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”

Trend of the Week: Hipster Ubiquity

Q: What do you call someone who looks just like you, who you’ve never met?
A. A stupid fucking hipster.

Yes, the hipster has long served as a convenient scapegoat for people who aspire to be hip without the “-ster”.  Onto them, we project our insecurities about our own superficiality, inauthenticity, and even insecurity itself.  What better way to spackle over one’s embarrassing desire to be cool, then to point at some guy wearing pants a millimeter skinnier than one’s own and say “see that guy?  He’s obviously desperate to be cool.  Sad, really.”  But hipsters aren’t just a collective figment of our neurotic late-capitalist imaginations; they’re also a trend.  Since hipsters are defined by trendiness, this represents a meta-trend, a trend in favor of trendiness itself.  In “The Hipster Trap,” Steven Kurutz grapples with the contradictions and Derridean aporias created by his own internally incoherent mental conception of the “hipster.” Continue reading “Trend of the Week: Hipster Ubiquity”

Trend of the Week: British Suits

I typically ignore the New York Times‘ “On the Runway” fashion reporting.  It’s not that I’m not interested in fashion, both personally and as a cultural phenomenon, but rather that articles about fashion shows and other events in the world of haute couture are so abstruse, they might as well be business section news about “On I.P.O, CDW to Fall Short of Boom-Era Valuation” or “S.E.C. to Vote on Proposal to Overhaul Money Funds.”  They might as well be about the N.B.A. draft.  Fashion reporters say things like “there was a bilge of chore jackets” and “Wherever Mr. Jones goes, he never loses sight of Vuitton’s sensibility….What Mr. Jones managed to reserve from the distilled American elements was a casual attitude.”   While conventional trend pieces strain too hard for relevance, high-fashion trend pieces take place in a rarefied world of tastemakers we’ve never heard of and cultural watersheds that have utterly failed to have any effect on us.  But it’s time to get over this aversion.  It’s time to learn what an honest-to-God fashion trend looks like, courtesy of Suzy Menkes’s “In London, All Hail the Suit.”

Continue reading “Trend of the Week: British Suits”

How to Be Perfect

In the past, this blog has perused the New York Times for insights on how to be cool.  Today, we turn to a more weighty topic.  While coolness is of abiding interest to lifestyle journalists, many of the luminaries profiled in the Times‘ pages transcend mere hipness; they are consummate examples of human perfection, without flaws either inside or out.  How can we emulate them?  Let’s find out.

Continue reading “How to Be Perfect”

Trend of the Week: Extreme Facials

Here’s a little Cosmo-style quiz.  Instead of testing your Penis Perspicacity, you’re finding out whether you have what it takes to live the New York Times Style section lifestyle!  Just think about the question, formulate your answer, then read on to find your score.

You look in the mirror, and notice your skin isn’t looking very radiant.  You want to look younger, eliminate wrinkles and clogged pores, and have softer, more supple skin than ever. What do you do?

Continue reading “Trend of the Week: Extreme Facials”

Trend of the Week: Nail Polish

It’s impossible to keep up with New York Times inanity.  Every day there’s something to be incredulous about — like “truth vigilante,” “men invented the internet,” or the time David Brooks said his 12-year-old son’s “heroes include John Boehner and Tupac Shakur.”  Trying to read it all is like drinking from a fire hose, never mind producing comprehensive blog posts.  To make a greater dent in the backlog, I am launching the “Trend of the Week” series.  Each week, I will explore a recent (or not-so-recent) craze presented to us by the Paper of Record.

Today, we examine “Once Staid, Nail Polish Becomes Fashion Accessory,” by Style section colossus Ruth La Ferla.  Continue reading “Trend of the Week: Nail Polish”

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”