的领导下会持续高速增长。我们相信上个星期的改革(三中全会)会确保中国经济从现在一直增长到(至少)2020年。根据我们已掌握的资料,我们预测中国经济在未来10年会增加4万亿美金(而书中说是6.4万亿。2012中国GDP为8.3万亿美金)。如果加上印度,亚洲两大国未来的增长总量会达到10万亿美金。在此期间,中产阶级会迅速膨胀,进而增强对经济增长的乐观态度。当然,没有人能完美地预测未来,在我们的近期的一本关于中国和印度经济发展的书中(《Trillion Prize:Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India》),我们也描述了一些经济增长缓慢的例子。不过总体上我们还是对中国的未来保持乐观态度。
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Yet like a good comic hero, Emily is also somehow worse than us: witness the many people online complaining that she is, in fact, not relatable; she is ‘arrogant,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘entitled.’ She is these things, it’s true, but all these people on the internet, schooling Emily in how not to be a terrible obnoxious unlikable person reminds me of what the literary scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks wrote about gossip: that it’s society’s way of regulating itself and determining what is acceptable. So is, apparently, amateur TV criticism.

Courtesy Netflix

今年到目前为止,周星驰的《美人鱼》自二月上旬的贺岁档上映以来,已经取得了5.26亿美元的票房收入。
Teach First在2002年创立之初的目标是鼓励更多的毕业生尝试教学。由于担心该国最优秀的人才都被吸引至伦敦金融城、会计和法律行业,它希望为公立学校培养一些人才,以解决教育不平等问题。
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The Jungle Book will be released worldwide on April 15, 2016.

In their blatant careening towards the monaaaaaaay that such a show might be expected to generate, Emily in Paris’s producers have demonstrated that they don’t give a fine fuck about writing, characterisation, interior life. (Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t some Forsterian diatribe about round or flat characters. That’s the domain of amateur TV critics.) What they do seem to care about is building the perfect woman, and then tearing her down.

As I watched the show, I kept thinking of Hilary Mantel’s 2013 lecture for the London Review of Books about Kate Middleton and the ‘royal body’. The Duchess of Cambridge, Mantel said, ‘appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished.’ With her perfect abs and immobile mermaid waves, Emily, more so even than Middleton, who is, let’s not forget, a real person, actually has been designed by committee, not to continue the royal line but to sustain the franchise.

On the radio they asked me if I identified with Emily at all and I said uhhhh for what felt like forever in radio time, before saying no, no, not at all. Because when I moved here I wasn’t anything like Emily; not only had I learned French at school, I had a few more notions of Normandy beyond Saving Private Ryan (1998). When I moved here, there were no smart phones, no Instagram, and the American in Paris narrative was about coming here and doing something creative – writing, painting, dancing, whatever – not making sales pitches like Don Draper in stilettos. But I can’t deny our commonalities.

Courtesy Netflix

I have a lot of sympathy for the American girl abroad. I’ve been her, I’ve taught her, I occasionally hear from her, reaching out for help finding her feet. But on Emily in Paris, she’s another version of the jeune fille, the young girl, whom everyone feels authorised to hate. Think of every teenage girl on television, with few exceptions – they’re all whiny and intransigent and bothered, and we never really know why. The radical French philosophy collective Tiqqun published a polemic in 1999 called Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, which reads her as the ultimate consumer: when she thinks she’s expressing herself she’s only expressing commodity culture; she has no depth, no intimate reserves, she is all Spectacle.

The young girl is not a gendered concept, but ‘the model citizen as redefined by consumer society since the First World War, in explicit response to the revolutionary menace.’ Although the terms in which Tiqqun make their argument are deeply sexist, their essential point holds: we are all young girls under the capitalist patriarchy. But the young girl herself, the actual gendered young female human animal, is always rife for exploitation, not least by Tiqqun. 

In her recent book Females (2019), Andrea Long Chu echoes this argument (though in markedly un-misogynist terms), choosing to put it this way:

习及一些领导人员已经明确指出,中国将会进行可持续发展、内需为依托的经济转型,为此中国可以忍受稍微慢一些的增长速度。于是一些预言家马上就下出结论,认为中国经济会因而立即大幅减速。特别是中国曾经有过这样的先例。在1978到1993年中国领导人进行改革开放,然而在政策施行的最初阶段中国经济曾经遭遇不稳定。
科学院说:“今年的诺奖关注的是经济学的一个中心问题:如何尽可能适当地匹配不同市场主体。”
supervision

The jeune fille is all of us, but when she becomes the star of the show she’s none of us – just a skinny body on which to project our fucked-up ideas about beauty and female behaviour. Emily in Paris is a missed opportunity to say something real, for instance, about being a foreigner – an experience it would behove Americans to experience from time to time. (To wit: that early scene where Emily’s normcore boyfriend holds up his brand-new passport saying ‘Look what I got!’)  It is difficult to move to a foreign country, especially to a city as notoriously closed-off as Paris, and really, genuinely lonely, in a way the show doesn’t make room for. It is soul-crushing to find yourself rejected for the very compliance that, back home, you believed made you valued and loved.

I’m angry that when the producers decided to tell the story of a young woman, they declined to give her a more textured existence. That they ask her to speak not French, but a dead, prefabricated English: fake it ’til you make it. At one point someone accuses her of being arrogant. ‘More ignorant than arrogant,’ she says, sadly. Why does she have to be ignorant? I groaned at my computer. Because that’s what the producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains.

Courtesy Netflix

“白”之禁忌
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为什么会有这样的不同?原因并不是因为双方获得的信息不同。正如库迪斯和沃斯所指,荷兰金融圈里的每个人都知道和了解所发生事件的严重程度。也不是因为Seppenwolde的贷款机构不得不重建自身财务。违约几周后,贷款机构就知道他们没有损失一毛钱。

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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.

Emily: What’s that.

Gabriel: I like you.

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瑞士洛桑国际管理发展学院在针对所有在职管理人员的开放招生课程排行榜中拔得头筹,在针对企业客户的定制课程排行榜中攀升了两位,升至第二。西班牙Iese商学院在定制课程排行榜上继续保持榜首位置,在开放课程排行榜中仍位居第二。
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两名美国人因研究医生与医院、学生与学校和人体器官与被移植者之间的有效匹配,昨天被授予诺贝尔经济学奖。
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无论黑莓和三星联姻这种事是否发生,时代的发展已经凸显了移动技术下一波创新(和诉讼)浪潮的所在:在日益移动化的世界中掌握权限控制方法,阻止企业遭到黑客袭击。(财富中文网)
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