Exhibit A. I hope this review in the NYT of the latest translation of The Three Musketeers is the first and last time someone compares Cardinal Richelieu to Dick Cheney. I mean, I know this reviewer's only, er, "literary" achievement is writing a book about people writing about movies, but surely the comparison should go the other way round? And what the hell is Charles McGrath thinking giving a review of a new translation of Alexandre Dumas to that guy? Mr. McGrath, perhaps you'd like someone who actually reads French and might have some idea of how to judge the translation next time, instead of using someone whose basis for judging a 19th century masterpiece is that its author was totally nutty and that it would make a great movie. I mean, I know you're trying to publish for a wide audience, but don't you know that the Times is, or at least used to be, the smart New Yorker's newspaper? The dumbasses are all reading the Post on Sunday morning. I'd like to volunteer for the job of writing reviews that respect the work and the readership at the same time. Call me.
Exhibit B. When I read Overhead in New York, I am at once reviled and proud: reviled at the cult of imbecility that's taken over the place, and proud of the witty souls (sadly, the minority of the population) who write these nuggets in and edit them so brilliantly. For example:
You Know, Someone Asked For a 'Book' Again. That's Like the 100th Time Today!
Customer: Do you have The Picture of Dorian Gray?
Employee: What is that?
--Barnes & Noble, Park Slope
via Overheard in New York, Aug 13, 2006
But don't despair, I've got the antidote here. That is, as long as she gets a teaching job in NY when she finishes her dissertation a couple years down the road. But it would be perfectly understandable if she wanted to leave.