Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Friday, April 16, 2004

I am NOT a New York based media blogger, but even this was way too fucking much

I just received my weekly books update e-mail from the Times and clicked on Patrick Demarchelier’s picture of Plum Sykes to get a better look at the author of Bergdorf Blondes. Although neither the picture nor the author ultimately did anything for me (she gives off that lanky, Vogueish, Mischa Barton:super-anorexic vibe), I began to read the review and came across this in the second paragraph:

In all seriousness: we must build a tiny apocalypse-proof time capsule. If we can resist the temptation to burn Plum Sykes's book, we can smuggle it into the future. Perhaps the next breed of humanoids can learn from the holocaust of culture and commerce that destroyed our icky civilization.

After cleaning the Dragonfruit off my monitor, I scrolled up to see who-in-the-name-of-Tanenhaus authored this example of literary criticism at its finest:




Yes, sir. Sam Tanenhaus, in his VERY FIRST Sunday Book Review, let Choire Sicha desecrate the old gray lady. Again. While I will be the first to admit that the book likely is not worth the floral-scented paper it’s printed on, it certainly, definitely, has-to-be, must be of more value than to merit a Choire Sicha review. There are plenty of witty, talented and insightful late-20/early-30 somethings that can write circles around Sicha. (Paging ET.) Why the fuck does the Times allow Choire to be its voice when reviewing pop culture “literature.” [FYI- Sicha reviewed ’40 Watts From Nowhere’ in February.]

I find it incredible that the name Sicha appears alongside Eder and Kakutani without a great big asterisk. I was already appalled that Sicha’s obituary will contain the words “New York Times contributor” (clarification: obituary is fine by me, NYT is not). And, to exacerbate my revulsion, the review solely identifies him as a writer for The New York Observer. It doesn’t even mention his groundbreaking work on Gawker.

Ultimately, I think Choire sums it up best:

Look: We all have our own taste in beach trash. One summer weekend, I sat down and read seven of the Janet Evanovich New-Jersey-girl-bounty-hunter-mysteries, and I loved every page. . . . We're all God's flawed creatures.
. . .
If you have any sense of justice at all, the publication of this book [review] demands that you rouse yourself from the couch this very second and set out to loot and burn Manhattan. Meet us at Da Silvano and bring weapons.

I'll be in LA, waiting for the earthquake.

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