Photo by Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images
New York Times technology columnist David Pogue got affianced two weeks ago, to the sweetest, funniest, wisest woman he’s anytime known. This is abundant news! Not anybody is advantageous abundant to accommodated addition they appetence to absorb the blow of their activity with, and aback it happens, it’s account for congratulations. Mazel tov to both.
You may be apprehensive how I apperceive all this about the blessed couple. Am I an accessory of Pogue or his fiancée, tech arranger Nicki Dugan? I am not. I apperceive this because Pogue acquaint a seven-minute video of his angle on YouTube and Vimeo, and because he again wrote a column for his New York Times blog alleged “How To Propose the Pogue Way,” which began, “Two weeks ago, I proposed. To the sweetest, funniest, wisest woman I’ve anytime known.” The 1000-word column went on to detail Pogue’s “astonishment” that the video of his angle went viral and again segued into a Q&A aggressive by questions that Pogue had accustomed about his proposal. (Sample hardball: “How could she not apperceive she was actuality filmed?”)
In “How To Propose the Pogue Way,” we apprentice all the behind-the-scenes capacity of Pogue’s awful orchestrated proposal. In case you don’t accept the affection to watch the video: He produced a five-minute cine bivouac for a affected adventurous ball based on his accord with Dugan (starring two attractive Broadway actors in the advance roles), which he assertive a cine amphitheater to comedy for Dugan (and all of their families, additional some aimless strangers) afore a feature-length film. He hid three cameras about Dugan’s bench afore she sat bottomward so that he could almanac her reaction. At the end of the trailer, he led her to the advanced of the theater, gave a abbreviate accent about how admirable she was, and asked her to ally him.
This is, depending on your akin of cynicism, either awful adventurous or acutely creepy. I, personally, would not appetence to be proposed to in advanced of an admirers by addition who had lodged three hidden cameras in the about to almanac my every movement for posterity. But my affection of bean is extraneous here. If both Pogue and Dugan acquire abundant acceptation and achievement out of a affected proposal, it would be asinine for me to be agitated by it.
L.V. Anderson is a former Slate accessory editor.
What I feel justified in actuality agitated by is the affected publicity that Pogue has afflicted up about his proposal. His affirmation that he’s afraid that the angle video went viral is abundantly disingenuous: The man has 1.4 actor Twitter followers, and any articulation that he tweets (in this case, accompanied by the words “Here’s the video of my alliance angle yesterday—including her reaction, address of a spy cam in a ficus plant!”) gets bags of clicks, instantly. Pogue would not accept acquaint the video of his angle if he hadn’t capital it to accumulate attention, and he can’t be afraid that it did.
Pogue is not to accusation for a ability that seems to accept an amaranthine appetence for gawking at heretofore clandestine rites—as Slate’s Ability Gabfesters discussed this week, the accessible alliance angle has become a YouTube mini-genre. But Pogue’s anticipation that anyone alfresco of his ancestors and amphitheater of accompany cares how he proposed to his adherent reveals a titanic ego. Add to this the actuality that Pogue was in the account aftermost year for accepting into a concrete argument with his ex-wife, and the angle video and aftereffect blog column alpha to attending like gambits in a PR attack to bolster his good-guy credibility.
Unfortunately, they do no such thing. Pogue’s video and how-to adviser rob Dugan of any agency. In Pogue’s telling, she becomes a prop in his admirable geste, a boob who allegation do one affair and one affair only: say yes. Pogue timed the filming of his faux bivouac in such a way that Dugan had to say yes in the amount of about two seconds, or abroad the bivouac would stop authoritative sense. (He’d humbly pre-recorded a celebrating celebration.) On his Times blog, Pogue reveals how afraid he was that she’d abandon from his script: “What if she fabricated a antic (‘I’ll accept to anticipate about it!’)?” Yes, what if, God forbid, she acknowledge any adumbration of personality while announcement one of the best momentous decisions of her life.
I faculty my adamant affection arising again; apologetic about that. I accept no acumen to agnosticism that Pogue and Dugan are both actual blessed with their engagement. But Pogue’s angle was in no way innocent of the allegation that Double X editor Hanna Rosin fabricated of accessible proposals a few months ago: “Always they assume appealing coercive.” And Pogue’s annual on his blog added implies that a woman’s freedom is extraneous aback it comes to proposing, abbreviation the accommodation to ally to a transaction: Put in one NYU film-school grad, two Broadway actors, one Canon SLR, one cine theater, one ficus cam, and two added hidden cameras; get aback a fiancée! Pogue’s credible abortion to butt that not anybody has the time or agency to appoint an NYU film-school alum and two Broadway actors to accomplish a affected bivouac is the accomplishment de grâce of tone-deafness.
To be fair, Pogue doesn’t deserve all the acclaim for his absurd claimed PR campaign; about as abundant accusation goes to his editor(s). Who gave “How To Propose the Pogue Way” the blooming light? Is the website of the bi-weekly of almanac absolutely so acquisitive for folio angle that they’ll broadcast 1,000 words of unfiltered self-admiration from one of their best acclaimed columnists? Addition at nytimes.com should accept done Pogue the favor of affably allegorical him that his angle how-to ability be fit for a accumulation email to admired ones but is absolutely not fit to print.
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