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Steven Rea’s “‘Wolf of Wall Street’…” Bullies the Bully

In response to Steven Rea’s 421‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Philadelphia Inquirer

By ,

“‘Wolf of Wall Street’: Fun, depressingly familiar **1/2” is Steven Rea’s schoolyard put-down that makes the greed-fueled premise look like a day at the track.

If this is the future of critical writing, the industry is in serious trouble. The language is so juvenile, it reads like two high school girls smack-talking a mutual friend because they don’t like her hair that day. It’s so disjointed, one feels like the author is talking to the reader one minute, and the voices in his head the next. And some of it is just completely weird, to the point where no discernible message can be garnered from it whatsoever. In short, this is a babbling, scatterbrained and unnecessarily cruel rip on a subject that, as sadistic as it may be, doesn’t deserve it.

To boot, irrelevant aspects are brought up time and time again to “support” the author’s condemning argument. This is equivalent to slandering a person’s reputation because they root for a rival football team. There is no call for it, it is not used in any constructive way, and it merely serves to showcase that the author’s resentment is so deep, he will go to any length to discourage the public from suffering the same agony he endured—even if that means playing dirty. It’s ironic that many of the criticisms he levels are as deplorable as the subject he apparently rues.

It is a sad day when someone with such social responsibility can betray his audience so blatantly, and rant so unapologetically. It does nothing beyond disappointing an audience expecting a professional and comprehensive assessment, only to get a bitter, condescending slight that offers no payoff whatsoever. If only Rea knew that the true victim of his wrath is not the subject he slanders but the reader who reads it.    

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