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Media

March 30, 2007

It's Not You, It's Your Article

Here's what appears to be the New York Times's view of the dating world: Really rich folks from elite universities eat expensive food together and discuss stuff like whether the woman should work and where they should keep a summer share. The various revelations about exciting new trends in the relationship world are provided in the form of anecdotes from ridiculous people who sound like close friends of the writers. In the most recent iteration of this theme, we learn that for some people—hold the phone—the type of apartment that their date keeps can be a real deal-killer.

The central thesis comes in the form of this thought from author Joyce Wadler:

Spring is here and the restaurants will soon be filled with anxious and hopeful couples, ordering wine, dusting off their most luminous lies, thinking they might finally have found love. Then they will see their dates' homes for the first time. And suddenly some of them will realize that they cannot be with this person a moment longer—or at the very latest, because that wine was not cheap, beyond the next morning.

Wadler collects the requisite anecdotes—including ones about two gay couples, for representativeness—and cobbles together a story about how various things like stuffed baby seals, high-tech marijuana equipment, and stuffed animals can snuff out a budding romance.

Of the last of that list, Wadler tells us the experience of Jason Bunin, whom she describes as a "bad-boy chef." Bunin says, "You see it more in younger girls, like between 21 and 25. Pink, purple, teddy bears, unicorns, all over the bed. I'd just whack 'em off with my arm."

Maybe Wadler realizes that her article is full of masturbatory prose, after all.







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Comments

- Media
- posted on Apr 04, 07
Sam

Isn't the Style section becoming too easy a target? I don't think they really try to be representative or pretend to describe big social trends. The Style section makes its living finding interesting anecdotal phenomena. Interesting-ness may be debatable, but I don't think anyone is fooled by the importance of these articles.
That said, I have my own example of the Style section's non-representative-anecdotal reporting. Sunday's section led with an article about lesbian parties at the Dinah Shore golf tournament. While I have no idea what the parties are really like, I am confident that the women pictured in the photos are not representative of most attendees. There is nothing wrong with illustrating a style article with the best-looking lesbians, but the photo editors seem to have gone out of their way to crop-out the other kind of lesbian.

- Media
- posted on Apr 05, 07
David Goldenberg

Let's not give up on the Style section just yet. It's been home to some incisive reporting on the death of casual sex in New York, plus it contains what is often referred to as the women's sports pages. (And because the NYT is willing to recognize weddings that the government does not, those women can include the attractive lesbians you mentioned.)


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