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the Illogical uses of a New Yorker Magazine, or What {the hell…} to do on Labor Day

I mean, seriously.  What the fuck is Labor Day, this imposter holiday, this obtusely xeric excuse for the rabble not yet ready to give up summer?

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Oh, that’s what Labor Day is.
Let’s Play Charades:

Call me a neophyte, but aren’t we in a recession? I’m the first in line for quixotic celebrations, but doesn’t the American worker most need to Work?  Hey– it isn’t as bad as the 80s.  Right?
Question: If a “Labor Day” falls during a “recession”, does it make a sound?

"ulmus americana"

Talk about useless.  Every time I’m in the can, I’m stuck flipping through warped copies of old New Yorkers.  (Now would be a good time for any of you individuals keen on the hegemony of said magazine to stop reading. Sorry, my treacly in-laws.)
What do I have against “The New Yorker“?  I’m glad you asked.
I’m the type of person who reads from cover to cover (the last page notwithstanding).  With the– Can we cut the crap and just call it TNY from now on?? *ahem*  Reading TNY cover to cover is like taking a bath with Howard Taft: it may seem jocose at first, but after about 20 minutes, you’ll never be seen again.

*comic taken from aquietmoment.org

The amount of, excuse me, bullshit in TNY is pernicious.  Who would read anything so baroque, so eristic, except that its damned verisimilitude wiles us into it?  (Also, we are stuck in the bathroom with nothing else to read!)  A Sampling, if you will:

My spell-checker has never heard of “tankini,” so perhaps you haven’t, either.  Bottom half bikini, top half tank top, the tankini was concocted in 1997 by the swimwear designer Anne Cole.  Have you met the other sisters in the kini clan? The camkini is a tankini but with the spaghetti straps of a camisole.  The bandeaukini, a.k.a. the bandini, has a tube top upstairs.  You don’t need me to tell you what a skirtini is, or a halterkini.  The monokini is a topless bathing suit… ad infinitum. gag me with a spoon. who gives a crap/did i seriously pay five bucks for you to give me a loquacious “ini-ology” spanking?

*words in italics, mine.

Because everybody dwells in history together, all at once, Cavafy refused to divvy up the available moods into one pile appropriate for obscure Byzantines and another for his Alexandrian rent boys.  This makes him a master of mismatched affect, bringing tenderness to Nicephorus III Botaneiates (the eleventh-century Byzantine emperor), to Apollonious of Tyana (the neo-Pythagorean near-contemporary of Jesus), and to Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes (the second-century rhetorician and author of a single extant parable, about grief).

Seriously? No, really…seriously?? I just had to convert my keyboard to 3rd century Greek in order to type that.  Call me a silly English teacher, but isn’t the point of using allusions to make the text easier understood for your reader?

“The popularity of the Little House books…helped create a constituency for politicians like Reagan who sought to unsettle the so-called liberal consensus established by New Deal politics.”  Considering the outcome of the November election, and the present debacle of laissez-faire capitalism, that popularity may have peaked.  On the other hand, it may not have.  Hard times whet the appetite for survival stories.

Little House on the Prairie is a fulcrum for Conservative Political Agendas?  Give me a break.  I watched this show for hours upon hours, and owned the entire 9-book cavalcade, and I could give a rat’s ass about Reagan’s uncanny ability to “unsettle” anything “so-called.”

whats conservative about this?

"what's conservative about this?"

TNY is known for its “cartoon art” (which you can buy online, for a mere arm and several legs), but I find the ad content to be the most compelling reason to read.  There’s your standard luxury car and other-things-real-people-don’t-buy ones (2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin, anyone?), along with the germane 1/3 page “book invitations” put out by The New Yorker Promotion Department.  And, of course, the pitiful “shoes for wide feet” and Single? section.
In a August 2009 issue I was lucky enough to scoop up from our local library’s “one man’s trashed magazines is another man’s treasure” table, I also discovered a melange of miniscule advertisements that one is obviously supposed to ignore unless no one else is watching them read: an “elegantly appointed environment” in which to allay the symptoms of any psychiatric conditions (alas–they don’t take insurance); a working farm/long term treatment facility for those addicts desiring “a unique program with affordable care and real recovery”; and, for those TNY zealots whose needs still haven’t been met, the “unparalleled” & “unsurpassed” Pavilion at McLean (it’s Harvard affiliated!).  Clearly, reading this magazine has insidious {mental} health effects.  Say what you want about the tabloids, at least they’re not a cesspool of exclusive (read: odd) psychiatric services ads!
I don’t know about you, but I never know what to do with myself on Labor Day.  Am I to labor? Or celebrate labor by not laboring?  Assuming I’m not one of the lucky few to actually experience labor on Labor Day, I should probably just not do anything, least of all continue to repeat the laborious, out-of-fashion word labor.  Faire: Cesser d’être un douchebag à l’ancienne.
Maybe I’ll just clean the bathroom; I can use the pages from TNY in place of paper towels, and maybe make a collage of cover images to spruce up the walls.  Seems like something I could manage without debasing or shriving my Protestant work ethic hiatus.
Alternatively, I could read.  If only I had something worthy lying around.

9 responses to “the Illogical uses of a New Yorker Magazine, or What {the hell…} to do on Labor Day”

  1. llxt llxt says:

    re: "I will have a hard time picking up the new yorker, now, without thinking of Howard Taft." Good. My work here is done. 🙂

  2. Avatar Dave says:

    Hey, where's the "y" word?

  3. Avatar stacyparkeraab says:

    Really enjoyed this. Did you have to force yourself to stop? Methinks your case could have continued for days…

  4. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Great piece, except I have no clue what "xeric," "jocose" and "eristic" mean,

  5. llxt llxt says:

    so, that's why you're in there so long?

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