Wow. The Times can really be a jerk sometimes

Michelle Cottle over at The Plank has described this article from the Style section of today's Times as "the single meanest, snottiest piece I've ever read in a real newspaper." And you know what? I think she may be right. It veritably drips with sneering condescension and preening self-satisfaction.
J.C. PENNEY has broken free of its suburban parking area to invade Herald Square, and the most frequent question on New York’s collective lips seems to be: Why?

Why would this perennially square department store bother to reanimate itself in Manhattan — in the sleekest, scariest fashion city in America — during a hair-raising economic downturn, without taking the opportunity to vigorously rebrand itself? Why would this dowdy Middle American entity waddle into Midtown in its big old shorts and flip-flops without even bothering to update its ancient Helvetica Light logo, which for anyone who grew up with the company is encrusted with decades of boring, even traumatically parental, associations?
Having been raised in a small town in mid-Missouri were Penney's was often the best game in town, I would like to proclaim a hearty "Screw you!" to the jerks who thought that they needed to ruthlessly mock a store where many Americans shop.

I loved living in New York, and still miss it a lot. But one thing I don't miss at all is the pressure to dress in a hopelessly cool way, in stride with all the other painfully cool people around. It was like being in an endless junior high lunch room. (Now that I live in Maine, which is not known for its sartorial flights of fancy, I still look relatively stylish wearing duds I got at H&M years ago.) Why the paper of record felt the need to write something so flagrantly mean is beyond me.

But you know what else is grating about this? Apparently, the Times also felt the need to tell us today (in unrelated articles) that having a pot belly is suddenly fashionable (for men only), and that we should all be leaving the house looking like this:


  1. You just ain't a-kidding; how dare they ridicule Penney's? Maybe to get a rise out of us Midwesterners. Or to make James Cash Penney himself roll over in his grave.

    The guy in the photo on the upper right looks like Buddy Holly might have looked in the late '60s.


  2. actually the pot belly article grates on me even more, just because it's so blatantly lacking in anything resembling actual reporting. I SAW SOME DUDES WITH PAUNCHES HEY IT'S A TREND. at least for the JCP article the writer apparently went to the store and tried a few things on.

  3. I thought that pot belly article was hilarious, too. I particularly loved that, for an expert opinion, the writer did the grueling work of interviewing his own personal trainer.