Former Slatester Farhad Manjoo on His Favorite #Slatepitch

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April 24 2014 11:31 AM
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Farhad Manjoo’s Favorite Slate Story

The New York Times’ technology columnist remembers a classic #slatepitch.

Farhad Manjoo.
Farhad Manjoo.

Courtesy of Farhad Manjoo

Since our founding in 1996 (1996!), Slate has published tens of thousands of articles. We’ve asked a group of former Slatesters to direct you to pieces they remember fondly from their time at the magazine.

From 2008–2013, Farhad Manjoo was Slate’s technology columnist. Manjoo, the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, currently writes about technology at the New York Times.

My favorite Slate piece?

It’s so hard to pick one, especially since I wrote so many great ones. But the one that I always pass out to friends is John Swansburg’s 2008 rant against birthday dinners, with the outstanding headline “Happy Birthday, You Bastard: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner.

It’s hilarious, it’s right on, it’s contrarian in the best Slate tradition, and conceptually, it’s both obvious and surprising: Even though everyone hates being roped in to expensive, impersonal birthday dinners, nobody had made that point until John did.