Seriously, Esquire. We don’t understand you. Your profiles of celebrities and dignitaries have degenerated into gibberish, a retarded Esperanto intelligible only to the unintelligent of the world. We respect that you’re trying to change the game; that you’re trying to break free of the narrative mold of Magazine rhetoric and convey a story as much through feeling as through tone. But, yo, you still got to make sense, naomean?
Take for instance Lisa Taddeo’s profile piece on LeBron James in the October 2008 issue. Maybe Lisa moonlights as a Beat poet at the Nuyorican cafe or roomed with Paul Beatty at a YMCA basketball camp. We don’t know. But what else could explain the Gonzo journalism she’s trying to wrap around the story of LeBron James? That’s like gift-wrapping a John Mayer Live DVD with Scotch Tape and Silly Puddy. The effect may be the intention of art, but at the end of the day you just sullied a pretty sweet present, and I have to wash my hands before I can eat.
Don’t believe us? We don’t blame you. After all, Esquire is a venerated publication that sweats Manhood so hard there’s not a single woman on its list of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.” Well, maybe there is. We couldn’t read the whole thing because so much of it was convoluted prose and insufferable transcriptions of inane sit-downs. We’re just a webzine dedicated to the miseducation of the entire country. Decide for yourself. Tell us what in the name of sweet Sebelius Taddeo could mean when she writes the following about LeBron:
Picture it. Michael Jordan (his hero) and Penny Hardaway (his full-court predecessor) made love and sprouted this beatific embryo, then gave it to Kobe, who tucked it in his Armani pocket, nestled and incubated it, and when it hatched, the progeny was longer and stronger, and it had more tattoos than its parents, a bigger smile. Love me, market me. You will do both. Love and marketing will, through me, become inextricable.
Okay, maybe there’s a clever Love & Basketball reference in there. Maybe. But you got a map? ‘Cause it’s time to get lost:
But the truth is more like this: At twenty-three, LeBron James is only a living thing with a ball in his hands. There is an affection between the two. Love you can’t grasp. It’s not a middle-class marriage; it’s Romeo and Juliet high on Spanish fly and Carmelo Anthony buckling like a horny cheerleader before it. Other players fold to it, like, “Here, you better take it, here, here, hereherehere,” and they pass it off to him – a hot potato that cools to his touch, that wants him to handle her.
What? Did Lisa Taddeo just imply Carmelo Anthony fellates LeBron James? We’re ’bout it ’bout it when it comes to metaphors but, damn, she’s going to invoke bourgeois notions of domesticity and compare the fervent union of Love and Marketing in LeBron’s game to Shakespeare high on an herbal aphrodisiac? And are potatoes really feminine?
We know, Esquire, you’re like the top of the game when it comes to Men’s Interest magazines because Norman Mailer, blah blah, Tom Wolfe, blah blah, your hallowed pages, blah blah. You ‘da best, but someone has to reel you in. Stream of consciousness, lyrical prose in an article about LeBron James? Seriously, Esquire, what the Affluck are you talking about?