Tuesday, January 11, 2022

From The New Yorker

[From The New Yorker online.]

What are “we” supposed to make of it? I don’t feel the need to make anything of it.

This piece of Cultural Comment characterizes Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as “our two biggest tastemakers.” Again, with the first-person plurals. Your taste, not mine.

I asked someone who’s much closer to popular culture than I am about the phrase “our two biggest tastemakers.” She thought it must be a joke — until she read enough to realize it isn’t. This piece also calls Kardashian and West “one of the most iconic celebrity-mogul couples in the world.” Yep, in the world. At least the writer didn’t choose “on the planet.”

Our household began to wonder months ago about whether to renew our decades-long subscription to The New Yorker. Elaine has given up on the magazine without hesitation. I’ve wavered. This effort at humor put me off. Recent errors of fact about Ralph Ellison and Frank O’Hara, unacknowledged and uncorrected, also put me off. (Yes, I wrote to the magazine.) “Kim & Kanye & Pete & Julia” feels like a message of sorts: this is no longer for me, at least not on a subscription basis.

If this site for advertisers can be trusted, the average age of a New Yorker reader is fifty-four. As I wrote in a previous post, I think the magazine is pitching not to the readers they have but to the readers they hope to acquire, which is one way to lose readers they have, or once had.

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