Cat Marnell’s exploits are well known and well trodden. She’s a generally unapologetic, fucked up party girl and writer who just landed a book deal worth $500,000. She’s always been forthcoming about her drug use, particularly when it comes to regularly eating vast arrays of pharmaceuticals. The art of attention seeking through showcasing deviant behavior is not a new tactic to achieve celebrity and notoriety. And the conflicted, addicted writer has become such a cliché that I often wonder why Cat’s behavior stokes the sort of shock and dismay that it does. It’s obvious that we want to watch her, and that she wants us to watch. But there’s no reason to be especially surprised by what unfolds.
What is most interesting about the current backlash against Cat’s book deal is the absolute Internet vitriol and concern-trolling it has unleashed. Every article published over the past couple days has decried the state of entertainment and the literary world (Marnell did not single-handedly create a culture where sensational, “reality television”-style entertainment was financially rewarded) or expressed condescending concern that she will blow her advance on blow and die.