Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday Stylin': wherein the Times portrays women as masochists

In today's desperately pathetic attempt to fill space and gain advertising revenue, the Times exposes one very bad doctor, finds Brooklyn acceptable, and discusses a "sexless couple."

The Irish Patient and Dr. Lawsuit: Warren St. John wrote a good book about Alabama football called Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, and for that, Cole Slaw Blog is precluded from despising him. St. John isn't too bad today. Turns out that there's a plastic surgeon on Central Park South who fucks up. A lot. A very nice Irish lady visited him for a face lift and ended up dying. Because it doesn't feel right to be obnoxious about this article, I'm honing in on a paragraph that underscores some tangentially related sucking:
He also appeared in an article in the Wall Street Journal about Botox parties, in The New York Observer commenting on the appearance of Senator John Kerry and in an article in The New York Times about holiday tipping habits in Manhattan. (Dr. Sachs had given his masseuse and nanny cosmetic surgery for their tips.)
This brings back bad memories of the last election and the Kerry-Botox apocrypha. It also serves as a reminder that reporters are lazy. Lazy enough to quote a dude who's perpetually sued for medical malpractice. Somewhere, someone read this New York Observer article, in which a known quack riffed on John Kerry's alleged Botox injections, and was persuaded. You stupid goddamn reporters.

As for this junk about giving people plastic surgery for tips, screw off. Is there a more obnoxious Christmas gift than a dude who looks like a bloated-out Buster from Arrested Development implying that you're ugly?

When You Contain Multitudes. Times gets all literary in the Sunday Styles section! Quoting Walt Whitman in a headline, and in a teaser, ripping off Yale literary scholar Harold Bloom's phrase on the anxiety of influence to pimp a non-story about retailer H&M. Sounds like somebody got a B in poetry class!

In an article reminscent of a Friday Focus that Anu and I might have put together, the Times finds out that there are people of mixed race. Geetha Lakshminarayanan in Ann Arbor worries that someone might date her because she's exotic, "like an animal at the zoo." The article observes that "[i]t is hard to miss Heidi Klum and Seal in celebrity magazines."

Bullshit. Only hard to miss if you spend your life reading a bunch of crap.

"The so called ambiguous look is hip," notes writer Mireya Navarro notes. Later she observes that people of mixed races are "perceived as cool." This observation might be credible if the Times weren't declaring everything "hip" and "cool," including, in the past four days, wearing jeans, not wearing jeans, "big skirts," and, as we'll soon discuss, sandals. So, add racial mixing to the list.

Anyway, the article goes into a lot of stuff reminiscent of college orientation, and ends with an anecdote about a dude who hits a racist hockey player with a belt.

The Cry of the Sandal Is Heard in Our Land. This headline is intended to be melodramatic in a pseudo-funny/lame-irony kind of way. In contrast to the Thursday Styles stunner about people liking comfortable sneakers, it appears that ladies love sandals that hurt. Sandals give them blisters. Sandals cut up their feet. Sandals swell their feet. Sandals callus their feet. Women "walk into the store with their feet completely covered in blood." But it's all cool, because they get used to it.

So basically, all these ladies are masochists. And I'm wondering whether The Times doesn't have some kind of misogynist agenda. The Times's style sections seem geared toward portraying women as self-involved, self-destructive buffoons. Maybe someday they'll write an article that doesn't condescend to chicks, but we're not holding our breaths.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn. Here's another tired story about Brooklyn being cool, underscored by the uncreative use of the Beasties Boys in a headline. This article lacks timely relevance, but nonethless uses as its hook the long-known development that novelist and serial media whore Jonathan Safran Foer bought a new pad in the borough. A short article, but still a waste of space.

Elvis and My Husband Have Left the Building. Lady marries gay dude for immigration purposes. Dude gets a green card. They divorce so she can get into a Manhattan co-op. It's the dark side of Will & Grace.

Weddings/Celebrations: It will be Cole Slaw Blog policy not to mock the Times's wedding announcements. The announcements are symptomatic of people who've been corrupted by the Sunday Styles worldview. They are the victims. Instead of mocking them, we seek to offer hope, Coaster Pong, and a small glimpse at a better way of life.

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