Last Call: The New Yorker's viral sensation and a stunning love letter to Hong Kong

Illustration for article titled Last Call: The New Yorker's viral sensation and a stunning love letter to Hong Kong
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

“Cat Person”

Have you read Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” in the New Yorker yet? You haven’t?! OK, carve out two hours for it tonight. I say two hours not because it takes two hours to read (although it’s the New Yorker, so it’s not brief), but because, like any “viral” sensation, you then have to follow up with this interview, and this think piece, and this Twitter feed. I was struck by many aspects of this story: First, that a short story could “go viral,” or at least become as talked-about in my social media feeds as a new Netflix show. Second, I read this story not as much with an eye toward gender dynamics, as many have, but toward the tenuous nature of connection and trust in a time of digital interaction. Third, the backlash to a fiction piece is worthy of its own inspection. Read it and you won’t be able to stop talking about it, either. [Kate Bernot]


Hong Kong Strong

Kate asked for two hours. I’m asking for just 10 minutes. A dazzling, kinetic, virtuosic work of filmmaking created with what is essentially a consumer handheld camera. Technology really is amazing. [Kevin Pang]

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

aurorafirestorm
AuroraFirestorm (Alcoraiden)

I guess I can be a token lady on the “reacting to Cat Person” twitter? Because I think I fit there. I thought Margot was irresponsible and kind of a jerk and Robert was immature and kind of a jerk and everything was just silly. It’s a hookup gone wrong, like most hookups where people don’t know each other or how they themselves react to emotionless sex. I don’t see the big deal here.

I do both see why the last word is what it is, and really think the story would be better without it. It shoehorns in an effort to make us think Robert is irredeemable, combined with a healthy dose of “modern issues” by making him “the guy online who calls you ugly as soon as you won’t fuck him.” He didn’t strike me that way for the rest of the story, so honestly I saw it as out of character.