JMW lead the charge on this one, and I thank her for getting the ball rolling.
I have received tons of emails about the GQ article naming Boston as the worst dressed city in America. As someone who spouts about men's clothing on a regular basis, I was excited to read the article, but was supremely disappointed by it. The entire bit seemed to be composed by a group of deadline-desperate staffers as if they were in a car en route to pitch the draft to their editor, complete with anecdotes of go-to caricatures of each city (Seattle is NOT full of flannel or plaid as GQ claims). The piece simply lists major cities with whatever grab-bag cliche the staffers could generate. When misguided and patently false claims were structured in, the readers were subjected to a compilation of cheap and smug snark that was obviously being peddled as wit and "scathing analysis", though it contained none. Well-dressed San Francisco, Manhattan, and Philadelphia were laughably listed in their "countdown" as well.
Thompson says about Boston:
"But Boston is the epicenter of prep style!," you say? That's true, but it's with a little extra that ends up ruining everything: Khakis!—with pleats. Boat shoes!—with socks. Knit ties!—actually, no one in Boston seems to have ever seen one of these.
Thompson lists Bostonians wearing "knit ties" as evidence of poor taste, then scolds Bostonians for never having seen a knit tie.
I like distasteful humor, I like mockery, and I also like mean spirited japes from time to time... God knows I truly adore sophomoric humor, but contributor John B. Thompson brought the already weak writing to an unforgivable level when he then took the cheapest shot at a soft target, riffing off of people with Down Syndrome (a sentence that was quietly removed online from GQ.com). This was not bravery in the face of eye-rolling and annoying political correctness, and I disagree with those who deemed the language merely as "insensitive". Certain insensitivity is important in our culture and a very real component to style and to markets in general, but cheap opportunism from a clearly leveraged position is literary profiteering, and that is what GQ is guilty of.
This article was the straw that broke the camelback for our office, and the subscription has now lapsed.
Luckily, they are barely credible at this point in general, but I ask you, Dear Reader, what the "G" in GQ now stands for? It comes out monthly, so the "Q" is also no longer accurate.