Whether the subject is hi-fi equipment, films, restaurants, power tools, or condoms (see the April 2005 "Listening
"), reviewing should be off-limits to the perennially unhappy. I'm reminded of that dictum by the flap over the recent film Identity Thief
, which was savaged by reviewer Rex Reednot because the film is weak, but because its star, Melissa McCarthy, is heavy. Reed, whose career as the Paul Lynde of film reviewing was punctuated by a starring role in a flop called Myra Breckenridge
, mentioned in his review McCarthy's size not once but numerous times, thus exposing himself as a bullying hack who wields his harshest criticisms not when they are merited but as unconscious expressions of his own personal anguish. Hate speech of any sort is the crayon of the unhappy; that is doubly true of people who write for a living.