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Best Poem in The New Yorker EVER!

In the August 30 issue:

On The Inevitable Decline into Mediocrity of the Popular Muisician Who Attains a Comfortable Middle Age

O Sting, where is thy death?

– David Musgrave


  1. Quin Finnegan says

    Like you and Rufus (and everyone else here, probably), I'm a big fan of the New Yorker, but I admit that when I saw this poem I thought it was just mean.

    I saw an ad for his latest album, a retread of the old hits in front of a symphony orchestra, and just laughed out loud. I mean, if the guy wants to extend his legacy to even sappier versions of "Every Breath You Take" and "Fields of Barley", more power to him. Saturday Night Live didn't even parody Robert Goulet this well.

    But wishing him death? It's a sick thought, as well as taking it all too seriously. As maybe I'm taking the poem. But still…

  2. Quin,

    Ugh! Does Mr. Charity always have to show up to MY parties! Why can't I just have some regular good ol' racists, homophobes and anti-aging rockerists like everyone else? Huh? Is it too much to ask?


  3. Matthew Lickona says


    Aw, c'mon. Try this one on: Sting is not Gordon Sumner. Sting is Gordon Sumner's performing persona. Sting could die and leave Gordon Sumner to enjoy a long and happy old age. So wishing for the death of Sting is not such a bad thing, maybe?

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    Yeah, those are all good points – as I said, maybe I'm took it all too seriously.

    And Matthew, that is definitely on my wavelength.

    I appreciate the anti-PC thing as much as the next guy; I just didn't think it was all that funny. Or more mean than funny: I like cheap gags about his hairline or his Kundalini orgasms. And cheap gags about one's own death or impending doom are funny. Retard jokes aren't. Whatever, I take your point. Mr. Charity won't rain on your parade any more.

  5. Quin,

    I don't even (want to) know what Kundalini thingies are!

    And to be quite sincere, I'm only mostly joshing with you.

    I was actually waiting for Mr. Lickona to interpolate a few bars of TMBG's "Your Racist Friend"…

    After all, you can't shake hands with JOB and only say you were kidding…


    p.s. And who said anything about retards? I give out Tootsie Rolls for them; I don't make jokes about them.

  6. Rufus McCain says

    When I saw the poem as I flipped through the magazine, my first thought was: Hey a poem that's short enough that I'll go ahead and read it. My second thought was: clever, fun. And then I thought: But is it really a poem? It's one of those clever little non-poem poems.

    I have to admit that the thought of meanness towards Sting never once crossed my mind.

  7. Quin Finnegan says

    You guys sooooo cold hearted. Sting probably laughed his ass off when he read the poem himself, and now I think

    I realize

    I must



  8. Matthew Lickona says

    Everybody hurts sometimes.

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