Everyone catch “writer” Fran Lebowitz’s op-ed—excuse me, Op-Art—in Sunday’s Times? It is a 77-word series of aphorisms entitled “Introduction by the Author.” They range from truly, indisputably trite and lazy (“All modesty is false,” “All suspicions are sneaky”) to perhaps somewhat clever (“All musicals are revivals”) to, once or twice, arguably insightful (“All mothers are single”). Still, I would encourage everyone to reread contributing editor Rachel Shukert’s magnificent takedown from late last year, in which she concluded: “Literally famous for doing nothing for the past 30 years, Fran Lebowitz has become a brand, a reality star for fancy people.” Why does the Times feel it should coddle both her and those who purport to appreciate her? As if to confirm Shukert’s point, the aphorisms’ contributor biography describes Lebowitz as “author of the forthcoming “Progress,” which will be published within the century.” Oh, I get it, that’s a joke.
Annoying as it is when the Times caters to what it thinks its young readers are (as brilliantly mocked by news anchor Brian Williams, who noted that the Grey Lady treats Brooklyn like it’s “like Marrakesh”), I resent that shamelessness less than the paper of record’s continued obeisance to nonsensical Boomer pieties like the notion—articulated by the donation of space on the Sunday Op-Ed Page—that any of us should pay any attention to Fran Lebowitz.