NYT Failed Interview Fails

We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog to bring you a review of this monstrosity: Mona Simpson Quietly Embraces Art

(Go ahead, read that first. All of it. I’ll wait.)

(Done? Awesome.)

What the HELL is this, New York Times? Okay, I don’t read you often and this may be the standard of writing you publish. But if that’s so, then my complaints are the least of what you deserve if you consider that pseudo-intellectual garbage worthy of publication.

The purpose of all mass communication is to inform, entertain, and/or persuade. Can anyone tell me which, if any, purpose the article above serves? This type of writing is what every journalism, creative writing, and ANY English class I’ve ever taken has taught me to avoid. And seeing an example of it, I have to agree; this is terrible writing.

From an informative perspective, I learn that this woman, Mona Simpson, is an author and has a new book coming out. Normally, I’d expect this article to include somewhere details about this authors body of work, what the new book is about and when it’s coming out. But The New York Times is too avante garde to include any of that useless twaddle in such specific terms. We do learn a bit about her upcoming novel, but it’s lost in a lecture about the Matisse exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Instead, I learn that she currently lives in the uncultured, illiterate slums of California and misses that paragon of civilization known as the Upper West Side. She’s divorced, Steve Jobs’ well-connected sister, hates Starbucks, and her teenage son won’t read her books. In essence, I’ve read the most prosaic Wikipedia page in existence. Any useful information is lost in a maelstrom of gossipy, irrelevant factoids.

As far as entertainment goes, it failed there as well. It proposes to be a Day-In-the-Life type piece (I assume. It’s listed in the fashion section. I suppose it could be a piece detailing how to be a fashionable writer? Martinis, snobbery, and famous siblings are the keys to success?) but it’s unfocused and tangential and I’m left disliking an author who, based on this interview, is so condescending and elitist that I’m devoid of any desire to read her books.

From a persuasive angle, how am I to be persuaded? Should I go see the Matisse exhibit?

Fashionably Yours,
Maria D


About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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2 Responses to NYT Failed Interview Fails

  1. Cassandra says:

    I feel very strongly that this woman would get on with Vegan Bacon GLORIOUSLY. I think this is my favorite part: "Ready for some coffee, [she] asked a guard to remind her which floor the cafe was on. Gently, he pointed out that because the museum wasn’t yet open to the public, neither were its restaurants. She told him we just wanted a cup of coffee — clearly Starbucks was not an option, since she wrinkled her nose when he mentioned an outpost close by"

  2. There are few things I despise more than coffee snobbery. I'm sorry, but when you really need coffee, you bite the bullet and get coffee where coffee is at.

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