In which your humble Transom editor interrogates—via IM—media editor and Off the Record columnist Tom Scocca regarding the Thursday Styles section of the New York Times.
Off the Record It is time to revive an old feature.
The Transom Oh is it?
Off the Record The frisky new Foer-tified Nuevo Republica is running a takedown of… THIZZURZZDAY STIZZYLEZZ
The Transom Oh hell no.
Off the Record Oh yes.
The Transom WHERE’S MY NEWSPAPER?
Off the Record TNR is still behind the curve, since as I reach for Thursday Styles, I am once again distracted by House & Home.
The Transom Are you implying that H&H is the new ThurSty?
Off the Record I am SAYING it.
The Transom WHERE IS MY NEWSPAPER?
Off the Record It’s not the new ThurSty, it’s the new STYLES OF THE TIMES.
The Transom I found my newspaper. It was in the trash.
Off the Record If you want a good old-fashioned cavalcade of human folly and atrocity, H&H is the place to go.
The Transom OMFG. Anchovy is on the front page of H&H!
Off the Record There’s like a cumulative FIFTEEN FEET of fake-blonde hair in the front picture.
The Transom Anchovy, the dog of choice!
Off the Record I like the chick who’s making the ZOOLANDER face. BLUE STEEL! That’s the famous Anchovy?
The Transom Yeah, that’s the dog that’s always licking Moby. ALWAYS licking Moby. Not just sometimes licking Moby, like some young writers.
Off the Record Celerie and Anchovy, not Celery and Anchovie.
The Transom I get that confused!
Off the Record All of which reminds me that those swine at Le Pain in the Quotidienneaux screwed me on the anchovies with my egg salad sandwich.
The Transom They fucked me on the cornichon.
Off the Record I got cornichon aplenty. A cornichonucopia.
The Transom So, I see. You’re so right about H&H.
Off the Record Celerie covered the walls in fake lizards! Oh: lizard. Just the pattern. Shoot.
The Transom And, look inside H&H! “It was March in Provence, and Maria Pergay’s summer house was chilly, its vines and trees stripped of greenery.” Any story that starts that way must end in tears of happiness.
Off the Record And up front: “Chandeliers fashioned from chicken wire”!
The Transom It all rather makes Alex Kucynzski, uh, Kuzynsicki, whatever look a bit pale….
Off the Record “My boyfriend’s asparagus plume fern….” Discuss!
Off the Record So much more interesting than, like, freelance writers maundering about their wombs. But, in the New Republic….
The Transom Really? There’s a New Republic? Oh my goodness. This is sort of long!
Off the Record Yeah, it’s got more Foer. So is she holding up Sunday Styles as a rebuke to Thursday Styles?
The Transom I’m not sure what she’s rebuking. She is fairly vicious with Trip Gabriel, however.
Off the Record “The focus today remains on the culture of the wealthy rather than just their stuff.” OK, F. Scott.
The Transom Is she saying Thursday Styles is a Lil’ Kim video?
Off the Record But, what is the culture of the wealthy if not their stuff?
The Transom Well: Manners? Customs?
Off the Record Look at House & Home! The custom is for them to decorate each other’s interiors! They help each other!
Off the Record Rich people have stuff. That’s what makes them rich!
Off the Record They throw their stuff around. Sometimes they throw their stuff at artists to encourage them to make art.
The Transom And then their children sell the stuff; they change that stuff back into money. Then they change it into stuff of their own. Then perhaps have someone decorate around that stuff.
Off the Record Sometimes they use their stuff as backing to put out low-circulation political magazines rebuking the Negroes.
The Transom Ah. So yes: Sunday Styles debuted “at a time when New York was less flush and more tribal” and was “fundamentally about people.”
The Transom This so-called “New” Republic is confusing me. I don’t think this story was written by someone who lives in Manhattan.
Off the Record “Unlike its Sunday counterpart, ‘Thursday Styles’ focuses not on glamorous others but on you, the reader.” Me? The reader?
The Transom I think that’s a fancy way of saying “high-end service journalism.”
Off the Record “This is delicate work considering that even many ultra-affluent Times readers belong to the ambivalently wealthy ranks of the “Bourgeois Bohemians” profiled so piquantly in now-Timesman David Brooks’s 2000 classic, Bobos in Paradise.”
The Transom How piquantly? SO piquantly!
Off the Record Didn’t she namecheck “Bobos” in the opening sentence, without the belaboring Timesian explanation?
Off the Record (An aside: Actual sentence from today’s New York Times: “A Republican opponent of the bill, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, has compared the exercise to whack-a-mole, a carnival game in which a player hits one mole with a hammer and another pops up.”)
The Transom A “carnival,” which is a sort of fair at which people play games such as whack-a-mole.
Off the Record I feel like they left a lot of room for trouble by not explaining that the moles are fake plastic moles, not actual living creatures.
The Transom Oh, someone’s getting some angry letters, no doubt!
Off the Record Maybe Celerie Kemble could cover somebody’s wall with fake plastic moles!
The Transom I’m sure she has.
Off the Record And where would we read about it?
The Transom NOT in Thursday Styles.
Off the Record Fake lizards, fake moles . . . HOUSE AMPERSAND HOME!
Off the Record Oh my word, now she’s QUOTING DAVID BROOKS.
The Transom But in her defense? I think that’s just house policy at their “New” Republic.
Off the Record To quote David Brooks?
The Transom Oh surely. May I request a sidebar?
Off the Record Hit me.
The Transom Fishbowlny is currently taking WWD to task for their breaking news story on Mariah Carey, who has signed a monster deal with Elizabeth Arden.
The Transom Fishbowlny is all “This is breaking news? Snarf!” Well, guess what. It’s WWD. It’s HELLA big news in that industry, you idiots.
The Transom IT’S A TRADE PUBLICATION. THEY ARE COVERING THE TRADE WELL.
The Transom I’m sorry. I’m done now. It just irritated me.
Off the Record Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
The Transom Well, I guess I made my peace with ThurSty a long time ago. And then? They yanked my ThurSty out from under me. And H&H sidled up in a little mink croptop to seize the scene.
Off the Record Damn skippy.
The Transom And now? ThurSty: Nail Moisturizer? Fake oxygen facials, that everyone already knows are fake?
Off the Record There’s nothing IN it! They had to put Alex K. on page one instead of saving her for the inside!
The Transom Environmentally-correct gold? REPORTED IN ILLINOIS?
Off the Record Right! They’ve bumped up Ms. K. She’s what they got! A giant cartoon?
The Transom And? Check the ads. There’s Bergdorf’s, but? There’s About.com. And there’s the NYT. THEY. ARE. RUNNING. HOUSE. ADS.
Off the Record Yeah, so much for craven whoredom.
The Transom Okay, there’s more ads on page G2. But that ain’t much.
Off the Record Meanwhile House & Home is rocking full-pagers from Stihl, Gracious Home, and Design Within Reach.
The Transom They came to where the DIRTY FLAVA is. Where goeth Celerie, so goeth the, uh… Monie. I mean Moby. I mean Money.
Off the Record And how.