After a brief hiatus for vacation and a string of various Thursday-happening crises, we once again return to Thursday Styles With Tom Scocca, in which The Transom sits on its post-lunch ass in the office 15 feet away from On The Record man Tom Scocca, the New York Observer’s media dude, and blathers about the New York Times’ Thursday Styles section. Why? Dunno. For better or, most probably, for worse, The Transom is pleased to present today’s (tardy) IM exchange.
The Transom: Which trimester is Jodi Kantor in? The third?
The Transom: Her two most recent bylines: On September 11th: “Move Over, Doc, the Guests Can’t See the Baby,” the story of hordes of people who cram into delivery rooms to experience placental joy. Then, on September 15th: “Expecting Trouble: The Book They Love to Hate,” the story of the most popular and least helpful book on pregnancy.
The Transom: Listen, shit, I’m all about write what ya know too, which is why I mostly write about smoking and having sex with gay Republicans.
Media Tom: I knew a guy named Jodi once.
Media Tom: He was a boxing referee.
Media Tom: He pronounced it “JO-die,” with a long I.
The Transom: Well, I’m wishing this Jodi a short and blessed delivery in a not-too-crowded room. Although, hell, since it’s all the rage, maybe she’ll invite us? In fact, I’m looking forward to her and Amanda Hesser trading recipes on fried placenta.
Media Tom: Mandy, presumably, will just use Jean-Georges’s.
The Transom: I’m SURE Tom Keller has a lovely green pepper and placenta soup.
The Transom: Speaking of The Way We Eat/The Way We Live…
The Transom: Isn’t that a particularly infantilizing construction? Have we talked about this?
The Transom: It’s like, “This is the way we row the boat, row the boat…”
Media Tom: The inclusive editorial “we.”
The Transom: Right!
Media Tom: Does that mean “we” get input on the mayoral endorsements?
Media Tom: Because I think we wouldn’t have been quite such dicks to Ferrer.
Media Tom: We think the New York Times should maybe not be smacking their endorsees with the back of our hands quite so nastily hard.
Media Tom: Our endorsees?
The Transom: The Way We Live seems to me to be not such bastards, yes.
Media Tom: Sometimes, the way we live is confused. For instance, Guy Trebay. “Sometimes it all runs together, the 180 shows, 70 in tents and the rest in showrooms and garages and //” CUT!
Media Tom: You’re right, Mr. Guy Trebay! It does sometimes all run together!
The Transom: Well, to their credit, Thursday Styles has addressed the news of the day!
The Transom: This is a FIRST!
Media Tom: Or, you know, the news of yesterday.
The Transom: Good enough! Well, sure. The news of the second-to-last day of fashion week. Whatevs! For them, it’s like writing about 2009!
Media Tom: Sorry, I’m hung up on Mr. Guy Trebay’s prose style. See, it’s like, there’s TOO MUCH STUFF to process, so I’m going to pack TOO MUCH STUFF into a run-on sentence to show what it was like.
Very sophisticated. Except writing confusingly about being confused is just confusing.
The Transom: There is the possibility that Mr. Trebay has ingested drugs this week, as has most of the City.
Media Tom: Somewhere far downstream in the roiling waters of that sentence, I see “Samantha on ‘Sex and the City'” and “naked,” which means I am steering the Poke Boat of my readerly attention straight for the nearest muddy bank and clambering on out. Bon voyage, Mr. Guy Trebay!
The Transom: And, of course, any “Samantha” reference does mean that Thursday Styles is writing about, oh, 1999. So. Perhaps I was wrong to praise them.
Media Tom: “Sex and the City”–was that a television show?
The Transom: I heard it was a book!
The Transom: Hey, there’s something very odd about how Gwen Stefani ended up on page 6…
The Transom: Could it be… That the LA Times wrote the same story last Sunday, and they thought, ACK, and bumped it back?
The Transom: LAT: “She greets a guest on Sunday, five days before the big event, and the collection is far from finished. Stefani is blowing into her SoHo design studio after a music rehearsal for the show, and even here among the see-and-be-seen crowd on Broadway, there is no question that she is the star.”
Media Tom: Now you are accusing the New York Times of being (1) on top of current events AND (2) responsive to the competition.
The Transom: That’s true. I’m not accusing them of actually reading the LA Times.
The Transom: Now, from the NYT: “ON Monday, with her spring 2006 fashion show just four days away, Gwen Stefani careered around her showroom in downtown Manhattan like a wayward billiard ball. One minute she was instructing her patternmaker where the ruffles should go on a chiffon evening dress; the next, listening intently with Zaldy, her head designer, to a few bars of music she had written for the show.”
The Transom: The LAT even got into her studio a day earlier.
Media Tom: But it is Gwen Stefani.
The Transom: True. I think I’m going over this afternoon myself. Here is what I will write: ONE DAY BEFORE HER BIG SHOW, GWEN LIKES MUSIC. AND ALSO CLOTHES!
Media Tom: She is totally Exhibit A in my upcoming PowerPoint presentation: You Are Not a Model, So Please Get the Fuck Off That Magazine Cover, Thank You.
Media Tom: Exhibit B is that sow Renee Zellweger.
The Transom: !!!
Media Tom: Look, Gwen. You were the cutest gal on the ska-punk scene. That’s like being the best hitter on your seven-and-under tee-ball squad. That doesn’t mean you get to bat cleanup for the Yankees!
The Transom: Right. You’re sexy in fucking ANAHEIM.
Media Tom: Yes! As a model, you’ve got stumpy legs, a thick torso, and no facial bone structure at all.
The Transom: Let’s face it. At 102 pounds, SHE’S FAT.
The Transom: SHE’S ENORMOUS.
Media Tom: Cow.
The Transom: REVOLTING.
Media Tom: Like, do we listen to Christy Turlington playing guitar? No, we do not.
The Transom: I have a confession to make. Alex Kuczynski is starting to grow on me in that “I’m fucking nuts, I’m Joyce fucking Wadler, ooga-booga!” sort of way.
The Transom: Plus, like you, Tom, Ms. K. shows this week that she is incompetent in other languages. Although hers is a Romance language, not fucking Mandarin. Wuss.
The Transom: Hey, Alex has the Guy Trebay run-on-sentence thing going too!
Media Tom: Distracted by fashion week, line-editing is OVER.
The Transom: The Way We Write Now: Fucked UP.
Media Tom: Maybe Jodi should take on a little editing.
Media Tom: I like how in Alex’s adventures among the Negroes, race is only implicitly mentioned.
The Transom: In the photo, only *the mannequins* are ebony.
Media Tom: “Harlem brownstone…washcloth set embroidered with ankhs….a sense of adventure….hats are a staple…”
The Transom: Oh Shit. Penn Station!
Media Tom: Hmm?
The Transom: [The Transom is offline]