living underground in the real world

New Yorker Whiteboy Watch: March 2008

Hello lovelies,

Call your local forager – ramps are almost here! My forager contact says he should have some within two weeks! It’s all so exciting.

While we’re waiting for ramps, let’s talk about The New Yorker

I already wrote about March 3, so here we go with the rest of March:

March 10th: The Style Issue. I fuckin’ adored the cover.

Talk of the Town was 4 men, 1 woman – the ever-present ugh-festival of Lizzie Widdicombe writing about Brian Glazer’s search for a “personal attaché” in an exceptionally pukey way.

8 of the features were by men, 5 by women, not too shabby.

In terms of content, it was a fairly X chromosomey week: Michelle Obama, Isabel Toledo, the “Gossip Girl” books, a bluish-tinted model’s naked ass assaulting us on page 99. I’m counting the good with the bad here, peeps.

I must confess that the fanboy Michael Chabon piece about comics made me sigh and think about all the wonderful things white dudes could be doing with the vast amounts of power they wield if they could stop obsessing over superheroes.

But did you not fall a little bit in love with the weightless confection that is the marriage of Isabel and Ruben Toledo? And yes, I know that makes me a bit of a hypocrite, as their lives aren’t exactly contributing much to the revolution and whatnot. But awww, they are so damn cute. Does anyone find Michael Chabon cute?

Hari Kunzru’s cooler-than-cool fiction was so Margaret Atwood-meets-post-punk-nyc-meets-just-the-tiniest-bit-of-Banana-Yoshimoto that my heart hurt to read it, I loved it so.

(The NYerWbW is a regular feature whereby my mother and I keep track of the male/female breakdown in The New Yorker magazine. We include stats on the front section of short pieces [“Talk of the Town,” sometimes referred to as TotT] the main features section, the reviews section, [“The Critics”], poems and the cover. We do not include the male/female breakdown of the cartoons, but my educated guess is that it is usually 95% dudes. The “spots” have never, to my knowledge, been by a woman, and we don’t include them either.)

March 17:

I lost the actual issue so I can’t do the TotT stats, but the features were 13 dudes and 2 non-dudes. What was up with the odd design of the first page of Adam Gopnik’s weird article on magic? It was unsettling. I like layout consistency in my New Yorker, thank you! And are we all over Adam Gopnik yet? I pretty much am.

March 24:

What exactly is happening with Talk of the Town? Seriously. How long will we be subjected to the reign of Lizzie Widdicombe? This week she writes about UN dudes’ wives talking about Spitzer. Hooray for global perspectives on this most pressing crisis. Seriously, she’s making my insides feel all swimmy, please make it stop! Yet AGAIN she is the only lady Talk of the Town contributor, along with 3 dudes.

Periodically (like every other page) The New Yorker feels the need to remind us that its target audience is rich white dudes. This week they drive the message home with a soul-sickening piece on Lenny Dykstra, “Baseball’s most improbable post-career success story,” as long as your definition of success consists of reveling in your riches à la Scrooge McDuck and helping your fellow mentally unbalanced professional athletes to do the same.

10:4 is the ratio for the features for this week. Again, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you who is who.

I wrote about the David Chang piece elsewhere, and will not guide you to it because I don’t want to subject you to the extreme and rather unrelated-to-David-Chang vitriol that happened to spew out in the same post.

March 31:

Every liberal’s favorite fellow liberal to loathe, the sublimely talented writer and supremely insane Eric Alterman weighs in on newspapers! Woo. Don’t you feel like if you went out with Eric Alterman he would be really good in bed but you would sort of hate him the whole time? Or maybe that’s just me.

It’s a man’s world in the New Yorker this week: TotT was 3:2, with the reign of The Widdicombe finally over. The features were 14 boys:2 girls! Eek.

Can I say something really annoying and reductionist and dumb? I can instantly think of 3 instances of nekkid ladies in the NYer – Cat Power, the March 10 ass, and the gloriously lopsided breasts on p. 32 of this week’s issue. Can anyone ever remember a naked dude in the pages of the NYer? I’m just saying.

(The NYerWbW is a regular feature whereby my mother and I keep track of the male/female breakdown in The New Yorker magazine. We include stats on the front section of short pieces [“Talk of the Town,” sometimes referred to as TotT] the main features section, the reviews section, [“The Critics”], poems and the cover. We do not include the male/female breakdown of the cartoons, but my educated guess is that it is usually 95% dudes. The “spots” have never, to my knowledge, been by a woman, and we don’t include them either.)

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