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How to Pretend Like You Actually Read the New York Times


Hey. Are you tired of people perceiving you as a ignoble troglodyte without taste or any insightful comments to offer on the intricacies of global geopolitics? Don’t worry — UTB has you covered. Just follow these tips, and everyone around you will be worshipping you like the intelligent, politically opinionated Times reader you deserve to be.

1) Say “Have you seen the review in the Times?”

This is critical. Asking people at random times if they’ve seen the latest review in the Times is a surefire way to convince them that you probably have a vested interest in culture and fine arts. If they try to get you to elaborate — which they won’t — just apologize and say you have a Mensa meeting you have to get to.

2) Wax philosophical about crossword puzzles

Talk about crossword puzzles as if filling in little squares with ink was the most fulfilling and introspective activity possible for a human being to partake in. Mention that crosswording is not a hobby, it’s a state of mind. Remember: the world is entrapped in a constant cycle of death and rebirth, and every clue you figure out on the Monday crossword brings you just one more step closer to nirvana.

3) Listen to The Daily on Spotify

First, make sure that you have your social feed turned on, and then queue up the latest installation of The Daily with Michael Barbaro. That’s it! You can even do other things like sweeping the floor or washing the dishes — essentially anything that can drown out Michael and his bizarre vocal inflections.

4) Pull up the website during class

This is sure to work. Just intersperse your idle online shopping with quick flashes of the New York Times home page, and you’re golden. No need to click on any articles — staring at the frontpage headline and aimlessly scrolling up-and-down is more than enough.

5) Give a meaningful nod whenever the Middle East is mentioned

Last but not least: everyone will know that you are an erudite purveyor of expository journalism and worldly events if you place your hand on your chin and nod as if you knew anything about the nuanced history of the Middle East. Try to master a wistful look while verbally reflecting on how the masterful photography in the Times changed your perceptions about such a critically important region in modern political discourse. 

That’s all we’ve got. Now get out there, and start living like one of the intelligentsia!