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Opening Arguments

A dubious decision

Another beloved institution bites the dust:

“It would be like instead of re-imagining Eustace Tilley, David Remnick decided to behead him,” David Hirshey said. He was talking about Esquire's decision to discontinue Dubious Achievements, the beloved, mischievous year-end roundup of folly that has been running in the magazine since 1962. Like a blooper reel but real, Dubious was an annual assessment of all the awful things that had happened in the world during the preceding 12 months. It was pronounced dead in this month's issue of Esquire; according to a note from editor David Granger, the franchise has run its course because its descendents and imitators—available on the internet and TV “on a daily—if not instantaneous—basis” have rendered it redundant.

Yeah, everybody's doing it, but Esquire still does it better. I've never been a regular reader of the magazine, but I've frequently purchased that particular issue, just for the Dubious Achievement awards. There's a fine line between "snotty and prankish" (the tone achieved by DA) and snarky. That line gets crossed every second on the Internet, but Esquire was able to dance on it without quite going over.

Posted in: Current Affairs