Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Andrew Krucoff is something like the Best Supporting Actor (Musical or Comedy) for the two New Yorkiest Web sites out there: at Gawker he sifts through the city’s stats and facts and processes the raw data into shiny, colorful, easy-to-read pie charts; at Gothamist, he’s assembled an ever-expanding index of semi-hip, Net-savvy gadabouts with his Young Manhattanite series of interviews. (And if that wasn’t enough, he also blogs at The Other Page.)
Y.M. is like fast food: quick, easy, tasty. Every day, a new New Yorker pops up, says hello to the masses, brags about what he or she does, responds to a sampler of New York-centric questions, and gracefully says good-bye. Eventually, the Y.M. series will replace the Yellow Pages.
Sample question by Mr. Krucoff:
“In a battle to the death, who would win: Storm Shadow or Boba Fett, both rogue warriors, though neither pirates? And what song would best accompany the fight scene?”
[Posed to Chuck Klosterman, pop-culture anthropologist.]
Y.P.R.: We really enjoy “Young Manhattanite Interviews,” mostly because we enjoy meeting local media whores. Once you’ve exhausted your Friendster friends, how do you select your interviewees?
A.K.: Interviews are vetted by a panel of media insiders hand-selected by myself and one other gentleman whose identity remains concealed in order to maintain strict journalistic integrity. While we can say that he lives in a geodesic dome in the Catskills and has extensive knowledge of the collected works of William Vollman and Burton, he is far from the prying eye of litigious interview subjects. We can’t say what his qualifications are, his sexual orientation is, or his aptitude for making us look smarter than we are. Also: The Wall Street Journal and Slate repeatedly print article authors’ names at the end of each piece. Suckers.
It’s also important to note I’ve never turned down someone who suggested—“not to sound self-serving”—that they should be interviewed for the series.
Y.P.R.: A meaty chunk of your subjects are neither young nor Manhattanite. Please explain.
A.K.: How about no, I won’t. This question has come up far too often and my definitions of “young” and “Manhattanite” are as plastic as my taste in cheap, blonde whores from Nevada. Henry Ford once said to his kneeling underling, “When you own the company, everyone else can suck your dick. Now, watch the teeth there, sport.”
O.K., I’m the Young Manhattanite in these interview scenarios, a common misconception I don’t mind being out there. Now don’t go telling everyone this or you’ll really fuck things up.
Y.P.R.: We’re not sure we buy that answer. By your definition, all interviews are, technically, interviews with interviewers, and then we just lost our hook. Oh, well, moving on—C’mon spill it: Who was your best interview? Your worst?
A.K.: I’m a sucker for multimedia. Daniel Gregory sent in drawings and Paul Ford offered his best NPR voice on an MP3 file. As far as the worst, definitely Lockhart Steele. He was the first one out of the gate and he did a magnificent job of setting the bar as low as possible. I still stub my toe on it sometimes.
Y.P.R.: Is there an elusive white whale that’s been consistently dodging your tireless pursuit?
A.K.: Yeah, but I’m not after her “interview.”
Y.P.R.: To what lengths have you gone to nab an interview?
A.K.: I’ve whored myself out more times than I care to count. There was the time I scaled the belly of Rosie O’Donnell to get close enough to her second chin to bark out a question asking it whether it had ever chewed non-fat food. In response, I was greeted with a drooling spittle avalanche of lamb’s blood and kabob grease. And then there was the time I punched the doorman at Michael’s, which resulted in an interview from the business side of a holding pen on Centre Street.
Y.P.R.: Of all the dead New Yorkers, whose grave is worth digging up for an interview?
A.K.: I’ll take a random selection from Potter’s Field.
Y.P.R.: Is there something artificial about an interview conducted via e-mail? Does the lack of spontaneity allow for better or worse responses?
A.K.: Most people can’t think on their feet, except certain improvisational comedians like the great Greg Proops and Tony Slattery. But take G.W. Bush for example. His presidency would be vastly improved if he was just allowed to e-mail in everything.
Y.P.R.: Are you getting tired of the Proust-Krucoff questionnaire? Are stock questions a crutch for a lazy interviewer?
A.K.: Yes, but I’m an extremely lazy person. There isn’t much that doesn’t make me tired.
Y.P.R.: Who asks the best questions: Torquemada, the Riddler, or Tim Russert?
A.K.: Riddler. Have I mentioned I’m also a sucker for costumes?
Y.P.R.: You’re also Gawker’s data analyst, effectively providing the site’s only real original content, and you’ve recently guest-edited while Choire Sicha was on a weeklong bender. Do you think you’re the one driving him to drink?
A.K.: I finally cracked his 10+ years of sobriety. He was riding the white horse somewhere “off Long Island” while I did the guest stint. But let’s face it, “original content” is an ill-conceived business model unless there’s lots of nudity and swearing.
Y.P.R.: Young Los Angeleno Interviews: the next step in the ever-expanding Krucoff empire of media domination, or a hellish bizarro-world nightmare?
A.K.: I had, in fact, contemplated registering that domain name since I already own YoungManhattanite.com—go ahead, put in your browser address line if you don’t believe me. Jesus, why do you have to be such a prick? Don’t even think of stealing my YLA idea either. My first interview for that series is gonna be this awesome F.B.I. agent/surfer, Johnny Utah.
Y.P.R.: Is there any shame in media whoredom? If not, shouldn’t there be?
A.K.: Shame is an emotion for humans. I am emotionally dead inside and evaluate every interaction and potential connection with a cost-benefit analysis for the sole purpose of raising my profile and scoring really hot chicks.
Y.P.R.: Interviews, Weather, Advice … everyday there’s some new feature being launched at Gothamist. And now, there’s Chicagoist. Who’s overcompensating for the bigger inferiority complex, publisher Jake Dobkin or editor Jen Chung?
A.K.: Jake and Jen are like the Reese Witherspoon character in Election. Seemingly sweet on the outside but evil psychosis runs the bloody River Styx of their veins.
Y.P.R.: Can you kick Lockhart Steele’s ass?
A.K.: Sure but I prefer to give it a solid man-pounding.
Y.P.R.: So, who is the Defamer?
A.K.: I thought this was common knowledge. It’s Joe Eszterhas.
Y.P.R.: If you’ve got one, please share a funny or disastrous incident during a job interview.
A.K.: Can I be serious for a moment? Actually, no. I’ve always wanted to be so nervous in an interview that I would crap my pants. That hasn’t happened yet and until it does I can think of nothing funnier or more disastrous. Except maybe Courtney Love, though her life doesn’t count as a “job interview” I guess.
Y.P.R.: If Krucoff were a word, please provide its definition.
A.K.: Chris Gage, friend and YMI/TOP contributor, offers the following:
krucoff (‘krü-kof): 1. to excel at something meaningless 2. the embodiment of one’s personal demons.
Y.P.R.: Got any cool scars? If so, tell us the story behind one of them.
A.K.: Go here: The Other Page. Sorry, I told you I am lazy.
Y.P.R.: How come you’ve never interviewed any of the Y.P.R. editors?
Y.P.R.: All right, Krucoff, let’s see them interview skills at work: Ask us a question, and it better be good.
A.K.: None of your writers have played for the Yankees, you’re all such total pussies that I bet you haven’t smoked pot since college, and the chances of anyone from your gay-ass site ever being the subject of a Comedy Central celebrity “roast” would require scientific notation to represent in fractional percentage form. So, what the hell does “Yankee Pot Roast” actually mean?
Y.P.R.: Yankee pot roast is a delicious and nutritious meal, just like our fine Web site. So, Mr. Interviewer, how’d we do?
A.K.: That’s a question you should really ask your mom.