Archive for the ‘The Imaginary New Yorker’ category

The Surowieckipedia – Rough times

10 Dec 2011

James wasn’t always the alpha male he would become. After an early growth spurt in elementary school, the rest of the school caught up to him, and by the eighth grade he was shorter than most of his classmates — including Little Petey, who was now going by the name Angry Pete aka Gorilla Man aka Wolf Murderson aka The White Gobstopper aka Hurt Bodiez. The evening of the eighth grade dinner dance, Angry Pete and his band of ne’er-do-wells accosted James and his date Young Susie outside of the gymnasium.


– Hello Angry Pete, how do you do?


– I’m sorry, Angry Pete, I don’t see any …


– Sorry, Hurt Bodies, I …


– Listen, Hurt Bodiez, I don’t …


– I don’t really know what you want from me.


– What? Now, listen, I don’t think … that’s not something …

– You know what, James, it’s actually okay.

Young Susie took off her begonia corsage and gave it to James.

– I’d actually rather go with Hurt Bodiez. I thought it was pretty mean what you did to him back in elementary school, and I feel like you haven’t really grown up. And also your wiener is pretty small. I can tell.

– But, Young Susie! We were to be a spectacle upon the dance floor! I got my hat blocked!

– I’m sorry, James. Maybe if you hadn’t insisted on wearing those checked pants, things could have been different between us.

At that moment, James felt worse than he had ever felt before, except for the time when he was caught peeing in his fifth-grade teacher’s gas tank. He decided then that he would no longer let the Angry Petes of the world dictate his life to him. He decided then that one day the world would know his name and his deeds, courtesy of some crazy person’s blog. He decided then to become a professional bodybuilder

James Surowiecki wonders how many banks will become insolvent.

07 May 2009

I’m thinking four… Okay, maybe not four. Maybe just three. Actually… Hmm. All of a sudden, I’m really not sure. Let’s start at the beginning. All right, Bank of America, definitely, right? They’re just a bunch of wild men over there. Okay, so that’s one. Citigroup — that bank’s gone way down in hole. Can’t even pay to name a subway station after its own ballpark. Two. How about TD Bank? There’s no way it can stay afloat giving away all those lollipops. And do you know what Regis and Kelly charge to be on those billboards? Stacks and stacks. So that’s three, right there. All right, how about Ted’s Bank, down on South Cherry Street in East Northport? Those arson charges aren’t helping his business any. I mean, I always stayed away from Ted, but some people didn’t see past his preacher/banker-next-door veneer. Pray for those people. What else? Deutsche Bank only has € 2,202 trillion in assets, so count them out. Sorry, Donny. What’s that? Nothing to do with Deutsche Bank? Hmm. And € 2.202 trillion is actually kind of a lot? All right, the count remains at four. Let’s turn our lens to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Hmm, 228.452 employees, $2,30 trillion in assets, 200+ years in business… looks like trouble to me. I’ll put it on the Danger List — not quite insolvent yet, but getting there. I guess that concludes my wondering about how many banks will become insolvent. I should probably go find out what insolvent means. I failed the shit out of AP Chemistry. Meantime, I’d advise everyone to invest their money in the Surowieckipedia. Get on board now and reap great rewards later, guaranteed. Guaranteed.

(Original post here.)

George Packer quotes Irving Kristol on populism.

15 Apr 2009

“Populism? Gay.”
-Irving Kristol

(Actual post here)

James Surowiecki looks at the new unemployment numbers.

08 Apr 2009

Whoa! Hoppity hoppity boom boom! Chooparoo chooparee! Fraggledy smaggledy whizzerino! Gadfly pudding! Tse tse whiz-bang! Jerk chicken in a pita! I haven’t seen numbers this high since I weighed Marlon Brando! Too soon. Since I weighed William Howard Taft! Too late. Since I weighed Orson Welles! Just right. Man, these numbers are so high they make Whitney Houston look like a proponent of the sXe scene! They’re so high Mt. Everest was like, Hey, unemployment numbers, you’re getting a little big for your britches, why don’t you just cool it a little bit, you big old goofy mofos! Man! Talk about high numbers! Those are pretty bad! Prettyyyyyyy, prettyyyyyyyy bad. Mmm mmm.

(Actual post here)

Sasha Frere-Jones offers a chance to hear Catchdubs, Jubilee, and Ayres in action.

06 Apr 2009

Ha, ha, ha, okay, this isn’t actually going to be an imaginary New Yorker blog post, I just wanted to call attention to the ridiculousness of that sentence’s appearance on the Web site of the New Yorker. Love him or hate him (I do both, passionately (?)), Sasha Frere-Jones does bring the New Yorker to places it has not been wont to visit in the past, e.g. Megasoid at the New Yorker Dance Party, profile of Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison).

Hilton Als just can’t stop watching Helen Mirren in “Prime Suspect”

07 Mar 2009

I’m writing this on my iPhone. I’ve been in this room for 36 hours and I don’t see an exit. I don’t know how I got here or where I am, and I don’t know who put me in here. This room, it’s so white. So clean. I can’t breathe, it’s so white in here. Everything except for the television. That goddamn television. Forever playing the same goddamn thing. I’ve been watching Series 4 of Prime Suspect the whole 36 hours, but I don’t see a DVD player anywhere. Someone is out there controlling this, and it’s scaring the hell out of me.

The Surowieckipedia — Formative years

02 Mar 2009

James began what was to become a lifelong love affair with coconut macaroons when he was seven years old, in the cafeteria of his grammar school, the Westinville Monster School. His classmate Little Petey approached him with a proposition: Little Petey would share his coconut macaroons with James in exchange for a portion of James’s Vienna sausages. James was (quite understandably) attached to his Vienna sausages, but also intrigued by the Little Petey’s pastries. Large for his age, James quickly sized up the aptly named Little Petey and acted boldly. He accepted Little Petey’s coconut macaroon offering, but when Little Petey reached for a Vienna sausage, James snatched them back and removed several pink weiners from the can. “Dost thou enjoy the Vienna sausages, scurvied goat? Perhaps thou wouldst enjoy them in thine ears!” He twisted a sausage into each of Little Petey’s ears. “And, if thou didst find those weiners pleasant in thy respective external auditory meatuses, perhaps thy nostrils might enjoy as well the slippery texture and pleasant aroma!” He twisted a sausage into each of Little Petey’s nostrils. “Ha, ha!”

James Surowiecki will not be watching Jerry Seinfeld’s new TV show

28 Feb 2009

I’m sorry, Jerry, but, much as I loved Bee Movie, I don’t have time for film and television anymore. I’m far too busy working on the project that has become my lifeblood — the Surowieckipedia. For decades, people have asked me questions about myself — how I’m doing, where I’m from, where I went to university, et cetera. I’ve come to realize that, with the Surowieckipedia, these questions will become obsolete, and people will never need to ask me them again; I plan to use the extra time working on the Surowieckipedia.

Excerpt: James enjoys blackberry jam, but only sometimes. He finds that too-frequent ingestion can cause the sensation of having a hundred mad dancers in one’s belly. Not unpleasant, but something for which a measure of preparation is necessary. He will frequently indulge in strawberry jam, as an alternative. Also, he enjoys the music group ‘Genesis’ quite a lot.

(Actual post here)

Evan Osnos discovers China’s definition of “Western food”

23 Feb 2009



Nick Paumgarten knows why New York smells like maple syrup

23 Feb 2009

I often stroll the windy canyons of Park Avenue with scarf tight, hands jammed in pockets, and winter cap secure, leaving only my nose exposed to the New York air. This, naturally, leads me to dwell upon the scents I encounter during my flâneur, and, of late, I have noticed a preponderance of maple in the air. After some measure of investigation with my contacts within the New York Public Library and City Hall, I was unable to make any headway; it appeared I’d have to take it upon myself to solve this riddle, which at this point was keeping me up long nights, to the endless chagrin of my wife.