The stale idea that classical music is dead has been repeated so many times that it’s not really worth being bothered by anymore. But an article published on Slate today argues the grim notion with such narrow-minded certainty that I can’t help taking issue with it.
Poor Megyn Kelly. She had a tough time last week, after the lame stream media jumped down her throat for proclaiming to kids at home watching The Kelly Files--by the way, whose kids are those??–that ”Santa just IS white,” while trying to argue against Aisha Harris’s Slate piece that it was time for a more racially diverse Saint Nick. (“Just so you know,” she added, “we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”)
According to Ms. Kelly, this was not her definitively telling America’s youths about the skin color of an imaginary person. It was all part of her injection of “humor” into her show, which of course was “lost on the humorless.” On her show on Friday, she defended her Santa missive, saying the message was “tongue-in-cheek.” Totally. Fox News. Where people go to get all their news told to them with a wink.
“This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel,” Ms. Kelly said, witlessly.
Around the town
Fall seems to be makeover season for the city’s top news sites.
September alone saw the redesigns of Slate and The New York Post, and this morning, New York Magazine announced it was joining the renovation club.
Kinja! Gawker founder Nick Denton is “set to unveil ‘a manifesto’ of sorts that will outline Gawker’s plan to further blur the line between reporters and readers and explain readers’ rights.” (The New York Times)
Slate explains its redesign. (Slate)
Slate’s editorial director John Swansburg was on Reddit today, answering readers’ questions, which the counterintuitive webmag handily made into an easily digestible post.
What did we learn? Good question! Well, if given the choice between fighting one panda-sized David Plotz and 100 David Plotz-sized pandas, Mr. Swansburg would choose the latter. In the event of a Zombie attack, Mr. Swansburg “would surrender immediately and throw [himself] on the mercy of the undead,” he wrote. But then again, he is “not a zombie guy, never have been.” Sometimes, his own writing can be a powerful tool for social change. For example, ever since he wrote about how much he hates birthday dinners in 2008, Mr. Swansburg hasn’t been invited to a single one. He views this accomplishment as a direct result of his seminal piece.
Poor Justin Peters. The Slate scribe probably hadn’t heard about The Times Is on It Twitter account when he signed up to do what most of us would consider the impossible (or at least the super-foolish): Try to “embody” seven trends created discovered by the NYT’s Style Section, to become the most stylish man in New York. (Except, obviously, Brooklyn.)
Slate readers can now assign Slate writers stories. How’s that for counterintuitive?
In a stunt reminiscent of a Slate explainer, the website is turning assumptions slightly askew and then making a case for that assumption. For the next week, that assumption is the editorial process whereby an editor assigns a writer a story, a writer writes it and then a reader Read More
Get ready. Katie Roiphe, “one of Slate’s most provocative columnists,” will discuss her admiration for messy lives at the New York Public Library on next week. Ms. Roiphe’s new collection of contrarian essays, In Praise of Messy Lives, provides the jumping off point for a conversation with NYPL’s Paul Holdengräber, as well as a flurry of Read More
off the record
We recently noticed an interesting reader-submitted review on Amazon for Jessica Grose’s new novel Sad Desk Salad. Slate editor David Plotz (Ms. Grose’s former boss, as she was a senior editor at Slate and most recently wrote for the site in August 2012) submitted a review just like any other normal book-buyer. “I Read More
“Last night we did a version of this where we walked down the aisle!” said Atlantic senior editor Hanna Rosin at the beginning of a debate last Wednesday at the Maritime Hotel, on occasion of the publication of her book, The End of Men. “It was like our wedding!”
She had just come onstage along Read More