Tag Archives: Joyce Wadler

“Booming” officially bust

Well, that didn’t take long. The New York Times has announced that its online Booming section, which I wrote about when it first sprouted, is going away.

Say it isn’t so. Can’t you just hear the anguish from the aging multitudes, suddenly and forever deprived of a defining voice, a place to call home in this wild new world?

Me neither. If this was such a hot idea, why not a “Gen X” or “Millennial” site, to say nothing of a “Greatest Generation” site? The closest thing to an explanation from the Times is “While the blog has been popular, eliminating it as a daily report will allow The New York Times to free up resources for other new ventures.” Translation: “Our page views are lower than Congress’s approval ratings. Thank God we still have jobs.”

I hope this doesn’t sound egotistic, but I really think the site fell victim to what I described in my original post: A lot of us are already tired of being “Boomers” and had no use for yet another entity that just reinforced the stereotypes. The whole point of the 60s was to reject the old rules, be our own selves, and not be defined by what others see.

In fairness, some of the site’s features had merit. Joyce Wadler’s columns are usually a real hoot and always worth reading, and the stories about divorce could help those of us who are trying to stay spliced. But the Music Matches, which tried to pair up the classics with like-sounding contemporary artists, exemplified the whole problem with “Booming”: it was a buzzword in search of a rationale. If our music is so special, why must we listen to what are usually pale imitations in order to stay relevant, cool, and young?

A lot of great songs are older than any boomer and will be touching people’s hearts long after we’re all gone. Right now, when the haters and goons are attacking a Coke commercial in which people sing “America the Beautiful” in their own languages, there’s one song that sounds every bit as true, real, brave, and full of love as ever. Maybe you can get through it without crying. I couldn’t.


Padding your payroll

A few weeks ago, I alerted you to a new cultural trend: men (!) resorting to surgical enhancements to escape the torment of flat butt syndrome. You might have thought this was a bum steer, but I’m now pleased to report that this issue has been recognized by an actual Newspaper, in a column by Joyce Wadler, one of the best and funniest writers anywhere.

Ms. Wadler recounts how shocked she was to find that le derriere had gone le flat, but instead of rushing to a doctor, she chose the sensible solution and ventured into the brave new world of padded (lower-body) unmentionables. Not being afflicted with FBS (if anything, I’ve got a touch of the opposite problem), I had no idea there was such an amazing assortment of these garments out there! Sorry to tell you, guys, but wadding up a couple of old socks and duct-taping them to the inside of your jeans won’t work. No prob, though: you can order some real padded BVDs (be sure to check out the “Tight End” and the “Boybubbles”) from any number of websites and probably from any gay shop in Manhattan. Hey, no one will ever know except the NSA.

While we’re on the subject (underwear), I couldn’t help noticing the latest gimmick from Fruit of the Loom. It seems that if you post to your LinkedIn account that you’ve changed jobs or found a new one, you’ll get a nice little message offering you a free pair of FOTL undies! Why? “Because great-fitting underwear can help you start your workday in a great mood.”

Oy. I’m all for leveraging synergies but this seems like terminal TMI. Let’s get a show of hands: How many of you would (a) delete the message (b) accept the offer and wear the goods with pride (c) donate them to the nearest homeless shelter, or (d) speed-dial the vice squad to report that “Some pervert is trying to mail me underwear!” What if you’ve got a gender-neutral name like Jess or Gaga, and instead of manly-man boxers, you end up with pink bikinis (or vice versa)? At the very least, you’d be confessing your preferences in panties to yet another corner of the ‘net.

I would like to note that I have NOT acquired any new jobs lately, and if FOTL is watching, please don’t try to compensate me for these humble words. However, I do know a potential customer who’s recently gotten a new gig. His name is Francis, he lives over in Rome someplace, and he probably does have a LinkedIn account.