But then there’d be nothing left. There’s a reason it’s called “Critical Shopper,” after all.
On one hand, I love Cintra Wilson’s review of J.C. Penney — including this phrase, which made me laugh out loud: “Liz Claiborne, key provider of looks that say ‘I have been in a senior management position at this D.M.V. for 34 years.’ ”
But making fun of J.C. Penney is certainly picking low-lying fruit: Of course readers who identify as “New York Times type of people” would automatically disparage something as bourgeois as J.C. Penney, which dares to sell clothing to people who are not interested buying shirts that must be worn with a heavy dose of irony.
Somehow, Wilson’s review manages to make this sentence — “But there are many more body types who vote with their hard-earned dollars, who appreciate a clean new space in Midtown to buy affordable clothes in hard-to-find sizes, as well as attentive service from attitude-free professionals” — sound like a slam. How dare size 12 people with negligible income be happy invading her island of skinny bitches? But that’s kind of the point: People who like J.C. Penney aren’t supposed to live in the rarified, self-congratulatory air that Manhattan — and much of New York City — occupies.
Here’s something to keep in mind: In a horrific economy, J.C. Penney still managed to break even in the second quarter, while companies like LVMH watched its U.S. sales drop 22 percent in three months.
Here’s what would be really daring: If Wilson had taken that same attitude to, say, the Tom Ford store, or the sacred cow of Prada. When John Bartlett’s line for Claiborne was mentioned in a previous column, the bitchery was tamped down to a minimum, although I suspect that’s more because it was written by Mike Albo and not the woman whose schtick is taking easy “dislikes” into hysteric-level tantrums. (A chapter in Wilson’s book “A Massive Swelling” — which I own — is titled “As a Dog Returneth to Its Own Vomit, So Doth L.A.”; other “radical” topics of her scorn include child beauty pageants, Wayne Newton-style Las Vegas, and celebrity power.)
And another thing: FUCKING LEARN HOW TO SPELL “PENNEY.” (See info box at the end of the story, which still has “Penny.”) If you can’t bring yourself to look at the sign — or read it backwards in the photo of those “obese” mannequins you write about — it’s in the AP stylebook. You’re part of the goddamn New York Times. And don’t blame it on the headline writers — it’s on the Web, and don’t pretend you don’t check your work to see how it turns out. Four days later, it’s still wrong. Get that shit fixed, pronto.