Does this really surprise anyone?
The week his first hardcover paper book comes out, “The Fat Jew” is declaring social media, where he has 6.5 million Instagram followers, to be .
“I was very much born out of the Internet,” the funnyman (real name the Josh Ostrovsky) tells The Telegraph. “But my feeling is that the real world is about to make a huge comeback.”
His detractors — and there are many after he was caught recycling other people’s knee-slapping memes — would probably say something like “anything to sell his book.” (Ok, I’m saying it.)
He’s being slammed in The Daily Dot, in one of the few reviews so far, for lacing “Money Pizza Respect” with homophobic and misogynist comments.
And In what may be the strangest of marketing strategies, Ostrosky, continuing on the social media rant, is calling his main followers “weird.”
“I mean, people’s social skills are damaged nowadays. Millennials especially have weird social skills,” the 33-year-old continues in his Telegraph interview.
“They don’t even really know how to talk or hold a real life conversation or anything. They’re like weird mutants. Mutants who live in their mom’s basement. People have lost the ability to interact with each other, and that’s not good.”
Some may say, “He’s right about that!” (Ok, I’m saying it.)
“So, while I’ve obviously been publicizing my new book online, I’ve also been promoting it through these huge raves and parties.”
Besides Britain’s Telegraph, he’s also turning to some other decidedly traditional news outlets to push his book.
“Of the book, from Grand Central Publishing, Ostrovsky said he was going for real, but the kind of real that comes with a big, fat disclaimer at the beginning about how some of the real might not be after all. Who remembers the details, what with all the substance-induced blackouts. But he promised the stuff about his childhood is true, including the time his Russian-born dad, who is a bootstraps radiologist, took him to a Brighton Beach strip club after his bar mitzvah for a lap dance, due most likely to the fact that dad suspected he was gay.” (He’s not.)
His fave fashion designer: “Alexander Wang; he has beautiful, soft hair. His hair is glowing, it looks like the inside of the briefcase in ‘Pulp Fiction.’ It’s f—ing gorgeous. Clothing-wise, just like Tommy Hilfiger, and, well, Ally Hilfiger. According to her, she invented the cargo pant.”
On women’s fashion: “I like a girl wearing straight wack s–t. I like palazzo pants. Also dashikis and caftans, a Dooney & Bourke bag and Michael Kors ballet flats bought at an outlet.
On men’s fashion: “An incredibly deep v [neck], the deepest v. I want the point of the v on the navel. I [also] like a buff guy in white jeans with a python around his neck.
“Spend just a few minutes chatting with Josh Ostrovsky, AKA Instagram star @TheFatJewish, and you’re guaranteed to crack up. Whether the 33-year-old is talking about his Uncle Murray (“the guy once tried to sell me an entire set of Le Creuset bakeware from his trunk—on Rosh Hashanah!”) or being a 9-year-old diva during a photo shoot for a Hershey’s commercial he appeared in, he’s a natural born storyteller.”
There are few major reviews yet of the book, but you can have a look-see at Chapter 3 online.
The AP’s story calls it “a memoirish collection of debauchery.”
The Daily Dot’s Eve Peyser review was brutal.
Peyser writes: “I confidently assert that Money Pizza Respect is singlehandedly the worst book I have ever read.”
She cites one bit in which he jokingly writes P. Diddy: “Sorry for outing you as a homosexual. I’m pretty sure you are, but I’m sorry.”
“He also manages to be transphobic, referring to transgender women as ‘trannies’ in a chapter chronicling his brother’s bachelor party,” she writes.
“He relies on a Tucker Max-esque style of storytelling, glorifying cocaine and alcohol abuse and fucking his groupies, who all embody a different type of ‘crazy girl’ stereotype,” Peyser continues.
THE PLAGIARISM SCANDAL
A lot of people wrote off “The Fat Jew,” who is 33 and grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when the plagiarism scandal broke this summer.
Essentially, Ostrovsky was slammed for taking memes (those snarky web photos with funny text written on them) and posting them, making money, and not sharing it with their creators.
See ya later, aggregator: https://t.co/4xBQEGyWFz— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 17, 2015
“See ya later, aggregator,” comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted after Ostrovsky lost his deal for a Comedy Central series.
The press seems not to care much about that anymore. A recent media day at a Chinatown arcade had reporters circling as “The Fat Jew” sat there with a nutrient I.V. drip in his arm.
And Cat Greenleaf’s Talk Stoop interview was also fairly fawning.
His legions of fans are also sticking by him. Earlier, in October, a Ramen Party at The High Line Hotel in NYC was sold out, even tho some other top chefs pulled out when they found out he was named the event’s host. He’s also appears on bus shelter ads, is a big & tall male model, and is one of the entrepreneur’s behind a wine brand, “White Girl Rose’”
Ostrovsky has moved beyond the meme wars, which he argues was a bunch of B.S. since everyone shares tons of silly stuff online with seeking the original creators.
“The Internet is like the Wild West,” Ostrovsky said. “There’s been a big divide way before me between slightly older types who kind of view writing in a more traditional way and then younger people who were born of the Internet and know about curation. I ended up being in the middle of a debate between these two sides.”
The 'Fat Jew' Talks 'Mutant' Millennials and Going to the Strip Club After His Bar Mitzvah
John Oswald is The Forward’s deputy digital media editor.