How to read better or boil an egg, but also sex/race/gender: We'll admit it—we've been serially gobsmacked by New York Times culture of late.
This morning, "How to Read Better" is back in the daily "Here to Help" feature on the reimagined page A3, which serves as a constant source of amazement.
To her credit, Tina Jordan never tires of teaching Times subscribers how to improve their reading! In this morning's feature, subscribers were given such pointers and bullet-points as these:
"To read deeply, make sure you set aside at least 15 minutes to read your book."At one point, Jordan seems to suggest that readers should use their fingers to sharpen their focus as they fight their way through their books. "It can help to use your finger on the page to underline text as you go." Or so Jordan alleges.
"Notice if you start to skim or skip sections."
"Keep a dictionary nearby."
"Use a highlighter (or sticky notes)."
Presumably, the Times knows its readers and subscribers much better than we do. That said, we're constantly amazed by the way the paper talks down to these people on its reimagined A3.
Page A3 is almost always an education—and a source of puzzlement. Higher up on the page this morning, we were offered the day's top quote:
Quote of the DayA lot was happening in the world yesterday. At the constantly puzzling Times, that was some editor's idea of the day's most arresting statement.
FOR SOME, A 3-HOUR GAME IS A GREAT TIME TO KNIT A SWEATER
"I could miss a home run, but if I hear the crowd, I could always look up. It's not over by the time I look up."
VICTORIA POJRAZOV, a regular at Toronto Blue Jays games who appreciates the pace of baseball games because they allow her and other knitters to enjoy two hobbies at once.
Breaking! In the daily feature called "The Conversation," the article How to Boil the Perfect Egg has finally disappeared. As we noted yesterday, this report had spent two days on the list of most-read, most-discussed articles.
That said, one article concerning food did appear on today's "most read" list—Weeknight Dinner Around the World, in which "food editors asked families around the globe to show us what they have for dinner on a typical weeknight."
There's nothing "wrong" with a widely-discussed article of that type. That said, we were struck to see one of yesterday's opinion columns on today's most-read list:
The ConversationWe'll bite! Does it matter that Chanel Miller has turned out to be, in Ko's formulation, "white and Chinese-American?"
FIVE OF THE MOST READ, SHARED AND DISCUSSED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM
5) Why It Matters That 'Emily Doe' in the Brock Turner Case is Asian-American
This Op-Ed article by the novelist Lisa Ko argued that the history of white demonization of Asian women should inform how readers understand the narrative of Chanel Miller, the victim known as "Emily Doe" in the infamous Brock Turner rape case, who released a memoir this week.
Opinions will likely differ! For ourselves, we'd say that Ko didn't "argue" the point the Times describes so much as she simply asserted it. Your assessment may be different.
At any rate, it seems to us that Ko published a column which captures the essence of a great deal of onrushing New York Times culture. That's especially true when her column is conjoined to Concepcion de Leon's earlier report about Chanel Miller's new book, a news report we briefly mentioned earlier this week.
No one should ever be a victim of a sexual assault. That said, the Times' "infamous Brock Turner rape case" didn't involve a conviction on rape, or even any such charge. The possible problems with New York Times culture continue on from that relatively minor error.
No one should ever be the victim of an assault. When we review Ko's column and de Leon's news report, we won't be debating that obvious point. Instead, we'll be discussing some of the ways the Times, and the wider liberal world, are currently dealing with important matters involving sex, gender and race.
Ko's column struck us as quite poor, in highly recognizable ways. We thought it tells us a great deal about evolving New York Times culture.
We'll discuss Ko's column in the next day or so. Did we mention the fact that no one should ever be the victim of a sexual assault?