Monday, January 31, 2005

The composer was a cop, by 100 Monkeys

What a stupid fictional story in the Op-Ed pages of today's New York Times. Compensation came in the form of marvelous letters to the editor. Here's one I particularly liked:

jespatimes - 9:22 AM ET January 31, 2005 (#14931 of 14946)

The Composer Was a Cop -- and Chris Marcil Is a Flop.

I cannot begin to comprehend why the NYTimes wasted space on this "Op-Ed." As far as I can tell, it does not voice any opinion about anything whatsoever. It is pointless and humorless. (Perhaps it is somehow related to the "one hundred monkeys, one hundred typewriters, one hundred years" concept.)

Perhaps I have a misconception about the operation of a newspaper like the Times, but I would have assumed that someone there would pre-read, and exercise some judgement [SIC] about, what is printed. I can't imagine that anyone with one iota of sense would consciously choose to publish such meaningless drivel.

I remember learning in one of my college English classes that the NYTimes is written at a higher language level than most other US papers -- it's typically at an eighth grade comprehension level. (Perhaps that has changed in the intervening years.) I can assure you that if I had submitted Marcil's piece to my eighth grade English teacher, she would have returned it with an "F" grade... one of her criteria was content. Marcil had absolutely none.

The editor who approved Marcil's piece is due for a review from his supervisor, reminding him that there is nothing to be gained by insulting the readers' intelligence.


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