Literary magazine throwdown
January 8, 2013 8:41 PM Subscribe
n+1 picks a fight with:
the Atlantic: Every time a plane flies over New York, we think, “Oh my God — is it another Atlantic think piece?” We mean, “an Atlantic think piece about women.” The two have become synonymous, and they descend upon their target audience with the regularity and severe abdominal cramping of Seasonale. “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” “The End of Men,” “Marry Him!” These are articles intended to terrorize unmarried women, otherwise known as educated straight women in their twenties and thirties, otherwise known as a valuable market, if not for reliable lovers then at least for advertisers. Their purpose is to revive one formerly robust man of the house, who for years has been languishing on his deathbed: the cigar-smoking, suspender-snapping, mansplaining American general interest magazine.
Harper's: Women are the internet, and the internet is women. How else to explain male writers’ terror about taking it with them to the office? Women writers may admit they have a hard time working while online, but for men this appears to be a much more profound issue, and in some cases a hardware problem.... Men tear the ethernet cord out of the socket, they hot-glue the socket, they use computers so old they say they were made without a socket. They claim they must avoid the internet so as not to masturbate all over their computers.... But their stories of covering up and gluing shut suggest that for men the internet is in fact the site of a perverse fear of penetration. They have withdrawn into a cult of the unplugged. The magazine for these men is not the Atlantic, which treats the internet like a woman and placates it, but Harper’s, which treats the internet like a woman and ignores it.
the New Yorker (sort-of): So what’s an old magazine to do? Should it be like the New Yorker and just . . . it’s hard to say what exactly the New Yorker does on the internet.But they have only love (sort-of) for the Paris Review:
Anyway, we were very upset, and to add insult to injury our dog lost the Halloween contest to two little gerbils reading tiny dictionaries, but then we realized we could just take a Xanax and read the Paris Review.And if that's not enough to click on the link, there's this:
This complete mischaracterization of the nature of daily existence is the basis for MacArthur’s belief that eventually print will triumph over the internet. “In the long run, I think I’ll be vindicated, since clearly the [online] advertising ‘model’ has failed and readers are going to have to pay . . . if they want to see anything more complex than a blog, a classified ad, or a sex act.” (“Sex act!” We can’t help it, the phrase makes us fantasize: MacArthur is prone on a chaise lounge, and he’s not alone. There’s another person in the room, and it’s his analyst, who’s having a field day with that phrase, “sex act.”) So that’s where the women are: having sex on the internet.
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