Does the Appropriation by Target of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" Disquiet You?

Your Disquieting Modern Trendsetters request the pleasure of your commentary. Is Target's recent "Baby Got Back (Pack)" advertisement a modern trend that sparks disquitude? Please drop Messers Layman and Osmond an e-mail.

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That's Not How You Shave a Bear

by Geoff Wolinetz

God, no, you're doing it all wrong. Give me the can of shaving cream. Why are you so inept? Just give it to me. Look, if we don't get this done soon, the guy is going to come to feed...

Smuggled Goods

In which Y.P.R. smuggles its fine product into hapless, unsuspecting venues....

Things I Can't Believe Happened (March 2003)

by Harold Middleman

Headlines I Can't Believe I've Read Crunch! Giant Cheeto Spurs Online Frenzy Small Iowa town to put it on display Friday, March 7, 2003 CNN Monkeys Flee Research Center, Keepers Trying to Lure Them with Bananas Wednesday, March 12, 2003...

Polish Fact

Major illicit producer of amphetamine for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe.

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Impari L'Italiano
Buone notizie per la gente che ama le notizie difettose.
Good news for people who love bad news.

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Sunday, March 30, 2003   |    Letters (from)

Dear New York Times Book Review

Dear N.Y.T.B.R. Pt. IV

by Josh Abraham

The Editor
The New York Times Book Review
229 West 43rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036

March 30, 2003

Dear N.Y.T.B.R.,

You guys don’t want to acknowledge my book. Fine; I’m passed that. I do think it’s worth your while, however, to consider reporting on the world’s first literary rap act: Metaphorz.

Though we are known to our dozens of downtown, hipster, funky, “with-it,” KBG-going, spoken-word-speaking, mainstream-shunning fans as Dougie C, Brit Nicky, Notorious B.E.E., J-Mac, and Flava Abe, readers of your quaint, old-fashioned Book Review might recognize us from your pages by our proper names: Douglas Coupland, Nick Hornby, Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, and me, Josh Abraham.

Oh, wait, that’s right: readers will recognize all but that last name, “Josh Abraham,” because you consistently withhold my book from the masses. Well, Metaphorz has received five stars—count ’em, five—from Rolling Stone. Spin called us the rap act of the new millennium.

My Lord! What the hell does it take to earn some “street cred” from The N.Y.T.B.R.? Who the hell do I have to sleep with? What’s it take? Are you guys just snobs or what? I can’t give much more to the literary world than twelve novels, a book of poetry, three Off Off Broadway plays, and a rap supergroup.

Get back to me before my freaking head explodes. Thanks, N.Y.T.B.R.

Shocked and awed,
Joshua Abraham

Josh Abraham was born in Algeria in 1913. He spent his early years in North Africa, working various jobs—in the weather bureau, in an automobile-accessory firm, in a shipping company—to help pay for his courses at the University of Algiers. As a young journalist, his report on the unhappy state of Muslims in the Kabylie region aroused the Algerian government to action and brought him public notice. From 1935 to 1938 he ran the Théâtre de l'Equipe, a theatrical company that produced plays by Malraux, Gide, Synge, and Dostoevski. During World War II he was one of the leading writers of the French Resistance and editor of Combat, then an important underground newspaper. Abraham's fiction, his philosophical essays, and his plays have assured his preëminent position in modern French letters. In 1957 Abraham was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His sudden death on January 4, 1960, cut short the career of one of the most important literary figures of the Western world when he was at the very summit of his powers. No, wait. That was Albert Camus.