R.I.P.D. actress Mary-Louise Parker is “not really that into” acting anymore and may quit soon. She’s been scared off by her online haters. You know, all the snarky Internet commentary about how she’s the reverse-aging, delightfully disdainful, rebellious, MILF-ish fantasy of every marijuana-loving premium cable subscriber. (Or imaginary girlfriend of every liberal, Aaron Sorkin fanboy, depending on your age.) She told News Corp:
The world has gotten too mean for me, it’s just too bitchy. All the websites and all the blogging and all the people giving their opinion and their hatred … It’s sport for people, it’s fun to get on at night and unleash their own self-loathing by attacking someone else who they think has a happier life … And there’s more of that than there is whatever praise people think you’re getting. There’s way more mean-spiritedness. I stay away from it as best I can because I’m too thin-skinned, but still it finds you.
The bitchiness found her the same way these quotes, given all the way in Australia, found us: over the Internet. Which Parker says she would like to “throw into the lake.” I don’t doubt that there are some anonymous commenters who say unkind things about Parker. But this sincere moment is doomed to be a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, because the best way to attract mean comments on the Internet is to say something slightly unsophisticated about the Internet. If she thinks she’s got it bad, she should look at the vitriol Amanda Palmer swallows every day (I mean, really internalizes, against Cut hater-ologist Ann Friedman’s reccommendation) or the racism that erupts in the comments section of virtually any news story about Michelle Obama.
And she should stick it out. The comments only get nicer, the older you get. When I was 20, my then-boyfriend told me he would dump me for Catherine Keener (54), given the opportunity. Helen Mirren (67) wears stripper shoes and the fashion world applauds her. People don’t even think mean things about Betty White (91). It gets better.