Hating the New York Times Style section is a grand tradition. But what is it exactly that makes this America's most loathsome newspaper section? We analyze some of yesterday's Style articles in order to find the answer.
Story: "The World According to Tim Ferriss"
Summary: Tim Ferriss is a self-promoting self-help book author with no real discernible qualifications in any field. He is a Renaissance man, charitably speaking; or, less charitably, he is a hustler who has somehow managed to turn a cobbled-together collection of fitness tips into a bestselling book—his second.
Loathing reaction: Shit, I can lift a kettlebell and dispense tarted-up folk wisdom. Where's my NYT Style section profile?
Story: "Washington's New Brat Pack Masters Media"
Summary: Dave Weigel, Matt Yglesias, and Ezra Klein are young bloggers in Washington DC who are Very Important now. They are similar to older people in that they write about politics and are Taken Seriously, but the difference is that they are relatively young. They think they're so smart.
Loathing reaction: Shit, I'm a young person with political opinions. Where's my NYT Style section profile?
Story: "First Food, Then Sneakers"
Summary: A mind-numbing first-person recounting of every outfit that chef Marcus Samuelsson wore for an entire week.
Loathing reaction: Shit, I have lots of shoes and I'm pretentious, too. Where's my NYT Style section profile?
Story: "Sharing Her Secrets"
Summary: Katie Roiphe ruminates endlessly on the fact that her mom wrote a book about sleeping with a bunch of famous writers in the 50s and 60s. How does this make Katie Roiphe feel? Katie Roiphe will try to explain, at length.
Loathing reaction: Shit, I'm a self-absorbed writer with personal issues. Where's my 1,500-word slot in the NYT Style section?
Conclusion: All New York Times Style section loathing is actually self-loathing.