"How does it feel?" the singer D'Angelo once famously asked. Feelings are elusive things. Yesterday, for instance, in linking to the news that an action figure of the Sexy Convict meme-person exists, New York magazine embedded a subheadline asking "How to feel about this?"
How to feel about the Sexy Convict novelty action figure? We're going to go with: bored and a little sad.
But that's only the latest case of New York's outsourcing of its emotional work. Yesterday, the question was, "How Do We Feel About Olivia Wilde Breast-feeding in Glamour?" The magazine's fashion blog, The Cut, was asking.
How do we feel? Let's try: slightly titillated but mostly resigned.
The question keeps coming up. Maybe New York should see a therapist? In the meantime, we've gone to the archives, so we can do our best to help guide the magazine out of its numbness. Here's how the magazine or its readers ought to feel about:
Cocktails Made With Diet Soda (July 18)
Try feeling: convivial but wary.
Donuts Filled With Turkey (November 6, 2013)
Try feeling: hungry and open-minded.
Nicole Kidman Wearing Weird Clothing (November 9, 2011)
Try feeling: indulgent.
Anklets (August 13, 2011)
Try feeling: blithe.
Bernie Madoff Dying of Cancer (August 24, 2009)
New York created an entire tag for this one despite there being an exclamation point in the headline.
Try feeling: righteously dissatisfied.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Having a Digital Cameo in a Terminator Movie (April 23, 2009)
Try feeling: nostalgically technophobic.
The Fate of a Character on Weeds (June 17, 2008)
(For all of Celia's petty, hypocritical faults, we're not sure how to feel about this malicious framing.)
Try feeling: guilty and entertained.
The Ending of the Movie Redacted (September 27, 2007)
How should we feel about the images of death that close Redacted?
Try feeling: agitated.
Surveillance Cameras on City Buses (November 8, 2006)
Here is the incident that seems to have triggered New York's eight-year crisis of emotional displacement:
The Transit Authority is installing digital cameras on 450 city buses — and up to seven cameras per bus. We're not sure how to feel about this one, and the manufacturers are not helping much by saying things like "The bus is always recording, everywhere, all of the time."
Try feeling: less self-conscious.