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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

wtf: 10-year-old film critic represents the best that the American press has to offer

No, really: it’s true! From a press release announcing this sign of the apocalypse:

Perry S. Chen is the youngest winner of the San Diego Press Club 2010 Excellence in Journalism Awards, which are judged by members of 15 Press Clubs throughout the country. These prestigious awards recognize San Diego’s best in all forms of journalism including print, television, radio, web, and specialty magazines. Perry will receive his award at a gala celebration at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park at 5:30 pm on October 19, 2010. Perry joined the San Diego Press Club as its youngest member in May 2010 when he was a 4th grader at the Torrey Hills Elementary School, from the Del Mar Union School District.

An elementary school student is the best San Diego journalism has to offer, as determined by journalists all over the United States. And they’re serious. This is for real.

Imagine you were last year’s winner of this award. Or imagine you’re next year’s winner. The most positive thing you could possibly take from having such an award bestowed upon you is that you are at least as professional as a fucking fourth-grader.
Now, I’m sure Chen is a nice kid. But if the San Diego Press Club and all those journalists who voted to give him this award wanted to pick the most effective way to remove all doubt that any semblance of quality or principle was connected with award, they couldn’t have done a better job.

I swear to Zeus, the press release reads like something out of the Onion:

“I am so honored to receive this prestigious peer-based award,” said Perry Chen. “I have had a lot of fun and amazing opportunities since writing my first movie review nearly two years ago, with the encouragement of my mom, my 3rd grade teacher Ms. Harris, and Ms. Ping Ma, the publisher of We Chinese in America magazine and newspaper where I published many of my movie reviews. Kid’s voice is important to be heard because we have ideas and perspective often different from adults. I was glad to share a child’s view about movies.”

This made me laugh out loud:

About San Diego Press Club: The San Diego Press Club is one of the largest clubs of its kind in the nation with over 400 members in the news communications field. Offering a blend of social and professional growth activities, the club seeks to foster a community where the relevant professional/social needs of news communications professionals can be met in an environment of integrity and high ethical standards.

This is the state of arts criticism in America: a 10-year-old, a child whose brain has not fully finished developing, represents the highest level of integrity and ethical standards that can be achieved.

We. Are. So. Doomed.



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