Saturday, June 6, 2009

With Unemployment At 9.4%, NYT's Alex Williams Writes Humor Piece About Career-Changers. Ewwww.

There's really not much we can add to the horror of Alex Williams's cover story in Styles tomorrow, "What's Your Backup Plan?" -- in which the NYT reporter, ridiculing the fact that so many Americans are talking about a "Plan B" when they lose their jobs, tries out three new careers. For laughs.

We could attack Williams for using his NYT connections to procure the jobs. We could ridicule Williams for his witless prose. But mostly, we want just to shake our head in amazement at Williams -- and Trip Gabriel, the editor who allowed this story into print -- for the insensitivity of turning a national unemployment crisis into fodder for comedy.


Anonymous said...

Though written about Sotomayor, a recent Mother Jones blog post gets to the heart of the problem that leads to crap like this:

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate the Styles section, I didn't see much wrong with it. Oh, I guess it could have been more earnest, but I don't know if anyone can be as serious and as earnest as you want them to be.

If he's too cavalier about the plan Bs, then you're too serious, assuming that life owes you a fantastic job. If this job melts away, then the deep bass bells must toll solemnly while we all sit and sob. Then winged knights must be dispensed from some liberal castle to avenge these terrible layoffs.

Sheesh. They're just jobs. If we lose them, I think it's much easier to look on the bright side and think about the fulfillment that comes from providing the world a clean restroom.

Anonymous said...

This actually could have been a fascinating piece; it's true that I've heard that "Plan B" comment a lot.

But it's not funny at all when everybody you know has either lost their job or is afraid of losing their job. How does a New York Times reporter thinks the idea of a forced career switch is basically a clever comedy premise?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see what kind of story this guy writes when he gets his own ass kicked to the curb.

Anonymous said...

What's weird is that they aren't even real jobs. Dog massage, high-end chocolate, perfect organic pork and veal, it's all the lah-di-dah crap you hear about from Muffie on the next mat at yoga class.

Of course, that's the kind of buzz Style is after. This is part of the NYT business model?

Anonymous said...

Thank you! It's so nice to not be alone. I am not a huge fan of the NYT, and I just pieced together that their last few articles about the recession that have made me cringe and want to hurl have been written by the above stated, Alex William.

Entitled and soft. Get a job, Alex!