Deborah Solomon Interviews NPI


Discourse on Culture


Why “No Pun Intended”? It was a phrase we liked. Plus we could see “NPI” on a shirt.

Isn’t that an embarrassing way of coming up with a name? Shouldn’t the title of your blog stand for some deeper philosophical meaning, or raison d’etre? Well, we don’t intend puns, if that’s what you’re looking for.

It’s not. I read your first post. Don’t you think it’s a little immodest to use the same opening lines as the Bible? Or are you trying to be that big? We think it’s unfair for the Bible to claim monopoly over prepositional phrases.

And what is “humorous and intellectual discourse on culture”? Aren’t those just a bunch of buzz words strung together as a pretense of a mission and a cover-all for “We’re writing whatever the hell we want”? That’s perceptive of you.

Thank you. Is it perceptive if I say I don’t find your blog to be humorous or intellectual, or even all that discursive on culture? No, not really.

Well, I don’t. That’s too bad.You write too much about sports. There have been weekly features on the NFL and now college basketball, diatribes against college football’s Bowl Championship Series, and already you’re diving into the baseball season. None of this is humorous or intellectual, and it’s only marginally cultural. We’re sorry. Was there a question in there?

How do you respond to that? By saying we disagree.

Can you elaborate? As much as you don’t want to admit it, sports are deeply ingrained in America’s culture, and we think we approach them in novel and yes, humorous and intellectual ways. But not everyone feels that way.

You—and I hesitate to use the verb, but I will—“employ” a fictional character stolen from Borges in Pierre Menard. And then you have him write about sports. Isn’t that a little disrespectful? Believe us, the last person we want to disrespect is Jorge Luis Borges.

But Menard is meant to challenge our notions of artistic invention. And here you have him backing nonsensical approaches to sports. I.e. challenging our notions of athletic regulations. Tit for tat.

Is there an ideology behind reviewing old films, songs, and television seasons? Don’t all those have a “been there, done that” feel? Maybe if you’ve read a lot of reviews of The Lion King and Bob Dylan songs. We haven’t. We weren’t alive for a lot of the Dylan reviews.

The main authors behind NPI are all twenty-something Caucasian males from the New York metropolitan area who even attended the same university. How diverse. Now do you see why we added a fictional character?

Too many of your posts come down to simple rankings. Rankings are fun and infinitely debatable.

This interview wouldn’t rank highly. Infinitely debatable.

*Interview has been condensed, edited, and fabricated.

One response to this post.

  1. […] live interview with Steve Martin had to be refunded because it was too boring. We at NPI have had our own run-ins with Ms. Solomon, but her interviews always have the potential to be delightfully […]


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