Friday, May 8, 2009

Shawn Levy responds...

Yesterday I posted about my ire at Paul Newman biographer Shawn Levy, a film critic at The Oregonian, and his comments to Ray Pride at Movie City News in an interview about Levy's recently published Newman bio and Levy's remarks concerning Paul Newman's height. I sent a short email to Pride expressing my ire, and Pride briefly responded with a reply email but he must have cc'd Levy because I got a response from Shawn Levy this morning:

As I said in the very brief comment, he was likely closer to 5'10" as a young man than he was when he was in his 60s, when he'd shrunken with age. At any rate, having never met him, I'm just guesstimating from pictures and such.

Shawn Levy

Writers sure are touchy! A little criticism from a nobody like me and he feels the need to defend himself! But, I appreciate the fact that he responded. Oh, and here's my response to Levy's email, and I should point out beforehand that Paul Newman: A Life is Levy's 5th book; his previous book, The Last Playboy, a biography of noted mid-century Dominican cocksman/playboy/gigolo/diplomat Porfirio Rubirosa and his legendary monster schlong is a very entertaining read and one I can recommend to fans of pop culture, histories of cafe society and/or biographies of men with extremely large penises...

I guess I'll forgive you but only because I enjoyed The Last Playboy and have to appreciate any biographer who would bother to write about such a marginal but fascinating figure of mid-twentieth century history.

I wonder if Rubi "shrunk" as he got older?

As for Mr Newman and other average or slightly below average height male stars, I've always thought it a bit silly their desperation at maintaining an image that they MUST be of a certain height in order to project masculinity and a sense of power. On the whole, do audiences really care? And do shorter male stars dread going on Letterman; after all, he's over 6 foot. For that 10 second moment when they meet and shake hands at the desk before sitting down, you can pretty accurately judge the guest's height in comparison to Dave's...

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