Monday, June 18, 2007

The backlash begins

I warned you about the backlash. Here it is. Hold your noses and put on your spatter smocks, kids, because this one is a full-on hatchet job, and even goes so far as to lead in with an unflattering physical description of me, which is always the mark of the total pitbull attack piece. Nice touch right up top is where the writer, John Heilemann, uses the phrases “enfant terrible” and “eminence grise” in his first paragraph, just to let you know he took some Latin in high school. You see, this is New York magazine, whose motto is, “No, um, we’re not The New Yorker, but we’d like to be,” and where everyone has a tiny dick complex because they really want to be working at the New Yorker and they would be, maybe, if they didn’t suck so bad. But they do. So what do you get? Pages and pages of overblown, puffed-up prose, mostly rehashing old info (Steve Jobs is an asshole) but done in this breathless, long-sentence style that’s meant to make you think you’re reading a really smart Malcolm Gladwell-style piece of business journalism. Executive summary for those of you too lazy to read the entire awful eight pages: Everyone in the phone business is scared about the iPhone, and they’re hoping it will be a flop, but nobody (including John Heilemann) can say yet whether it will sink or swim; Steve Jobs is a dick and everyone hates him and if the iPhone fails his career is over.

Sorry, John Heilemann, but when you set us up with a big cover calling me iGod and making me look like shit, and when you get half the magazine for your story, we expect you to deliver something new, something interesting, something jarring, something smart. In short, something we didn’t know before. We’d also expect you to maybe find out something bad, or to at least have the balls to say you think the iPhone is going to flop, instead of saying “maybe it will, maybe it won’t.” For that matter you might do your readers the courtesy of admitting that you hate me for arousing such feelings of man-lust in your tiny heart, and that your obsession with El Jobso is a way of masking (and, paradoxically, indulging) the hard-on you have for me. You might also just admit that New York magazine is just trying to cash in on the hype around the iPhone and looking for any excuse to put my face on your cover so you can sell more copies; but you think you can look cool if you dress it up as some kind of cynical, pseudo-psychological deep-think business piece.

Instead, John, you just come off looking like some guy who wishes he still worked at the New Yorker.

Right. As if. Friend, you’re getting an Azzie award.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nick Denton, Owen Thomas named to Vanity Fair "New Establishment" List

Big news for Gawker Media prez Nick Denton and his new protege Owen “Mr. Bigglesworth” Thomas (above). They’ve made the Vanity Fair list of people who matter. Not the official list, but the spoof one that the kids in the CN building pass around. They call it the “As If” list, or “the Azzies.” Other recipients: Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Mark Cuban and Jason Calacanis. Poor Calacanis actually thought it was a real award and threw some big party for himself. And today he declared on his blog that he is more important than Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan and Martha Stewart. Dude, get a grip. You flogged a piece of shit blog network to AOL for $25 million and scooted out before they realized it’s worthless. This does not make you a Master of the Universe. Sorry. Denton and Thomas, meanwhile, responded by vowing to figure out once and for all who Graydon Carter is.

BTW, I’m thinking we should do our own Azzies award ceremony, perhaps by category. Nominations welcome, especially if they include a reason why this person should receive an Azzie.