Monday, November 19, 2007

How Sweet to Be An Idiot

The institutional nervous breakdown at the New York Times continues apace.

After the triumph that was yesterday's Worst Op-Ed Page Ever -- Maureen Dowd peddling bizarrely revealing Mandingo fantasies, another essayist asserting that Ronald Reagan was no racist even though he supported white supremacist policies, and Tom Friedman advising Obama to keep Cheney as vice president because he's crazy(!!!!) -- now comes perpetually irksome pop music writer Kelefa Sanneh's review of Taking Chances, the new Celine Dion album.

Two flights of fancy in particular stand out.

It has now been a decade since Celine Dion first shared the musical electrocardiogram [emphasis mine] that has come to define her career.

He is, of course, referring here to the hit recording "My Heart Will Go On."

Heart. Electrocardiogram. Get it?

But wait, there's more sledgehammer irony!

“Taking Chances”... starts simply enough, with the title track, with a strummed guitar and an absurd plea: “Don’t want to be alone tonight, on this planet they call Earth.” (By the way that last prepositional phrase, portentous and meaningless, can be tacked onto just about any lyric in need of extra oomph: “Sweet home, Alabama, on this planet they call Earth”; “You lived your life like a candle in the wind, on this planet they call Earth”; “We be big pimpin’, on this planet they call Earth.”)

Laugh, I thought I'd die.

Seriously, I lack the words to describe just how embarassingly awful the piece is. But in case you want to experience the rest of it in the full bloom of its Sanneh-ishness, you can read it here.

Kelefa Sanneh -- still the undisputed grand master of the Everything Is Great, Even The Obvious Shit school of music journalism. His editors at the Times must be so proud....


shrimplate said...

Somebody has stolen Maureen Dowd's brain and in its place has substituted Jerry Garcia's tormented liver.

Anonymous said...

For more on our favorite Choate/Harvard man.

steve simels said...


Jeebus -- it's even worse than I thought.

Sanneh's the Chris Matthews of hiphop journalism. Bizarre mancrushes....

Anonymous said...

He's the Rex Reed of pop criticism.