Why Donald J. Trump is our president: Saturday morning, there it was, as fresh and as cool as the proverbial "other side of the pillow!"
The report had been published online at 6:30 AM. This is the way the report was described in MOST RECENT/VIEW ALL, Slate's main list of its featured contents:
STRATEGIST EDITORS / SEPT 7, 2019 / 6:30 AMFinally, but also at last! Finally, we were going to get some straight talk concerning some news a person could actually use!
When Should You Replace Your Pillows?
Hungrily, we clicked Slate's link. Main headline included, the report to which we were taken started as shown below:
STRATEGIST EDITORS (9/7/19): When Should You Replace Your Pillows?By now, we were truly curious—and perhaps a bit ashamed. We'll admit that we've never given much thought to the question of pillow replacement and when it should take place.
For something you use every night, pillows are surprisingly easy to forget to refresh. If it feels a little lumpy at bedtime, by morning you’re probably more focused on your coffee than last night’s sleep. But when exactly should you replace your pillows? The sleep specialists we reached out to had varied opinions.
We make the analysts sleep on their arms, or perhaps on their shoes, in their spartan sleeping quarters. And when it comes to our own pillow replacement needs, we've never achieved an appropriate focus. We've never much wondered or cared!
Now, though, the unnamed "Strategist Editors" had reached out to several sleep specialists—and it sounded like the specialists held competing views! When do you need to replace your pillow? The unnamed editors' unhinged report continued exactly like this:
STRATEGIST EDITORS (continuing directly): Dr. Joshua Tal, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, told us he has heard that anywhere between two and seven years is a good time frame for pillow life expectancy. Dr. Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, said you can expect a basic poly or down-alternative pillow (also known as fiber pillows) to last only six months to a year. And Dr. Michael Gelb, a TMJ and sleep specialist, told us fiber pillows usually last one to two years. All agreed that down pillows last a bit longer—“three or more” years, says Gelb—but can be difficult to clean, which can, according to Kennedy, lead to “allergies, congestion, and even snoring."The editors had spoken to two psychologists and to a TMJ specialist, whatever the heck that is. But their views on how long a pillow might last were all over the place.
If the varied time frames are a bit confusing, you can always try what Tal calls the “shoe test,” coined by sleep specialist Michael Breus. “What you do is you fold your pillow in half, put a shoe on the back side of the pillow, and then let go of the pillow,” says Tal. “If the pillow folds back into shape and flings the shoe off of it, you’re good. If it doesn’t, it’s kind of lost its ability to hold your head up properly.” (Just be sure to use a substantial shoe and not, say, a flip-flop.)...
In fairness, Dr. Tal only shared what he has heard about the subject at hand. He then suggested the old "shoe test"—and do not use a flip-flop if you adopt this approach!
We encountered this piece on Saturday morning, soon after it was posted. The inanity continued from the place where we've left off—and yes, this utterly silly report was included by Slate in its list of the day's most important reports.
For the record, the Strategist Editors eventually recommended a list of ten pillows. The list included the Wamsutta Extra-Firm Side-Sleeper Pillow and the Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded-Memory-Foam Standard Bamboo Pillow With Cove [sic].
The Bluewave Bedding Ultra-Slim Gel-Infused Memory-Foam Pillow also made the list.
As it turns out, Slate partners with New York magazine to bring us this recurrent feature from the STRATEGIST EDITORS. These are four of the editors' most recent reports at their home STRATEGIST site:
What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Scalp Brushes and Pimple PatchesTwo obvious questions: Who the golden age of Pericles is Johanna Hanink? Also, why was her peculiar-sounding report just "told to Karen Iorio Adelson?"
By The Editors
What to Buy to Look Like: A Classics Professor
By Johanna Hanink as told to Karen Iorio Adelson
The Best Shoe Racks and Organizers, According to Professional Organizers
By Lauren Ro
Novelist Helen Phillips on the Only Item of Clothing She Wore on Her Book Tour
By Helen Phillips
Incredibly, Hanink is reported to be "an associate professor of classics at Brown University." According to the editors, she's the author of How to Think About War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy.
According to Adelson's report, we were "hear[ing] from" Professor Hanink "on the sun hats, tote bags, and posters that are popular among classics professors." As a result, readers would know what to buy to look like a classics professor!
Two key points:
As best we can tell, this wasn't a joke—and we've made none of this up. Having said that, we'll also say this—on Sunday morning, at 6:30 AM, Slate also posted this report, listing it in its main table of contents:
I Shave Off My Calluses With This Funny ToolHow badly do the people at Slate want to bring us this type of reporting? This what-to-buy callus-shaving report originally appeared at New York magazine on May 11, 2017! Slate had journeyed back two years in time to bring us this top information.
Yes, Baby Foot is a much-cherished tool, but sometimes a peel just won’t cut it.
By STRATEGIST EDITORS
The sheer stupidity of this material helps us understand why a person like Donald J. Trump is now the American president. But before we start to deproblematize so weighty a matter, let's discuss a feature we encountered early Sunday morning, in that day's New York Times.
In this particular cultural meltdown, the main report was written by Wesley Morris, critic-at-large for the famous newspaper.
Needless to say, Morris graduated from Yale (class of 1997). In 2012, he won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work at the Boston Globe.
Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale? That he did so more than twenty years back? In Sunday's morning's New York Times, his lengthy report carried this online description:
‘Friends’ Is Turning 25. Here’s Why We Can’t Stop Watching it.Again, we felt embarrassed. We had no idea that the NBC sitcom Friends debuted in the fall of 1994, twenty-five years ago. We didn't know that the endlessly rebroadcast show was observing its 25th birthday!
Morris has been paying attention! As he began to muse about Friends, he was soon saying this:
MORRIS (9/8/19): “Friends” was easy TV at an elite level. So many jokes, so much body comedy, so many surprises and awwws, and squeals of live-studio audience excitement. Hairdressers were doing—and not infrequently botching—the Rachel. Coffee shops became people’s second homes. Tens of millions of Americans watched all of that writing and directing and acting, all of that seemingly effortless effort, for all 10 of its years. That work and a country’s devotion to it feels like proof of a golden age of something.Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale; that he writes for the New York Times; and that the upper-end journalistic guild once awarded him its highest prize?
We repeat those facts for a reason. As he continued, Morris seemed to say that he can't stop watching Friends even in these latter days:
MORRIS: [T]he many nights I’ve spent recumbent on my sofa laughing at, say, Ross and Phoebe debating evolution, or Phoebe, Joey and Ross impersonating Chandler, or Chandler blanching at Monica’s desperate new cornrows or Rachel taking forever to tell somebody who the father of her baby is—those nights have never really been about the situation comedy of “Friends.” They’ve only ever been about us—me and these six people—and my apparently enduring need to know what they’re up to and how they are, even though I’ve known for 25 years.Morris offered this cry for help in yesterday's New York Times!
Readers, don't misunderstand! A ridiculous newspaper like the Times would never let such an august occasion pass with just one lengthy tribute from one of its prize-winning critics.
We've often described the New York Times as our nation's dumbest newspaper. Yesterday, the entire front page of its Arts & Leisure section was consumed by a heartbreaking photo of the abandoned Friends set. Inside the section, the paper's high-profile Sunday edition featured these essays, along with the effort by Morris:
'Friends' Is Older Than Some of Its Biggest FansAgain, you think we're making this up. Go ahead! Click our links, or take a look at yesterday's Today's Paper listings. And by the way:
By Nancy Coleman
25 Years Later, It Turns Out Phoebe Was the Best Friend
By Sloane Crosley
Why 'Friends' Won't Get Rebooted
By Saul Austerlitz
Grieving About Canceled Shows? Get Over It
By Margaret Lyons
Coleman, Crosley, Austerlitz and Lyons all seem to be actual people. Coleman graduated from college in June and is now a New York Times "culture reporter." But the other three, joining Morris, can't be excused by their youth.
So far, we've mentioned a classics professor from Brown and an award-winning, aging Yale grad who seems to think he's actually friends with six fictional people who went off the air way back when. We'll return to the peculiar behavior of our professors and journalists as the week proceeds.
So far, we haven't mentioned the most embarrassing thing we saw in yesterday's New York Times. But these first observations do start to explain the deeply dangerous state we're all in, a matter we'll be "interrogating" all through the course of the week.
Tomorrow: At the Times, Scott Hershkovitz "is a philosopher"—and so is [NAME WITHHELD]!