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Seven Degrees of Michiko Kakutani

This GalleyCat editor loves playing the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game, connecting celebrities to actor Kevin Bacon in six connections or fewer. Would the same game work in the 21st Century literary world?

On the Morning Media Menu today, cultural critic Mark Dery (pictured) talked about his new collection of essays, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts. While pondering Christian comic creator Jack Chick and YouTube trends, Dery also outlined a version of the Bacon game that could be played with New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.

Check it out: “The fact that the reviewer is instantly known to the reviewed creates a very odd kind of interaction. The tendrils of social media reach out rhizomatically and seem to connect everybody to everybody. We’re all in the Kevin Bacon game at this point–you know, seven degrees of Michiko Kakutani. Consequently, everybody who reviews you is a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook or you retweeted them on Twitter or you rubbed elbows with them somehow in cyberspace. And that makes for peculiar social dance.”

Dery concluded: “Every reviewer is just a mouse click away. No sooner have you been reviewed by anyone, anywhere and you can dial them up on the web almost in an instant. Obviously, it encourages a species of stalking and if you are an illiberal creature you can let loose with a torrent of invective that somebody had the temerity to give your book a pan (which is probably ill-advised, given how small the publishing world is, especially in Manhattan).”

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