need more stuff?

Archives for April, 2007

April 29, 2007

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #97

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"You think think is some kind of game, you moron? You don't 'win' anything... You just beat them until they are dead or brain damaged." —simsburybear

"Toyota's done the electric hybrid already. We need something new. Something 21st century. Like this. It runs on gas, but we use Indonesians for pistons. Tom Friedman frickin' loves it." —Eric

"It finishes the Unichem report by 3:30 or it gets the hose." —Francis

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #97" »

April 28, 2007

On-the-job training

Daniel Radosh

"The U.S. is also partnering with communities to find solutions to such issues as sexual coercion and exploitation of women and girls, as well as fighting sex trafficking and prostitution." —Randall Tobias, 2004

"Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs, abruptly resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an investigation into a high-priced call-girl ring." —Associated Press, April 28, 2007

Related: Tobias's abstinence agenda.

April 28, 2007

Two girl bands enter. One girl band leaves.

Daniel Radosh


Did I Clique too quick? That's what Dave wonders now that he's (re)discovered the Gemz (not to be confused with Jem and the Holograms), five girls aged 11 to 15 who refreshingly play down the pop tart angle in favor of a sexy tomboy one. Check out the rockin' title song from their new album, Blue is for Girls.

Don’t tell me I’m pretty / I live in my faded blue jeans / Don’t dress me in ribbons and pearls / because I believe blue is for girls

Right on. But can I tell you you're hott? (At least the 15 year old. I'm no perv.)

The different focus may have something to do with the fact that their Svengali is a Svengalette, an Israeli woman named Yamit Geiger, who sings sultry jazz standards. Not that the Gemz are above Huckapoo-like gimmicks. Did I mention that their "names" are Topaz, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond? All of which go great with faded blue jeans.

I'm still devoted to my Clique, mind you, but it looks like we may be headed to a clash of the teenie titans. Feel free to take sides in the comments. But first, watch this terrif Gemz live medley which opens with an amazing pop punk song about "young boys" that would arguably make a lot more sense if it wasn't sung by even younger girls.

Young boys follow me around / They pick me up and they put me down / I love to go to town / with those young boys

My guess is it was originally written for the Donnas.

Update: The girl's real Svengalette may be their mother. Apparently the family was on Wife Swap in February. Here's their household rules.

We are the beautiful people; make no mistake about that. In my world beauty and talent equal money and power. I run an ultra-successful modeling agency where I am the judge of who's got "it" and who falls short. I love every minute of being a star maker.

Now, I am aware that these are written by producers and exaggerated for dramatic/comedic purposes. But even if mom didn't write this, I have to question the judgment of anyone who would agree to even pretending she had. Does the old "no such thing as bad publicity" adage still count when you're publicizing an 11-year-old? Ask Ireland Baldwin!

Meanwhile, stage mom has apparently already killed off and replaced two of her daughter's original bandmates. Sleep with one eye open, girls.

April 27, 2007

I meant "rude, thoughtless little pig" in a nice way

Daniel Radosh

capt.2b552d782aa0459fb7680b9047b75ea1.people_baldwin_basinger_ny122.jpg Alec Baldwin tries again.

April 26, 2007

I don't believe it

Daniel Radosh

girl.jpg American public television stations are being offered the opportunity to broadcast a three-part documentary called A Brief History of Disbelief. It's a BBC production that's said to be "intelligent, literate and thought provoking."

And unless you live in Wichita, Muncie, Tampa or Roanoke, you won't get to see it. Apparently, those folks are more open to atheism than New Yorkers.

Maybe if enough people contact Channel Thirteen (or your local PBS station), they'll get on board. Mention the program is being offered by Executive Program Services.

Update: I just got a reply from the station rep saying the show "probably will air in the
near future" in New York.

April 26, 2007

Breaking: World mourns as giant devours Clique whole

Daniel Radosh


[More about Clique]

April 24, 2007

Yahoo! Answers were better when they were still in English

Daniel Radosh

naruto-girl.jpg Don't ask how I stumbled onto this question that was posted on Yahoo! Answers. I have no idea what this supposed "Naruto" is. And the broad outline of the "debate" will be familiar to anyone who was a geek (or, for that matter, a rock snob) in high school, and of zero interest. That's not why I'm posting it.

I don't know what it is, but I found something about this post as funny as any Larry Grozic column. Maybe it's someone using this tone unironically. Maybe it's idea of someone being furious about the "overexposure" of some shit that 99.9 percent of America has never heard of. Plus, halfway through I became convinced that the dude was just making words up.

Does anyone else find the fandom of naruto appalling?

i remember when naruto first came out in japan and i found it really cool. but then a year later it was whored out in every anime convention. where for 2 1/2, 3 years straight i've counted over 70 naruto characters cosplayed (which lead bread to the nickname narutard for the cosplayers). it was insulting and made me lose intrest in the anime. then when it got lisendsed it got worse and even hot topic sold the naruto jacket (aswell as vash's coat). i'm glad it is now starting to calm down but who agrees that the fandom was crazy for a while?

i'm finnaly happy to say i am able to watch naruto again without gagging. i can't say the same for one peice. damn i hate how it was slaughtered. it was better 4 1/2 years ago when it was still in japanese.

i really need to learn japanese moreso than i already have. i'm really starting how it gets ruined. anyone agree?

It goes on.

April 24, 2007


Daniel Radosh

zach-gay-goodbye-fallout.jpg Defamer has a post on how gay panic led to the disapperance of a supporting player on Heroes.

Worth reading just for the comments. My favorite was this one, following a debate over whether Zach was gay or just emo: "He tried to sleep with the super-healing cheerleader, but he got tired of having to deflower her over and over again."

April 23, 2007

It's all in the, um, execution

Daniel Radosh

As happens frequently in the newsmagazine business, two publications had the same cover idea. But the one we did at The Week totally leaves The Economist bleeding on the floor.



By the way, if you don't read The Week, here's your chance. The entire current issue is free online.

April 23, 2007

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #96

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"I was thinking today... Let's call it 'Boy' if it's a boy, and drown it if it's a girl." —Trout Almondine

"You think we're doing the right thing? Sometimes I wonder how anyone can even bring a child into a world overrun by zombies who can't climb trees." —David John

"Let's just say, hypothetically of course, that it turns out to be some sort of squirrel-human hybrid..."—Tom

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #96" »

April 20, 2007

I was going to suggest "Kucinich," but who'd vote for that?

Daniel Radosh

Kegel, one of my suggestions for the name of the new Gawker Kreepie Kat, is a finalist. Go vote for it.

Or not. I could care less. Frankly, I am deeply saddened that they chose this name -- which was more than likely submitted by dozens of people -- rather than my other suggestion: Kikenwald. Scared of the lawyers, no doubt.

April 20, 2007

Let's see Bono top this

Daniel Radosh

cover.jpg So how excited are you about the announcement of a Spider-Man Broadway musical directed by Julie Taymor with songs by Bono and the Edge?

Not very, right?

But wait — what if the show turns out to be based on the classic 1975 album: Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero?

It won't be, of course, but just the thought sends shivers down my spine. I loved this weird novelty record as a kid and a few years ago I bought the CD re-release in anticipation of a music club meeting that would never actually materialize on the theme of superheroes.

Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment, although it was worth it just for the artwork of the backup band — Captain America on tambourine, Conan and the Barbarians on strings. One song that holds up (more or less) is the haunting ballad Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes, written (it says here) by a 17-year-old kid.

For a limited time only, you can download the MP3 here. After that, you can find a low-fi clip here.

Maybe proto-emo song-styling should be a challenge on the next season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero.

Update: J tells me there's still a chance for you (Time magazine's person of the year!) to be in the Spider-Man musical.

There's also some suggestion on that page that the show might be better than a simple rip-off of the movies, notably the creation of a new character, Arachne (apparently not the Marvel heroine of the same name) and of a "geek chorus," that gives the show a meta spin.

Also from Superhero Hype, depressing news on the Y:The Last Man front:

We wondered whether Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men might make it easier for Hollywood to understand Vaughn's vision, to which Goyer countered, "But Children of Men didn't do well..."

Well, maybe if it's a hit on DVD, hint hint. Related: The entire first issue of Y is now free online.

April 19, 2007

At some point you'll be so sick of these that you'll start looking forward to the next post about Clique

Daniel Radosh

Sometimes the use of "Let me explain" after the first paragraph of an article is worse than others.

Let me explain.

When Krugman and Wright recently used the annoying phrase, they at least had the excuse that it came after the statement of a far-fetched "theory" that actually did require explanation. My only argument was that they should have simply explained, without asking for permission (or, better yet, used a more straightforward lede). Zakaria used it after his "surprising" defense of Bush's environmental policy to assure readers right away that he hadn't lost his mind.

And then there's Eric Alterman in the NYT book review.

For a politician, Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, turns out to be a terrific writer. But for Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, the opposite is true.

Allow me to explain.

Wait, wait! Let me see if I can guess: Rangel is a terrific writer for a politician. Schumer is a bad writer, but a terrific politician.

Yep, that's pretty much what the review says. As Vance points out, this is perhaps the first use of the "explain" hiccup regarding "a basic, common-sense, thoroughly comprehensible statement." I'm going home early.

April 18, 2007

Closing the God gap

Daniel Radosh

From the Barna Group, an evangelical polling firm.

If the 2008 election were held today, among born again voters, 37% would vote as a Democrat, 38% would be entering their ballot as a Republican.

Understanding the full import of this survey requires more analysis than I have time for right now (e.g., teasing out the white vs. black vote), but I thought this was worth putting out there.

April 18, 2007

Exploring Clique's secret places

Daniel Radosh

cliquewall1.jpg The girls of Clique may flirt chastely on MySpace, but so far they have resisted entreaties to unfold the delicate petals of their official web site. Fortunately, as Melanie Martinez taught us, it doesn't count if you slip in through the back door.

So what can we learn from the hidden home of Ariel, Destinee and Paris? (It's annoying, but one must use their names in every post or else Googlers will never find it. One thing Brian Lukow got right was the importance of choosing a name that will top search results right off the bat.) Well for starters, these girls love to have their pictures taken. Or at least, Sal Dupree loves to take their pictures. Seriously, one page of photos would probably be sufficient. (There is some evidence that Cousin Dupree is not actually the mastermind behind Clique, but for my purposes he'll do; more on that later.)

In the bio, there is some information that got taken out of the MySpace version, most notably that before Clique, Ariel Moore and Destinee Monroe were in a "girl pop singing group" with "another young girl from Connecticut." Anyone with details on this proto-Clique is requested to please pass them on.

But let's cut to the chase. If you leave the bio page open for a few minutes — or you may have to click on the MTV Overdrive link and then wait — you'll be treated to samples of several previously unheard Clique songs. I think these girls have recorded more songs than Huckapoo did in their entire career (and released just as many albums!). Admittedly, some of these are half-assed ballads, but the opening track is an insanely infectious dance number that deserves to go straight to the top of the pop tart charts. Go ahead and check it out, you will not be able to get it out of your head.

That said, the song's lyrics raise some important questions, which I will address after the jump. Join me there. It'll be fun. As an enticement, there's a photo of Destinee looking totally metal.

Continue reading "Exploring Clique's secret places" »

April 18, 2007

But does she really want them to withdraw before the job is done?

Daniel Radosh

This is not gonna make those 15 months go any faster.

[Hat tip: Debbie]

April 17, 2007

Shia LeBeouf, call your agent

Daniel Radosh

This is probably the least important thing to say about Cho Seung-Hui's screenplays, but I thought this recurring motif was troubling.

From Richard McBeef:

Richard McBeef. What kind of name is that? What an asshole name. I don't like it.

From Mr. Brownstone.

I just said that his name sounds like kidney stone of the ass and that that's why he is always gruffy and angry.

I mean, it's just downright unfair for a writer to make fun of names that he gave the characters.

Also, "gruffy" is nice, but I don't think this is the proper use of "desecrated."

April 17, 2007

Honestly, don't bother

Daniel Radosh

I've always liked Robert Wright (though not enough to sit through a Blogginheads session). So I was distressed to read the first paragraph of his guest op-ed in today's Times.

I have a theory: the more e-mail there is, the more Prozac there will be, and the more Prozac there is, the more e-mail there will be. Maybe I should explain.

At least he didn't give it its own paragraph .

April 17, 2007

Loose Change Episode II

Daniel Radosh

Was the Death Star attack an inside job?. Websurdity raises uncomfortable questions. [Via CCinsider].

How could a single missile destroy a battle station the size of a moon? No records, anywhere, show that any battle station or capital ship has ever been destroyed by a single missile.

Now that I think of it, did someone alter the footage of the explosion to disguise its true nature?


April 15, 2007

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #95

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"So, do you think thats the tiger they were talking about in the e-mail?"—emily miletello

"That's what we get for printing all our memos on paper-thin slices of impala." —J

"If we're going to have a tiger on the file cabinet -- and I'm not saying it's a good idea -- why not get one that can do more than dishevel people?"—abe

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #95" »

April 15, 2007

Clicking Clique

Daniel Radosh

Presenting Clique in "Image is Everything," with your host, Cousin Sal Dupree.

"OK, ladies, this Juli B. party is gonna be your red carpet debut. It's a big deal. Dominique Swain will be there. Whaddayamean ya never heard of Dominique Swain? She played Lolita. You know Lolita, right? Come to my office later and we'll Google it. Anyways, the first thing you gotta learn is how to pose for the paparazzi. You only get one chance to make a first impression, even if that impression is "retarded pirates." Now, get together. What's the short one's name? That's right, Paris. In the middle. Let's have a little physical contact. Someone put her arm around Paris. No, not the sister. That's too creepy. You, the other one, Ariel. Great. Destinee, give me The Look. Betty Bacall, that's what look. Chin down, eyes up. Kids these days! Now, how 'bout a little Claudette Colbert. Your knee, bend one knee a little bit. 'Cause it's sexy, that's why. You're almost teenagers dammit, start acting like it. There! That's perfect! Now remember: whenever you see a camera, pose exactly like this."

13519457.jpg 13519554.jpg 13519555.jpg

"Wait, something's missing. The outfits. They're too... plain. Yes, plain. You look practically Amish, fercrissake. I know, anyone got any sunglasses? There we go!"


"Now just make sure they spell your names right. I worked hard to come up with those, no matter what this guy says. This is ain't no MySpace now, this is the big leagues."

Update: Now practice holding the pose even if some creepy old guy sneaks into the frame and grabs your ass.


April 14, 2007

The next Princess Bride?

Daniel Radosh

I enjoyed Neil Gaiman's novel a lot, but the film version of Stardust looks better than I would have dared to hope.

I haven't been paying as much attention as usual to this kind of thing, so I'm not really sure what else I should be looking forward to this summer, other than Spider-Man 3, of course. Because I'm an eternal optimist, I'm hoping that Live Free or Die Hard will be as good as its title, and I can't wait for the next Bourne movie, but is there anything else that should be on my radar?

First person to mention any movie with the words Pirates, Ocean's, or Fantastic will be strapped down and forced to watch all three of those.

April 11, 2007

Fame has its privileges

Daniel Radosh

Jack Shafer weighs in today on the issue of David Sedaris's exaggerations, giving me the opportunity to mention something I thought of a little while back. (Unlike Shafer, I live on Internet time, and assumed no one cared anymore by the time it occurred to me.)

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. On the one hand, I'm among those people who always assumed that Sedaris told some stretchers in his non-fiction, and even if Alex Heard showed that he sometimes did a bit more than that, I couldn't get too worked up about it. Big fucking deal, right? (For the record, I don't think Heard got too worked up either; his piece was pretty gentle and understanding, all things considered.) (And while I'm in parenthetical mode, I'll mention that I used to be friendly with Heard several years ago.)

But something was gnawing at me, and eventually I realized what it was: Rodney Rothman.

Rothman was the writer of a very funny article that appeared in The New Yorker in November, 2000 called My Fake Job, in which he recounted his stint working at a tech company that had in fact never hired him. The shit hit the fan when it came out that Rothman had sexed up a few details and obscured others. Nothing major, just the kind of stuff that David Sedaris does.

Only Sedaris is still a New Yorker regular, while Rothman will never write for that magazine -- or perhaps any other -- again.

"It doesn't matter that this was a lighthearted piece," editor David Remnick said at the time. "We can't mix fact and fiction or change details without telling the reader. And it was important to come clean and apologize as soon as we were made aware of this problem."

As Shafer notes, "Most of the pieces cited by Heard come from an earlier part of Sedaris' career, before he was such a regular contributor to The New Yorker, which fact-checks even conjunctions, articles, and prepositions." But does the New Yorker fact check Sedaris's stories with the same rigor? Sedaris has made clear that he sees no problem with invention in the service of humor; Remnick has made clear that he does. Or is there one standard for famous, bestselling authors and another for first-timers?

See, Rothman was not a big shot when he wrote his piece. He came from TV-land, where he has since returned. Recently he also wrote a book called Early Bird about moving to a old folks' home (inevitably dubbed My Fake Retirement), about which the Times said, "Mr. Rothman suggested his book was best appreciated not as straight nonfiction but as personal essays that employ comic hyperbole in the style of David Sedaris."

If anyone feels like going through Sedaris's New Yorker output to see if anything jumps out as too good to be true, be my guest. Again, I'm not interested in burning the talented writer (or the magazine that occasionally sends me checks). I just want to know if Rodney Rothman is owed an apology.

Update: One other thing to consider is that Sedaris's fame actually does justify giving him more leeway, not because famous people inherently deserve to get away with more, but because readers already identify the brand "Sedaris" with a certain style of writing, so they bring the appropriate filter to anything with his byline. An unknown writer, however, is considered part of the "New Yorker" brand, which implies something more rigorous.

Update: Alex Heard says here that The New Yorker does its best to fact check Sedaris.

April 11, 2007

Is it Granada I see or only Asbury Park?

Daniel Radosh


The search is over. Boys and girls, meet Clique, "the youngest pop group in the history of music." Citation needed, as they say at Wikipedia, but at ages 10, 11 and 12, Ariel Moore and sisters Destinee and Paris Monroe are certainly precocious. After a few minutes on their MySpace I'm officially ready to declare them the Next Huckapoo. No shit, they are that good.

I know you don't believe me, but consider the evidence.

1. They have a song called Worth the Wait, which is only, like, the most awesomely creepy/sexy title possible for a song by pre-teen pop tarts. But more importantly: go listen to it. It genuinely rocks. While you're there, listen to The Girl Who Rules the World. Now tell me these girls don't have It.

2. Their names are Paris, Ariel and Desineeee (I know how to spell it, I just don't know when to stop!). As far as I can tell, these are the names their parents gave them, but if not, they were most likely the gift of...

3. This guy. Yep, that's their Svengali, who goes by the absolutely perfect name of Sal Dupree. No offense to Brian Lukow, but if you want to build an empire by exploiting little girls, I think you have to be a Sal Dupree. In fairness, I know nothing about the man, other than his name and what he looks like, which is probably enough. Oh, and he's got a whole harem of acts, none of whom are quite as awesome as Clique, but feast your eyes and ears on Elizabeth, Alexis, Stevi, Brandy, Bianca, Brittany, and Nikki. I'm beginning to think Sal did give the Clique girls their names.

Wait, here's the whiff of scandal you were looking for: "Something bad happened between Tiffany and Sal Dupree and she was no longer associated with him or his company..." Something bad? Please let it involve adult sophisticated magazines.

4. They're Jersey girls, so nothing else matters in the whole wide world, right?

5. They've already been fugged.

6. I can't prove anything, but I'm getting a Christian vibe. Maybe that's just God's way of telling me to stop this blog nonsense and get back to work on the book.

That's all I know about them now. Anything you can fill in, Dave?

More, much more, as these girls this story develops. Meanwhile, big thanks to J for the life-changing tip. After the jump, more photos.

Continue reading "Is it Granada I see or only Asbury Park?" »

April 10, 2007

Time to block Bush's IP address

Daniel Radosh

Burro Hall has discovered Conservapedia, and he likes what he sees.

In Conservapedialand, Central America consists of just one country: Mexico, even though here on liberally-biased planet Earth Central America contains seven countries, none of which are Mexico.

Ay caramba!

April 10, 2007

Ironically, her web site makes the baby Jesus cry

Daniel Radosh

If you've been following the US attorneys scandal, you know that Monica "Fifth Amendment" Goodling is a precocious key player. If you've been following closely, you know that Goodling is a product of those second-rate evangelical schools where students are groomed for careers in Republican politics.

What you may not have realized is just how second-rate those schools are. Yesterday, Wonkette dug up Goodling's web site from her days as a graduate student at Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Take a look. This isn't some high schooler's folly. She's got her résumé up there, so she's at least hoping that employers will see it. The idea that somebody could reach law school and still write/think this way is hilarious. The idea that a few short years later this person could be an official in the Justice Department is horrifying. Even John "Ascroft" should've known better.

April 9, 2007

You can help stop the next Men in Trees

Daniel Radosh

Easiest TV focus group to get into ever. Just remember: you watch everything, you love everything, you've never done a focus group before, and you don't work for the media.

See you there!

April 9, 2007

Now you're just fucking with me

Daniel Radosh

Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek:

The Bush administration made two notable statements on energy policy early in its tenure. They were both highly controversial. The first was that the Kyoto accords, as negotiated, were "dead." The second was Dick Cheney's declaration in a 2001 speech that "conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." As it happens, both are accurate and should be at the heart of any new, ambitious policy to tackle global warming and energy use. If you haven't fainted yet, let me explain what I mean.

April 9, 2007

Man, is he gonna be surprised to find himself in Hell

Daniel Radosh

Back in college, any time someone famous died my friend Ben would shake his head sadly and say, "Why not Bil Keane?"

That's still usually the best response to a celebrity death, but this time I'll settle.

Oh man, I'm so not getting one of those blogger civility seals.

Speaking of which, just in case my obligation to finish this fucking book prevents me from churning out a satire of the proposed seals, I want it known that at least I thought of it immediately. No one's gonna say I'm not still a predictable hack, dammit.

April 9, 2007

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #94

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Dibs." —al in la

"Fucking Americans." —TG Gibbon

"Like everyone else, he'll want to play Ben Hogan. Then we'll have to break the news that Hogan's burning in hell for fingering his niece." —nell

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #94" »

April 4, 2007

Don'tcha think?

Daniel Radosh

While I'm thrilled Alanis Morissette has finally learned the meaning of ironic, that My Humps cover still can't hold a candle to Nina Gordon's Straight Outta Compton. Too bad she never made a video for it, but settle for this.

Related. An even worse fan video for The Gourd's country version of Gin and Juice. Not in the same category, since I don't really think it's meant ironically. It's pretty great, though.

Update. One thing worth noting about the Gordon and Gourd covers, and the Ben Folds one mentioned in the comments, is that they're songs you might actually listen to and enjoy entirely on their own terms. The same goes for Richard Thompson's Oops I Did It Again, Fountains of Wayne or Travis doing Baby One More Time, the entire ouvre of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and [add your favorites here]. That's because the original songs are all genuinely good. By switching up genre, the cover artists reveal the quality songwriting that often gets hidden behind the production trappings, for better or worse (depending on whether you're a fan of the original genre).

On the other hand, no one will ever listen to Alanis doing My Humps more than once or twice. Because once you get past the humor of Alanis goofing on Fergie, what you're stuck with is a lousy song.

April 2, 2007

Something to bring up when the Seder gets boring

Daniel Radosh

The truth about Passover? UFOs.


April 2, 2007

And don't even get me started on "What do I mean by...?"

Daniel Radosh

Here's how Paul Krugman begins his NY Times column today.

I have a theory about the Bush administration abuses of power that are now, finally, coming to light. Ultimately, I believe, they were driven by rising income inequality.

Let me explain.

Let me explain? Is there any more annoying phrase in the New York Times Op-Ed arsenal? It's your column, douchebag. The reason you have it is in order to explain your opinions. You don't need to ask permission.

This stupid verbal tic is both condescending — what are we going to do, not let him explain? — and arrogant. There are people who would kill for space in the New York Times, and you waste yours with this totally unnecessary locution?

Which gets it's own paragraph?

Either learn to write a real segue — one that actually links the idea of one graf to that of the following on — or skip it. It's obviously not necessary to help the reader follow your argument, since it doesn't actually do so.

Krugman has fallen back on this gimmick in the past (at least four times since 2002, according to Nexis), but the real abuser at the Times is Tom Friedman, who has asked our permission to explain 19 times in ten years.

That's like, incessant! Knock it off, both of you.

April 1, 2007

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #93

Daniel Radosh

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details. Click here to see last week's results.


"Before we get started with the origami, I want you to close your eyes and imagine how you felt the first time you realized you were doomed to an eternity of board meetings that started with origami lessons." —Shawn

"I'm not even sure what I'm doing here. I'm the death of civility in public discourse — you assholes." —Trout Almondine

"Gentlemen, we have a PR problem. The public is under the impression that this company is run by faceless suits. Somehow we have to get the message out that the Faceless division and the Suit division, while realizing certain synergies, each enjoy considerable autonomy when it comes to decision-making." —Rubrick

Continue reading "The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #93" »

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2