why a raven is like a writing-desk


Oh the seething hate! Oh the raspy guttersnipe squorking in the wabe! Release the snarkhounds, because Chris O’Shea of Mediabistro has taken on a Vogue article about a family who turned their Brooklyn brownstone into a pastoral paradise. Entitled How Many Times Does this Vogue Piece Make You Want to Vomit?, it goes scorched-earth on the first and third sentences, and never lets up from there.

I think one’s experience of the Vogue article really depends on which you read first: the original, or the invective. Perusing the Vogue piece, you find yourself envious, and then wondering why there’s a fucking pony in the daughter’s playroom – but if you read Mediabistro first, you might come away saying “yes, but you have to admit, the horse-chestnut wallpaper really is sort of fabulous.”

It’s a funny highwire act, extrapolating to the world at large: on one hand you’ve got a well-off designer family with impeccable taste being publically flogged by a caffeine-fueled hatescriber using the easiest of all tropes: incandescent snark.

On the other, well, the perfection of this Vogue family is just so easy to despise, especially given the layout of the slideshow, impeccably curated to make the 99% feel like hopeless, luckless schlubs. It plays into the idea that a few impossibly-blessed Americans have inherited their way into eternal largesse, while everyone else watches rats eat rodenticide beneath the tracks of the F train.

It doesn’t help that the article was written by Chloe Malle, the daughter of Candice Bergen and the late filmmaker Louis Malle, only adding to the whiff of entitlement. So yes, hate hate hate, roll your eyes at the twee, and think of other asinine shit white people can’t help loving.

But when do we get to sneak away and just enjoy something for the sheer bubblegum of it? Maybe VOGUE is fair game for nihilism, but where can we go to look at bedrooms we would have loved, and gardens designed for your Lewis Carroll subconscious? God knows I can spew acid with the best of them, and have allergies to preciousness, but I wonder if our generation’s Puritanical bullshit isn’t robbing us of our last great anti-depressant: the guilty pleasure.

And fuck if I don’t love the master bathroom:



9 thoughts on “why a raven is like a writing-desk

  1. Mark

    HA. O’Shea’s piece reads like something you’d have written. I don’t think our generation, the first of Gen-X, need I remind, is terribly bothered to the VOGUE piece. What was grunge but a uniform for us to put on while we figured out what we really wanted? We created and popularized the reality show. I hardly think we’ve abandoned guilty pleasures. I don’t know O’Shea but I’m guessing he’s of the Occupy generation. And a New Yorker whose rent is too damn high.

  2. dct

    I love the house & the spread, and although I didn’t read the snark article, I do think the Vogue article is a bit tone-deaf w/ references to Hurricane Sandy: the bunnies were ruffled? The housekeeper can’t make it? The house is completely DYI, except for all the Chinese workers who gutted it? The article almost seems purposefully ironic. But the actual house: awesome.

  3. dct

    Ok–I just read the snark piece, and you know what the REAL problem is here: it’s not nearly as fun as it should be. Not well written. Not funny. Nowhere near Ian levels of virtuoso snark prose. And on with my morning…

  4. Anne

    I think Chloe Malle is a Brown grad. (Irrelevant except to fellow alums like me!)
    And honestly. That bathroom is to die for.

  5. kmeelyon

    I’m wondering what O’Shea was looking for in Vogue in the first place. Reading Vogue and complaining about the privileged perspective is like going to the beach and complaining about all the sand.

  6. david sharpe

    Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s blog link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same for you.|


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