Cafe 227

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Unintentionally Hilarious Consequence of Contrived Hipness

I love reading The Economist for a myriad of reasons. At the top of the list are (1) its thoroughly engaging yet hopelessly opaque coverage of particle physics/quantum mechanics (which I will discuss in greater detail at a later date) and (2) its repeated attempts at hipness and the unintentionally comedic consequences thereof.

For a quintessential example of the latter, you'll have to look no further than its special Summer 2006 supplement titled Intelligent Life - "The summer 2006 issue of our magazine on trends for smarter living" - which arrived in my mailbox today.

The third article of the issue (which I was able to get through in one, um, sitting as I was recovering from the consequences of last night's trip to Ben's Chili Bowl) is called "Bubbles & Bling." The title is cringe-inducing in its own right. But I decided to give it a chance anyway:

"Today, the most high-profile consumers of Cristal are rap artists, whose taste for swigging bubbly in clubs is less a sign of a refined palate than a passion for a 'bling-bling' lifestyle that includes ten-carat diamond studs, chunky gold jewellery, pimped up Caddies and sensuous women. In his number one hit 'Hard Knock Life', Jay-Z raps, 'Let’s sip the Cris and get pissy-pissy'. Cristal has been so visible at Mr Combs’s concerts that onlookers have wondered whether the venerable champagne house was sponsoring the event."

First of all, who exactly is The Economist's target audience here? Judging by the articles on hand-crafted watches, Mozart, and luxury cars, as well as the advertisements (Hermes, Mont Blanc, Lexus, etc.), the target audience is decidedly not me. It's my father (but in a parallel universe where my father is a wealthy real estate speculator rather than a purveyor of Middle Eastern groceries). And my father (metaphorically speaking) doesn't know who the hell Jay-Z is, nor does he care about Jay-Z's apparent urinary incontinence when drunk. In other words, wouldn't The Economist have been better served by discussing this topic in more general terms rather providing a specific example and confusing/potentially alienating my allegorical dad?

Second, The Economist's use of colloquialism is regrettable as it is (although I can forgive their use of "bling-bling" as they had the good sense of putting it in quotations). Their improper use of colloquialism, however, is downright embarassing. I'm referring, of course, to "pimped up Caddies." Now, I consider myself somewhat of a minor expert on urban colloquioalism, mainly because I grew up in the hood. Also, I watch a lot of 106 & Park. Given my credentials, I can say with a high degree of certainty that the generally-accepted form of the idiom is "pimped out Caddies." An esteemed publication such as The Economist should know this. Maybe they should hire me as a copy editor.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's 7:30pm on Saturday night. I need to go sip on some sizurp and puff on some dro. As The Economist might say, I'm a git crunk tonight.

5 Comments:

  • please. brookline is so NOT the hood.

    By Blogger red storm, at 9:07 PM  

  • Whatever, Crafton. Or was it Carnegie? McKees Rocks? Shoot, I forget now...

    By Blogger Johnny Shades, at 10:09 PM  

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