06 December 2011

Is it somehow ironic to mock a legitimate historical news source on my blog?

I've mentioned once or twice before, though I don't dwell on it, my curious and possibly irrational disdain for the New York Times. I'm no Hearst or Pulitzer, so I'm sure the NYT doesn't care what I think. However, it seems that they ought to have at least enough self-awareness to realize that they are heading down the path to becoming the grown-up journalistic version of twee. They are predictable, unoriginal, and drifting ever more toward just floating opinions and lifestyle features in a sea of trend pieces, unhampered by reporting of any actual news. The funniest part about it all is the fact that the Times continues to take itself VERY SERIOUSLY.

Think it's just Deb over in her rural Ohio corner spewing vituperative venom at the sleek and successful folk of New York City? Nope. There's a whole lot of people who notice the same issues and have cleverly let humor make the point for them.

First, from Salon.com, a satirical list of the NYT's "most e-mailed articles of all time". They're almost all brilliant. I love the shameless swipe at the overly-pious and self-promoting Nick Kristof, as well as the milder mention of Paul Krugman, who essentially vomits Keynes in every column and doesn't realize he might want to look into something else for a while.

1. The Minimalist: Ramen Noodles With Salty Packet Sauce
2. Poll Suggests Majority of Baby Boomers Intend to Cheat Death Indefinitely
3. Well: How to Cheat Death Indefinitely: A Guide for Baby Boomers
4. 36 Hours in the Gowanus Canal
5. David Brooks: Research Is for Liberals
6. Well: How to Burn Calories While Getting Your Kid Into a First-Tier College
7. The Pour: Using Oenophile Jargon to Rationalize Ordering the Second Cheapest Bottle on the List
8. Thomas Friedman: I Kinda Wanna Make Out with China
9. Maureen Dowd: Inscrutable Fake Dialogue Utterly Devoid of Context
10. A Thing Happened at Harvard
11. Magazine Preview: A Slightly Different Take on an Increasingly Common Diagnosis
12. Gail Collins: Shucks, I’m Adorable!
13. The Lede: Liveblogging the Assistant Deputy Comptroller’s Debate
14. Paul Krugman: Mr. Keynes, Please Stop Haunting My Dreams
15. Nicholas D. Kristof: Disadvantaged Individual From Developing Nation Overcomes Staggering Adversity to Become a Much Better Person Than Any of You
16. Modern Love: My Unrequited Crush on a Career in Narrative Nonfiction
17. Frank Rich: Newsmaking Politician Is a Hopelessly Out-of-Touch Feckless Hack
18. Tweeting Toward Bethlehem
19. Magazine Preview: Photographs of Michael Pollan and Alice Waters Surrounded by Vibrant, Abundant, Organic Produce Grown Three Thousand Miles Away From New York City
20. Lindsay Lohan Is the Name of a Movie Star
21. Away From the Headlines, One-and-a-Half Wars Apparently Continue to Rage
22. Editorial: The Lifeblood of Democracy and Western Civilization That Is Print Journalism Must Be Preserved at All Costs
23. Vows: B-List Celebrity and Regular Person
24. The Pour: The Best Wines for Getting Your Kid Into College
25. The Minimalist: No-Cook Cheese on Store-Bought Bread

Second, from The Awl, an utterly convincing parody of "The Most E-mailed New York Times Article Ever", by David Parker. If you don't get it, count yourself lucky: It just means you haven't read too much of the New York Times. The first few paragraphs:

It’s a week before the biggest day of her life, and Anna Williams is multitasking. While waiting to hear back from the Ivy League colleges she’s hoping to attend, the seventeen-year-old senior at one of Manhattan’s most exclusive private schools is doing research for a paper about organic farming in the West Bank, whipping up a batch of vegan brownies, and, like an increasing number of American teenagers, teaching her dog to use an iPad.

For the last two weeks, Anna has been spending more time than usual with José de Sousa Saramago, the Portuguese water dog she named after her favorite writer. (If José Saramago bears an uncanny resemblance to Bo Obama, the First Pet, it’s no coincidence: the two dogs are brothers. Anna’s father was an early fundraiser for Barack Obama; José Saramago was a gift from the President.)
Anna takes José Saramago’s paw in her hands and whispers in his ear. He taps the iPad and the web browser opens. José Saramago gives a little yelp.

“It’s entirely conceivable that a dog could learn simple computer functions,” says Dr. Walker Brown, the director of the Center for Canine Cognition, a research facility in Maryland. “Word processing, e-mailing, even surfing the web: for many dogs, the future is already here.”

In Anna’s bedroom, decorated with the trophies and medals common to young achievers, José Saramago is on Facebook, the popular social networking website. He’s helping Anna organize an event to raise money for her greatest passion: sustainable ibex farming.

Read the rest here at the original source. I'm serious. Read it. It's hilarious (if you've read the New York Times).

1 comment:

Kiti said...

Wow. It completely messed up the formatting in the post. Sorry! I don't know why Blogger does that sometimes, and somehow I can't always get it corrected. I'll try, though.