Doubling The Annoyance Factor: The Instantly Recyclable Column.
June 30, 2002 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Doubling The Annoyance Factor: The Instantly Recyclable Column. Spot the differences between Taki's High Life column in this week's Spectator and his Le Maitre column in this week's New York Press. Obviously, all columnists recycle their stuff, specially when they've been on the job for more than 25 years like this guy, but there's generally a time-lag and a modest attempt at hiding the self-plagiarism. No such bloody luck with Taki.[ To my mind, the most objectionable, reactionary, trumpet-blowing, futile, deeply annoying (but, alas, not unreadable...)columnist in the English-speaking world.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (16 comments total)
As I emailed both editors....

"What a prat?
You pay this guy?"
posted by dash_slot- at 2:39 PM on June 30, 2002

posted by dash_slot- at 2:40 PM on June 30, 2002

So, being annoye with this is some sort of Real Writer media insider thing, isn't it? A guy wants to publish his piece through multiple outlets, I don't see the harm. Does it seem like wimping out or laziness? Not to me. But then I'm not a professional writer, I don't know this guy's work or his contracts, and I have never heard of the places he's publishing. Perhaps he's committed a heinous sin in someones eyes, but not mine.
posted by majick at 2:52 PM on June 30, 2002

As my grandfather got further and further into his seventies he began telling the same stories over and over. Often, he'd tell the same story twice in a row and just change the major characters. We soon tired of this, and now every time he starts to tell a story we throw a shoe at him.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:10 PM on June 30, 2002

if you feel the need to read objectionable, reactionary, trumpet-blowing, futile, deeply annoying writing just because it is readable, you need to visit a library. life is short and there are many people who both write well and are worth reading...
posted by andrew cooke at 3:35 PM on June 30, 2002

Dave Barry's column seems remarkably similar in various papers I read, too.
posted by ph00dz at 4:43 PM on June 30, 2002

well, if he didn't have an exclusive contract, I don't see any harm in him gettin' paid twice.
posted by delmoi at 4:53 PM on June 30, 2002

the most objectionable, reactionary, trumpet-blowing, futile, deeply annoying (but, alas, not unreadable...)columnist in the English-speaking world

He sounds like a good writer to me! The fact that his work was published twice is a tribute to his ability as a writer.
posted by banished at 6:29 PM on June 30, 2002

Taki is pretty hilarious, and a complete jackass. Interesting and a good writer though. MC pretty much hits the nail on the head. And the recycling bit is not the same as Dave Barry or a syndicate deal-- this is basically phoning it in but I would have to think that he informed the editors of both, otherwise it's not so good... Remember that the NY Press is pretty much only read in NYC and online and it may be that Mugger doesn't have a problem with it
posted by chaz at 7:18 PM on June 30, 2002

New York Press isn't even read much in New York City.
posted by TurkeyMustard at 8:14 PM on June 30, 2002

Taki has told the Stoppard story before. I can't seem to find the previous incarnation on Google, but I'm pretty sure I'm right. It might have been a while ago (I used to get the print edition of the Spectator). Google does turn up Taki admiring Mr. Stoppard at Conrad Black's annual summer party for all the beautiful people. Taki wrote that one up in the Observer two years ago. The Spectator is a good magazine, but I think Ancient and Modern is their best regular column. That and the word/ phrase origins column. Their other diarists are much more interesting than Taki as well. I assume their advice column is intended as a joke. Read that way, it's pretty good on occasion. They almost fired Taki because of his flirtation with anti-semitism. Flirtation? Hell, he got to third base with it. They should replace him with Mystic Meg, a woman who writes for some of London's finest newspapers.
posted by hwright at 3:33 AM on July 1, 2002

is this the famous cocaine importing/arrest taki? i think we should be told. i am with andrew cooke on this one.
posted by asok at 4:32 AM on July 1, 2002

This is the Taki I think, that was a press spokesman for the Greek Military Junta... is he not?
posted by talos at 5:19 AM on July 1, 2002

Look, the editor of NYPress is well aware Taki writes for =Spectator=; perhaps Taki thought that Mr. Smith was busy watching baseball to not bother reading his column across the pond. On the other hand, it is very likely he knows about the repeat and considers NYPress and Spectator to have different audiences.

As for nobody reading NYPress, I rather doubt it. I stopped reading the Village Voice a couple years ago, because it was evident no competent editor even bothered looking at the crap that was written. And even if I do not agree with most of the opinions expressed by NYPress columnists, whether conservative or liberal, it is written with some semblance of style, grammar, and content.

Besides, where else would you see such an excellent column as Old Smoke?
posted by meep at 5:44 AM on July 1, 2002

Old Smoke is capably written, and NY Press does occasionally turn out some good First Person content. But as a general rule, the paper spends its intellectual capital throwing out extreme opinions in the hopes of pissing someone on either side off and making themselves feel better about existing far in the shadow of the declining, but still more respected Voice.

Oh, and Taki is absolute crap. Just awful. I can't help but read his trainwreck of a column, but I sure wish I could.
posted by Sinner at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2002

Private Eye will have a field day with it. I'm just surprised that Taki's stuff isn't as ghosted as Tararararara P-T's.
posted by riviera at 7:50 PM on July 1, 2002

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