You’re a busy lady. Between making your life seem more glamorous than it is on Instagram and sub-tweeting your ex, who has time to read yet another 4,000-word New Yorker article about something culturally significant? If someone at the office or a cocktail party asks you what you thought about the article, save time and your reputation by picking one of these quick one-liners:
“It just makes me feel like history is repeating itself, you know?”
If the article was published in the past year, it’s safe to assume it’s about race, class, gender, or war. If you overhear your coworkers dropping keywords like “inequality,” “problematic,” or “systemic,” this response is your best bet. And the super chill “you know” at the end throws it back to the other person, letting you off the hook.
“There were a few things I disagreed with.”
While this may seem like it could invite one too many follow-up questions, disagreement is impressive. It shows them you are smart and thoughtful and possibly smarter and more thoughtful than whoever wrote the dumb article in the first place. You don’t even need to skim the article itself to find something to disagree with: Just check Twitter! You might not have any opinions about an article you haven’t read, but Twitter has literally all of the opinions. Scroll along and find a good one to adopt.
“It all just goes back to privilege.”
Whose privilege are you talking about? The writer’s? Someone in the article? The New Yorker as an institution? Who cares?! People who read New Yorker articles love to talk about privilege. If you’re strapped for time, you might want to just yell “PRIVILEGE!” and they’ll likely be satisfied with your response.
“It reminded me of that Atlantic article from earlier this year.”
Now not only will they think you read that New Yorker article, but they’ll also think you read that Atlantic article, which was probably three times longer and far more polarizing! Not that you know that. Either way, you seem literate as shit. Move over, Melanie. There’s a new Smart Bitch in town.
If asked what you thought about the Atlantic article, use any of the above responses. Good luck and happy not-reading!