February 23, 2004

New York, New Yorker, New Yorkest

Yet another belated New Yorker, delivered to Sweden on donkeyback, I'm sure it was, and yet again I couldn't shake the feeling this institution is going through a spate of mediocre issues: A 34-year old student collects lost gloves on the Upper West Side? The diary of a neurotic webstalker with a boring target? A Shouts & Murmurs that is spectacularly unfunny in its exploration of "Instructions to everything"?

These stories wouldn't make it into the blogs I read, I thought. Wow. Maybe it's not that The New Yorker is getting much worse, but that New York blogs are getting much better. Eurotrash is far funnier than Shouts and Murmurs; Gothamist and Gawker are better at trendspotting than Talk of the Town; Maud Newton's got her finger on the literary world's pulse like none other; Felix, Terry Teachout and Michael at 2 Blowhards have got the New York arts scene covered — to name just a very few of the stars in the New York blog firmament. The New Yorker still holds the crown for long articles and fiction, but for much longer?

Can New York bloggers please all just stand back for a minute, look at what you have wrought, and pat yourselves collectively the back? This has got to be New York's most impressive literary renaissance since the Beat writers, and the snarkiest since the Algonquin Round Table held sway (and begat The New Yorker). Have there ever been so many New Yorkers writing as well as today, within a community that approaches a meritocracy?

For expat New Yorkers everywhere, you are a godsend. I kiss you.

Posted by Stefan at 02:18 AM GMT

i generally agree- although i did find the stalking article pretty fascinating. not as fascinating as getting my own stalk on, which i don't get to do as much as i like anymore, but what can you do?

Posted by: jake on February 23, 2004 03:37 AM

From stalker to stalkee -- see, now THAT I would like to read.

Posted by: Stefan Geens on February 23, 2004 12:53 PM

"For expat New Yorkers everywhere..." Stefan, just to remind you, you are not from the big apple, but the small sprout.

Posted by: charles on February 23, 2004 03:12 PM

while Stefan does have a point, I'm afraid that the editors at the New Yorker might notice his point as well and continue a disturbing trend: the importation of internet memes into "old media"

sure, it's a good idea in theory. but in practice it seems to lead to disaster: AOL-Time Warner, Matt Drudge's radio show, those annoying Quiznos commercials with the singing lemurs...

if the New Yorker were to turn around and hire some of the writers Setfan points to, they would quickly become as staid as the current "Talk of the Town" scribe. it's the nature of the medium.

the solution then, is maybe to have the New Yorker stick to the long-form articles and fiction, and not try to fight the much-quicker blogs on more ephemeral matters (trucker hats, etc).

Stefan- i like the banner image you put up to reflect the NYCentric posts of late..

Posted by: mike d on February 23, 2004 03:54 PM

but of course stefan. we are in the midst of a cultural rennaissance to rival, not just the algonquins and beatniks, but the VERY DISCOVERY OF LITERACY ITSELF. and you, of course -- though modesty forbids you from saying it outright -- with your links to MF have played your own small part in association with the van of this major cultural seismic shift.

no, i'm being sarcastic. leaving aside your claims of new yorker-dom, of all your posts, this deserves a whole new vocabulary; �ber-vain psychotic-delusional meta-hubris doesn't begin to describe it. the implication that you'll be PHD thesis material in a few decades isn't as necessary laughable so much as it's unnerving. i haven't noticed any major snarking, by the way, in any of these sites, very interesting though they all are may i hastily add lest i be snarked at.

as dotty parker used to schlur loudly to harpo marx over the bacon butties, what a load of hairy bollocks.

Posted by: eurof on February 23, 2004 06:31 PM

Stefan Geens, truly the William Hung of the blog world. (http://www.williamhung.net)

Posted by: Charles on February 23, 2004 06:49 PM

Pick your PHD:

�ber-vain psychotic-delusional meta-hubris and early 'New York' blogging

Spirit of Adventure: Virtual New York and psychotic pioneer bloggers

Beatniks and Bloggers - from Kerouac to Geens

I can see any of those taking at least five years Eurof - but where are you going to get the funding from?

Posted by: Jez on February 24, 2004 09:29 AM

nick denton?

Posted by: eurof on February 24, 2004 12:51 PM

See, everything witty you write in retort to my post only proves my point! You'd have to be much duller in your retorts if you want to convince me you are not snarkmasters.

Posted by: Stefan Geens on February 24, 2004 02:20 PM

In its own way, that's really quite clever, Stefan. Kind of like the new Mel Gibson movie --"No, really, I *want* to be crucified."

Posted by: Charles on February 24, 2004 02:39 PM

Oh! You did it again!

Posted by: Stefan Geens on February 24, 2004 04:35 PM

I'm not sure I want to be the dominatrix in a session of blogging bondage any more, I feel a little ill. The image of Stefan in rubber would surely do that to any self-respecting multi-celled organism.

Posted by: charles on February 24, 2004 07:03 PM