EDITED: Friday night @ 11:15pm
I love the NY Times and I especially love the Sunday NY Times.
I read it whenever possible but at five bucks a pop I usually end up reading it online which is not the same as the actual paper. But it sure beats the Sunday Herald.
One of the things I like about the Sunday Times is the magazine.
Years ago they actually had articles worth reading. Now I just look at the magazine for the photography.
They print the work of some incredibly talented photographers. And who doesn’t like looking at great photographs?
The stories in The Magazine are another matter.
One of the reasons I don’t read the articles is that lately they just seem to be self-absorbed meanderings of snotty little rich kids with Ivy League college degrees.
A few weeks ago they had a cover piece entitled “Young Gay Rites; Why would gay men in their 20’s rush to the altar?”
The lede paragraph:
“LAST NOVEMBER IN BOSTON, Joshua Janson, a slender and boyish 25-year-old, invited me to an impromptu gathering at the apartment he shares with Benjamin McGuire, his considerably more staid husband of the same age. It was a cozy, festive affair, complete with some 20 guests and a large sushi spread where you might have expected the chips and salsa to be.
Uhhh; no thanks! It was written by someone named Benoit Denizet-Lewis; who The Times tells us has also written a book called “America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life.”
Well I skipped Mr. Denizet-Lewis’s piece (whose very name screams to the world: “I am in love with myself and my hyphenated name!”) but I did enjoy the photographs
which were extremely well-done and quite amusing. They reminded me of that campy TV ad for Enzyte, the male enhancement tablet.
This week The Times Magazine has found someone else with nothing to say and who has managed to say it in slightly under 8,000 words in the magazine’s cover story.
It’s written by a hot-looking tattooed, 26 year-old Brooklyn writer and blogger named Emily Gould. On her blog she writes about her life which judging from the lede of her story isn’t much of a life at all.
The first graph:
“Back in 2006, when I was 24, my life was cozy and safe. I had just been promoted to associate editor at the publishing house where I’d been working since I graduated from college, and I was living with my boyfriend, Henry, and two cats in a grubby but spacious two-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I spent most of my free time sitting with Henry in our cheery yellow living room on our stained Ikea couch, watching TV. And almost every day I updated my year-old blog, Emily Magazine, to let a few hundred people know what I was reading and watching and thinking about.”
You know you’re in for a rough ride when the first paragraph of a NY Times Magazine piece contains the line: “I spent most of my free time sitting with Henry in our cheery yellow living room on our stained Ikea couch, watching TV.”
Makes you want to read every word, huh?
Anyway, in the story she prattles on about her online life and her blog which by the way is called “Emily Magazine, I have a blog so you don’t have to.” It soon becomes evident that when Emily isn’t watching TV she’s blogging about every bit of minutiae that is her vapid life in excruciating, mind-numbing detail.
Consider Emily’s ode to bacon:
“Like I said, I’m not good at writing about sex, or maybe no one is. But the way I feel about last night is the way I felt about bacon after I started eating meat again after 10 years of vegetarianism. Which was: I wanted everyone to understand how important, how absolutely essential, bacon is. I wanted to tell people about bacon. I actually did tell people, several times. ‘‘Have you had bacon? It’s like a potato chip made out of meat!’’ Bacon. Man, bacon is delicious!”
Emily’s boyfriend Henry appears in her blog often:
“Once, I made fun of Henry for referring to “Project Runway” as “Project Gayway.” He worried that “people” — the shadowy, semi-imaginary people who read my blog and didn’t know Henry well enough to know that he wasn’t a homophobe — would be offended. He insisted that I take down the offending post and watched as I sat at my desk in our bedroom, slowly, grudgingly making the keystrokes necessary to delete what I’d written. As I sat there staring into the screen at the reflection of Henry standing behind me, I burst into tears. And then we were pacing, screaming at each other, through every room of our apartment, facing off with wild eyes and clenched jaws.”
It appears that before Emily’s debut in the NY Times hardly anyone read her blog.
Not any more; her anonymity is history. Her last blog post has 142 comments.
And her NY Times Magazine piece which is online but hasn’t even hit the streets yet has garnered over 900 comments on 37 online pages, many of them scathing as only comments on nytimes.com can be. And infinitely more entertaining than Emily’s ponderous screed.
Three of my favorites:
“Ms. Gould, there is a very good reason that we cannot read each other’s thoughts. The disconnect between the brain and mouth often keeps us out of trouble. Since we are a social animals this is very important in maintaining social bonds in our society. Apparently the blog-generation has short circuited this needed disconnect by channeling every single worthless thought/idea straight to the World Wide Web.
Live and learn.
— Eric Simpson, Rahway, NJ
“To the 25 minutes I won’t get back for reading this article, the minute or two it takes me to write this comment, and the next few hours I waste to see if I even get posted, let me add:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, blog
— papercut61, Nevada”
“Always nice to see a young person’s journey to new insights.
Always depressing when those turn out to be what is obvious to a ten year old.
A tip, Ms Gould: masturbation in public is never in good taste. and tends to lose its charm as you get older.
— D Donaldson, Toronto”
The piece has already stirred up a s**t storm among some members of the journalism community and New York’s effete and elite who are carping about why The New York Times would turn over prime print real estate to someone as narcissistic and self-absorbed as Emily. But then I’m guessing that a lot of writers who get in The New York Times Magazine belong in that category.
I wonder if Miami has a an equivalent of Emily Gould? Probably.
But until we figure that out we’ll have to be content with Memorial Day Bad Ass Hip Hop Weekend, Ghetto Style.
By the way, here’s some great video of Emily sparring with Jimmy Kimmel about her work at Gawker.com. They kind of ganged up on her but, hey, she’s a big girl!