The Feh List. (No, That’s Not a Typo)

It’s Mock Friday!  You didn’t know it’s Mock Friday?  Perhaps that’s because I just made it up.  Now be quiet and read on.

You know who has the easiest job in the history of  journalism?  It’s Samantha Henig, who compiles The New York Times Magazine‘s “Meh” list.  So what exactly is “The Meh List”?  No one knows. Not even Henig.

But here’s how the Times’ culture editor and creator, Adam Sternbergh, explained it to The Boston Globe: “The column was meant to celebrate all those things in life that exist at the top of the fat middle of the bell curve of taste.”

The Meh List in The New York Times Magazne

Because “meh” is basically a disengaged shrug, the list can include ANYTHING.  Still, it’s such a complex task to narrow down such things that are “not hot and not not (yes, this is the revered New York Times Magazine), that Henig needs an assistant for extra reportage — someone named Libby Gery, whose finger is right on the meh pulse.  But that’s still not enough. The pair also has help from Twittter meh devotees, who are encouraged to submit their own suggestions (guilty!) at #mehlist.  Coming up with a list each week is extremely taxing for just two Times staffers.

I’m a journalist with only twenty years of experience, so it’s likely I’m not qualified, but I’m taking a shot at a meh  list of my own.  Only this one is called the “Feh” list because I’m ethnic. Also because I don’t want to run the risk of a lawsuit.  So here we go:


2012: So THAT happened.

While I was forced into it, I realize now that one of the best features on Facebook is the timeline, where I am reminded of stuff that happened in 2012 that I completely forgot about.

So by way of a public service blog post, let’s take a stroll down memory lane:

For example, do you remember all those “Sh*t librarians, fat girls, skinny girls, entrepreneurs, Jewish mothers, techies, gay men, New Yorkers Say” viral videos?   Good times.

How about the long-anticipated Van Halen reunion album, Tattoo?  Yeah, I didn’t remember it either.

Due to a distracted navigator, the Costa Concordia, a luxury cruise ship in Italy, hit a rock and toppled over, killing 32 passengers.  Like a partially beached whale, the massive ship is still stuck in the waters near Giglio Island, on the Western coast of Italy.  This catastrophic event prompted a note to self.  Something about never stepping foot on a luxury liner again in my lifetime.  Ever.

My book, “The Neighborhoods of Queens,” was mentioned once again in The New York Times as an authority on the borough.  That made me smile.  Researching and writing that book took four years.  It’s now a resource for New York residents, newspaper reporters college professors and whatnot.  Not too shabby.

Remember the KONY Campaign to capture head of the Lord’s Resistance Army guerrilla group in Uganda?  Ten days after the video peaked at some one hundred million views, it’s creator, Jason Russell, went bonkers, running wild through the streets of San Diego buck naked.  The good news is that a top commander of Kony’s was captured, although the main man is still being sought by authorities.

On a lighter note, we all learned how to sing in French about kisses, thanks to this:

In case you missed the really big news, I attended the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Ohio where I learned that what happens in Dayton, well, no one really cares.  After writing an article about old ladies who tap dance, I signed up for classes.  And Howard Stern refused to be interviewed for my Newsday article about Roosevelt, Long Island, his childhood neighborhood, which all of his childhood friends participated in.

Something called “Honey Boo Boo” …  Oh, yes, and I turned fifty shades of green with envy at the meteoric success of that dreck about fifty shades of off black.

But then that bitch Sandy stormed into town, a hurricane that wrecked so much havoc here on the east coast that we’ll feel it’s effects for years to come.

For 2013, I’m hoping that this guy —

— will stop this from ever happening again…

Dec. 14, 2012 Frightened children file out of school after shooting massacre.

That is all.  I bid us peace in the coming year, y’all.

When No One Says “No” to a Celebrity.

This is what happens.  You get an Oprah launching a cable network. You get a Tina Fey doing Garnier commercials.   And you get a Rita Wilson dropping a debut album.  Mrs. Tom Hanks is adorable, a fine actress and no doubt very entertaining in the shower and while chopping onions.  And that’s where she should have drawn the line.  But no one says “No” to the rich and famous.

Here’s how I envision the whole Rita Wilson cutting an album thing:  At one of an endless array of A-list Hollywood parties in which Rita implores the guests with her false-modestly delivered, “Don’t make me sing!” she indeed, does sing.  In fact, she’s hired the pianist and has spent weeks rehearsing prior to the soiree.  A hearty round of cocaine-fueled applause follows her set, during which time one of her showbiz frienemies snickers sarcastically, “Darling, you must cut an album!”

Cut to bedtime. Mrs. Hanks, attempting to channel Ann Margret, slinks into bed, coyly purring to hubby, “Tommy, who do you know at Decca?”   Cut to album cover.  Cut to this:

Rita, I’ll say it because no one else has:  Return the outfit to Stevie Nicks and quietly slink away from your new-fangled midlife and oh-so-misguided singing career.  Do it now.

My Friday rant is now complete.

Update: And then there’s this. I rest my case: