Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The thing about The New Yorker

Every couple of weeks, I go to the library and get some magazines to read.  Usually I throw a couple of New Yorkers into the mix, because who doesn't want to read a 50,000 word article about ice sled racing in Finland or the way the justice systems treats sex criminals or the different methods of ... organizing a magazine article?   Ummmm ...

Yeah, that last one kind of broke me.   I used to subscribe to The New Yorker, because some of the articles were actually interesting, until I realized that the ratio of articles that were interesting (to me, anyway) to articles that were boring were about 1 to 100.  If that makes me a less-than-sharp tool in the shed, so be it.

I am sure that every single nine million word article in The New Yorker is interesting to ... someone.  The author, probably.  And the people he interviewed to research the article.  And most of the articles in The New Yorker start off interesting.  It's just when you get to the third or fourth page and start leafing ahead and realize that there's still another five or ten pages to go that things can get tough.

"Doesn't this magazine have an editor?", I wonder, as I plow through an endless article about bread-making in France.  And then I laugh, because I'm sure that New Yorker editors are legendary and brilliant, and the people who have articles accepted into The New Yorker are obviously way, WAY above the slobs who write for GQ and People.

just please, please don't ask me to read another long-ass article about moss scientists or the theories behind testing mathematical equations or the various ways to reduce a pasta sauce on a molecular level.

Any nobody got time for that sh*t.

I mean, I try.  I really, really try to read every single stinking word of these articles.  I just ... my brain just fogs over after a while.  And then, when I'm already near my endurance limit, the author starts from the beginning, AGAIN.  "Craig Matthews was born to a seamstress and an itinerant brush salesman in 1942, which would serve to explain his later fascination with quantum physics, in that the way that a blahblahblah" oh my God I CAN'T.

I'm sorry, The New Yorker.  You're just too damn smart for me. 


~~Silk said...

An acquaintance described TNY as "A circle jerk for pseudo intellectuals" with the impenetrable comic as the ultimate boasting sneer.

Becs said...

I stopped reading it in the late 1970s, when all the fiction was about young guys in Jerusalem. What?

rockygrace said...

Well, I'm glad it's not just me.

Although I did see that one of the ones I borrowed and have not yet read has an article about Dr. Oz, which may actually be interesting (at least the first few pages), since from what little I've seen of him on TV, he seems like a quack-a-roonie.

Do I get an award for longest sentenct?

Oh, and I'm sure that at some point, the article will delve into the history of physicians in broadcasting or some such boringness.

~~Silk said...

The Dr. Oz article is pretty good. I read it because, like you, I find Dr. Oz annoying. It's like he leaps on the latest fad and runs with it. (He's actually a highly regarded heart surgeon.)

Many surgeons are hungry for adulation. They're hooked on it. Oz seems to have found on TV the font of all adulation. He wants to be the the medical Oprah.

rockygrace said...

I dunno - Anytime I've seen him, he looked ... scary. Like Skeletor or something. And isn't he the one who tells people to examine their poop? Yeah, not happening.