Sep 25, 2009

New Yorker article: "Zoo York"

This article in the New Yorker irritates me more than their articles typically do. The content of the article is alright; the writer mostly is complaining about a pedestrian zone recently constructed near Times Square. Here are the main two points that I find annoying.

Point number one

The author writes:
In 1933, the newspaperman Stanley Walker wrote, “There are chow-meineries, peep shows for men only, flea circuses, lectures on what killed Rudolf Valentino, jitney ballrooms and a farrago of other attractions which would have sickened the heart of the Broadwayite of even ten years ago.”
Who uses the word chow-meinerie? It's a pompous-sounding, ridiculous word. I'm going to start working that into conversations I have in Beijing:
"Where do you want to go for lunch today?"
"How about that greasy
chow-meinerie that just opened down the street?"
Using the word chow-meinerie should be grounds for a slap. I don't care if you're quoting someone from 1933. Find another quote.

Point number two

I think that this author, Lauren Collins, plagiarized the Diceman. She mentions:
The new plaza, in the past few months, has been a hot, smelly enclosure, filled with people sitting under patio umbrellas comparing their cell-phone screens, which is what humans do instead of picking ticks out of one another’s fur.
As regular readers of my blog will remember, I saw Dice's latest routine a few months ago, and I wrote about it on in this entry back in July. He has a bit that goes like this:

People today are assholes. They don't know how to have fun anymore.

I go to a party, all I see today: people standing around in a circle.

"Oh, look at my phone." Assholes. "Look at my phone. Look at the case my phone came in."

Asshole humans. This is what you do.

All you do today, is walk around, searching for a f*cking signal.

With buses coming at you. You're assholes.

"D-d-did ya get my email?"

And you look at the guy, "Just f*cking tell me, you're right in front of me. What the f*ck is wrong witch you today?"

"You wanna hear my ring?"

It's not going to stand up in a court of law, but I think this writer took Dice's act, cleaned it up and made it a bit more uppity for the New Yorker, and passed it off as her own. She uses the word "humans" in her observation the same way Dice does, and the overall content of the joke is the same.


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