10.25.2004

Hi lovelies! I am back, just in time to be even more annoyed by the furor over this year's National Book Awards fiction nominees.

I tried to keep up while I was out of town for a couple of days, but even reading one or two things gave me that headache that I always get from too much eye-rolling when I read Us Weekly or Star. Like every time Mary-Kate and Ashley's stylist says, "They're so into vintage right now!" or Jessica Simpson recounts calling her mom during her honeymoon to say, "Gosh, Mom, sex is so amazing!"

That's a fairly good analogy for how I feel about most of the NBA coverage: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

This latest hot copy comes from New York magazine, which has gotten a lot better under new editor Adam Moss but still makes me think of a cover with a picture of a shoe and a screaming "hot styles for fall!" headline in terms of word association and sidelong glances as I pass a newstand. On the rare occasion that I do pick up a copy, it's because I really enjoy reading the event picks and short features by Boris Kachka, and am, at least, a little less irked by his take than that of oh, let's just say some publications that might as well have their masthead on a punching bag for what we think of them around here.

Speaking of word associations, I have to say that NEW YORK = PAROCHIAL is not one of them. In fact, when I think of PAROCHIAL, I'm sad to say that there are cities in approximately 49 states that would spring to my mind before New York.

But that's what Kachka quotes the National Book Foundation director as saying:
“And what do we do?” asks foundation director Harold Augenbraum. “We end up with a parochial lineup. Who would expect that all five would be women from New York?”
Since when do talented people of every imaginable persuasion and gender not move by the thousands each year to New York to find success and achieve their dreams? Are they moving somewhere else? Somewhere less PAROCHIAL? Literally, where on fucking earth could that be? Seriously, I DID NOT get that memo.

Countless songs and movies, and every cheesy cliche I can think of illustrate that age-old journey from small town roots to the bright lights of the oh so PAROCHIAL city that never sleeps. Why? Because things happen here. Or maybe not. I mean, I can't even imagine five male authors living in New York! What if all five nominees for a prestigious literary award were men living in New York? How could that occur without fundamentally altering the fabric of the universe? It could never happen! That would be crazy! New York might then even qualify as a bustling village, or even a large town!

Well, that will be the day. The day that people get over their 1950s hang-ups.

xo,
Lauren
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