Author Topic: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...  (Read 2552 times)

Matt

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If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« on: March 24, 2008, 01:46:14 AM »
Check out Bill Zehme's profile of Chris Rock in the latest Rolling Stone. Holy moley.

Quotes to come!

EDIT: This should probably be in the "Links" forum. Whatever.
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 10:35:06 AM »
Oh, me, me!

Wait, which one's "want" again?
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Denim Gremlin

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 01:52:51 PM »
that's it?

you mean I have to go to the store and buy a magazine to read the worst article ever? what kind of internet are we living in these days!?
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todd

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 02:11:19 PM »
EDIT: This should probably be in the "Links" forum. Whatever.

It would go there if, you know, you provided an actual link.

ericluxury

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 02:40:03 PM »
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/19551925/chris_rock_isnt_laughing

You only get an excerpt but it's bad.

Here is the first sentence:
Quote
Here in the Time of Rock, wherein Christopher Julius Rock III rules again as he has ruled before, but only more so — international sweep! colossal forums! better transportation! — promptness counts for much.

Its a testament to how unimportant Rolling Stone is that Shovel.com gets so much flack its writing, when Rolling Stone is worse.

kimota

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 02:59:03 PM »
Is Dustin Putman writing as Bill Zehme here?  I couldn't get past the second paragraph of this thing

Matt

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 03:02:02 PM »
Cool down, friends. Classes are done for the day, and I will now list my problems with the good Mr. Zehme's article.

1) Zehme quotes Rock's stand-up routines. Normally, when writing a profile of a comedian, it is appropriate, even expected, that the author should quote the comedian's material; Mr. Zehme quotes Mr. Rock's routines frequently and at length. It may not sound bad, but it reads as the laziest article ever written. Zehme even takes it upon himself to quote Rock's commentary track from the Head of State DVD.

2) Mr. Zehme is the kind of author who has to establish superiority over his subject. In this particular article, that entails numerous asides in which Zehme "wittingly" comments on his own article, thereby proving to himself and his readers that he can hang with this Chris Rock fellow. What's worse is that he takes the easy way out, putting all of his jokes in parentheses instead of making an attempt to weave them into the article. If they were funny, it wouldn't really matter, but they're unfunny, and they stick out. There's a lot of 'em, too - between Zehme's jokes in parentheses and the quotes of Rock's material, you have about 70% of the article.

3) Mr. Zehme's Vocabulary. This is more of a pet peeve of mine; I hate it when there's a conscious effort on the author's part to "dress up" their writing. Mr. Zehme is guilty of this in spades. When the phrases "an occluded maw" and "warmly monochromatic" somehow eke their way into a profile of a comedian, the author is showing off, plain and simple. I like directness. Just gimme the facts, Zehme!

4) Zehme tries to link Obama's success with Rock's movie Head of State. I don't get it, and neither does Zehme, but he takes sheer coincidence and runs with it like a motherfucker.

Here's a sample paragraph:

Quote
There had been a mix-up with the cranberry juice Rock ordered at brunch that afternoon, and you may take from this what you wish: The waiter placed a glass of straw-yellow liquid in front of him, and Rock stared at it and was having none of it. "Um, this is cranberry juice?" he asked, whereupon, the waiter scooped it away and returned with a glass of appropriately red liquid, reporting, "That was white cranberry; this is regular." Said Rock, "Oh, it was white cran! I never even heard of that." (Who has?) Nevertheless, the whiteness had discomfited him and he rejected it reflexively. Ancient profundity may lurk in subtext here. But probably not. Anyway, he then asked the waiter (who was whiter than the white cran, which, after all, was yellow) for a separate glass of ice and added with overwhelming beneficence, "Pretty please? Sugar on top?"

So, Rock rejected the white cran because of some subliminal resistance against whites? Really? I think maybe it's just because WHITE CRAN ISN'T WHAT HE FUCKING ORDERED. Those jokes were good, though, right? The waiter was "whiter than the white cran"! Ha! Oh, wait, the white cran was yellow? Okay. I guess it isn't funny after all. The man sabotaged his own joke. Good for him?

Here's an indirect example of Zehme's Obama-Head of State connection, complete with wildly misplaced quote:

Quote
As blow the winds of whim and fate and inevitability, one resonant Head of State footnote did emerge. And it would feel not unlike a nomination for the highest office in the land of the business of dreams (controlled by white men). Chris Rock was elected in 2005 to host the Oscars. And despite quaking Old Guard trepidation (how many "motherfuckers" might he hurl up into the satellite beams?), he strode onto the stage welcomed merely by a standing ovation (unheard of for a host!). "Sit yo' asses down!" he began, exuberance personified. (Avers friend Bill Stephney, "He is very much stand-up's Obama.")

Another pet peeve of mine is when someone says something like "a little band called the Beatles," or "a little place called Los Angeles." You know, that ironic undercutting of a massive subject? I hate it so much. "He strode onto the stage welcomed merely by a standing ovation"? Gross. And then the exclamation point? Oh, Zehme, you did it again! Hey, I did it too!

If nothing else, this article gives me hope. If this clown can make a living writing dreck like this, then there's hope for me yet.

EDIT: Thanks for providing the link, ericluxury!
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todd

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 03:06:52 PM »
Holy shit that is bad.

Denim Gremlin

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 03:23:50 PM »
ew boy.
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TremblingEagle

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 03:50:50 PM »
Head of State was trash

he means well
but I don't see why Rock doesn't get that he's not cut out for the big screen
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Chris L

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Re: If you want to read the worst-written article ever...
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2008, 04:57:22 PM »
Oh. My. God.