Between the pervert-dungeons of Reddit and the free-floating bigotry that is any Facebook feed, you’d think we would have quit being surprised by the sexism baked into the internet. It’s still offensive, naturally, but this New York Times op-ed about Wikipedia relegating our country’s notable female authors to an “American Women Novelists” subcategory has such a hopelessly narrow focus it’s almost funny.
Once again, let me reiterate: the Wiki nerds’ move to shorten the unwieldy “American Novelists” list by ghettoizing the writers without a penis is galling and wrong and more than a little stupid, organizationally speaking.
But you know what? My cousin was a Wikipedia editor when he was eleven years old. I don’t expect great things from that bunch.
I mean, take this accidentally hilarious (and humblebraggy) paragraph from the op-ed:
"I belong to an e-mail group of published female writers called WOM (it stands for Word of Mouth). Some of the members are extremely well known. On Tuesday morning, when I made my discovery of this sexism on Wikipedia, I sent them an e-mail about it."
The discovery of sexism on Wikipedia? That’s like saying Christopher Columbus discovered … eh, you know. I hate to say that nerds will be nerds, but I have a sinking feeling they will.
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That tears it: David Brooks’s just fantastically idiotic argument against freedom(!) in The New York Times yesterday—not going to link, you’re welcome—has me convinced that a few of the Gray Lady’s opinion-machines need to be put in a death dome and forced to fight a battle royale. Don’t act like you’re not with me.
Not all of them, okay? I’d like to see Paul Krugman in a little referee outfit, for one. And Gail Collins would provide sparkling color commentary, I’ve no doubt. But to see Thomas Friedman pile-drive Nicholas Kristof, only to have Kristof produce a machete from his last African sojourn and spill the man’s guts: oh man.
Brooks, I think, will have to take on Ross Douthat for the position of so-called token moderate conservative. The two of them hacking into each other with barbed-wired baseball bats would be such a glorious literalization of their day-to-day work. Winner goes on to face Maureen Dowd, who will not be permitted to assume her dragon form.
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Farewell, News Corp. media property The Daily, and flights of angel investors sing thee to thy rest. Your iPad-only content was too thrilling for this world. I mean, probably. I don’t have an iPad (or any comparable tablet), so how the hell would I know? I’m just assuming that anything Rupert Murdoch pours $30 million into at the outset is really going to pop.
The future of magazines will be officially shuttered on December 15, ending a nearly two-year run of stellar pop culture aggregation that you definitely couldn’t find for free almost everywhere else on the web, so enjoy these final two weeks before darkness descends and you can no longer enjoy playful listicles of suggested names for Kate Middleton’s baby. Except on Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and the sides of graffiti-prone buildings.
Some of the assets and 120 employees—though how it took that many people to produce something that apparently no one read is a mystery; I’ve often accomplished the same all by myself—will be shifted to other News Corp. companies, The New York Observer reported. In particular, editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo “will serve as the new publisher of the New York Post.” Might that fabled paper be next on the chopping block? Well, they’d have to lose a lot of money each year. Like, even more than they already do.
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Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, former publisher of The New York Times, died today at his Southampton home at age 86. The Sulzberger family said he had been battling a long illness.
Sulzberger’s grandfather bought the Times in the late 1800s and publishing passed in the family through the male heirs. "Punch," as he was nicknamed, became publisher 1963 and helmed the Times for 34 years. During the Nixon era the paper published the Pentagon Papers, a dossier on the the U.S. Department of Defense’s involvement in Vietnam, The battle between the First Amendment and national security that foreshadowed Wikileaks. Sulzberger’s tenure also oversaw the integration of more women and minorities into the newsroom.
Sulzberger is remembered in a long obitutary on the New York Times web site today.