Category Archives: Lerner, Ben

The Polish Rider: Read on May 31, 2016

My new bumper-sticker: “I’d rather be kissing Brezhnev (than reading this story)”

* Know that the majority of this review is me being about as cruel as possible to this pile of garbage and I also swear a lot.

Normally when I have an extreme reaction to art, good or bad but especially bad, I consider my anger and vehemence to be a good sign, a sign that the art did a job in eliciting a response from me. The worst response is none at all, and while I definitely had a reaction to this story, I can’t honestly take it seriously as a piece of art.

Had the point been for me to hate everyone here, say like Rob Zombie’s ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ then it would have been worth it. Sadly this is just another New Yorker cliche with cliche characters and luke-warm, half baked ideas about “modern life”. This is the sort of thing Donald Trump uses to make fun of those of us who read this magazine.

Everything about this story is pretentious and dumb. The author, with a straight face I’m sure, expects us to accept the juxtaposition of Uber as some modular metaphor for the modern capitalist world against the solid, but corrupt world of the police and taxi services. And I’m sure the author and the author’s teddy bear think this is all quite clever.

It’s not.

As Zoidberg once said, “Your [the author’s] metaphors are bad and you should feel bad!”

These are characters, and an author I assume, who is more interested in things than people. More interested in talking about the surface meaning of things than what the elicit deep down in our emotions. People who name drop without ever having experienced real art. Lazy assholes, in other words. This is like reading the transcript of a party from a college sophmore majoring in English where everything is spelled out for us, where the names of the actors in the TV show Taxi are literally spelled out for us.

This story is so bad I wanted to die. I wanted an Uber to crash into my apartment and flatten me in my reading chair before it got any worse. I longed for the days of the Soviet Union and Samizdat (the books copied on cheap paper) because at least someone was editing and something like this garbage would never have got in except maybe to hide the real art, a sort of literary birdcage lining.

And what is the author having a reaction to? Uber? Capitalism? Art? It’s a total jumbled and disorganized mess where on one page a character barely has condiments in their refrigerator and on the next a sleek espresso machine ready to dispense Bustelo. Where we’re told, for no apparent reason that a character has read Balzac in French.

Well these characters can fuck right off with their reading Balzac in French. They can jump right into the Seine and wash up along the banks of the Tiber where some Kafkaesque Uber driver can paint their bloated, espresso leaking bodies.

This story was torture. They should make ISIS read it. It’s fucking brutal nonsense from a psuedo-intellectual feather weight.

99% done with The Polish Rider

We’ve all seen Ghosbusters! Quit telling us what we know because it’s NOT IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT HERE! What, did the author suddenly discover art and film and espresso and thinks nobody else has heard of the goddamn Shining??

Torture. They should make ISIS read this. Fucking brutal nonsense from a psuedo-intellectual feather weight.

98% done with The Polish Rider

More modular furniture, as if everyone’s lives can be summed up by what we’re forced to buy because we’re all too poor to even be allowed into a furniture store that has real wood pieces.

So the lady who only has gift nuts and condiments in her fridge just happens to have an espresso machine ready to make Bustelo. Naturally, I mean, who the fuck doesn’t.

97% done with The Polish Rider

LOGO, not Legos. Learn to Google you fuck. And don’t tell me it’s intentional, you just ddon’t know. And if it’s a metaphor for “putting things back together” imma kick your teeth in.

This is like reading the transcript from a college sophmore majoring in English. “particular material locus”. Shut up

We get it, you vape.

95% done with The Polish Rider

Ekphrastic literature my ass, all I see is a badly written story.

$49 per square foot. Bite my foot.

Not a stuoid coincidence. It’s like the author read a book on everything not to do and did it. This hurts to read.

The Shining allusion? Tepid. A bunch of people raised on shitty TV who read a book on film and now think they understand art. BOLLOCKS!

93% done with The Polish Rider


Let’s drink chilled vodka now, maybe the readers will not notice we’re making a veiled reference to the Soviet Union and how cold their laws were. Herp-Derp, to the bank we go with our New Yorker money from this story!

Weak fucking metaphor – systems that can’t communicate but only kiss. Weak ass nonsense.

As Zoidberg once said, “Your metaphor is bad and you should feel bad!”

91% done with The Polish Rider

Oh don’t even compare a cop doing someone a favor to get a lost paiting back to abuse of power in the former Soviet Union. Fuck you! You know nothing, you moron, you over simplification.

“heavily surveilled” – if the Uber driver was under that much survaliance then we wouldn’t have lost the paintings now, would we?

75% done with The Polish Rider


I wish communisum was still a thing so I could deport the author their.

You know someone is a pretentious idiot when they say “Kafakesque”, it’s like a scarlet letter for dumb people

This is awful. I want to die.

65% done with The Polish Rider

This is so unimaginative that it’s like being sucked into the most apathetic black hole in the universe.

Oh, is the red jacket kid and the blue jacket kid supposed to represtent gang violence, or maybe the political left and right? Oh, so, co clever, I bet nobody ever thought of that before. Here, let me get you a fucking Noble Prize.

60% done with The Polish Rider

I think I could fart in a zip lock, scotch tape an expired, yelloing 2nd calls stamp to the outside, and address it in uneven sharpee to the New Yorker and they’d publish it. It would be better than this, anyway.

Uber again. I hate Uber.

Oh great, this is turing into a Uber Scooby-Doo episode where old man Plunket stole the kissing socalist paintings. Fuck me running.

55% done with The Polish Rider

Now we’re getting more art history lessons, even being told that maybe one style alludes to the kiss of Judas as if that’s a major fucking insigt. No shot, author, we get it, no stop telling me what to think!

Here’s an idea, rite a story about her painting one of these things instead of TELLING US WHAT SHE DID.

50% done with The Polish Rider

I’ve never seen this photograph before. Interesting. More intersting than the story, however. Why not write about that kiss instead of an asshole in her 4th Uber

Hey, author, I don’t need a fucking history lesson, just say the name of the phhotograpgh and let me do the rest. All this exposition is a waste of time and just means you don’t trust your readers.

40% done with The Polish Rider

“The sides must be blank”. I’m wishing the page this story was printed on was blank. I hate all these pretentious twats.


I swear to God the New Yorker published this story just to piss me off, it’s like a sick joke to see me get all upset about how terrible this thing is.

20% done with The Polish Rider

Trendy, cheap. Yep, that sort of sume up this thing so far. Hopefully an Uber will crash into my apartment and flatten me in my reading chair before this gets any worse.

I certianly hope the author doesn’t expect me to “see” these works of art and why Sonia (is that the main character) is worried about how they look. I mean, it’s a short story, not a picture book.