Pleasin’ for the Season: The New York Times Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

It’s Christmas Eve already, and most of us ordinary salt-of-the-earth working people have been much too busy to find gifts for everyone on our list.  Fortunately, there’s hope:  The New York Times has spent the whole year alerting us to the best deals, steals and must-have items, so with the help of this curated guide, you’re sure to find something for everyone.  Just have your personal assistant print out this list, circle the items you think your loved ones will enjoy, and have your personal assistant run them over to those people’s houses by Christmas morning.  Enjoy spreading holiday cheer! (Read the 2011 gift guide here). Continue reading “Pleasin’ for the Season: The New York Times Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide”

The Two Stupid Faces of David Brooks: David Brooks Is an Idiot, Part III

Everyone always makes such a big deal about search engine optimization, but I don’t see anything impressive about it.  Search engine optimization is easy.  For instance, let’s say you’re a blogger, and you have a target audience who is interested in a variety of topics, such as “David Brooks idiot,” “David Brooks stupid,” “David Brooks hack,” “David Brooks asshole,” “David Brooks dickhead,” “David Brooks imbecile,” “David Brooks sucks,” “David Brooks wack,”  “worst David Brooks,” “David Brooks waste of organic matter,”  and “fire David Brooks.”  Just create blog posts about those topics, using those words, and internet success will be yours! Continue reading “The Two Stupid Faces of David Brooks: David Brooks Is an Idiot, Part III”

Cookie-Hoarder in Paradise: The Mysteries of the New York Times Travel Section

With summer winding down, time is running out to plan your vacation.  The New York Times travel section can help.  Or it could, if you ever looked at it.  You might never have perused the pages of this section, even if you’ve been a subscriber for years.  With its hundreds of thousands of words a day, even dedicated readers don’t have time to explore the obscurer corners of the publication.  And after all, this is a newspaper that can turn shopping for a stool into an excruciating exercise in status-symbol posturing.  One might naturally be reluctant to find out just how snobbish they can get when the subject is Thai yoga retreats or fine dining in Paris.

The Travel section does offer some helpful, informative pieces, written from a neutral perspective and designed to help the typical traveler find her way.  But this format is difficult for a jaded journalist to pull off, lacking as it does in personality or narrative interest.  And the periodical format’s hunger for novelty makes it inevitable that some scribes would package their experiences as news.  Furthermore, world-weary professional travellers can sometimes lose touch with the mindset of overworked provincials.  Thus the matter-of-fact articles are often overwhelmed by those that try to juice up their subject with trend-piece glamour, or drag it down with angsty moaning and luxury-problem griping.   So, in this, the first in a (very occasional) series on the lesser-read sections of the Times, we’ll explore the most common Travel pitfalls to watch out for.

Continue reading “Cookie-Hoarder in Paradise: The Mysteries of the New York Times Travel Section”

Jesus Saves, but Santa Clause Splurges: The NYT Last-Minute Gift Guide

Christmas is almost here!  If you haven’t finished shopping for gifts, don’t panic.  The New York Times is here to help.  They’ve spent the whole year finding the best trends, the most must-have products, the hottest artisans and designers.  I’ve searched their archives and selected the greatest gift ideas of 2011.  Just check out this list, figure out what categorie(s) of recipient your loved one(s) is/are, and have their dream gift shipped overnight!  What could be easier?

Continue reading “Jesus Saves, but Santa Clause Splurges: The NYT Last-Minute Gift Guide”