Once when I was young and stupid, I loved Adam Gopnik. Then he had kids and got all cutsey and annoying. Any lingering residue of that love finally dissolved into nothingness when I read that ridiculous article he wrote about magic way back in March. The nail in the coffin was this massively ugly, skin-crawlingly loathsome sentence:
“Or one might multiply the possible explanations, in a card-guessing trick, by going through an elaborate charade of ‘reading’ the spectator’s face and voice, so that, when the forced card is guessed, the obviousness of the trick is, well, obviated.”
WordPress won’t let me do a block indent so I have to center that little bit of flotsam – please forgive me for that. But nothing will ever allow me to forgive Gopnik for his prose in this piece. Sometimes The New Yorker runs these weird articles that totally break from their classic superlatively cool tone and enter some horrible netherworld of quirky college-entrance-exam style that just makes me sick. Don’t use “well” like that, New Yorker, just – don’t.
I found this page under the bed when changing the sheets today, having been ripped from the long-ago-recycled magazine with a scrawled “WTF this sentence” in my sleepy bedtime handwriting. To think I’ve been sleeping on the worst of Adam Gopnik for a month.
The obviousness of how annoying that is will never, well, be obviated.
Also: Adam Gopnik’s Wikipedia entry includes the following breathtakingly douchey statement: “Gopnik trained in art history—and thus writes on the subject with a high degree of confidence and sophistication…”
I know that people don’t usually don’t write their own Wikipedia bios, but STILL.