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The World Beyond BetterMost => The Culture Tent => Topic started by: Front-Ranger on January 11, 2009, 02:45:52 am

Title: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 11, 2009, 02:45:52 am
There were three very interesting articles in The New Yorker this week.

First was Strange Stones, about two men who travelled through China.

Then, "Barney's Great Adventure" about Rep. Barney Frank.

Third is a story by Joyce Carol Oates. I have never liked or finished reading one of her stories until now. But I found "Pumpkin Head (http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2009/01/12/090112fi_fiction_oates)" to be very engrossing.

New Yorker is now available digitally! I will post links for those who subscribe.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 11, 2009, 11:49:04 am
Thanks for the recommendations, FRiend. I hadn't got past the table of contents. I'm still trying to make it through the past few weeks' issues, (very slowly) reading a piece about the history of the Village Voice.

But I like the idea of a thread in which we talk about articles we've read in the New Yorker that we found interesting. I almost never read entire issues, so suggestions could help me narrow it down more efficiently.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Lynne on January 11, 2009, 12:19:30 pm
Thanks from me too, FRiend Lee.

I have been meaning to get a subscription to The New Yorker.  Online now, hunh?  I also have never been one to get into Joyce Carol Oates, but now I'm intrigued.

 :-*
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: BelAir on January 11, 2009, 02:20:12 pm
Online links would be great...

I too thought about subscribing, but in the end didn't, because I knew it would take me forever to get through the issues and I would generate lots and lots of paper waste..
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 11, 2009, 02:22:20 pm
Online links would be great...

I too thought about subscribing, but in the end didn't, because I knew it would take me forever to get through the issues and I would generate lots and lots of paper waste..

Well, you're right about both. But it's fun to find something besides bills in your mailbox each week. And it's some of the best magazine journalism in the country!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 13, 2009, 11:58:44 am
Fun item in the New Yorker blog...Dippin Dots (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/goingson/2009/01/dots-for-dippin.html)!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 14, 2009, 11:59:13 pm
The latest issue has a cover commemorating the inauguration. If you read near the end of the magazine, there is an ad that tells you how to obtain a complementary cover image!

Just go to http://www.newyorker.com/user/registration (http://www.newyorker.com/user/registration)

Interesting things I've read so far: Judith Thurman on Scrabble mania.

An article on breastfeeding.

Movie marketing (altho it seemed to be way too long)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 20, 2009, 04:48:19 pm
You may miss the commemorative cover free offer even if you subscribe. It's on page 79 of the magazine!!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 29, 2009, 01:45:30 am


http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/magazines/will_the_new_yorker_fold_next_107145.asp (http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/magazines/will_the_new_yorker_fold_next_107145.asp)


Shocker


Wednesday, Jan 28
Will The New Yorker
Fold Next?


(http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/original/ny01.28.09.jpg)

Conde Nast shuttered Domino earlier today and unless things turn around quick (don't hold your breath), the magazine publisher will undoubtedly be looking to make more cuts. Could The New Yorker  be next?

At first glance, you'd immediately assume no. David Remnick's book consistently produces some of the best journalism around. Year in, year out, its assured multiple Ellie  noms and a couple of wins. But the economics might end up forcing Si Newhouse to kill his baby.

The mag's struggles to retain advertisers have been well documented. Earlier today, Gawker 's Hamilton Nolan called it the company's "Plutonium loser" for seeing its ad pages drop 26.8 percent over last year. (We would have gone with "Adamantium loser" but we quibble.)

The February 2 issue paints an even more dire picture. Checking in at 83 pages, it features — by our count — a mere 15 pages of ads, or roughly 18 percent. Five of those pages, however, are "house ads" for New Yorker  or Conde Nast products, bringing the total paid ad pages down to 12 percent. That, my friends, is not good. Not good at all.

The question might be not can Conde afford to shutter The NYer  but rather can the publisher afford not to.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 29, 2009, 10:55:41 am
OMG, no! That would be beyond awful. The New Yorker made it through the Depression!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 29, 2009, 12:11:30 pm
Jesus H.!  :o

OMG, no! That would be beyond awful. The New Yorker made it through the Depression!

During the Depression, it didn't have to compete with the Internet. Nobody did.  :-\

As much as it pains me, I think I can see why if I had something to sell I'd be reluctant to spend money on an ad in The New Yorker. As a reader, I almost never look at the ads. The ads are just those columns on the outside of the pages where you hold the magazine without covering up any of the text you are reading.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 29, 2009, 12:14:03 pm
In the January 26 issue, the one with the cover of President Obama as the Father of His Country, I recommend Atul Gawande's article on how national health insurance came into being in other countries, and what those examples could suggest for the U.S.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 29, 2009, 12:14:59 pm

OMG, no! That would be beyond awful. The New Yorker made it through the Depression!


Exactly. That's what I was thinking.

Si Newhouse has deep pockets. I hope!

I read something in the last few days--must find it--that in the future quality journalism will have to rely on philanthropy--

 :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 29, 2009, 12:26:06 pm
As much as it pains me, I think I can see why if I had something to sell I'd be reluctant to spend money on an ad in The New Yorker. As a reader, I almost never look at the ads. The ads are just those columns on the outside of the pages where you hold the magazine without covering up any of the text you are reading.

Me neither. But then, I don't look at the ads in any magazine or newspaper or website. The only ads I pay attention to, frankly, are the ones on TV. For some reason, even the stupid ones often hold my attention.




Exactly. That's what I was thinking.

Si Newhouse has deep pockets. I hope!

I read something in the last few days--must find it--that in the future quality journalism will have to rely on philanthropy--

 :(

As a former employee of another Newhouse publication, I was thankful that as a privately held company they were not beholden to stockholders' relentless demands for profitability (unlike, say, Knight-Ridder, which was forced by stockholders to sell off all of its newspapers). I've always sensed that S.I. sees the New Yorker as a source of pride and prestige more than income. I hope.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 05, 2009, 07:00:00 pm
In this week's issue, I'm reading an interesting article about tinnitus and hearing loss, from which I suffer. It's called "That Buzzing Sound."

Me neither. But then, I don't look at the ads in any magazine or newspaper or website. The only ads I pay attention to, frankly, are the ones on TV. For some reason, even the stupid ones often hold my attention.

Maybe you're one of those "kinetic learners" K!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 05, 2009, 09:54:40 pm


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/business/media/06mag.html?scp=3&sq=%22New%20Yorker%22&st=cse (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/business/media/06mag.html?scp=3&sq=%22New%20Yorker%22&st=cse)

New Publisher Named at the New Yorker

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
Published: February 5, 2009

Condé Nast Publications named a new publisher for The New Yorker   on Thursday and put the magazine’s previous publisher in charge of Internet ad sales for the entire company. The move is part of a continuing reorganization as the company grapples with the magazine industry’s plunging ad revenue.


Drew Schutte, publisher of The New Yorker  for the last year, became senior vice president and chief revenue officer of Condé Nast Digital,  heading the recently consolidated ad sales force for all of the company’s magazines. That reorganization ended a fragmented approach and, executives said, reflected a recognition that the company had lagged the industry in building Internet revenue.

Lisa Hughes, The New Yorker ’s new vice president and publisher, had been vice president and publisher of Condé Nast Traveler  since 1995, making that magazine a rare island of stability at a privately held company that has been known for frequent executive shake-ups.

She takes over a magazine clearly in need of help. The New Yorker ’s ad pages dropped 26.8 percent in 2008, far more than other Condé Nast titles, and more than double the industrywide decline of 11.7 percent. Financial services ads, a New Yorker  mainstay, were among the hardest-hit categories last year.

The New Yorker  was operating in the black in early 2008, but not by the end of the year, according to company executives who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss finances.

One Condé Nast executive said Mr. Schutte’s stewardship of The New Yorker  was never intended as a long-term arrangement, and that the digital job is a better fit for him, with his extensive background in technology magazines and their Internet operations. Before going to The New Yorker,  he was vice president and publishing director of Condé Nast’s Wired Media, which includes Wired  magazine.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 08, 2009, 01:36:55 pm

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/02/09/slideshow_090209_eustacetilley?slide=1#showHeader (http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/02/09/slideshow_090209_eustacetilley?slide=1#showHeader)

Album
Your Eustace, 2009
February 9, 2009


We held our second annual contest soliciting readers’ takes on Eustace Tilley, the magazine’s mascot, who appeared on the cover of the first issue of The New Yorker as well as almost every anniversary issue since. More than three hundred readers responded. Looking for humor and originality, we picked twelve favorites.

Here is a portfolio of the twelve winning entries, which we feel would have made Rea Irvin, the creator of the original cover, proud. A sample of the winning covers also appears in the February 9 and 16, 2009, issue of the magazine, which celebrates our eighty-fourth anniversary.

All of this year’s entries can be found at our gallery; you can also browse last year’s winners and all entries from 2008.





(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleynyctaxiericalmendral_p323.jpg)
“NYC Taxi Eustace”
Eric Almendral
North Hollywood, Calif
.



(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleysocialbutterfliescharlenechua_p323.jpg)
“Social Butterflies Get All the Looks”
Charlene Chua
Toronto, Ontario




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleymobidavidleonard_p323.jpg)
“Eustace.Mobi”
David Leonard
West Orange, N.J.




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleydarenotspeakdaveortega_p323.jpg)
“The Tilley that Dare Not Speak Its Name”
Dave Ortega
Somerville, Mass.




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleydogandbutterflygaryamaro_p323.jpg)
“A Walk in the Park”
Gary Amaro
Berkeley, Calif.




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleybanksymarcusthiele_p323.jpg)
“Eustace Banksy”
Marcus Thiele
Knoxville, Tenn.




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/09/p323/090209_tilleydestijlerinzingre_p323.jpg)
“Eustace de Stijl-ley“
Erin Zingré
Fort Scott, Kan.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 08, 2009, 02:27:13 pm

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2008/02/11/slideshow_080211_tilleycontest (http://www.newyorker.com/online/2008/02/11/slideshow_080211_tilleycontest)

(A Sampling of
Last Year's)
Album
Your Eustace
February 3, 2008





(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleychristo_p323.jpg)
“Used to See the Winter Sky, Till He Draped My Only Eye”
Jason Luz
Long Beach, California




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleyxray_p323.jpg)
“X-ray Tilley”
Adam Koford
Saint Cloud, Florida




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleylautrec_p323.jpg)
“Henri Touleustace Latilley”
Jennifer Culbertson
Dallas, Texas




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleyleather_p323.jpg)
“Leather Daddy Eustace”
Jerrold Connors
Alameda, California




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleytattoo_p323.jpg)
“Eustace Tilley’s Tattoo:
Always at the Forefront of What Is Truly Hip”
Brian Butler
Roxbury, Massachusetts




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleyfrankenstein_p323.jpg)
“Frankeneustace”
Peter Emmerich
Yonkers, New York




(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/02/11/p323/080211_tilleymrburns_p323.jpg)
“The Springfieldian”
Gary Amaro and Claire B. Cotts
Berkeley, California
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 08, 2009, 03:20:30 pm
Swweeet! I love the mouse and the greyhound best! I wonder what Eustace's nickname would be??

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 08, 2009, 06:39:13 pm
I've seen "Leather Daddy Eustace" before. He looks astonishingly like my friend Dusty, so much so that I actually printed a copy of the image and have it hanging on my refrigerator. I also sent a copy to Dusty; he never did tell me what he thought of it.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 17, 2009, 03:26:10 am

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2009/02/23/090223craw_artworld_schjeldahl?currentPage=all (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2009/02/23/090223craw_artworld_schjeldahl?currentPage=all)

The Art World
Hope And Glory
A Shepard Fairey moment.
by Peter Schjeldahl  
February 23, 2009


(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/23/p465/090223_r18221b_p465.jpg)
A wall of Fairey’s street posters.

It was only about a year ago, though it feels like half a lifetime, that Shepard Fairey created the most efficacious American political illustration since “Uncle Sam Wants You”: the Obama “Hope” poster. In innumerable variants, the craning, intent, elegant mien of the candidate engulfed the planet. I won’t forget coming across it, last summer, stencilled on a sidewalk of a hamlet in the upper Catskills, where cell phones don’t work and most people, if they vote at all, vote Republican. Underfoot, the small, tidy image organized its rustic environs as a frame for itself, like Wallace Stevens’s jar in Tennessee. I was delighted, as an Obama supporter. But I was a trifle disturbed, too, by the intrusion on a tranquil—and, it suddenly proved, defenseless—reality of weathered houses amid humpback mountains. The result was strident and mystical, yanking my mind into a placeless jet stream of abstract associations. It exploited a familiar graphic device—exalted and refined by Andy Warhol—of polarizing photographs into solid darks and blank lights, thus rendering volumetric subjects dead flat. Mentally restoring those splotches to rounded substance makes us feel clever, on the important condition that the subject excites us enough to elicit the effort. The reward with Fairey’s picture was a thrill of concerted purpose, guarded against fatuity by coolly candid deliberation. The effect is that of epic poetry in an everyday tongue.

A “Hope” poster hangs alongside about two hundred and fifty slick and, for the most part, far more resistible works in a Fairey retrospective, his first, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston. The thirty-nine-year-old Fairey, a Los Angeles-based street artist, graphic designer, and entrepreneur, was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where his father is a doctor. At fourteen, Fairey, a budding rascal, started decorating skateboards and T-shirts. He graduated from the technically rigorous Rhode Island School of Design with a bachelor’s degree in illustration, in 1992. While a student in Providence, he took to applying gnomic stickers and posters, without permission, to buildings and signs. The signature image of his street work is the cartooned face of the wrestler Andre the Giant (André René Roussimoff, who died in 1993, and is fondly remembered for his role in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride”), accompanied at first by the wacky caption “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” and later by “Obey Giant” or, simply, “Obey.” Lyrically paranoid, the motif was inspired by the artist’s reading of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984”—a connection that looped back to the source last year when Penguin U.K. reissued those books with new cover designs, by Fairey. Fairey’s street work popularized a going fashion for academic deconstruction, with pretensions to exposing the malign operations of mass culture. Hip rather than populist, the Andre campaign projects an audience dumb enough to fall for media manipulation while smart enough to absorb a critique of it. And, of course, it’s vandalism—in the vein of urban graffiti—invading environments whose inhabitants, for all any artist knows, might value them just as they are. Boston’s I.C.A. has condoned a citywide smattering of street art by Fairey, as an extension of the show. That makes sense. So does the decision of the Boston police to arrest him for it, on his way to the show’s opening.

Fairey has run into a similarly predictable legal snarl with the “Hope” poster, having lifted the image from an Associated Press photograph. The original shows Obama seated at a dais (next to George Clooney) at the National Press Club, in 2006, and attending to a speaker who stands outside the frame, to his left. Knowing this rather deflates the mystery of an expression that has suggested, to some, a visionary surveying the future. Obama listens, merely, with a grimly amused concentration that may be explained by the identity of the speaker, the conservative Senator Sam Brownback, of Kansas. Anyhow, with the A.P. seeking compensation for copyright infringement, the artist has sued for a judicial ruling of fair use. This audacious counterattack aside, the general issue is an old story of our litigious republic. Appropriative artists, including David Salle, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince, have been sued at intervals since Campbell’s soup went after Warhol, in 1962 (but then thought better of it).

As an art maven, I’m for granting artists blanket liberty to play with any existing image. I also realize that it is not going to happen, and I’m bored by the kerfuffle’s rote recurrence, with its all but scripted lines for plaintiff and defendant alike. It is of a piece with Fairey’s energetic but unoriginal enterprise involving a repertoire of well-worn provocations—imitations of Soviet agitprop on shopping bags designed for Saks, to cite one example. Warhol sublimely commodified images of Mao and the hammer and sickle four decades ago, in keeping with an ambition—to infuse subjects and tones of common culture with powers of high art—that has not grown old. Warhol’s revelatory games with the cognitive dissonance between art and commerce have galvanized artists in every generation since. But you can stretch a frisson just so many times before it goes limp. Like the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who included a Louis Vuitton boutique in his Los Angeles retrospective, Fairey reverses a revolution achieved by Warhol, along with Roy Lichtenstein. He embraces a trend in what the critic Dave Hickey has called “pop masquerading as art, as opposed to art masquerading as pop.”

The aesthetics of Fairey’s Boston show are formulaic, but they exercise immediate power. He is a terrific designer. His screenprints on paper, canvas, plastic, and metal, from found photographs and illustrations—publicity portraits, vintage advertising and propaganda, historical icons (Patty Hearst with a machine gun), satirically altered cash and stock certificates—deploy a standard palette of acrid red, yellowish white, and black. (The red, white, and blue of “Hope” were an ad-hoc departure.) Often, the images are overlaid on printed or collaged grounds of wallpaperlike pattern or fragments of newspaper pages, which impart a palimpsestic texture and a flavor of antiquity. Fairey’s stylistic borrowings from Russian Revolutionary, Soviet, and W.P.A. propaganda are often remarked upon, but borrowedness itself—studied anachronism—is his mode of seduction. His style’s old-timey charm, however, is not inexhaustible. That leaves the inherent attraction of his subjects and of his selection of ready-made images to represent them. These include, besides mainstream heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Muhammad Ali, Che, Fidel, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, generic freedom fighters, and “revolutionary women.” Punks abound: Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop. Let George W. Bush pictured as a vampire exemplify the calibre of Fairey’s many satirical japes.

Fairey has said that the real message behind his work is “Question everything.” I question the I.C.A. director Jill Medvedow’s claim, in the show’s catalogue, that Fairey pursues a “quest to challenge the status quo and disrupt our sense of complacency through his art.” What isn’t status quo about political rage? And have you met anyone not heavily medicated who strikes you as complacent lately? The retrospective is dated on arrival. Oddly, Fairey’s splendid tour de force for Obama anticipated a new national mood, of serious-minded pragmatism, which makes ideological extremes seem sort of quaint. I found myself regarding the show as strangely wholesome, like a vaccine that defeats the virus it imitates. It’s as if Fairey meant to ridicule rebellion. I’m not sure he knows what he meant, beyond wanting to get a rise out of people. But if he did know—that is, if he were a better artist—he probably could not have helped change the world with one magically ambiguous picture. ♦


Related Links
Slide Show: A portfolio of images by Shepard Fairey.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/02/23/slideshow_090223_shepardfairey (http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/02/23/slideshow_090223_shepardfairey)

And as posted in the 'Obama Art' thread:
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 17, 2009, 03:51:21 pm
I like that turn of phrase, "a budding rascal."  ;D

OK, since George Clooney was seated next to the future president when the iconic photo was taken, I wonder if someone will now parody Fairey by substituting Clooney for the President?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 17, 2009, 06:13:55 pm




I like that turn of phrase, "a budding rascal."  ;D
(http://www.charlierose.com/images_toplevel/content/10/1004/segment_10047_140x90.jpg)

OK, since George Clooney was seated next to the future president when the iconic photo was taken, I wonder if someone will now parody Fairey by substituting Clooney for the President?  ;D




(http://www.charlierose.com/images_toplevel/people/6/655/guest_6554_340x340.jpg)
(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/23/p646/090223_fairey05_p646.jpg)
The Budding Rascal


Three cuties!! (am I wrong??)


(http://blogs.phillynews.com/inquirer/sceneonroad/ROAD20090121H.jpg)
(http://blogs.phillynews.com/inquirer/sceneonroad/ROAD20090121G.jpg)

The CBS videotape of the Press Conference:
U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.,
and George Clooney
National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1553673n (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1553673n)


http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.180.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.180.html)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on February 17, 2009, 07:54:24 pm
OK, since George Clooney was seated next to the future president when the iconic photo was taken, I wonder if someone will now parody Fairey by substituting Clooney for the President?  ;D

Here y' go.  :)

(http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h269/merylmarie/FaireyClooney.png)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 17, 2009, 08:07:53 pm
Here y' go.  :)

(http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h269/merylmarie/FaireyClooney.png)
Good grief!  :o  That didn't take long!  :laugh:

Not to mention. ...

The Feb. 23 New Yorker arrived in today's mail. The inside front cover is a parody with Bill Maher, and the word "Help!" advertizing his HBO show.

Shepherd Fairey is cute.  ::)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 17, 2009, 08:52:19 pm


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punim (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punim)

(http://www.charlierose.com/images_toplevel/content/10/1004/segment_10047_140x90.jpg)

1.  punim   

A yiddish word for face, or more specifically a cute face.

Oy, look at the punim on that one! 

 ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 18, 2009, 10:19:05 am

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punim (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punim)

(http://www.charlierose.com/images_toplevel/content/10/1004/segment_10047_140x90.jpg)

1.  punim   

A yiddish word for face, or more specifically a cute face.

Oy, look at the punim on that one! 

 ;D


Punim, indeed!  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 18, 2009, 02:57:09 pm

Also poster in the 'Obama Art' thread--
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html)

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/02/23/090223sh_shouts_mccall (http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/02/23/090223sh_shouts_mccall)

Our President’s New BlackBerry
by Bruce McCall
February 23, 2009


(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/23/p465/090223_r18212o_p465.jpg)

1. Oath-of-Office Interactive Memory Game.

2. Press to delete announcements of new Iraq self-government start date.

3. Press to play prerecorded “Love to, but this term’s no good” response to Senator McCain lunch request.

4. Tap to get today’s White Sox 2009 astrological chart.

5. Push for hourly update on Michelle clothing expenditures.

6. Alarm flashes if Malia and Sasha are jumping on Lincoln’s bed.

7. Push to get Rahm Emanuel’s Wisecrack of the Day.

8. Push to set automatic “Line no longer in service” response to incoming Hillary calls.

9. Press to activate simulated busy signal on incoming Caroline Kennedy calls.

10. Push to reset automatic cigarette-break reminder buzzer.

11. Tap once to activate C.I.A. briefing. Tap twice to activate C.I.A.-briefing lie detector.

12. Press to activate simulated nuclear alert ten minutes after Vice-President Biden enters Oval Office.

13. Automatic alert beeps if Al Gore is within one mile of White House.

14. Press to divert incoming Bill calls to Hillary’s number.

15. Press for Mensa chat line.

16. Mute button for twenty-four-hour live CongressCam.

17. Press for Illinois Attorney General’s office Crisis Hot Line.

18. Push once to add another ten billion dollars to bailout plan.

19. Press to refresh current Cabinet roster.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 18, 2009, 03:03:40 pm

Also poster in the 'Obama Art' thread--
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30120.260.html)


http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/02/23/090223fa_fact_mayer (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/02/23/090223fa_fact_mayer)

A Reporter at Large
The Hard Cases
Will Obama institute a new kind of preventive detention for terrorist suspects?
by Jane Mayer
February 23, 2009


(http://www.newyorker.com/images/2009/02/23/p233/090223_r18230_p233.jpg)
“We don’t own the problem,” Greg Craig,
the White House counsel, says.
“But we’ll be held accountable for
how we handle this.”
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on February 27, 2009, 02:13:26 am


http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2009/02/david-brooks-is.html (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2009/02/david-brooks-is.html)

(http://www.newyorker.com/images/headers/hese_INTERESTING_TIMES_g.gif)

Semi-regular thoughts on foreign affairs, politics, and books, from George Packer.

February 24, 2009
Conservatives Take on Obama


David Brooks is going to be one of the best critics the Obama Administration will have, because his reservations and attacks are based on a world view that’s not only viable and thoughtful but almost always proved right: the view that we human beings overrate our ability to solve problems through the application of reason. The return of liberals to power has driven Brooks back down to his philosophical roots in Burkean caution toward rapid change based on abstract principles (he had lost touch with this inner self during the early Bush years, especially around the invasion of Iraq). Today’s column http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/opinion/24brooks.html?_r=1 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/opinion/24brooks.html?_r=1) is just one of many recent examples, prompted by the fact that the Obama White House is taking on massive challenges in the economy, housing, banking, health care, energy, and education—all at once. It is, Brooks writes, “the biggest political experiment of our lifetimes.” Obama should do what Bush never did and make sure he talks to a critic like Brooks at least once every few months.

In one sense, the Administration is bound to disappoint, and Brooks’s “epistemological skepticism” is bound to be vindicated. If the test for Obama is whether “highly trained government experts are capable of quickly designing and executing top-down transformational change,” what are the chances that in a year or two Brooks will have to admit he was wrong? History never produces such clear outcomes. The results of government attempts to deal with huge systemic crises, like the ones we face today, are always dissatisfying, especially in the short-term, and leave most of the old problems unsolved. Brooks’s standard is so high that it sets liberalism up for certain failure.

Here’s the test Brooks should set: will Obama’s efforts lead to worse than the alternatives? Will they be worse than his predecessor’s? The conservative approach to economic and social policy, as refined to ideological purity under Bush, is to get government out of the way, trust free markets, and let chronic problems fester until they turn into disasters. The results are all around us (one example among hundreds: the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate Wall Street). Brooks pits a rigid, abstraction-loving liberalism against a wise, experience-loving conservatism. But recent American history has shown the truth to be closer to the opposite. We are where we are because the ruling conservative ideology of the past few decades refused to face facts, like the effect of private insurance on health-care costs, or the effect of deregulation on investment banking. Facts drove the Republicans out of power. And judging from their response to Obama’s first month in office, facts are very hard things to face in politics.

Obama isn’t trying to remake America’s economy and society out of ideological hubris. He’s initiating sweeping changes because he inherited a set of interrelated emergencies that require swift, decisive action. There’s an instructive example for both Brooks and Obama’s supporters to bear in mind: Herbert Hoover became President with the sterling reputation of a practical man, an engineer and businessman who had succeeded at everything in his life. When the Depression began, he took what he assumed to be practical steps to ameliorate it. But, as Richard Hofstadter observed in The American Political Tradition,  “What ruined Hoover’s public career was not a sudden failure of personal capacity but the collapse of the world that had produced him and shaped his philosophy…Because, on his postulates, his program should have been successful, he went on talking as though it were, and the less his ideas worked, the more defiantly he advocated them.”

This is an apt description of the current attitude of John McCain, Eric Cantor, and Bobby Jindal. Like Hoover, they cannot fathom the failure of their philosophy, so they cling to it and insist that it has all the answers while the country drowns. Conservatism, pace  Brooks, is no more likely to be clear-eyed and critical-minded than liberalism. Any set of ideas can harden into ideological certainty, especially when it’s been in power for a long time. Obama’s emphasis on government intervention could become as calcified and resistant to facts as the Republican Party’s free-market conservatism is now. If or when it does, Obama will need to hear from Brooks all the more. But for the moment, Obama is necessarily experimenting in the face of disaster much like the President who followed Hoover.

Unfortunately, Brooks’s fair-minded critique is rare on the right. Most conservative critics of Obama’s first month are not hoping to be proved wrong, as Brooks says he is. Far from it: their dice were loaded from the start. Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove, Peter Wehner, and others have already concluded that Obama is a failure, even as they pretend to reserve final judgment. Given the amount of wrongheadedness and damage pundits like these have inflicted on the country in its recent history, the decent thing for them to have done is say nothing for at least six months. They might even have learned something.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on February 27, 2009, 11:28:03 am
Quote
Obama isn’t trying to remake America’s economy and society out of ideological hubris. He’s initiating sweeping changes because he inherited a set of interrelated emergencies that require swift, decisive action.

I like the way he states this.  Very good article.  Thanks, John.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 05, 2009, 06:16:39 pm
I received two issues of The New Yorker at the same time...is this a cost-cutting move, or what?

Anyway, in the March 2 issue, there's an interesting article called "Lesbian Nation" recalling women-only outposts in the 1970s, a wonderful article on Damon Runyon in preparation for the return of Guys and Dolls to Broadway, and a critique of Josh Whedon's new television show Dollhouse.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 05, 2009, 08:00:05 pm
I received two issues of The New Yorker at the same time...is this a cost-cutting move, or what?

I'd say it means your mail was late.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 05, 2009, 08:15:03 pm
Anyway, in the March 2 issue, there's an interesting article called "Lesbian Nation" recalling women-only outposts in the 1970s,
[/quote]

Written by Ariel Levy, who wrote that nice essay "The Lesbian Bride's Handbook." I really like her.

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30126.0.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30126.0.html)


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 05, 2009, 10:58:00 pm
Written by Ariel Levy, who wrote that nice essay "The Lesbian Bride's Handbook." I really like her.

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30126.0.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,30126.0.html)

I thought that was from where I remembered the name.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 06, 2009, 05:02:01 pm
... a wonderful article on Damon Runyon in preparation for the return of Guys and Dolls to Broadway...

Oh, no! Terry Teachout says the new production is "dull"!!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 14, 2009, 11:34:57 pm
Here's a few of the artilces I have saved from The New Yorker:

The Hollywood One: An Intellectual in screenwriter's clothing
Goodbye to all that: Who Killed the Boom? Two economists make their cases
The Mirage: The architectural insanity of Dubai
Salesman: days and nights in Leo Koenig's gallery
The God of War. Fiction by Marisa Silver
The translation Wars: How the race to translate Tolstoy...
The New Pitch: Do ads still work?
This is No Game, by Jack Handey
Amateur Hour: Journalism without Journalists
The Atomic Emporium: Abdul Khan and Iran's race to build the bomb
Google's Moon Shot: The Quest for the universal library
Boomtown Blues: How natural gas changed the way of life in Sublette County
Different Strokes: VanGogh and Gauguin in Arles
Bear Meat, by Primo Levi
Big Pictures: Hollywood Looks for a Future
How I Spent the War, by Gunther Grass
When I'm Sixty-Four, Paul McCartney then and now
Westward Ho: Revisiting Kit Carson
Black Ice, by Kate Kennedy
Too Big to Fail, by Andy Borowitz
The Dark Side, Making War on Light Pollution

More soon
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 15, 2009, 11:42:14 am
And more...

True Story, The Art of Short Fiction
Credit Grab: how many writers does it take to make a movie?
My Life as a Paulette (David Denby's memoir of Pauline Kael)
The Real McKee, Lessons of a screenwriting guru
The End Matter, a nightmare of citation
1839/2003: Five Days on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Spheres of Influence: How the government helped build America's media night
Mother Courage: Kids, careers, and culture
The Price of Valor. We train our soldiers to kill for us. Afterward, they're on their own.
Will Power: Why Shakespeare remains the necessary poet
Northern Lights: How modern life emerged from 18th century Scotland
High Prices: How to think about prescription drugs
The CHamber. Young Raphael in London
Lost Boys. Why J. M. Barrie created Peter Pan
Reading Lessons, by Edwidge Danticat
Orpheus at the Plough, the father of Little Women
Battle Lessons, What the Generals Don't Know
The Comfort Zone, growing up with Charlie Brown, by Jonathan Franzen
Fine Disturbances. To track someone, you have to learn to see
Me Media. How hanging out on the Internet became big business
Adina, Astrid, Chipwee, Jasmine, by Matthew Klam
The Ecstatic Truth: Werner Herzog's Quest
What Happened at Alder Creek? Excavating the Donner Party
Homer in India
Game Master: Will Wright changed the concept of video games with the Sims. Can he do it again with Spore?
The Show Woman. Suzan Lori Park's idea for the largest theater collaboration ever
Millions for Millions: Nobel Peace Prize winner and some high-tech entrepreneurs competing to provide credit to the world's poor
There She Blew: the history of American Whaling
You've Got Blog. How to put your business, your boyfriend, and your life online
On a Bad Day You Can See Forever, by Woody Allen
Future Reading, digitization and its discontents
Damn Spam
Unconventional Crude. Canada's synthetic fuels boom
The Patriot: Turner and the drama of history
Candid Camera: The cult of Leica
Penny Dreadful
Red White and Bleu: What do we eat when we eat meat? by Bill Buford

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 15, 2009, 12:04:22 pm
Great list, FRiend! It could be a collection in itself.

I remember some of the titles; others I think I may have missed (I've been a NYer subscriber since the mid '80s), but I found that, for two that I tested, I was quickly able to find them online by cutting and pasting the title you've provided into google.

So you've done the world a service by presenting a selection of fine reading, curated by someone in whom we know we can place our trust.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 15, 2009, 01:08:54 pm
That was one of my goals! I'm so pleased you found it of use. The other goal was to give a little snapshot of myself by showing which articles I was interested in keeping. How about other subscribers?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 15, 2009, 01:45:46 pm
How about other subscribers?

Well, here's an article I found enjoyable and memorable for reasons I can't fully explain:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/10/15/011015fa_fact_macfarquhar (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/10/15/011015fa_fact_macfarquhar)

(Actually, that's just an abstract of the article -- to see the whole thing, you have to register, which I haven't gotten around to doing yet.)

It's a profile of the producer Brian Grazer, who often teams up with director Ron Howard. Grazer is kind of interesting, but probably not all THAT wildly fascinating. Yet for some reason, memories of the piece stuck with me. So now Brian Grazer is just about the only Hollywood producer I am familiar with and pay attention to. I always perk up when I see Grazer on TV, or any mention of Grazer in print, am likely to see any Howard/Grazer movie (most recently, Frost/Nixon). Also, I am likely to read any profile by Larissa MacFarquhar.

It's funny, the articles that stay with you. Maybe it was just that I read it while sitting outdoors on a beautiful afternoon or something. I'd probably better not reread it, because then instead of remembering it fondly I would probably wonder why I found it so interesting in the first place.

I'll see if I can think of other memorable articles. I don't clip them, so I have to rely on my unreliable memory.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 15, 2009, 05:08:24 pm
Then you might also like:

Big Pictures: Hollywood Looks for a Future

which discusses currently successful producers including James Shamus!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 18, 2009, 11:13:08 am
I just discovered that if you are a subscriber, you can register on the New Yorker site and access all of the magazine's articles going back to 1925.

I saw David Grann, the author of "The Lost City of Z," on Colbert. Grann is a staff writer who wrote an article in 2005 about an explorer who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925 (there's that year again!), and recently published a book about it. So I looked it up and, voila.

Wow, this could be a serious time-vacuum.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 18, 2009, 10:52:38 pm
Hopefully it should be a good research resource!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 16, 2009, 08:45:49 am
This week's issue is outstanding IMO. There is a Gladwellesque article about the success of children who learn to put off gratification, a lovely short story by Salmon Rushdie, and an excellent but long article about the economic crisis. Does it seem to you like there have been more books and articles written about the economic collapse than about 9-11, even though we're still in the thick of it? Another article profiles Fred Franzia, an Archie Bunker type who has shaken up the Napa Valley with Two Buck Chuck.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 16, 2009, 10:47:21 am
I'm two weeks behind in my reading (there's never enough time, never enough. ...),  :( plus I tend to jump around from issue to issue, reading the movie and theater reviews as soon as an issue arrives in the mail. Anyway, right now I have going the article on the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis in the May 4 issue--and the profile of Helen Gurley Brown in the May 11 issue.  ::)  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 16, 2009, 12:51:54 pm
the profile of Helen Gurley Brown in the May 11 issue.  ::)  ;D

That article was a hoot!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 16, 2009, 03:53:28 pm
That article was a hoot!

Wasn't it, though?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on May 16, 2009, 03:57:07 pm
I didn't renew my subscription to The New Yorker when my daughter was a baby, because I wasn't (gasp) reading.  I oughta go ta Mexico renew.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 16, 2009, 06:15:56 pm
I tend to jump around from issue to issue, reading the movie and theater reviews as soon as an issue arrives in the mail.

That's sort of like what I do. I start with the movie reviews, especially if they're by Anthony Lane or involve a movie I've heard of. I also read the back page cartoon contest, because that's quick and occasionally funny. Then the "Shouts and Murmurs" if it looks at all funny, the letters, the contributors' notes.

Then I read anything I think will be good based on the writer, especially David Sedaris -- any issue with a David Sedaris piece is a winner with me -- but also Malcolm Gladwell and to a lesser extent Larissa MacFarquhar (again, dating back to her oddly memorable Brian Grazer profile), Louis Menand, Nicholas Lemann and a few others.

Then I read anything about what looks like an interesting subject on its own merits.

Then the magazine gets cast into a pile where it sits for months.

Then it's time to clean house and I go through the by now giant pile and rip out any articles that I still feel compelled to read.

Then those ripped-out articles sit there for months. Occasionally, I grab a bunch of them the way you might grab a wad of Kleenex, stick it in my purse and have it there to read when I have idle time. Just today, for example, I was out and about and had some extra time so wound up reading part of a profile of Arianna Huffington that originally ran who knows when and was in my backpack.

Then I eventually take the still unread ripped-out articles -- by now dating back practically to the Clinton Administration -- and throw them out.


I should add that the half-life of my New Yorkers used to be a little shorter before I became a Brokie. They did go through the same basic life cycle, though.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 16, 2009, 07:18:03 pm
Anything that doesn't get read by me in the week that I get my New Yorker probably won't be read by me ever. Although I do keep a stack of NY'ers by the sink in my bathroom and flip thru them while I curl my hair.  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 16, 2009, 09:03:31 pm
Anything that doesn't get read by me in the week that I get my New Yorker probably won't be read by me ever. Although I do keep a stack of NY'ers by the sink in my bathroom and flip thru them while I curl my hair.  :P

Did Annie Proulx's story, "Tits-Up in a Ditch," curl it for you?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 16, 2009, 09:05:29 pm
How's this for an idea? We do a New Yorker "article club." My old book club tried this when people kept not reading the books. We could start right now, with the Malcolm Gladwell piece "How David Beats Goliath" in the May 11 issue (my selfishly pick, since I just started reading it) or the Helen Gurley Brown profile, since two people have already read it.

Not a big deal, and no pressure. But if you're interested, read the article(s) and then return here to discuss.

Did Annie Proulx's story, "Tits-Up in a Ditch," curl it for you?  ;D

 :laugh:

That took me a minute to decipher, but once I got it I LOLed.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 16, 2009, 09:08:34 pm
Then the magazine gets cast into a pile where it sits for months.

I pass my magazines on to a coworker. She's glad to get them, however out of date they are. I keep the occasional issue, like the two last year that had Annie Proulx stories in them. I look at all the cartoons, but I almost never read the "Shouts and Murmurs," or the short fiction, unless I recognize the author's name.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 16, 2009, 09:15:04 pm
the Helen Gurley Brown profile, since two people have already read it.

Actually I guess I was a little misleading to call it a profile. The article is one of those New Yorker peculiarities, a combination review of a new biography of her and a profile of her.

I was first aware of HGB when she would be a guest on Merv Griffin's talk show, when I was still a kid. I always think of her when some of my gay male buddies from church order Cosmopolitans at Sunday brunch. ...  ::)

I stick with a Bloody Mary, if anyone is wonderin'. ...  ;)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 16, 2009, 09:46:25 pm
I look at all the cartoons, but I almost never read the "Shouts and Murmurs," or the short fiction, unless I recognize the author's name.

I used to look at all the cartoons, nowadays only if my eye falls on them. And I used to read the fiction more religiously. Now it has a lot to do with what the fiction looks like when I glance at it. Not much dialogue, long dense paragraphs? Forget it. Main character referred to by his last name? Probably not.

But if it's dialogue-heavy and accessible and easy-reading (yeah, I've gotten lazy), I do often find fiction I like by writers I've never heard of before. Last year, I not only read the story but was moved to buy (in hardcover!) and read the whole book: The Ms. Hempel Chronicles, by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum.

Actually I guess I was a little misleading to call it a profile. The article is one of those New Yorker peculiarities, a combination review of a new biography of her and a profile of her.

I've read a bunch of things about that new biography, but based on the comments here I will also check out the New Yorker one.

Quote
I stick with a Bloody Mary, if anyone is wonderin'. ...  ;)

That would be my preferred post-church drink, myself.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 18, 2009, 01:04:58 pm
Here's a factoid that I picked up from The New Yorker that I find interesting. It's from the article on Rwanda in the May 4 issue; I started reading the article at lunchtime today. Anyway, the factoid is, in the city of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, plastic bags are outlawed to keep down litter and protect the environment.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 18, 2009, 07:33:21 pm
A New Yorker article club would be fun!! I think I still have the Gladwell article on David/Goliath around here somewhere.

I often don't read the fiction ennimore (of course, I read ENNITHING by AP) but I highly reccamend the new story by Salmon Rushdie. For one thing, it is short. Another, the first paragraph is a real grabber. You hardly never find that ennimore...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 20, 2009, 08:24:42 pm
I loved everything in the previous issue, but in today's issue I am only interested in reading about Victor Fleming and the Guggenheim. Strange whims I have about NY Magazines!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 20, 2009, 08:32:31 pm
I loved everything in the previous issue, but in today's issue I am only interested in reading about Victor Fleming and the Guggenheim. Strange whims I have about NY Magazines!

I've got three New Yorkers piled up on the dining room table, and one in my backpack.  ::)  I read the Victor Fleming article over dinner this evening.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 20, 2009, 09:59:16 pm
As a kid I was a huge GWTW fan, so I'm looking forward to Victor Fleming. But mine hasn't come yet.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on May 21, 2009, 09:41:18 am
That's weird, I just put the Wizard of Oz (directed by Victor Fleming) on the banner, and this was the very next thread I came to after doing that. 

Wow, I've known for years that Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz were both 1939, but only now realized they had the same director.  How the heck did he make such huge, vast movies the same year?  I can barely run the dishwasher and the washing machine on the same day.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 21, 2009, 12:01:09 pm
That's weird, I just put the Wizard of Oz (directed by Victor Fleming) on the banner, and this was the very next thread I came to after doing that. 

Wow, I've known for years that Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz were both 1939, but only now realized they had the same director.  How the heck did he make such huge, vast movies the same year?  I can barely run the dishwasher and the washing machine on the same day.

It's complicated.

Spoiler Alert!  :laugh:

Victor Fleming wasn't the sole director in charge of each film from start to finish. It's well known that he was brought onto GWTW after David O. Selznick fired George Cukor from the film. According to The New Yorker article, Fleming didn't direct any of the Kansas scenes in Oz.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 22, 2009, 11:21:45 am
After reading this, I just HAD to read the Fleming article last nite...even after driving for 14 hours (YES, really!) Interesting that his exploits with Douglas Fairbanks set the bar for "manly man" behaviour that influenced Clark Gable's performance in Gone With the Wind and Red Dust. Was Fleming the first androphile, hehe?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on May 23, 2009, 12:42:57 pm
It's complicated.

Spoiler Alert!  :laugh:

Victor Fleming wasn't the sole director in charge of each film from start to finish. It's well known that he was brought onto GWTW after David O. Selznick fired George Cukor from the film. According to The New Yorker article, Fleming didn't direct any of the Kansas scenes in Oz.


I notice that on IMDb about both movies.  They both have additional directors listed, including some very well-known ones.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 04, 2009, 01:27:12 pm
I just finished reading Jeffrey Toobin's profile of Chief Justice Roberts in the May 25 issue. Clearly the chief justice is George W. Bush's instrument to continue screwing the nation for decades to come.

The article includes what appears to be the chief justice's high school graduation picture. He has a face I would have neither liked nor trusted, even in high school.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 08, 2009, 01:31:28 pm
At lunch today I read Atul Gawande's article on "The Cost Conundrum" in U.S. health care in the June 1 issue. I was cheered to learn from this article that while the U.S."may be more obese than any other industrialized nation," the U.S. also ranks "among the lowest rates of smoking and alcoholism," and is "in the middle of the range for cardiovascular disease and diabetes."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 08, 2009, 01:38:40 pm
In the summer reading issue, I've read Jonathan Franzen's short story, "Good Neighbors," and Louis Menand's article about writing programs.

The Franzen story started out great -- the characters are perfect reflections of the kinds of people who live in my neighborhood -- but my enthusiasm about it dwindled as it went along. The Menand article was not particularly memorable or profound. Oddly enough, I liked Louis Menand's writing better before he became a New Yorker staff writer, about a decade ago.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 08, 2009, 01:48:56 pm
The summer reading issue

I'm slowly catching up on my issues.  :P  It helped that June 1 had almost nothing in it that interested me.  :-\

Is the Summer Readingn issue the one with today's date on the cover?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 08, 2009, 02:28:55 pm
Yes, it's the one with the extraterrestrial reading a book. I also found the June 1 issue and the summer reading issue to have nothing of interest, which was distressing. I was most interested in the Franzen story but only got halfway through the first column!! I tell you, Annie Proulx really knows how to spoil people!! The last good fiction I read in the New Yorker was the Salmon Rushdie piece, and I mostly liked that one for the little references to some of his greatest works.

So, I have to turn to actual books since TNY has let me down...I just finished Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, which was given to me by my closest friend and was sent directly from the author!! I'm just about to start on The Doo Dah Club, given to me by another friend. Need to amass a stack of summer reading materials, and taking suggestions!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 08, 2009, 02:46:28 pm
Thanks to you, F-R, Rapt is in my reading pile.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 08, 2009, 03:35:21 pm
Need to amass a stack of summer reading materials, and taking suggestions!!

Proust would probably keep you busy the entire summer. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 09, 2009, 01:19:04 pm
So, at lunch today I was reading Louis Menand's "A Critic at Large" piece on creating writing programs--and books about creative writing programs--in the June 8 & 15 issue, and I came across a sentence that immediately made me think of Annie Proulx.

Substitute "Annie Proulx" for "Raymond Carver" in this sentence: "The meaning of one of Raymond Carver's stories is not only what the story says; it's also the way the story says it."

Just think. "Brokeback Mountain" would be a very different short story without Annie Proulx's colloquialisms, regionalisms, and vulgarities.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 09, 2009, 03:44:48 pm
I love Raymond Carver. But it was in the New Yorker, I believe, that I first read how much the qualities I think of as characterizing a Raymond Carver were actually edited in by Gordon Lish, sometimes against Carver's wishes. And now I'll never feel exactly the same way about Raymond Carver. Damn you, New Yorker!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 11, 2009, 02:55:08 pm
The Franzen story started out great -- the characters are perfect reflections of the kinds of people who live in my neighborhood -- but my enthusiasm about it dwindled as it went along. The Menand article was not particularly memorable or profound. Oddly enough, I liked Louis Menand's writing better before he became a New Yorker staff writer, about a decade ago.

I don't think Menand was out to be profound, but I found the article interesting and informative. And I enjoyed Jonathan Franzen's story. More interesting than some of the stuff they sometimes run that's "translated from the Azerbaijani," or whatever.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 11, 2009, 03:36:28 pm
I don't think Menand was out to be profound, but I found the article interesting and informative. And I enjoyed Jonathan Franzen's story. More interesting than some of the stuff they sometimes run that's "translated from the Azerbaijani," or whatever.

Well, profound was probably an overstatement, but I didn't get much out of it that was particularly interesting. Though maybe because I'm already pretty familiar with those writing programs, and some of the criticisms of them.

I know what you mean about the "translated from ..." stories. I rarely read those. Maybe because for me New Yorker stories are so slice-of-life, their appeal often dependent on the way they illuminate some subtle nuance of culture, that it's better to start from a POV of a shared culture. That said, I have read New Yorker stories by foreign writers that I liked a lot. Sometimes they read like regular New Yorker stories, just set in a different place.


In other New Yorker news, I stumbled across an online reference to an article in the May 18 issue by Jonah Lehrer, the brilliant, seemingly 17-year-old writer and science expert who has been published in a lot of places recently. Somehow I had missed it the first time around, though it's on a subject I've always found interesting: those late-'60s experiments in which a researcher offered little kids one marshmallow, then told the kids he was leaving the room for a few minutes and that they could have a second marshmallow if they did not eat the first one until the researcher returned. Apparently the kids who waited were found, years later, to be much more successful in school, careers, and the rest of life.

Apparently an effort is now underway to contact those same people, now in their 40s, and do more testing.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 11, 2009, 03:48:25 pm
In other New Yorker news, I stumbled across an online reference to an article in the May 18 issue by Jonah Lehrer, the brilliant, seemingly 17-year-old writer and science expert who has been published in a lot of places recently. Somehow I had missed it the first time around, though it's on a subject I've always found interesting: those late-'60s experiments in which a researcher offered little kids one marshmallow, then told the kids he was leaving the room for a few minutes and that they could have a second marshmallow if they did not eat the first one until the researcher returned. Apparently the kids who waited were found, years later, to be much more successful in school, careers, and the rest of life.

Apparently an effort is now underway to contact those same people, now in their 40s, and do more testing.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer)

I read that article; it interested me because the older I get, the less patience I seem to have.  ;D  I never bothered to check the author blurb, however.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 11, 2009, 04:01:50 pm
I read that article; it interested me because the older I get, the less patience I seem to have.  ;D  I never bothered to check the author blurb, however.

I have only become aware of this guy over the past month or two, but suddenly I seem to be seeing him everywhere and he seems pretty brilliant. Which is annoying, because from the photo you might think he was still in high school.

http://www.jonahlehrer.com/articles (http://www.jonahlehrer.com/articles)


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: oilgun on June 11, 2009, 04:11:40 pm
I have only become aware of this guy over the past month or two, but suddenly I seem to be seeing him everywhere and he seems pretty brilliant. Which is annoying, because from the photo you might think he was still in high school.

http://www.jonahlehrer.com/articles (http://www.jonahlehrer.com/articles)




His book HOW WE DECIDE looks interesting but you're right, how old is this guy, sixteen?  I totally feel inadequate after seeing his list of published articles  :o
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on June 11, 2009, 05:48:48 pm
His book HOW WE DECIDE looks interesting but you're right, how old is this guy, sixteen?  I totally feel inadequate after seeing his list of published articles  :o

I don't know if this will make you feel less inadequate, but, according to this source, he is 26.

http://www.ideafestival.com/Dynamic/Speakers/Show_Bio.cfm?ID=21023 (http://www.ideafestival.com/Dynamic/Speakers/Show_Bio.cfm?ID=21023)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 11, 2009, 06:02:48 pm
I don't know if this will make you feel less inadequate, but, according to this source, he is 26.

http://www.ideafestival.com/Dynamic/Speakers/Show_Bio.cfm?ID=21023 (http://www.ideafestival.com/Dynamic/Speakers/Show_Bio.cfm?ID=21023)

Oh, that's much better. That makes him well over half my age (by about six months).


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 12, 2009, 10:08:01 am
This week's issue is outstanding IMO. There is a Gladwellesque article about the success of children who learn to put off gratification, a lovely short story by Salmon Rushdie, and an excellent but long article about the economic crisis. Does it seem to you like there have been more books and articles written about the economic collapse than about 9-11, even though we're still in the thick of it? Another article profiles Fred Franzia, an Archie Bunker type who has shaken up the Napa Valley with Two Buck Chuck.

I wrote about this on May 16...see above.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 12, 2009, 10:41:56 am
I wrote about this on May 16...see above.

Oh, right! Sorry, I forgot.

I probably didn't notice because back on May 16 I wasn't as aware as I am now of this Jonah Lehrer guy. More from his website: in addition to writing for the New Yorker and a handful of other high-end publications, including contributing editorships at Wired, Scientific American Mind and NPR, he writes a blog, "The Frontal Cortex," that he updates with essay-length posts almost every day. Sickening!

His writing style is very Gladwellian, though I kind of think that, unlike Gladwell, he has actual science credentials rather than just journalistic ones (we know how much those are worth these days). On the other hand, Gladwell is really good at synthesizing different, unrelated situations and concepts to support an idea of his own invention, which I haven't seen Lehrer do, as yet. Gladwell's ideas sometimes seem a bit shaky, scientifically, but they're usually interesting.

I still have that issue handy, so now I am going to check out the other articles you recommended. Thanks, FRiend!



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on June 12, 2009, 11:51:52 am

In other New Yorker news, I stumbled across an online reference to an article in the May 18 issue by Jonah Lehrer, the brilliant, seemingly 17-year-old writer and science expert who has been published in a lot of places recently. Somehow I had missed it the first time around, though it's on a subject I've always found interesting: those late-'60s experiments in which a researcher offered little kids one marshmallow, then told the kids he was leaving the room for a few minutes and that they could have a second marshmallow if they did not eat the first one until the researcher returned. Apparently the kids who waited were found, years later, to be much more successful in school, careers, and the rest of life.

Apparently an effort is now underway to contact those same people, now in their 40s, and do more testing.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer)




Thanks, K.  That is very interesting.  I wonder if they'll use larger marshmallows for the adults.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2009, 01:26:01 pm
Reading the June 22 issue at lunch today, I learned a good tip, courtesy of Simon Doonan: Once you pass age 50, start aging in French. It sounds better.

Je suis cinquante-et-un.  ;D  See? Doesn't that sound elegant?  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 17, 2009, 01:46:25 pm
Reading the June 22 issue at lunch today, I learned a good tip, courtesy of Simon Doonan: Once you pass age 50, start aging in French. It sounds better.

Je suis cinquante-et-un.  ;D  See? Doesn't that sound elegant?  :laugh:

How about fifty-something...would that be cinquante-chose? I like that!

My June 22 issue has gone missing...I'll have to hunt under the bed.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 17, 2009, 02:48:44 pm
Cinquante est le nouveau trente.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2009, 02:57:51 pm
Cinquante est le nouveau trente.

 :laugh: That's just what I was thinking!

My French is so bad; are you sure it isn't la nouvelle?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 17, 2009, 03:07:21 pm
:laugh: That's just what I was thinking!

My French is so bad; are you sure it isn't la nouvelle?  ;D

Not according to Babelfish (yes, I have to cheat sometimes!  ;))

Actually, Babelfish put it in plural, "les nouveaux," but that tent don't look right to me.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2009, 03:18:17 pm
Not according to Babelfish (yes, I have to cheat sometimes!  ;))

Actually, Babelfish put it in plural, "les nouveaux," but that tent don't look right to me.



Les cinquantes sont les nouveaux trentes?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 17, 2009, 03:39:07 pm
Les cinquantes sont les nouveaux trentes?

No, they left cinquante's verb singular, apparently trying to be faithful to the "thirty is" that I typed in. So it REALLY didn't look right. And I guess cinquant and trente don't get S's because plurality is already implicit in the words "fifty" and "thirty" (as opposed to my typing in "fifties are the new thirties"). So it was:

Cinquante est les nouveaux trente.

PS Turns out "Fifties are the new thirties" gets you Les années '50 sont les nouvelles années '30. Seems a bit presumptuous of Babelfish to assume I'm referring to years, but oh well.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2009, 03:49:22 pm
Cinquante est les nouveaux trente.

That tent don't look right.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on June 17, 2009, 04:35:40 pm
Reading the June 22 issue at lunch today, I learned a good tip, courtesy of Simon Doonan: Once you pass age 50, start aging in French. It sounds better.

Je suis cinquante-et-un.  ;D  See? Doesn't that sound elegant?  :laugh:

Happy Birthday, Jeff!  Actually, the French aren't an age, they have their age.  So, you'd say, "J'ai cinquante-et-un ans". 

Cinquante est le nouveau trente.

I'm trying to think how the French would say this...  While this looks good, it probably doesn't translate directly; those wonderful short Americanisms don't always work in French.  Perhaps something like:  "Avoir cinquante, maintenant c'est comme d'avoir trente".  (Being fifty, now is like being thirty.)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 17, 2009, 04:41:39 pm
those wonderful short Americanisms don't always work in French.

Just as certain French phrases have a certain je ne sais quoi.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 22, 2009, 01:36:01 pm
Well, here's a "mystery" solved, courtesy of The New Yorker.

At lunch today I read the article about Romance author Nora Roberts in the June 22 issue (yup, I'm actually caught up in my issues!). The article includes some discussion of the history of the genre, beginning with Samuel Richardson's Pamela, published in 1740. The discussion also mentions a novel called  The Sheik, published in 1919 and described as '"the ur-romance novel of the twentieth century.'" The novel is the story of an aristocratic Englishwoman, traveling in the Algerian desert, who is kidnapped by an Arab chieftain.

OK, one of Rudolph Valentino's most famous movie roles was The Sheik. Now I suppose I know where the movie role came from; it was an adaptation of the novel--or maybe it was inspired by the novel to take advantage of the popularity of the book. I guess this also tells us that even in the Silent days, Hollywood made adaptations of current popular novels.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 22, 2009, 07:10:00 pm
I checked out that article at lunchtime...wow that is a long article! Can't wait to read the rest about this "tough broad."

And I was so pleased to see an article about Federico Garcia Lorca, the very next day after viewing the movie Little Ashes about him, Salvador Dali, and Luis Bunuel!!

Gotta read the one about decreasing urban violence by "telling them to stop." Looks like another important issue!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 24, 2009, 03:50:38 pm
The cover of this week's New Yorker holds several double meanings and hidden meanings, a couple of which I got. One thing that delighted me about Barry Blitt's "Hanging Chador" was the fact that the Iranian woman has green eyes. This just one or two days after the announcement that Kodak's Kodachrome film, used to take an award-winning photo of a green-eyed Afghan woman, was published.

BTW, I was horrified when reading the story in The Wall Street Journal, to see that photographers are hording (sic) the film. For shame!! It's hoarding.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 25, 2009, 09:04:24 am
The cover of this week's New Yorker holds several double meanings and hidden meanings, a couple of which I got. One thing that delighted me about Barry Blitt's "Hanging Chador" was the fact that the Iranian woman has green eyes. This just one or two days after the announcement that Kodak's Kodachrome film, used to take an award-winning photo of a green-eyed Afghan woman, was published.

I got that issue in yesterday's mail. All I've had time for so far was a quick look at the short book reviews. I was under the impression that Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and the first woman to hold a cabinet post, was a lesbian. Perhaps she was, but, if so, apparently she was a lesbian who also had a mentally ill husband.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 25, 2009, 09:28:50 am
I got that issue in yesterday's mail. All I've had time for so far was a quick look at the short book reviews. I was under the impression that Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and the first woman to hold a cabinet post, was a lesbian. Perhaps she was, but, if so, apparently she was a lesbian who also had a mentally ill husband.  :-\

Jeff, your comment reminded me that I wanted to post about Willa Cather. I will do so in The Culture Tent. Come look for it later!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on June 28, 2009, 04:30:58 am
Reading the June 22 issue at lunch today, I learned a good tip, courtesy of Simon Doonan: Once you pass age 50, start aging in French. It sounds better.

Je suis cinquante-et-un.  ;D  See? Doesn't that sound elegant?  :laugh:


Well, almost elegant.  In French you don't be an age, you have an age.  So it would be "J'ai cinquante-et-un ans."

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 28, 2009, 02:20:39 pm

Well, almost elegant.  In French you don't be an age, you have an age.  So it would be "J'ai cinquante-et-un ans."

Whether I have it or I am it, I don't really want it! But that's just an arbitrary place on the wheel of life, sigh.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on June 30, 2009, 08:27:55 am




Just in case you missed this in the June 22 issue: (http://www.newyorker.com/images/covers/2009/2009_06_22_p139.jpg)

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/06/22/090622sh_shouts_rudnick?currentPage=all (http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/06/22/090622sh_shouts_rudnick?currentPage=all)


Shouts & Murmurs
True Story
by Paul Rudnick

June 22, 2009

My name is Mike Henkle, and I’m a devout Mormon from Provo, Utah. I know that some of my convictions may upset more liberal people, but I’m only asking you to keep an open mind. Because just this past week something happened to my family and me, and it’s something that all of us, on each side of the political divide, need to think about.

Beth and I have been married for almost eighteen years, and we’ve got three great kids, which, in Mormon terms, means we’re barren. But give us time. Last week, for a sort of second honeymoon, we loaded the whole family into our Jeep Wagoneer and headed East, to Massachusetts, to visit my brother Steve and his beautiful wife, Jen. I didn’t realize at the time that Massachusetts is a state where gay marriage is now legal.

So we’re driving through upstate New York, and getting closer to Massachusetts, and we’re all singing one of our favorite travel hymns, “Jesus Is Under the Hood.” And, as we’re singing, my kids are also trying to spot license plates from different states, and seven-year-old Ethan shouts, “I see a new one! Look, Daddy, on that license plate it says ‘Massachusetts—The Anal Sex State’!”

“Mike?” my wife said.

“I see it, too!” four-year-old Ruth cried, and then she asked, “Daddy, what’s anal sex?”

“Is it something the Pilgrims brought over from England?” Ethan asked.

I don’t like to lie to my children, so I replied, “Yes, it is.”

“Like scurvy,” Beth said.

As we crossed the border into Massachusetts, everything looked just beautiful, with all the quaintness of picture-postcard New England. We passed a small town square, and I noticed that a work crew was removing a life-size bronze statue of Paul Revere, which a plaque said had been erected in 1820. The workmen were replacing Paul Revere with a more contemporary statue, a tall figure in a simple black suit, who I thought was Abraham Lincoln.

“Look at that, kids,” I said, pointing to the statue. “There’s Lincoln, one of our greatest Presidents.”

“That’s not Lincoln,” Beth said, as we drove closer to the statue. “It’s Rachel Maddow.”

I was beginning to feel apprehensive. We stopped at a roadside stand to buy some cider and apples as a gift for my brother and his family. Amid the colorful bins of dried corn and shelves full of maple syrup was a hand-lettered sign reading “50% Gay Discount.” When I went to pay for our bushel basket of wholesome fare, I asked the cashier if I’d really pay only half price if I were gay.

“Of course,” she replied. “It’s the law.”

My wife looked at me. “Pay for it, Sharon,” she told me.

“Sharon?” I said.

“We’ve been together for eighteen years now,” Beth told the cashier, “although some people think we look more like sisters.”

“Why did you do that?” I asked Beth, as we loaded the produce into our trunk.

“It’s a big discount.”

“But I don’t look like a woman,” I protested. “Do I?”

“Should we get some more beets?” Beth asked.

Now I was really confused. As we pulled into Steve and Jen’s driveway, I saw that their mailbox was painted with rainbow stripes. “Steve, what’s that all about?” I asked, as we shook hands.

“If I didn’t do that, we’d never get any mail,” he explained. “The mail carrier would just throw it into the street.”

As I admired Steve’s new carport, many happy-looking same-sex couples walked by, some of them holding hands.

“Don’t say anything,” Steve whispered. “Just smile and wave.”

“What would happen if I didn’t?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “there’s this perfectly nice couple who live next door to us, Ted and Eric. But last week I mistakenly asked Ted about his partner, and Ted got a little chilly and said, ‘He’s not my partner; he’s my husband.’ And that night our house got egged.”

“Oh, my Lord,” I said.

“Smile and wave,” Steve said, as five more gay couples, all pushing strollers, moved along the sidewalk. “And when you look at their kids,” he cautioned me, “be careful, because sometimes they’re adopted, or from donor sperm. So don’t say, ‘Gee, your baby looks just like you.’ Instead, say, ‘My, what a wonderful nontraditional family, and what a real baby.’ ”

Once we were inside, Steve and Jen pulled all the curtains shut.

“Sometimes we get gawkers,” Jen said. “They don’t see many straight people around here.”

“This sweet couple at the mall, Amber and Jessalyn, they took our picture,” Steve said. “They said they were going to e-mail it to Amber’s mom in Brookline, because she collects pictures of straight people. Sometimes she puts them on mugs.”

I was growing seriously disturbed. “Come on,” I told everyone. “We’d better get to church.”

We all piled into Steve’s minivan, and as we rolled through town we passed a stately Federal-style brick building with a sign reading “Gaychovia.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Since the bailout,” Steve said, “most of the banks here went gay.”

“And look at the money,” Jen said, showing us the coins in her change purse. Barney Frank’s profile was on the quarter, and Neil Patrick Harris was on the dime.

“Hon, I’ll need some singles for the collection plate,” Jen told Steve.

“Here you go,” Steve said, as he passed Jen some bills. “I can give you five Ellens for a Milk.”

Once we were settled into the pews of the local Mormon church, I breathed a whole lot easier.

“See,” I said to my kids, “it’s just like home.”

“Please open your hymnals,” said the minister, a genial, ruddy-cheeked fellow, who was clearly filled with the Holy Spirit. “We’ll begin today’s service with selections from ‘Billy Elliot.’ ” ♦
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on July 27, 2009, 10:29:27 pm
Kind of confusing.  To think I paid a couple of Ellens for my issue.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 08, 2009, 11:02:47 am
A very interesting article about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane in this week's issue. I read it late last night even though I was exhausted after reading a long piece about travels in Siberia. Then, this morning, I was moving books so that my mother would have more room, and I found Home Over Saturday by Rose Wilder Lane, sent to me by a true friend.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on August 09, 2009, 02:26:12 am
A very interesting article about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane in this week's issue. I read it late last night even though I was exhausted after reading a long piece about travels in Siberia. Then, this morning, I was moving books so that my mother would have more room, and I found Home Over Saturday by Rose Wilder Lane, sent to me by a true friend.


I've been reading that article today.  Mother and daughter sure were different.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 20, 2009, 08:40:14 pm
Over my dinner last night, I was reading the article in the Sept. 21 issue about culture in the decade of the Great Depression, and I came across this statement: "Steinbeck reacted [to the human misery of the 1930s] by describing archetypal characters in a deliberately plain style, almost as if he were writing myth rather than literature."

Tell you what, that statement made me think immediately of Annie Proulx. Maybe I should read some Steinbeck. (Somehow I made it through high school and college without ever having to read The Grapes of Wrath.)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 20, 2009, 09:44:37 pm
The first paragraph of The Grapes of Wrath is really well written. I also enjoyed Of Mice and Men and To A God Unknown.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 21, 2009, 09:00:05 am
The first paragraph of The Grapes of Wrath is really well written.

What about the rest of the book?  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 26, 2009, 01:25:31 am
It was basically a repetition on the theme.

Did ennione read "The It Bird" by Susan Orlean? I am proud to be on the bleeding edge of fashion again, as I venture out to feed and be pecked by my new pets, Jose and Paco!!

I can't post a picture of them right now because it's dark, and they're in their henhouse.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 30, 2009, 01:51:25 pm
Did ennione read "The It Bird" by Susan Orlean? I am proud to be on the bleeding edge of fashion again, as I venture out to feed and be pecked by my new pets, Jose and Paco!!

I just read that over lunch today.  ;D  I sure hope you're on the cutting edge, rather than the bleeding edge. ...  8)

The other piece in the Sept. 28 issue that I read over lunch today was Adam Gopnik's article on writings about the Dreyfus affair. I was hauled up short over my cider by the following:

"In any modernized country, the backward-looking party will always tend toward resentment and grievance. ... When the conservative party comes to see itself as unfairly marginalized, it becomes a party of pure reaction."

Sound familiar?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 26, 2009, 12:26:12 pm
I highly recommend Ariel Levy's piece about feminism in the books section of the Nov. 16 New Yorker, which I read just last night. I find that I keep recommending Ariel Levy articles here. I did so even before she joined the NYer staff, so I feel a bit cutting edge, myself!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 26, 2009, 01:09:01 pm
Thanks for the recommendation, friend. I will read it tout suite!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 26, 2009, 02:45:22 pm
Wow, that was a very powerful article, especially considering how short it was. It brought back a lot of memories too.

I also read her bio of Caster Semenya in the Nov 30 issue, and that was very powerful as well. What a trauma that poor girl has faced!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 26, 2009, 03:20:10 pm
I haven't read that one yet, but I will make a point of it!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 06, 2010, 08:33:01 pm
Anybody else read "A Risky Proposal" in the Jan. 18 New Yorker, an account of the effort to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8, by a team whose two leaders are a prominent Democratic trial lawyer and the 69-year-old, conservative, former solicitor general under George W. Bush?

Maybe some of you have followed this case on a day-to-day basis, but it's new to me, and fascinating!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 06, 2010, 09:51:50 pm
Anybody else read "A Risky Proposal" in the Jan. 18 New Yorker, an account of the effort to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8, by a team whose two leaders are a prominent Democratic trial lawyer and the 69-year-old, conservative, former solicitor general under George W. Bush?

Maybe some of you have followed this case on a day-to-day basis, but it's new to me, and fascinating!

I've read it, and MargeInnavera has posted links to blogs of the testimony on her blog.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 06, 2010, 09:54:15 pm
I highly recommend Ariel Levy's piece about feminism in the books section of the Nov. 16 New Yorker, which I read just last night. I find that I keep recommending Ariel Levy articles here. I did so even before she joined the NYer staff, so I feel a bit cutting edge, myself!

Ariel Levy's account of her own wedding to her girlfriend was posted on some thread around here somewhere quite some time ago. I think the thread was about gay weddings.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 07, 2010, 11:28:00 am
Ariel Levy's account of her own wedding to her girlfriend was posted on some thread around here somewhere quite some time ago. I think the thread was about gay weddings.

 :laugh:  I was the one who posted it. The gay weddings thread was created just for it.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 24, 2010, 02:42:13 pm
Everybody should read Jane Mayer's article, "The Trial: Eric Holder and the Battle over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," in the Feb. 15 and 22 issue (the annual anniversary issue). Mayer does a wonderful job of laying out the whole sequence of events and the issues involved.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 24, 2010, 03:41:10 pm
Thanks for the tip, Friend!

You know, this thread is a great service to New Yorker subscribers. Who has time to read all of the articles -- or even most, or even (some weeks) any? And frankly, some weeks there isn't much in the table of contents that excites me. Yet there are so many wonderful pieces, I never want to risk missing anything really good.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 24, 2010, 04:06:08 pm
Thanks for the tip, Friend!

You know, this thread is a great service to New Yorker subscribers. Who has time to read all of the articles -- or even most, or even (some weeks) any? And frankly, some weeks there isn't much in the table of contents that excites me. Yet there are so many wonderful pieces, I never want to risk missing anything really good.

Agreed! I know exactly what you mean!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 10, 2010, 01:57:22 pm
I recommend the profile of Paul Krugman in the March 1 issue. I've heard his name from time to time but had no idea who he is.

It's nice to read about someone who will come right out and say that the Bush Administration told outright lies to the American people.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 25, 2010, 05:22:27 pm
After several weeks in which I failed to get much interested in my weekly issues of TNY, I really enjoyed the latest issue, March 29, especially the graphics and photos, but several of the articles as well. I recommend you take a look at:

A beautiful photograph by Viviane Sassen on page 26 of a man with a small child (his son?) on his head and a lovely painting of an Amish (?) girl by Richard Wathen on page 32. A great short article on bats in Vermont and one on the trials of our boy Rufus Wainwright. (His dad Louden also is featured on TNY website singing about economist Paul Krugman, Jeff.) optom might find "Four Eyes" interesting, and

I even liked a poem (I usually bypass them), Titian Vs. Roadrunner by Dan Chiasson, on page 55.

Judith Thurman is her usual witty self, this time writing about wrinkles.

It's the style issue, so there is a wonderful portrait of the late Alexander McQueen and his iconic Armadillo shoe.

I haven't read the fiction yet. It's by Joyce Carol Oates, whose work I rarely like. But the illustrations are great.

But most of all, check out Fixed Couples (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/03/29/100329crat_atlarge_lepore), not to read about marriage therapy, which it is ostensibly about, but to understand the roots of the Eugenics movement which has spawned a lot of disguised homophobia, racism, elitism, and other forms of discrimination. I was shocked at the actions of Paul Popenoe, who was not a doctor or psychiatrist but who nevertheless influenced lawmakers and presidents enough to make forced sterilization a reality in the U.S. during the '20s and '30s.

Online, Hendrick Herzberg discusses the Republicans' latest misstep that led to their (not President Obama's) Waterloo (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2010/03/waterlosers.html), in the health care bill debate.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 29, 2010, 12:53:56 pm
OK, I just skimmed back over this whole thread because I thought I remembered a discussion about the article about the Texas man who was executed for the arson murders of his own children, and how it was later demonstrated that he was innocent, wrongly convicted because of bogus ideas about the "science" of fire--but I couldn't find anything on this thread. Perhaps the discussion is on another forum.

Anyway, I bring this up here because I'm sure the article was in The New Yorker, and the incident proved the basis for the plot on last night's episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: A man with a shady past was accused of murdering his two daughters by arson. In fact, reference was even made to the case of the Texas man, and the plot was resolved in the same way, demonstrating that a purely accidental fire could leave traces that looked like what was thought to be signs of arson.

Incidentally, in last night's episode, Sharon Stone began a short "run" as the new ADA who works with the SVU. The twist is that she is Eliot Stabler's/Christopher Meloni's former partner. Sam Waterston also made an appearance as DA Jack McCoy.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 30, 2010, 09:10:25 pm
That doesn't ring a bell, friend. But, I enjoyed the theater criticism of La Cage aux Folles:

"Most gay children have straight parents, which means that, from birth, they're different from those who are closest to them. And, as they grow, so does their sense of their own otherness--a feeling that is not without use for an artist." The article talks about the life of Steven Sondheim, and the show it is about must be fascinating...I hope I get to see it, someday!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 03, 2010, 12:53:34 pm
Well, here I am on the 3rd of May, finally catching up to the April 19 issue.  ;D

At lunch today I read the article by the writer who returned to the U.S. after living in China for 15 years. He and his wife settled in southwestern Colorado.  :D  One day they got a telephone call from a Chinese tour company that wanted to sell them a vacation tour to a mysterious land with lots of cowboys called Wai Er Ming. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 03, 2010, 01:04:21 pm
Well, here I am on the 3rd of May, finally catching up to the April 19 issue.  ;D

That's not so bad! I've probably got some in my pile dating back to the Bush Administration. Hopefully not Clinton's.

Quote
At lunch today I read the article by the writer who returned to the U.S. after living in China for 15 years. He and his wife settled in southwestern Colorado.  :D  One day they got a telephone call from a Chinese tour company that wanted to sell them a vacation tour to a mysterious land with lots of cowboys called Wai Er Ming. ...  ;D

 :laugh:  Then what?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 03, 2010, 01:40:17 pm
:laugh:  Then what?

His wife mistook a phone call from the National Rifle Association as coming from the National Lightbulb Association. Then the author won a half-marathon in Vegas.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 03, 2010, 01:41:14 pm
That's not so bad! I've probably got some in my pile dating back to the Bush Administration.

Bush II or Bush I?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 03, 2010, 07:20:25 pm
Bush II or Bush I?  ;D

 ;D  Tell you what, if I hadn't moved five times since Bush I, I wouldn't be surprised to find some that old.

His wife mistook a phone call from the National Rifle Association as coming from the National Lightbulb Association. Then the author won a half-marathon in Vegas.

Hmm. Sounds like an odd piece.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 04, 2010, 07:28:19 pm
Well, here I am on the 3rd of May, finally catching up to the April 19 issue.  ;D

At lunch today I read the article by the writer who returned to the U.S. after living in China for 15 years. He and his wife settled in southwestern Colorado.  :D  One day they got a telephone call from a Chinese tour company that wanted to sell them a vacation tour to a mysterious land with lots of cowboys called Wai Er Ming. ...  ;D
There was an interview with that author on the radio. About the culture shock of moving from Beijing, China to Ridgeway, Colorado. He sounds like an interesting fellow. I'll have to go rummage around in my pile of New Yorkers. Wonder what date my oldest one is? I know I have some pages from an issue from October 13, 1997.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 04, 2010, 08:00:15 pm
I know I have some pages from an issue from October 13, 1997.  :D

But have they been in your bedside table since it came out?  :)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 05, 2010, 10:16:04 pm
But have they been in your bedside table since it came out?  :)

Sure enuff, friend!!  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 19, 2010, 04:23:19 pm
Anybody else reading the fiction issue? I just finished ZZ Packard's story, which is about two kids, former slaves, making their way across the backwoods of the South in the days immediately after Emancipation. It is really compelling and well-written, and strikes me as historically authentic. It reads like an excerpt from a novel; I will be looking out for this novel.

 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 19, 2010, 04:27:25 pm
Oh, and while I'm on this thread, have I ever mentioned how much I love James Surowiecki's "The Financial Page" columns? They're always about some complex and potentially dry financial/economic topic. But they're never boring -- they read like entertaining little self-enclosed stories, and I feel like I always learn something important from them. The one in the June 14/21 is about why federal regulators -- and, by extension, regulations -- have lost so much of their power, including the ones who could be partly held to blame for the BP oil spill. Sound a bit dull or turgid? Not at all!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 22, 2010, 12:14:48 pm
Anybody else reading the fiction issue? I just finished ZZ Packard's story, which is about two kids, former slaves, making their way across the backwoods of the South in the days immediately after Emancipation. It is really compelling and well-written, and strikes me as historically authentic. It reads like an excerpt from a novel; I will be looking out for this novel.

In an interview piece published in this morning's Metro, Bret Easton Ellis made some rather snarky remarks about The New Yorker fiction issue:

Quote
Q.: As a former wunderkind, any thoughts on The New Yorker's list of best writers under 40?

Ellis: Who cares! Who cares! Who cares about these writers? Sure, they're pretty good. But for the most part, they're white and educated, so they're The New Yorker's audience. That's why they choose them.

What a jerk. ...  ::)

Oh, and while I'm on this thread, have I ever mentioned how much I love James Surowiecki's "The Financial Page" columns?

Ever notice his picture? He's kinda cute.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 22, 2010, 12:26:48 pm
In an interview piece published in this morning's Metro, Bret Easton Ellis made some rather snarky remarks about The New Yorker fiction issue:

What a jerk. ...  ::)

Many writers feel at least a touch of schadenfreude in response to the Fiction Issue -- hell, to the New Yorker in general. I'm guilty myself. But most know better than to snipe about it on the record.

Here's a much more reasonable and likable response by the writer Steve Almond: http://therumpus.net/2010/06/the-new-yorker%E2%80%99s-one-over-40/ (http://therumpus.net/2010/06/the-new-yorker%E2%80%99s-one-over-40/)

Quote
Ever notice his picture? He's kinda cute.  ;D

Yes, and yes! I'm taking a class in writing the 10-minute play. Last week, for an exercise during the first class session, the teacher dumped a bunch of pictures of people she had clipped from the New Yorker (we were supposed to write monologues and dialogues for these mostly anonymous people). I noticed one was of an attractive guy who looked strangely familiar. Suddenly I recognized him -- James Surowiecki! No, I didn't pick that one for my exercise.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 06, 2010, 01:25:26 pm
I'm most of the way through "Letting Go," in the Aug. 2 issue, a powerful article about how doctors do and/or should treat terminally ill patients. It's by Atul Gawande, who wrote another fabulous piece last year about how we age, which I read a second time when it was included in Best American Essays 2009. (He's a successful surgeon, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, a writer for the New Yorker, a MacArthur fellow, and is even cute -- do you want to marry him or kill him?)

(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYlg0FnPd_oxMUPgm1pMi7aX0Nlh9X8Y5RUXUdRD3_9rNGS70&t=1&usg=__2ZNIJKW-0Yf4rktiQYSYUrGAHUA=)

Anyway, though it's not the least bit political, the article makes a great case for death panels. We need death panels! Oh, not the mythical panels of bureaucrats who would condemn Sarah Palin's son for not being a "contributing member of society," but somebody who helps guide people through end-of-life decisions in a realistic, caring way. Because nobody, apparently, is doing that now.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 06, 2010, 01:33:50 pm
Also, while I was on here, I reread the Bret Easton Ellis quote that Jeff posted above and was freshly annoyed.

Quote
Q.: As a former wunderkind, any thoughts on The New Yorker's list of best writers under 40?

Ellis: Who cares! Who cares! Who cares about these writers? Sure, they're pretty good. But for the most part, they're white and educated, so they're The New Yorker's audience. That's why they choose them.

First of all, many of them aren't white. Second, of course they're educated -- how many uneducated people write New Yorker-caliber short stories? Third, BEE himself is white and educated. Should we not care about him, then?

What a jerk, is right. Or, more to the point, what a bitter has-been.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 06, 2010, 02:38:52 pm
Yes, that was pretty annoying. So many of TNY's writers are global...lots of stories are translated from other languages. And there's Annie Proulx too, who writes about rural people. He cares not a fig and shouldn't have even been asked the question. He's so ignernt on the subject it hurts my eyeballs to read it!!

Atul reminds me of Mark Ruffalo in The Kids are All Right, appealing in an absent-minded cuddly type of way. I'll look up the article. I skimmed through the last issue and only read the cartoons, LOL! Loved the cover of the angular lady dropping the angular iphone into the angular pool.

So, aren't there advocates and ministers helping older people make end-of-life decisions?? Oh, and family members as well.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 06, 2010, 02:56:30 pm
Atul reminds me of Mark Ruffalo in The Kids are All Right, appealing in an absent-minded cuddly type of way.

Cuddly, maybe, but his mind seems to be quite present.  ;D

Quote
So, aren't there advocates and ministers helping older people make end-of-life decisions?? Oh, and family members as well.

Ministers and family members don't fully understand potential medical consequences, and doctors are loathe to candidly discuss the near-inevitability of a patient's imminent death. Advocates in the form of hospice workers can bridge the divide, but in most cases the patients must accept that their impending death and give up extensive life-saving procedures in order to use hospice care.

The overall point is that people wind up undergoing excessive and expensive procedures trying to extend their lives, even though the time they buy is often minimal at best and in the meantime they may suffer much more than they would otherwise. The trouble is that on rare occasions those procedures DO come through and offer patients extra years of life. Often, though, it's more like weeks or months, and very unpleasant ones at that. According to Atul, people tend not to get realistic appraisals of this.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 24, 2010, 12:45:29 pm
Over lunch today I just read Patricia Marx on cars in the Aug. 16 & 23 issue. Very funny at the end! I love it when she describes hybrid vehicles as the motorized equivalent of free-range chickens.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 24, 2010, 01:00:07 pm
Over lunch today I just read Patricia Marx on cars in the Aug. 16 & 23 issue. Very funny at the end! I love it when she describes hybrid vehicles as the motorized equivalent of free-range chickens.  ;D

I always enjoy her articles. If you have to cover shopping, that's the way to do it.

What makes the New Yorker so great is that it publishes so many writers whose work is almost always worth reading no matter what it's about, which besides Marx include Anthony Lane, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Ariel Levy, Atul Gawande, Larissa MacFarquhar ...

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 24, 2010, 10:29:52 pm
That's true!! On the advice of friend Jeff, I've been reading the article about end-of-life care, and I'm about halfway through it. It's a slog, with too much about what things cost and not enuff about ennithing else.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 25, 2010, 08:20:00 pm
That's true!! On the advice of friend Jeff, I've been reading the article about end-of-life care, and I'm about halfway through it. It's a slog, with too much about what things cost and not enuff about ennithing else.

Well, one of the things that I took away from the article was that that was one of the author's points: Often lots of money gets spent on expensive treatments that ultimately do no good and may even make the patient suffer more in the time that he or she has left.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 25, 2010, 08:26:50 pm
I always enjoy her articles. If you have to cover shopping, that's the way to do it.

What makes the New Yorker so great is that it publishes so many writers whose work is almost always worth reading no matter what it's about, which besides Marx include Anthony Lane, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Ariel Levy, Atul Gawande, Larissa MacFarquhar ...

Ian Frazier, Jane Mayer, Adam Gopnik, Nancy Franklin, David Denby, John Lahr, Hendrik Hertzberg, Joan Acocella, Tad Friend, Simon Schama. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 25, 2010, 09:04:38 pm
Ian Frazier, Jane Mayer, Adam Gopnik, Nancy Franklin, David Denby, John Lahr, Hendrik Hertzberg, Joan Acocella, Tad Friend, Simon Schama. ...  ;D

Personally, I'd probably exempt a few of those from the "always worth reading" category, but the great thing about the New Yorker is that it appeals to a variety of tastes and interests.

 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 26, 2010, 08:38:30 am
Personally, I'd probably exempt a few of those from the "always worth reading" category, but the great thing about the New Yorker is that it appeals to a variety of tastes and interests.

Not me. Especially the critics. I read them first in every issue.

And there is another woman whose name is escaping me--and it's driving me crazy!  >:(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 26, 2010, 09:12:29 am
Funny that the critique of Eat Pray Love is rather benign, even positive!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 26, 2010, 10:52:38 am
Funny that the critique of Eat Pray Love is rather benign, even positive!!

With interesting things to say about Julia Roberts at this point in her career!  :)

(I liked the comment that the book title has commas in it!  ;D )
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on August 26, 2010, 11:57:31 am
Here is Denby's review of Eat Pray Love.  He was kinder than I was!

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2010/08/30/100830crci_cinema_denby?currentPage=1
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 26, 2010, 12:06:41 pm
And there is another woman whose name is escaping me--and it's driving me crazy!  >:(

It might be Claudia Roth-Pierpont (sp?), but I'm not sure.  :(

That is, I always read her articles, but she may not be the writer whose name is eluding me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 28, 2010, 01:13:20 pm
Jon Lee Anderson's articles are the New Yorker equivalent of cod liver oil. They're good for you, but I don't like them. They're too long and boring.  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 28, 2010, 02:07:44 pm
Jon Lee Anderson's articles are the New Yorker equivalent of cod liver oil. They're good for you, but I don't like them. They're too long and boring.  :P

Actually, I can think of a few New Yorker writers I would say that about. But I'm sure that in some cases their articles are of intense interest -- to policy-makers, maybe, or think-tank fellows.

What I'm glad to see less of in the New Yorker in recent years -- probably since the Tina Brown days, actually -- are those pages-on-pages-long articles that, oh, have some marginal interest, and would undoubtedly add to your knowledge of the world, but are excruciating to plow through and not really of major importance, either. For example, I recall getting about a third of the way through one about a grocery store. When I got to "On Tuesday, the dairy truck comes, and the cases of milk are loaded into the shipping dock ..." or something like that, I bailed.

I still see the occasional article that I would put into that category, but not so many as before.

Remember back to those pre-Tina days -- when there were no photos, no capsule descriptions of the stories in the tables of contents, no discussion of anything Hollywood outside of Pauline Kael's pieces, bylines in the form of 10-point italicized tag lines instead of bold lines at the tops of the articles?

I'm not one to dis Tina Brown. I think she improved on what was already a great magazine.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 28, 2010, 04:05:05 pm
I like JLA's articles on Iran and such, but you have to be in the mood to enjoy them. I also very much like John McPhee. His articles used to take up about half an issue and I've noticed that he is being edited more severely these days.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 28, 2010, 08:41:15 pm
I'm not one to dis Tina Brown. I think she improved on what was already a great magazine.

She did some badly needed updating. The world is no longer what it was when John Hersey's "Hiroshima" was an entire issue of the magazine.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 29, 2010, 02:01:04 pm
She did some badly needed updating. The world is no longer what it was when John Hersey's "Hiroshima" was an entire issue of the magazine.

Though if the United States, or anyone really, were to attack a city with nuclear weapons now, I would hope there'd be a modern-day John Hersey covering it and that the New Yorker would devote an entire issue again. I'd be willing to skip the movie reviews and James Suroweicki for a week, anyway. I think they more or less unofficially devoted at least one entire issue to 9/11, though by a multitude of writers, of course.





Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 29, 2010, 02:35:52 pm
The cover of that issue was so moving, and won an award for best magazine cover as I recall. It was a black cover, with the silhouette of the towers in black varnish.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 29, 2010, 03:43:46 pm
The cover of that issue was so moving, and won an award for best magazine cover as I recall. It was a black cover, with the silhouette of the towers in black varnish.


Maybe because we're getting closer to the anniversary, but I find myself thinking back on how various media organizations and figures dealt with it. The New Yorker, David Letterman and The Onion especially come to mind for handling their situations post 9/11 gracefully, though obviously all in very different ways.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 30, 2010, 10:32:48 am
Over the weekend I read Adam Gopnik's essay on Winston Churchill and recent books about Churchill in the August 30 issue. I was fascinated to read the following:

Quote
This faith in government as the essential caretaker led [Churchill] later to support the creation of a national health service, "in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available."

So I guess our resident reactionaries will be dismissing Winston Churchill as a hopeless socialist.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 30, 2010, 01:36:50 pm
At lunch today I read Jane Mayer's article on the Koch brothers in the August 30 issue. Everyone should read that article.

Talk about malefactors of great wealth.

I wonder whether Brokeplex ever worked with the Koch brothers. I understand he worked in the oil industry.  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 01, 2010, 10:37:54 pm
I saw that article but it just didn't interest me. Maybe it was the picture that went with it. Wichita is my home town. I left there at 18 and have never felt the urge to go back again.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 02, 2010, 08:37:12 am
I saw that article but it just didn't interest me. Maybe it was the picture that went with it. Wichita is my home town. I left there at 18 and have never felt the urge to go back again.

It doesn't have anything to with Wichita and it does have everything to do with the Koch brothers contributing millions upon millions of dollars to support ultra-right-wing, "libertarian," reactionary political positions--and all of it behind the scenes, frequently through "centers" and "think tanks" with harmless-sounding names. Their father was one of the founders of the John Birch Society.

This is why everyone should the article.

Edit to Add: Everyone should also scoot on over to Current Events and read the Frank Rich article that John posted on the irony of billionaires funding the Tea Party Movement. The Rich article discusses Mayer's article and reactions to it. These people like the Koch brothers are dangerous to democracy and freedom. They are aiming at nothing short of a plutocracy.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 03, 2010, 06:32:14 pm
Yes, my father, a Wichita businessman, was a John Bircher. Those people fall somewhere between the Klu Klux Klan and the Tea Party Movement. That's a spot so small you could get wedged in, die, and not be discovered for three effen days!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 14, 2010, 01:37:26 pm
Over lunch today I finished the Terry McDermott article about Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed in the Sept. 13 issue and started to read the Peter Hessler article about uranium mining in southwestern Colorado. When I get home today, i want to see whether I can find some of the places mentioned in the article on a map. This interests me because southwestern Colorado is my next ramble destination, possibly though not probably this fall, and if not this fall then next summer.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 14, 2010, 09:27:07 pm
I read that story about uranium too! It coincides closely with the experience I've had at work where I am involved with mining projects. Mining people underestimate the dangers and risks, and nonmining people overestimate them.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 22, 2010, 12:46:48 pm
Well, how clueless am I? Until I read it in The New Yorker at lunch today, I didn't know that the Gap owns Old Navy and Banana Republic.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Brown Eyes on September 22, 2010, 12:52:53 pm

^I definitely knew about the Old Navy connection.  But, until now I didn't know about the Banana Republic connection... but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense.

My parents have been subscribing to the New Yorker for decades (long before I was born) and have saved all the covers, etc.  And, just recently - randomly - my parents got me a subscription to the New Yorker.  So, now I've been receiving it regularly too.  It's fun.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 22, 2010, 01:14:57 pm
Wow, I'm thrilled that you're joining the ranks of New Yorker readers, friend!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 26, 2010, 09:50:50 pm
Fitzgeraldfest!! Completely serendipitously, I found myself this weekend simultaneously reading two New Yorker articles about F. Scott Fitzgerald.

One is from the 11/16/09 issue, an article I ripped out and saved to read when I was weeding through a giant stack of New Yorkers for recycling. It's about Fitgerald's attempt to become a Hollywood screenwriter. Apparently he was a dismal failure, partly because he was an alcoholic going through bad times, and partly because (unlike with Larry McMurtry, apparently!) his talents as a fiction writer did not transfer well to screenwriting. I stuck that clipping, along with several others, in my purse, to read when I found myself out and about with extra time on my hands.

The other is from the 9/27/10 issue, the one whose cover shows a bed occupied by two apparently post-coital bedbugs. It's about a little experimental theater company in New York that produces an eight-hour show called "Gatz" in which an actor reads "The Great Gatsby" in its entirety while other actors in the background play office workers who do things that sort of loosely reflect the action in the novel.

Both were really interesting!


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 26, 2010, 11:33:47 pm
What a coincidence! F. Scott Fitzgerald's ghost made an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion this weekend in commemoration of his birthday!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 27, 2010, 12:04:13 am
What a coincidence! F. Scott Fitzgerald's ghost made an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion this weekend in commemoration of his birthday!

Wow! It's today!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 15, 2010, 01:25:44 pm
How the mighty have fallen. ...  :(

I am getting very disappointed by The New Yorker. Time was when the magazine was meticulously edited and was known for its meticulous fact-checking. Yet these days I am finding punctuation and typographical errors with depressing regularity, and today I came across a real shocker.

Over lunch I was reading Ryan Lizza's article in the October 11 issue about how the Senate and the Administration missed the chance to deal with climate change. In a discussion on attempts to get Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, the Senators from Maine, on board with legisation that John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman were drafting, mention is made of a prominent fishing area off the New England coast. This area is known as the Georges Bank, and I'm sure I remember it being mentioned quite prominently in The Perfect Storm (the book, not necessarily the movie).

Well, in Ryan Lizza's article, this important fishing area is referred to as "Georgia's Bank, a Maine fishery."

How the mighty have fallen.  :( I think I need to start photocopying these bloopers, and when I get a good pile of them, send them to the editor.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 15, 2010, 09:47:23 pm
I hear you, friend. The first time I found a typo in The New Yorker, I was shocked!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 20, 2010, 07:05:13 pm
Here are some videos from this year's New Yorker Festival, in which prominent New Yorker writers give speeches and sit on panels. I don't have the time, let alone the money, to watch the full videos, but I watched a few of the free sample clips, and some are interesting. I highly recommend the Malcolm Gladwell one -- what he has to say is shocking as well as entertaining. Paul Krugman and James Surowiecki are also pretty good.

http://fora.tv/conference/new_yorker_festival_2010 (http://fora.tv/conference/new_yorker_festival_2010)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 21, 2010, 10:08:35 am
There's an article beginning with an anecdote from Sherlock Holmes in the October 18th New Yorker! It's called "Too Much Information" and it's about books on sex and reproduction. I love The New Yorker!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 26, 2010, 01:14:32 pm
There's an article beginning with an anecdote from Sherlock Holmes in the October 18th New Yorker! It's called "Too Much Information" and it's about books on sex and reproduction. I love The New Yorker!

Well, yes. I read that article over lunch today. And when I get home this evening, I need to check my Holmes books and hope I have one that includes "The Blue Carbuncle." Jill Lepore quotes from that story, "Sherlock Holmes sat up with a whistle. 'By Jove, Peterson,' said he. ..."

"Peterson"?  ???

I need to find out whether Jill Lepore made a mistake for "Watson," and if she did, somebody at The New Yorker should be fired for not catching it.

I saw the dramatization of "The Blue Carbuncle" with Jeremy Brett as Holmes--the best screen Holmes ever--but that was long ago, and I'm not that familiar with that story.

I wonder whether the full text is accessible on line somewhere?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on October 26, 2010, 01:20:00 pm
I wonder whether the full text is accessible on line somewhere?  ???

Here: Blue Carbuncle (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DoyBlue.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1)

Peterson is identified as the "commissioniare".

(http://images.tvrage.com/screencaps/26/5175/152739.jpg)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 26, 2010, 01:33:39 pm
Here: Blue Carbuncle (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DoyBlue.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1)

Peterson is identified as the "commissioniare".

(http://images.tvrage.com/screencaps/26/5175/152739.jpg)

Thanks.  :)  Saved me time and trouble (And why am I not surprised that the text is on line?  ;D ). My faith in Jill Lepore is restored, if not my faith in The New Yorker.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 26, 2010, 01:45:02 pm
Well, yes. I read that article over lunch today. And when I get home this evening, I need to check my Holmes books and hope I have one that includes "The Blue Carbuncle." Jill Lepore quotes from that story, "Sherlock Holmes sat up with a whistle. 'By Jove, Peterson,' said he. ..."

"Peterson"?  ???

I need to find out whether Jill Lepore made a mistake for "Watson," and if she did, somebody at The New Yorker should be fired for not catching it.
Their jobs are safe! Holmes ejaculates  ::) that to Peterson, the commissionaire, whose wife found the carbuncle in the crop of a goose she was preparing.


I saw the dramatization of "The Blue Carbuncle" with Jeremy Brett as Holmes--the best screen Holmes ever--but that was long ago, and I'm not that familiar with that story.

I wonder whether the full text is accessible on line somewhere?  ???
I was reading about Jeremy Brett...apparently he got lost in the Homes character at some point and misplaced himself. Easy to do I imagine. He was also bi.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 26, 2010, 02:07:08 pm
Their jobs are safe! Holmes ejaculates  ::) that to Peterson, the commissionaire, whose wife found the carbuncle in the crop of a goose she was preparing.

Actually, it was Dr. Watson.
 
Quote
I was reading about Jeremy Brett...apparently he got lost in the Homes character at some point and misplaced himself. Easy to do I imagine. He was also bi.

He was also a hopeless drunk, unfortunately, and my understanding was more gay than bi. I had it on the authority of a friend who worked at WGBH in Boston that Brett's marriage to Rebecca Eaton, a producer for PBS, was merely one of convenience, as they used to say.

But he was still a damn fine Sherlock Holmes.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 28, 2010, 01:03:22 pm
Well, here's a familiar phrase!

Today while I eat lunch I'm reading William Finnegan's "Letter from Tijuana" in the October 18 issue. Describing the retired army colonel who had been given the top police job in Tijuana, Finnegan writes, "Leyzaola himself was, unmistakably, the new stud duck in town."

 :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 30, 2010, 11:52:56 am
I read the New Yorker's profile of Gawker Media founder Nick Denton the other night, just before Gawker.com published some anonymous guy's reprehensible account of his (non)sexual encounter with Christine O'Donnell. I bet the New Yorker is wishing they'd held the piece another week. But their profile was a good preparation for happening on the O'Donnell post -- Denton comes across as interesting but unlikable. Now I've just upgraded him to loathsome.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 30, 2010, 12:18:29 pm
I read the New Yorker's profile of Gawker Media founder Nick Denton the other night, just before Gawker.com published some anonymous guy's reprehensible account of his (non)sexual encounter with Christine O'Donnell. I bet the New Yorker is wishing they'd held the piece another week. But their profile was a good preparation for happening on the O'Donnell post -- Denton comes across as interesting but unlikable. Now I've just upgraded him to loathsome.

Now I'm intrigued. I was actually gonna skip that article!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 02, 2010, 12:11:33 pm
I thought that before the U.S. election was over, I should read Nicholas Lemann's article on Harry Reid in the Oct. 25 issue. I'm glad I did because I didn't know that Reid had said that George W. Bush "is an ideologue who has done incalculable damage to the government, reputation, and moral standing of the United States of America," a position with which I completely agree.

I also didn't know that Reid had twice publicly called Bush a liar, and then explained, as if for the simple-minded, "When one lies, one is a liar."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 02, 2010, 09:59:14 pm
I thought that before the U.S. election was over, I should read Nicholas Lemann's article on Harry Reid in the Oct. 25 issue. I'm glad I did because I didn't know that Reid had said that George W. Bush "is an ideologue who has done incalculable damage to the government, reputation, and moral standing of the United States of America," a position with which I completely agree.

I also didn't know that Reid had twice publicly called Bush a liar, and then explained, as if for the simple-minded, "When one lies, one is a liar."  ;D

hehe!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 03, 2010, 08:45:50 am
I read the New Yorker's profile of Gawker Media founder Nick Denton the other night, just before Gawker.com published some anonymous guy's reprehensible account of his (non)sexual encounter with Christine O'Donnell. I bet the New Yorker is wishing they'd held the piece another week. But their profile was a good preparation for happening on the O'Donnell post -- Denton comes across as interesting but unlikable. Now I've just upgraded him to loathsome.

While I haven't read the Gawker piece, I do find it difficult to believe that anyone could do more damage to Christine O'Donnelll than she could do to herself. Nevertheless, I read the Nick Denton piece over lunch yesterday.

What a thoroughly unlikable individual.  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 03, 2010, 09:09:13 am
While I haven't read the Gawker piece, I do find it difficult to believe that anyone could do more damage to Christine O'Donnelll than she could do to herself. Nevertheless, I read the Nick Denton piece over lunch yesterday.

What a thoroughly unlikable individual.  :P

Oh, I don't think the Gawker piece damaged her. It probably won her some sympathy votes. But you're right, she's her own worst enemy.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 03, 2010, 10:04:15 am
Oh, I don't think the Gawker piece damaged her. It probably won her some sympathy votes. But you're right, she's her own worst enemy.

But as John says, she probably has a bright future on Fox News.  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 03, 2010, 01:22:56 pm
Today at lunch I began to read, but did not finish, Lauren Collins's article in the Oct. 25 issue about David Cameron's "Big Society" program in Britain.

I was delighted to learn that there is a hamlet in central Dorsetshire named Shitterton.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on November 07, 2010, 05:23:02 pm


(http://blog.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/assets_c/2010/11/101115_2010_p233-thumb-465x634-55164.jpg)




http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/11/cover-story-approval-bump.html
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 09, 2010, 09:15:10 pm
O.M.G. ...

Run, don't walk, to the Nov. 15 issue and read Nancy Franklin's review of Sarah Palin's Alaska.

 :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Far too many hysterical and apt comments to quote here.

 :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on November 15, 2010, 01:39:55 am
Thanks for the heads up about the review, Jeff.

I just watched "Sarah Palin's Alaska."  Contrary to my expectation, I was able to watch the whole show without getting run off by Sarah's twangy folksy narration, mainly because the scenery is just too good to not want to see.  But thinking back on the episode, there really wasn't much to it.  The two trips they took, salmon fishing along a river lined with bears and mountain climbing above a glacier in Denali National Park, seemed to be dutifully performed for the sake of the show and offered hardly any information or excitement.  The footage at the Palin home was unremarkable, too.  The show is produced by the same guy who does "Survivor," so he's no beginner, but there really needed to be more momentum, more of a sense of occasion.  It made me think that she and her family didn't commit themselves to the show, rather that it was something they fit into their other activities and didn't really prepare for.  If the first episode is any indication, it might be one of those shows that's for fans only.  It doesn't seem to help either her or Alaska, and it should do at least something.  :-\

Here's the New Yorker review:

Mush!

Sarah Palin takes us for a ride.
by Nancy Franklin November 15, 2010

The hills are alive with the sound of Sarah in TLC’s new reality show.

When it was announced, in the spring, that Sarah Palin would be making a reality show about Alaska, the state she grew up in and then, last year, blew off, by resigning the governorship, I’m sure I winced and groaned and rolled my eyes, before hanging my head, shaking it, and emitting a deep sigh, and then repeating the sequence several times. For one thing, the show was going to be on TLC, whose initials used to stand for The Learning Channel but which I like to call The Leering Channel. Among its recent and current shows are “Make Room for Multiples,” “The Little Couple,” “Strange Sex,” “Obese and Pregnant,” “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” “Mermaid Girl,” and “Paralyzed and Pregnant.” Then, there’s the supersized Duggar family, whose show was first called “17 Kids and Counting,” then “18 Kids and Counting,” and is now idling at “19 Kids and Counting.” (At some point it will probably be called “But Who’s Counting?”) The show that TLC is most famous for is “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” which by now needs no introduction except a quick reminder that it was about that awful couple with the twins and the sextuplets.

TLC’s approach to programming is, in a nominal way, educational; if you don’t know any little people, or kids whose legs are fused, or families with nineteen children, you don’t really know what their lives are like. The shows are extremely invasive, though; TLC’s programming is all about babies, weddings, and families in extremis, and yet there’s something inhumane at the center of it all. It panders to our curiosity, allowing us to gawk at its subjects for as long as they are willing to be gawked at—which may be longer than is good for them. When it comes to Palin specifically, there is the fundamental problem that some of us don’t want to see or hear any more of her than we have to. And there are those whose objections have a physiological basis as well as an ideological one: the pitch and timbre of her voice, the rhythms of her speech, her syntax, and the way she coats acid and incoherence with cheery musical inflections join together in a sickening synergy that distresses the listener, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction. When Palin talks, my whole being wails, like Nancy Kerrigan after Tonya Harding’s ex-husband kneecapped her: “Why? Why? Why?”

Bundled with the news of Palin’s upcoming show, which débuts November 14th, was the eyebrow-raising fact that it would be produced by Mark Burnett, who created “Survivor” and “The Apprentice.” Burnett’s mastery of the reality-TV formula would keep the show from being a certain kind of disaster but would also keep it from being truly revealing. And what could Palin’s agenda possibly be? Supposedly, it was to show us the wonders of Alaska (the show is called “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” after all), to acquaint us with the state’s resources and its people, and, to some extent, with her own family. Why she thought that was a good idea, considering that she complained regularly about the media’s intrusion into her family life when she was John McCain’s running mate in 2008 (while, at the same time, frequently putting her children on display), is a mystery. Moreover, you might ask, how seriously will people take her as a political candidate—a Presidential candidate—once she has participated in a reality show? Karl Rove, the executive producer of the Republican Party, wondered the same thing. A couple of weeks ago, he said to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, “With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show . . . I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘That helps me see you in the Oval Office.’ ” Of course, Rove has reasons to want to undermine Palin, and this was an obvious opportunity to do so, but if Palin fails to win elective office in the future it probably won’t be because she did a reality show; it will be because of real-world reality—a shift in the political climate or a strong opponent. Even to wonder these days whether a foray into baldly profit-making, politically loaded entertainment reflects on a public figure’s worthiness for office is to risk being seen as, and feeling, priggish and prunish.

Palin has an interesting family background, which she describes in her book “Going Rogue,” and I was hoping that she might explore that, and that she might reveal something profound about her avowed love of nature. I’ve seen only one episode of the show so far, but I’m not optimistic. We do meet her parents, but nearly every other moment comes across as calculated—including, in the first episode, the absence of her daughter Bristol—and we find out nothing about Alaska that we didn’t learn in elementary school. I know that some Americans think Palin is stupid, but I never realized that she thinks we’re stupid.

The first episode involves a couple of fun family outings. But before we leave the house let’s set outside a spell, shall we? Palin likes to do “a lot of my writing and researching, especially on a beautiful day . . . on our cement slab, where I get to take in the beauty of the lake.” The scene, it turns out, is really just an excuse to bring up a subject that infuriates her: the writer Joe McGinniss, who is working on an unauthorized biography of Palin, has naughtily rented the house next door. Palin’s husband, Todd, ambles onscreen and explains that “our summer has kind of been taken away from us” by this. Palin adds proudly that Todd and his buddies have put up a fourteen-foot-high fence—a fence that handily doubles as policy. “I thought that was a good example, what we just did. Others could look at it and say, ‘Oh, this is what we need to do to secure our nation’s border,’ ” she says.

The first excursion is to the Big River Lake area for fishing and bear-watching, with Todd, their nine-year-old daughter, Piper, and a niece. “I’m really hoping that Piper . . . will have that treat of seeing a mama grizzly,” Palin says. Nature, it seems, exists to provide her with a chance to use one of her signature terms. Only brown bears show up, but it turns out that they have something to teach us, too. Palin says, “I love watching these mama bears. They’ve got a nature, yeah, that humankind can learn from. She’s trying to show her cubs nobody’s going to do it for ya, you get out there and do it yourself, guys.” That sounds great, except that in this case the mother bear is doing all the fishing while her cubs splash around on a nearby rock, ignoring her. When a bear growls, Palin says, “You hear that? That is a growl.” And then, “Wow.” And then “Wow” again. And then “Wow” again. When they arrive back home, Palin attempts to poison Piper’s little mind with her mean-girl attitude. “See, we one-upped him, Piper,” she says of McGinniss. “We had a good day. And he’s stuck in his house.” (Actually, the camera finds him sitting outside on his porch, reading a book.)

Next, we go to Denali National Park. This time, Palin’s sixteen-year-old, Willow, gets dragged along, but when weather forces the plane to turn back, and the Palins have to postpone for a day, Willow is allowed to beg off. (“My back hurts,” she says. Right. What probably hurts is that she’s stuck in this family. We’ve already seen her mother make a big show of forcing a male friend of Willow’s to come down from upstairs, a “no boys” zone.) The plane alights on a glacier. Do you know about glaciers? They are made of ice. Perhaps for that reason, “pilots have to be so extremely careful in landing their bush plane up there on the glacier,” Palin tells us. “It’s not like landing on a gravel strip or a paved strip. Landing on a glacier is completely different, much more dangerous.”

I can’t say what Palin is really up to with this show. She seems to want viewers to think that she’s conflicted about public life. She says that she’d “rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office” and “a poor day of fishin’ beats even a great day of work.” In that spirit, I wish Palin many, many days—years—of fishin’, starting now. ♦


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/television/2010/11/15/101115crte_television_franklin?printable=true#ixzz15KFVZtgI
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 15, 2010, 10:30:18 am
The two sections of the review that I like the best:

Quote
When it comes to Palin specifically, there is the fundamental problem that some of us don’t want to see or hear any more of her than we have to. And there are those whose objections have a physiological basis as well as an ideological one: the pitch and timbre of her voice, the rhythms of her speech, her syntax, and the way she coats acid and incoherence with cheery musical inflections join together in a sickening synergy that distresses the listener, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction. When Palin talks, my whole being wails, like Nancy Kerrigan after Tonya Harding’s ex-husband kneecapped her: “Why? Why? Why?”

And:

Quote
I know that some Americans think Palin is stupid, but I never realized that she thinks we’re stupid.

 :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Thanks for posting the whole review, Meryl.  :D

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 23, 2010, 10:02:40 am
Really enjoyed "The First Kitchen" about Eleanor Roosevelt's attempts to set an example in commissioning local American food for the White House table. It didn't work. A popular dish at the time, Turkey Supreme, featured diced turkey mixed with nuts, whipped cream, crushed pineapple, and mayonnaise, spread on a tray and frozen.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 23, 2010, 11:27:44 am
Really enjoyed "The First Kitchen" about Eleanor Roosevelt's attempts to set an example in commissioning local American food for the White House table. It didn't work. A popular dish at the time, Turkey Supreme, featured diced turkey mixed with nuts, whipped cream, crushed pineapple, and mayonnaise, spread on a tray and frozen.

I did, too! Poor FDR: Liver and green beans four days in a row!  :laugh:

That Turkey Supreme sounds awful.  Whipped cream and mayonnaise? :P

This article sheds new light on a scene from one of my favorite movies, Yankee Doodle Dandy. In one scene, Jimmy Cagney, playing George M. Cohan, appears in a Broadway show by Kauffman and Hart, I'd Rather Be Right, where he portrays FDR. Cagney sings a song about FDR speaking to reporters "off the record." The song includes lines about the bad food in the White House, something about "sauer kraut and veal," and the stanza concludes with the plea, "If Mrs. R. would stay at home I'd get a decent meal!" Goes to show how well known it was that the White House food was bad if it made it into the lyrics of a Broadway show.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 23, 2010, 11:39:52 am
That Turkey Supreme sounds awful.  Whipped cream and mayonnaise? :P

And turkey and pineapple?  :P

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 23, 2010, 02:55:17 pm
yes, friend. Now I'm starting the article about root vegetables and it looks to be very good, too.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 23, 2010, 03:10:14 pm
yes, friend. Now I'm starting the article about root vegetables and it looks to be very good, too.

I'm looking forward to reading that one, too! I love root vegetables!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: MaineWriter on November 23, 2010, 05:55:44 pm
In the November 29th issue of The New Yorker, Mr. Peanut comes out.

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2010/11/29/101129sh_shouts_rudnick

Enjoy....

L
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 27, 2010, 11:08:13 am
Mr. Peanut and Benson are hilarious in that article! Don't miss it! Also, strangely, I was entranced by James Wood's article on Keith Moon's drumming.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 28, 2010, 07:25:52 pm
Those who have dined at the Spotted Pig during various social events in New York may be interested in the profile, in the November 22 issue, of April Bloomfield, the kitchen talent half of the partners who founded the Spotted Pig and are credited with provoking a "gastropub revolution" in Manhattan.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on November 29, 2010, 01:17:22 am
Those who have dined at the Spotted Pig during various social events in New York may be interested in the profile, in the November 22 issue, of April Bloomfield, the kitchen talent half of the partners who founded the Spotted Pig and are credited with provoking a "gastropub revolution" in Manhattan.

Thanks for the info, Jeff.  I've just read part of it, and it's very enjoyable.  John, Amanda and I ate at the Spotted Pig once, and it's a cool place.  The food can be a bit odd, but it's good.

Here's the link to the article:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/11/22/101122fa_fact_collins?currentPage=all
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 01, 2011, 10:54:54 am
A very interesting issue this week. I'm now reading all about the Vatican Library. It's enormous! So many ancient text, both sacred and secular.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 01, 2011, 12:38:46 pm
Last night I read George Saunders' short story, "Escape from Spiderhead" in the Dec. 20/27 issue. Excellent, as Saunders' stories usually are. Such a creepy fictional metaphor for ... well, I'll let you see for yourselves.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 01, 2011, 02:49:20 pm
A very interesting issue this week. I'm now reading all about the Vatican Library. It's enormous! So many ancient text, both sacred and secular.

I haven't gotten to that article yet, but I'm really looking forward to it!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 09, 2011, 09:56:23 pm
Well, I just found another whopper of a goof in The New Yorker that should have been caught. In the January 3 issue, I'm reading Jeffrey Toobin's article about Nicholas Marsh, the government prosecutor who committed suicide in the wake of the Ted Stevens prosecution.

Toobin writes that the family of Marsh's mother "settled in Kentucky in the seventeenth century." Well, perhaps, if the family is Native American. There were no white settlements in Kentucky until the 1770s--which, of course, is the eighteenth century.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 11, 2011, 02:01:39 pm



(http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/spidey.png)
“Spiderward”
by Barry Blitt




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on January 12, 2011, 03:05:10 am
Well, I just found another whopper of a goof in The New Yorker that should have been caught. In the January 3 issue, I'm reading Jeffrey Toobin's article about Nicholas Marsh, the government prosecutor who committed suicide in the wake of the Ted Stevens prosecution.

Toobin writes that the family of Marsh's mother "settled in Kentucky in the seventeenth century." Well, perhaps, if the family is Native American. There were no white settlements in Kentucky until the 1770s--which, of course, is the eighteenth century.


You know, in school I learned that the English way of counting the centuries is different from the German one:

1401 to 1500 = fifteenth century in German, but fourtheenth century in English.
The 1770s would consequently be in the seventeenth century, just like the article said.

And I remember quite some guided tours through British castles, ruins, manors in which it was referred to the centuries as I learned it as school.
Your comment about it being wrong made me curious and I googled. Found this on wikipedia:

In Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish, centuries are typically not named ordinally, but according to the hundreds part of the year, and consequently centuries start at even multiples of 100. For example, Swedish nittonhundratalet (or 1900-talet), Danish and Norwegian nittenhundredetallet (or 1900-tallet) and Finnish tuhatyhdeksänsataaluku (or 1900-luku) refer unambiguously to the years 1900–1999. The same system is used informally in English. For example, the years 1900–1999 are sometimes referred to as the nineteen hundreds (1900s). This is similar to the English decade names (1980s, meaning the years 1980–1989).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centuries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centuries)

There you go. While Toobin may not be technically correct, he's also not completely wrong, he's just being informally (now we can argue if The New Yorker's standard should require the formally correct counting method ;)).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 12, 2011, 09:13:26 am

You know, in school I learned that the English way of counting the centuries is different from the German one:

1401 to 1500 = fifteenth century in German, but fourtheenth century in English.
The 1770s would consequently be in the seventeenth century, just like the article said.

And I remember quite some guided tours through British castles, ruins, manors in which it was referred to the centuries as I learned it as school.
Your comment about it being wrong made me curious and I googled. Found this on wikipedia:

In Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish, centuries are typically not named ordinally, but according to the hundreds part of the year, and consequently centuries start at even multiples of 100. For example, Swedish nittonhundratalet (or 1900-talet), Danish and Norwegian nittenhundredetallet (or 1900-tallet) and Finnish tuhatyhdeksänsataaluku (or 1900-luku) refer unambiguously to the years 1900–1999. The same system is used informally in English. For example, the years 1900–1999 are sometimes referred to as the nineteen hundreds (1900s). This is similar to the English decade names (1980s, meaning the years 1980–1989).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centuries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centuries)

There you go. While Toobin may not be technically correct, he's also not completely wrong, he's just being informally (now we can argue if The New Yorker's standard should require the formally correct counting method ;)).

I sense some confusion.  

While it's true that in English, we refer to 1900-1999 as the "nineteen hundreds", we also refer to it as the "twentieth century".  

So, something occurring in the 1770s can be said to be in the "seventeen hundreds" (informally), but it is the "eighteenth century" (ordinally). 

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on January 12, 2011, 10:03:46 am
I sense some confusion.  

While it's true that in English, we refer to 1900-1999 as the "nineteen hundreds", we also refer to it as the "twentieth century".  

So, something occurring in the 1770s can be said to be in the "seventeen hundreds" (informally), but it is the "eighteenth century" (ordinally).  

You're right, I confused it indeed.
I understand the difference between talking about the nineteen hundreds (same as the seventies) and the twentieth century. Thanks for pointing it out.  :) I had the above wrong. And my memory may be wrong about Brits counting as I stated above. They may have ineed talked aobut the "seventeen hundreds" and not the "seventeenth century" when talkling about 1701 - 1800.

But what I can bet on is that I learned at school that in English you have to count the centuries differently, as I stated above.
Of course, just because I learned it at school doesn't mean it has to be correct. After all, I also learned that there is no plural of chicken: one chicken - two chicken. ::) And I'm not the only one. My online dictionary discussion forum is full of Germans stating there is no plural to the word chicken, and native speakers arguing differently. :laugh:


But maybe, maybe, this could be a BE/AE difference?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 12, 2011, 10:11:11 am
I sense some confusion.  

While it's true that in English, we refer to 1900-1999 as the "nineteen hundreds", we also refer to it as the "twentieth century".  

So, something occurring in the 1770s can be said to be in the "seventeen hundreds" (informally), but it is the "eighteenth century" (ordinally). 

Agreed.

As we reckon time, the First Century of our era consisted of the years A.D. 1 through A.D. 100. Consequently, the Second Century was the years A.D. 101 through A.D. 200, and so forth and so on, so that the years 1701--1800 were the Eighteenth Century. Folks may remember this caused a lot of confusion a decade (!) ago over when the Twenty-first Century began, A.D. 2000 or A.D. 2001; it began January 1, 2001.

So I'm afraid Toobin wasn't being "informal"; he was just being wrong in his century--though I would add that my experience is that his error is not uncommon.

Having said all this, I will also add that despite all the reading I've done in Renaissance history, when somebody gets fancy and speaks or writes of the Italian Quattrocento (sp?), I'm still not sure if he or she is speaking of the Fourteenth Century (that is, the 1300s), or the 1400s (that is, the Fifteenth Century).  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 12, 2011, 10:55:48 am
Yes, technically we should have partied like it was Dec. 31, 2000.

My online dictionary discussion forum is full of Germans stating there is no plural to the word chicken, and native speakers arguing differently. :laugh:

To me, two makes it chickens. But what about shrimp? Or fish? Or lox?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 12, 2011, 11:04:44 am

Of course, just because I learned it at school doesn't mean it has to be correct. After all, I also learned that there is no plural of chicken: one chicken - two chicken. ::) And I'm not the only one. My online dictionary discussion forum is full of Germans stating there is no plural to the word chicken, and native speakers arguing differently. :laugh:


Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.   :laugh:


Having said all this, I will also add that despite all the reading I've done in Renaissance history, when somebody gets fancy and speaks or writes of the Italian Quattrocento (sp?), I'm still not sure if he or she is speaking of the Fourteenth Century (that is, the 1300s), or the 1400s (that is, the Fifteenth Century).  :-\

My Italian is minimal, but I believe quattrocento  refers to the 1400s.  There is a cute little shop in Florence called cose del novecento which meant "things from the 1900s". 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 12, 2011, 12:12:38 pm
To me, two makes it chickens.

Yes, but what about in German? I'll have to wait till I get home tonight to check my Langenscheidt's.

Quote
But what about shrimp? Or fish? Or lox?

Well, we do have Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 12, 2011, 02:07:45 pm
Bananas were introduced into the West by Alexander the Great in 327 B.C. They were first imported into the United States in 1870. If you ate a banana with your breakfast this morning, as I did, it was of a variety known as the Cavendish. Ninety-nine percent of bananas exported are Cavendishes.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 12, 2011, 02:33:21 pm
So, "ain't nobody here but us chickens" is a grammatical sentence? Whew, I was so worried!  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 12, 2011, 03:27:13 pm
So, "ain't nobody here but us chickens" is a grammatical sentence? Whew, I was so worried!  :P

Now you can sleep soundly tonight!  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 15, 2011, 05:00:48 pm
The Jan. 17 issue is the best I've read in a long time. David Brooks' Social Animal is entertaining and enlightening. This is the 1st thing I've read by him although I understand he is well known. Who Owns the Snow was funny, The Lamb Roast was a sweet memoir of a party-giving couple in NY that reminded me of the BBQ. Anthony Lane's critique of Another Year was scathing, and the crowning piece was The cult of the Constitution by Jill Lepore. Was it ever on target (sorry for the bad pun)!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 15, 2011, 05:28:38 pm
The Jan. 17 issue is the best I've read in a long time. David Brooks' Social Animal is entertaining and enlightening. This is the 1st thing I've read by him although I understand he is well known.

He's a conservative columnist at the New York Times. I don't always like his politics (though he's very moderate), but he's an excellent analyst of class, culture, behavior, etc. I loved his book, Bobos in Paradise. This article, which I've only just started, is apparently an excerpt from his new book.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 19, 2011, 02:10:40 pm
I'm currently reading the article about Freudian psychoanalysis in China in the January 10 issue. It was interesting to learn that, evidently, traditionally, the Chinese believed that there were seven emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, fear, love, hatred, and desire. Apparently these emotions needed to be kept in balance for you to be healthy.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 23, 2011, 04:50:38 pm
The Jan. 17 issue is the best I've read in a long time. ... The Lamb Roast was a sweet memoir of a party-giving couple in NY that reminded me of the BBQ.

I'm reading this story now. A sentence in the paragraph where the author describes going to the circus at Madison Square Garden rang memory's bell:

Quote
"We met Gunther, the lion tamer, and marvelled at this blond hair, deep tan, and amazing ass--high, round, and firm, like two Easter hams--in electric blue tights."

That could only describe one person, someone I hadn't thought of in years: Gunther Gebel-Williams, who was a big circus star when I was a kid. I never saw him in person, only on TV. He was basically the headliner for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He performed his animal act dressed in flamboyant costumes--including, indeed, electric blue tights--and no shirt, which showed off his equally amazing abs, instead of the safari gear often associated with a lion tamer.

With my memory jogged, I googled him, and I came up with quite a few images of him in those electric blue tights and no shirt. Sadly, I also learned that he died, of cancer, in Florida, in 2001 at the age of 66 years.

Before there was Seigfreid and Roy, there was Gunther Gebel-Williams.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 23, 2011, 05:52:06 pm
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_K1FelheB4h8/TNBn_-oK23I/AAAAAAAAAFo/KiJsO2KB3PY/s1600/Picture+4.png)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 24, 2011, 02:17:03 pm
I finished The Lamb Roast over lunch today. It sure would be nice to have a barbecue like that one.  :)

On the basis of the geographic references, I presume the author grew up in or very near to New Hope, Pennsylvania. I know New Hope well, or did, anyway; I haven't been up there in years, now. It's an artsy place--appropriate for the author's scenic designer father and former dancer mother, and something of a haven for gay Philadelphians with automobiles. Her father's studio was in Lambertville, New Jersey, which is directly across the Delaware River from New Hope, and she writes about walking to Jersey after school for music lessons. You can do this by walking across the bridge between New Hope and Lambertville.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2011, 02:31:07 pm
I just noticed that the back cover of the January 24 issue includes an ad for Annie Proulx's memoir.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 01, 2011, 03:02:21 pm
I just noticed that the back cover of the January 24 issue includes an ad for Annie Proulx's memoir.

Do I have to turn in my Brokie card if I say that her memoir doesn't sound very good?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 01, 2011, 03:51:25 pm
Not in my book, friend. Brokeback Mountain stands out among all the works I've read by Proulx as unique. She is famously regarded as one of the most unreadable great writers, right up there with Pynchon, Joyce, and Faulkner. I have the CD reserved at the library and I will go pick it up as soon as the weather clears. I'm planning to skip past all the real estate stuff. I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting bits about Wyoming and its fascinating characters.

I read all of Postcards, but only because I was in the hospital at the time. I've never been able to make it to the end of Accordion Crimes or Shipping News. I've read two or three of her short story collections, but those are easy. Yet I've read Brokeback Mountain about a gazillion times.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2011, 04:18:33 pm
Do I have to turn in my Brokie card if I say that her memoir doesn't sound very good?

If I get around to reading it as quickly as I've read the short story collections, there's little danger of me ever actually reading it.  ::)  But if it reads like the essay "Getting Movied," it might have some entertainment value.

She is famously regarded as one of the most unreadable great writers, right up there with Pynchon, Joyce, and Faulkner.

Really? Jeez, I never got the memo. Did somebody actually compare her to Faulkner? That's interesting!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 01, 2011, 04:43:40 pm
Really? Jeez, I never got the memo. Did somebody actually compare her to Faulkner? That's interesting!  :D

The only Faulkner novel I've read is "The Sound and the Fury." I would say it was much more difficult than understand than Proulx (or his own short stories) -- I used a Cliff's Notes to help decipher it. But personally, I found it more rewarding.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 01, 2011, 05:08:22 pm
Really? Jeez, I never got the memo. Did somebody actually compare her to Faulkner? That's interesting!  :D

Yes, I did.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2011, 07:46:47 pm
Yes, I did.

My dear, your critical sense is sound, but your opinion alone does not make someone or something "famously regarded."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 01, 2011, 08:31:22 pm
Well, quite a lot of people have moaned and complained about her style and Dwight Garner writes:

"What is that signature style? Reading Ms. Proulx’s prose is like bouncing along rutted country roads in a pickup truck with no shock absorbers. Her books are packed with arcane flora and fauna and eccentrically named towns and characters. Many writers employ unusual verbs and adjectives; Ms. Proulx likes weird nouns. Her cluttered style is, in a kind of reverse way, as jewel-encrusted as Gustav Klimt’s."

This is from our thread entitled Annie Proulx's Memoir:
 http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,46240.msg599654.html#msg599654 (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,46240.msg599654.html#msg599654)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2011, 09:21:57 pm
My dear, your critical sense is sound, but your opinion alone does not make someone or something "famously regarded."

That was badly and baldly said. I apologize. I should have said something like, "My dear, I respect your critical sense, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that one opinion alone does not make something 'famously regarded.'"
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 02, 2011, 06:08:58 pm
We're getting off topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to quote from a reviewer of The Shipping News by lisaMariaClark that is illustrative of how legions of readers feel about Annie Proulx's style:

Quote
Proulx is the author of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" which was made into the film of the same name. I read that short story soon after seeing the movie and remember finding it moving. But Proulx might be one of those authors whose extreme styles are more effective (at least for me) at the shorter lengths. I love several short stories by James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, for instance, but hate the novels by them I've tried.

In the case of Proulx, her style quickly wore on me. I'm truly not a Grammar Nazi; fiction is not meant to be an essay. But she uses sentence fragments so frequently she doesn't flow, and boy she piles on the metaphors in her drawn-out descriptions. But the worse part is the protagonist: Quoyle. This is a paragraph of how he's described early on which should give you an idea of Proulx's characterization and style:

A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he was buried under a casement of flesh. Head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair ruched back. Features as bunched as kissed fingertips. Eyes the color of plastic. The monstrous chin, a freakish shelf jutting from the lower face.

Note the choppy syntax. That could be effective done sparingly but the entire book is written like that. (And er...plastic has a color? Kissed fingertips are bunched? Really?) Quoyle's a lump of a character in every way who has never been able to hold a job long. His wife, Petal Bear, who thankfully is killed off early in the novel, sold their two young girls to a pornographer. (The girls are found before they can be harmed.)

The pace is slooooow and about a third of the way I knew I'd had enough. I struggled to get that far. Painful. If you don't love Proulx's style--and I hated it--there's no reason to stay.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2011, 07:47:56 pm
We're getting off topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to quote from a reviewer of The Shipping News by lisaMariaClark that is illustrative of how legions of readers feel about Annie Proulx's style:

I still think your own use of nouns is a bit overblown ("Legions"? C'mon. ...), but at least you are offering evidence besides your own opinion. This is a good thing.  :)

I don't think you get to be an award-winning author if "legions" of readers find you, well, unreadable.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 02, 2011, 08:41:42 pm
Well, legions or no, I'm in the group. I couldn't get far into TSN either, for pretty much the reasons that writer describes (though I DO get the "kissed/bunched fingers" imagery).

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: oilgun on February 07, 2011, 08:05:42 pm
This article is pretty long but is so far (five pages of 26) a great read.

The Apostate
Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology.
by Lawrence Wright February 14, 2011

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote. Before the 2008 elections, a staff member at Scientology’s San Diego church had signed its name to an online petition supporting Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only “between a man and a woman.” The proposition passed. As Haggis saw it, the San Diego church’s “public sponsorship of Proposition 8, which succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California—rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state—is a stain on the integrity of our organization and a stain on us personally. Our public association with that hate-filled legislation shames us.” Haggis wrote, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.” He concluded, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright#ixzz1DJxVwgdk


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 14, 2011, 11:02:11 pm
Yes I only read 5 pages too. Everything you never wanted to know about Scientology...and more!!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 14, 2011, 11:38:41 pm
In typical fashion for me, I've got more than one issue going at once. I'm reading the Paul Haggis/Scientology article at home, and I'm finding it fascinating.

(If nothing else, I'm learning a lot about Paul Haggis's career. I'd never even heard the name, as far as I can remember, until the Crash win, but he's been involved in a lot of productions I have heard of.)

Meanwhile, over lunch I've been reading Ben McGrath's article in the January 31 issue about head injuries in football. One of the experts mentioned in the article was Dr. Robert Cantu. During my brief stint as a copy editor at the W.B. Saunders company, I edited a book by Cantu, Neurologic Athletic Head and Spine Injuries, published by Saunders in 2000, so I've been aware of this issue for more than ten years.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 16, 2011, 02:15:08 pm
Here's a puzzlement.

Over my lunch today, among other things, I read the capsule review for a production of Moliere's The Misanthrope in the February 7 issue. The review includes the sentence, "The story involves a young nobleman disgusted by the phoniness and superficiality around him in the courtly circles of Louis XVI."

Hunh?  ???

Moliere lived and worked at the court of Louis XIV, in the 17th century. So, is that XVI an error for XIV, or is this productionn set a hundred years after Moliere, maybe because someone likes the clothes better?  ???

I also got a kick out of David Denby's descriptions of Ashton Kutcher (in Denby's review of No Strings Attached) as resembling "a pensive mushroom," and as "pointlessly tall."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 16, 2011, 03:11:21 pm
So, is that XVI an error for XIV, or is this productionn set a hundred years after Moliere, maybe because someone likes the clothes better?  ???

I also got a kick out of David Denby's descriptions of Ashton Kutcher (in Denby's review of No Strings Attached) as resembling "a pensive mushroom," and as "pointlessly tall."  ;D

As much as I respect the NY fact checkers, I vote for it being an error.

Yes, I loved that review too. It seems the negative reviews are always so much more entertaining than the positive ones.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 16, 2011, 03:44:35 pm
As much as I respect the NY fact checkers, I vote for it being an error.

Clearly the fact checking ain't what it used to be. Mr. Shawn would never accept a boo-boo like this one.  :(

Quote
Yes, I loved that review too. It seems the negative reviews are always so much more entertaining than the positive ones.

I've always wanted to know what a pointlessly tall, pensive mushroom looked like. Now I know!  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: chowhound on February 16, 2011, 03:56:00 pm
I finished the New Yorker article last night on Paul Haggis and his 35 years in Scientology. At the private and personal level, it is intriguing but what I couldn't figure out was the structure of this mysterious cult and who manages the considerable sums of money that are generated by all these courses and the child labour available on Sea Org. A young man, apparently, called Miscavige took over as head of the cult when Hubbard died but that's all we really find out about him except that he is prone to violence. There are suggestions that he himself has become enormously wealthy but this, of course, the organization denies. But who are all the others beneath him who must be busy counseling members, forcing them into courses, demanding that they cut themselves off from their families, and handing out discipline in one way or another. There must be a large group of these "officials" who, presumably, are getting well paid for what they do. Anybody here have any insights into  how this cult is structured or know of a book where this is described? The Paul Haggis article has certainly left me curious about this strange and possibly sinister cult.  
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 23, 2011, 02:14:21 pm
From Anthony Lane's review of The Eagle in the Feb. 14--21 issue:

Quote
There is a rare but distinctive strain of actors whose necks are wider than their heads, and who seek to compensate for this, when the time is right--and sometimes when it is not--with a look of pensive nobility. Vin Diesel is the elder statesman of the breed, but coming up fast behind him are Taylor Lautner, of the "Twilight" saga, and [Channing] Tatum, an affable Southern boy who went into acting from modelling, scored a hit with "Step Up," and now bears the deeply puzzled expression of someone who never expected to be standing in the rain wearing a leather skirt. His eulogy to fallen comrades--"May your souls take flight and soar with the Eagle of the Ninth"--is declaimed as if he were advising passengers to stow their tray tables and restore their seats to the upright position.

 :laugh:

How's that for a skewering of beefcake "actors"?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 24, 2011, 02:20:24 pm
Here's a wonderful line from Adam Gopnik's article, "The Information: How the Internet Gets Inside Us," in the Feb. 14--21 issue:

"Our trouble is not the over-all absence of smartness but the intractable power of pure stupidity, and no machine, or mind, seems extended enough to cure that."

"The intractable power of pure stupidity"--now, there's a phrase for the ages.  :D

On the other hand, I also found a sentence fragment in the article, and a reference to "the postage stamps that let eighteenth-century scientists collaborate by mail." I'm not exactly sure what Gopnik means by that, but I think most people associate the term postage stamp with the little pieces of paper with glue on the back that you buy at the post office, or out of a machine, or even at a special counter at the super market, and put on a letter before you mail it, and they were a nineteenth-century invention. Is this another failure of The New Yorker's once-vaunted fact checking? :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 24, 2011, 02:49:13 pm
What's the sentence fragment? Personally, I have nothing against sentence fragments. Not usually, anyway. Depends.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 24, 2011, 03:14:04 pm
What's the sentence fragment? Personally, I have nothing against sentence fragments. Not usually, anyway. Depends.

Ha ... ha. Does it really matter? I'm sure Mr. Shawn would not have suffered it.

Added:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shawn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shawn)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 24, 2011, 05:19:54 pm
I'm reminded that The New Yorker was where Brokeback Mountain first appeared, and that has sentence fragments galore!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 24, 2011, 05:48:36 pm
I'm reminded that The New Yorker was where Brokeback Mountain first appeared, and that has sentence fragments galore!!

I think it's quite possible that Mr. Shawn would not have suffered Brokeback Mountain. He didn't even allow swearing, did he?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 24, 2011, 09:24:09 pm
I'm reminded that The New Yorker was where Brokeback Mountain first appeared, and that has sentence fragments galore!!

I think it's quite possible that Mr. Shawn would not have suffered Brokeback Mountain. He didn't even allow swearing, did he?

First of all, "Brokeback Mountain" is fiction. Adam Gopnik's article is not; it's a commentary piece, written by a staff writer. They are quite different things, and I suspect even Mr. Shawn would have treated them differently.

Second, can you imagine any editor telling AP she couldn't do something?  ;D

He probably wouldn't have suffered "Brokeback Mountain" because of its subject matter.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 24, 2011, 12:42:15 pm
(I can't believe my last post on this thread was a month ago today.)

I'm now into the article in the March 4 issue about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I have just read about how upset and fearful some people were about the use of dihydrogen monoxide in the efforts to disperse the oil.

Dihydrogen monoxide is water. ...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 24, 2011, 12:52:17 pm
That's funny, Jeff. You mean they used water to disperse the oil in the Gulf? Trying to visualize how that would work.

I went all the way back to January 24 to read "Books as Bombs" about the impact of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique on mid-century American women. I often am inspired to go back to an earlier issue after I read a letter commenting about an article in a later issue. Thus, the piles of NYMs squirreled away in my dressing room.

But I was also very moved by the cover of this latest issue. At first it seems to be cherry blossoms, but when you look more closely, the blossoms are actually radioactive symbols. I was shocked to read that crisis plans for US nuclear industry cover not the disasters most likely to happen, but those that are "reasonable" to defend against. How short-sighted!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 24, 2011, 02:19:02 pm
That's funny, Jeff. You mean they used water to disperse the oil in the Gulf? Trying to visualize how that would work.

Dihydrogen monoxide was one of the components of the dispersant that was used.

One thing that I've learned from this article is that there are actually microorganisms in the ocean water that really do "eat" oil.

Quote
I went all the way back to January 24 to read "Books as Bombs" about the impact of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique on mid-century American women. I often am inspired to go back to an earlier issue after I read a letter commenting about an article in a later issue. Thus, the piles of NYMs squirreled away in my dressing room.

I enjoyed that article about Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique, too.

Even if I fall weeks behind, I take every issue in order, and when I've finally finished one, I pass it on to a friend at work.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 24, 2011, 02:25:12 pm
I have a different method. When a new issue arrives, I stop reading any old issues and start to devour the new one. Thus, I have quite a few half-read issues by my bed at any one time, but at least I am up to date on the latest news.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 24, 2011, 02:29:40 pm
I have a different method. When a new issue arrives, I stop reading any old issues and start to devour the new one. Thus, I have quite a few half-read issues by my bed at any one time, but at least I am up to date on the latest news.

I usually read the theater/TV/movie/book reviews as soon as an issue arrives, because those articles are generally comparatively short and can be read while I eat dinner. But then I go back and read the longer articles in each issue in the order in which the issues arrived.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 24, 2011, 04:05:48 pm
I just renewed my subscription and am getting a free tote bag!! Yee-haw!!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 24, 2011, 09:14:59 pm
I just renewed my subscription and am getting a free tote bag!! Yee-haw!!  :D

I've got two of them. Use them for hauling groceries. Not ideal for that.  :-\

I couldn't resist. After dinner this evening I "jumped ahead" to read Malcolm Gladwell's article about the book about Helena Rubinstein and the man who founded L'Oreal, whose name I've already forgotten (he was some French guy with a German name).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 24, 2011, 11:28:02 pm
My method is, I look through every issue when it first comes. Then I set it aside in the piles of other magazines and stuff waiting to be read or attended to. When I have some free time to read, I randomly grab whatever issue is handy. I read the easy things -- the movie reviews and "Shouts and Murmurs" -- first, sometimes the contributors' notes and letters to the ed, plus whatever bylines I know I'll like (Sedaris, Lepore, Gladwell, Levy, Lane, etc.). If something else really grabs me, I might read it right away. Otherwise, the issue gets added to a towering slippery stack of magazines that just keeps getting bigger and bigger until I can't stand the clutter anymore. Then I go through the stack, trying to be ruthless but repeatedly getting sucked into actually opening each magazine, however old the issue is, and glancing through the table of contents. I try to force myself to throw it out no matter what, especially if it's from a previous year. But I find myself thinking, geez, I really should read that article about the oil spill, or Hillary Clinton's chances in the presidential election, or whatever, and rip it out. Then I have a stack of articles that I think I will read when I'm stuck waiting in line at the bank or something. Some of them, I do get to. But others  get tossed around the car or purse until they're so ragged and dirty I finally decide can't stand to have them around anymore. So, finally, I toss them.

That's the life cycle of a New Yorker article for me.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 25, 2011, 08:47:51 am
That's the life cycle of a New Yorker article for me.

I'm so happy that I have someone to whom I can give my copies when I'm finished with them. Somehow I could never bear to put a New Yorker out for recycling.  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 25, 2011, 11:06:22 am
That would be hard for me to do as well. I tend to leave copies at the gym, in the doctors office or at the old folks home. Katherine, I understand your mixed feelings at looking at a pile of unread magazines. I used to spend most of my free time reading, but then I got interested in writing my own stuff, and now I have piles of unread magazines too. But that's a good thing! That means I'm spending less time reading and more time writing and...living!! I see those piled up magazines as insurance in case I become unemployed again or worse, laid up recovering from some illness or accident. So as far as I am concerned, they can stay there!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 25, 2011, 01:57:40 pm
For me, I still spend most of my free time reading. The difference is that I'm doing it on the internet instead of on paper.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 25, 2011, 02:20:12 pm
For me, I still spend most of my free time reading. The difference is that I'm doing it on the internet instead of on paper.

I don't know how, or why--seriously--but I never seem to have the time to read that I did formerly. The New Yorker I read over lunch and dinner, and maybe I get a few pages in a book read, in bed, before I turn out the light.  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 28, 2011, 12:59:49 pm
Today I was entertained at lunch by reading about the differences between seals and sea lions. Also, I was surprised to learn that seals can pick up language, like parrots. The New England Aquarium once had a seal that spoke with a Boston accent.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 28, 2011, 09:43:26 pm
Another great article was "Just in Time for Spring" by Ellis Weiner in the March 28 issue about an innovative concept called Going Outside.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 29, 2011, 09:02:33 pm
Oh, and if you missed Tina Fey's "Confessions of a Juggler" in the February 14 and 21 issue, do not pass Go, go back and read it NOW! (Although it's not very original; our own Crayonlicious was first on the topic!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 31, 2011, 03:18:11 pm
Oh, and if you missed Tina Fey's "Confessions of a Juggler" in the February 14 and 21 issue, do not pass Go, go back and read it NOW! (Although it's not very original; our own Crayonlicious was first on the topic!!

And here it is!!
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_fey (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_fey)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 31, 2011, 03:44:19 pm
I just finished the article about Barry Bonds' forthcoming trial for lying about his use of steroids.

But I have to say, if he wants to shrivel his baby-makers in order to hit more home runs, I really don't care. (Shrugs)

Apparently a lot of people do care about it, though.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 01, 2011, 08:56:41 am
I finished The Lamb Roast over lunch today. It sure would be nice to have a barbecue like that one.  :)

On the basis of the geographic references, I presume the author grew up in or very near to New Hope, Pennsylvania. I know New Hope well, or did, anyway; I haven't been up there in years, now. It's an artsy place--appropriate for the author's scenic designer father and former dancer mother, and something of a haven for gay Philadelphians with automobiles. Her father's studio was in Lambertville, New Jersey, which is directly across the Delaware River from New Hope, and she writes about walking to Jersey after school for music lessons. You can do this by walking across the bridge between New Hope and Lambertville.

Interesting. I learned--or, rather, deduced--from an articile in this morning's Metro that "The Lamb Roast" was culled from the new autobiography of chef Gabrielle Hamilton, who did, indeed, grow up in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Her book is called Blood, Bones & Butter.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 01, 2011, 09:25:06 am
Interesting. I learned--or, rather, deduced--from an articile in this morning's Metro that "The Lamb Roast" was culled from the new autobiography of chef Gabrielle Hamilton, who did, indeed, grow up in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Her book is called Blood, Bones & Butter.

BB&B has drawn a lot of attention. It's supposed to be good.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 01, 2011, 01:29:46 pm
Looks like we have a new Sherlock and Dr. Watson on the case!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 05, 2011, 01:11:40 pm
So I learned from the March 28 issue that Cyndi Lauper is big in Japan. Who knew?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 05, 2011, 09:32:12 pm
Oh, and if you missed Tina Fey's "Confessions of a Juggler" in the February 14 and 21 issue, do not pass Go, go back and read it NOW! (Although it's not very original; our own Crayonlicious was first on the topic!!

Can't wait to read her new memoir Bossy Pants. It will be interesting to contrast it with Annie Proulx's, the most recent memoir I've read.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 06, 2011, 01:22:24 pm
I don't know how I've managed to do this, but I'm actually reading the April 4 issue the week of April 4!  :o
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 06, 2011, 06:38:13 pm
Well, whaddya know!?!?! When I got home today, the April 11 issue was in my mailbox, and it includes a profile of none other than our own LaShawn Malone! Yes, indeed, a profile of Anna Faris!

However, making a cursory skim of the article, focusing on quotation marks, since that's what The New Yorker uses where traditional practice calls for italics, I noticed no mention of Brokeback Mountain.  :(

The issue also has reviews of Jake's The Source Code and Michelle Williams's Meek's Cutoff.

So many Brokeback connections in one issue!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 06, 2011, 08:07:41 pm
However, making a cursory skim of the article, focusing on quotation marks, since that's what The New Yorker uses where traditional practice calls for italics, I noticed no mention of Brokeback Mountain.  :(

That would be an unfortunate omission, since her work in BBM constitutes, as far as I know, her only role in a drama, albeit as a figure mostly there to provide comic relief. She was really good in that small role, and otherwise she seems to mainly appear in silly (though sometimes worthwhile) comedies. I seem to recall some critic -- it might have been the New Yorker's Anthony Lane, in fact -- saying something like, her casting was another example of Ang Lee's apparent project of elevating B-movie starlets to A-list actors in respected movies.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 06, 2011, 09:35:55 pm
That would be an unfortunate omission, since her work in BBM constitutes, as far as I know, her only role in a drama, albeit as a figure mostly there to provide comic relief. She was really good in that small role, and otherwise she seems to mainly appear in silly (though sometimes worthwhile) comedies. I seem to recall some critic -- it might have been the New Yorker's Anthony Lane, in fact -- saying something like, her casting was another example of Ang Lee's apparent project of elevating B-movie starlets to A-list actors in respected movies.

It might, however, be an understandable omission. The article appears under the heading, "Annals of Comedy," and the title is "Funny Like a Guy: Anna Faris and Hollywood's Woman Problem." Tad Friend is the author.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 07, 2011, 08:46:01 am
It might, however, be an understandable omission. The article appears under the heading, "Annals of Comedy," and the title is "Funny Like a Guy: Anna Faris and Hollywood's Woman Problem." Tad Friend is the author.

Oh, then I can't wait to read it. Hollywood does indeed have a woman problem, and that headline hints at part of it -- at least the comedy part. Women in comedies almost always play the sensible, responsible, dull straight man to the wild, crazy, funny guy. Anna Faris is one of the few exceptions.

So I guess I can see how, if the context is anything like that, the LaShawn role isn't quite on topic.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 07, 2011, 09:36:18 am
The Anna Faris and Tina Fey articles are perfect complements to each other!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 07, 2011, 09:42:23 am
The Anna Faris and Tina Fey articles are perfect complements to each other!!

OT, I guess, but Tina Fey must have gotten over her motherhood and career issues. I heard this morning that she's pregnant again.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 07, 2011, 01:08:57 pm
Well, what was it Heath said about how Matilda came to be? "We let biology take over" or something like that!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 07, 2011, 08:02:37 pm
Aha! Happily, I was wrong! Brokeback Mountain does get mentioned in the Anna Faris profile:

Quote
Though she had arresting cameos in "Lost in Translation" and "Brokeback Mountain," her more usual task, in fare like "The Hot Chick," has been to perform CPR on such dialogue as "It's not every day that your best friend grows a penis."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 07, 2011, 09:16:49 pm
Gives new meaning to "Woman talks a blue streak."  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 10, 2011, 05:16:56 pm
Here's a 2006 NYT Magazine profile of Anna Faris that I just stumbled on (it was linked to compare it to the New Yorker piece). It mentions BBM in more detail, saying her performance as Lashawn landed her a starring ole as a stoner.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/magazine/12wwln_encounter.html?scp=6&sq=anna%20faris&st=cse (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/magazine/12wwln_encounter.html?scp=6&sq=anna%20faris&st=cse)

Quote
She made a memorably dizzy appearance in Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning “Lost in Translation” as Kelly Strong, a hypervacuous starlet last seen in the lounge of the Park Hyatt in Tokyo belting out an off-key karaoke version of “Nobody Does It Better.” Even “Brokeback Mountain” had a dumb blonde in the form of Lashawn Malone, ably played by Faris, a fast-talking, hump-haired Texan who in a scene at a dance hall is too busy prattling on about sororities and clothes shopping to notice that her husband is deftly seducing Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Jack Twist, right under her pert little nose.

“In a really small part, she just popped off the screen,” says the director Gregg Araki, who saw Faris in “Brokeback Mountain” and consequently cast her as the lead in “Smiley Face,” an independent comedy about a struggling actress who accidentally eats her roommate’s pot brownies.






Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 11, 2011, 01:24:49 pm
Jonathan Franzen's latest article "Farther Away" is on the Internet for a limited time. It tells about his sojurn on Selkirk Island reading the novel that was inspired by a Scotsman's stay there, Robinson Crusoe. Here's a quote:

"I’d been ... feeling more and more like the graphical lozenge on a media player’s progress bar. Substantial swaths of my personal history were going dead from within, from my talking about them too often. And every morning the same revving doses of nicotine and caffeine; every evening the same assault on my e-mail queue; every night the same drinking for the same brain-dulling pop of pleasure."

http://www.facebook.com/newyorker?sk=app_199738353381002 (http://www.facebook.com/newyorker?sk=app_199738353381002)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 13, 2011, 05:23:11 pm
Tina Fey on Fresh Air today...here's the link:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/freshairwithterrygross (http://www.facebook.com/#!/freshairwithterrygross)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 14, 2011, 01:27:45 pm
I just finished "Just Write It!" by Laura Miller, in the April 11 issue, about George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones. I found it very interesting, especially the parts about members of on-line fan communities. ...  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 20, 2011, 12:39:26 pm
Jonathan Franzen's latest article "Farther Away" is on the Internet for a limited time. It tells about his sojurn on Selkirk Island reading the novel that was inspired by a Scotsman's stay there.

I started to read this article over lunch today. I'm finding it very rewarding and thought-provoking.

Plus, I'm relieved to learn that R.E.I. sells a stainless-steel martini glass with a removable stem. No camping trip should be without one!  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 21, 2011, 12:20:26 pm
Of course, what really interested me about the Franzen article was to notice, early on, that he seems to have diagonosed my own problem: I am bored in a major way.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 23, 2011, 01:31:03 pm
Does this mean you'll be heading off to the Galapagos Islands without your phone, TV or computer soon, friend Jeff?

I'm reading the article The Possibilian now. Neurologists seem to have all the fun these days! A quote: "It's hard to describe the taste of a sound, the color of a smell or the scent of a feeling. (Unless, of course, you have synthesthesia--another of Eagleman's obsessions.)" I think Annie Proulx must have synthesthesia, when I read things like "flying in the bitter euphoric air"!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 26, 2011, 02:06:33 pm
Does this mean you'll be heading off to the Galapagos Islands without your phone, TV or computer soon, friend Jeff?

Not likely.  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 26, 2011, 02:58:25 pm
Then you'll just have to find another cure for your boredom, friend! I hope the cure is not worse than the disease!

I read Laura Miller's article on your recommendation (below) and I found it entertaining, enlightening and quite scary!! I'm glad I haven't gotten sucked in to the George R. R. Martin mania, it makes Brokeholism look quite mild in comparison (even my case). I could not believe the passion and extremes those fans are willing to go to, inspiring one of Martin's supporters to protest that "GRRM is not your bitch." And the growth of the detractor sites...so scary (aside: they're called GRRuMblers lol). Seeing the persecution Martin suffers helped me to understand Annie Proulx's position seeking her privacy. One thing I marvelled at was that all the people mentioned who maintain chat rooms, sites, and fan clubs devoted to the Land of Fire and Ice series, not one was associated with holding a job or having a career in Real Life!!

One time in the 1990s, I had a similar idea to create a series called WOAD (World on a Disc). I never saw it through, though. If only...!!

I just finished "Just Write It!" by Laura Miller, in the April 11 issue, about George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones. I found it very interesting, especially the parts about members of on-line fan communities. ...  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 26, 2011, 06:55:23 pm
I'm glad I haven't gotten sucked in to the George R. R. Martin mania, it makes Brokeholism look quite mild in comparison.

I thought that, too, when I read the article.

Quote
Seeing the persecution Martin suffers helped me to understand Annie Proulx's position seeking her privacy.

It does give a perspective on AP's position, doesn't it?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 27, 2011, 12:42:55 pm
Does anybody copy-edit or proofread this magazine anymore?

Here's a sentence from page 107 of the April 18 issue:

"The twenty-seven-dollar entry free ... provides full-day access to the beach. ..."

OK, I read that sentence three times to make sure I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing:

"Twenty-seven-dollar entry free."

Geez. ...  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 18, 2011, 09:44:43 pm
Guess what's on the cover this week?!

(http://www.divshare.com/img/2661689-d12.JPG)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 19, 2011, 12:13:56 am
You are??! Oh no, wait, I'm guessing it's the library.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 19, 2011, 12:17:02 pm
More specifically, Patience and Fortitude, the lions of the library!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 23, 2011, 01:36:34 pm
Well, here's a cheery thought from the June 27, issue, courtesy of someone called Richard Florida: The more gay-friendly a city is, the more it's likely to be economically successful.  :D

For once I'm actually caught up in my New Yorkers, but that's because there was one issue that literally had only one article in it that interested me, the piece about Harriet Beecher Stowe, so I passed that issue on to my friend here at work quite quickly.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 25, 2011, 11:48:20 am
Well, here's a cheery thought from the June 27, issue, courtesy of someone called Richard Florida: The more gay-friendly a city is, the more it's likely to be economically successful.  :D

So now maybe NYC will make it after all!  ;D

I've heard of Richard Florida. He's written a lot about the link between a city's economic success and the size of its creative class. And it stands to reason that more creative cities would be more gay-friendly, both as a cause and effect.

Quote
For once I'm actually caught up in my New Yorkers, but that's because there was one issue that literally had only one article in it that interested me, the piece about Harriet Beecher Stowe, so I passed that issue on to my friend here at work quite quickly.

I haven't seen the HBS article yet, but that sounds interesting. I've been reading short stories in the fiction issue.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 26, 2011, 10:18:22 pm
Yes, I've read his book The Rise of the Creative Class.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: chowhound on June 28, 2011, 02:11:22 pm
Richard Florida is an American who is currently living and teaching in Toronto:

     

ROTMAN NEWS

1

Creative Class Thinker Joins Rotman School of Management

Toronto, July 16, 2007 -- A noted researcher, whose discovery of the “creative class” has been lauded by the Harvard Business Review as a major breakthrough idea, has joined the faculty of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Richard Florida will be a professor of business economics and the Academic Director of the newly established Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School.

Prof. Florida is well known for his work on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. In the last five years, he has penned the international bestseller, The Rise of the Creative Class and also The Flight of the Creative Class, which launched an intellectual revolution that has changed the way companies, nations, and communities compete and thrive.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 28, 2011, 02:14:43 pm
Prof. Florida is well known for his work on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. In the last five years, he has penned the international bestseller, The Rise of the Creative Class and also The Flight of the Creative Class, which launched an intellectual revolution that has changed the way companies, nations, and communities compete and thrive.

Gee. I don't have the issue any more, but I'm sure I remember that some of the other authors discussed in that issue did not think so highly of Prof. Florida.

Professional rivalry, I guess.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 28, 2011, 02:20:25 pm
Gee. I don't have the issue any more, but I'm sure I remember that some of the other authors discussed in that issue did not think so highly of Prof. Florida.

Professional rivalry, I guess.  :-\

That blurb reads like it was written by his publicist!! I was a little underwhelmed by the book myself, which seemed an unnecessary elaboration of a rather thin idea.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 28, 2011, 02:46:17 pm
That blurb reads like it was written by his publicist!!

It is a bit over-the-top, isn't it?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Brown Eyes on July 02, 2011, 11:59:24 pm

This is a horribly embarrassing question for a long-time Brokie to be asking... but could you remind me what date BBM first appeared in The New Yorker?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 03, 2011, 12:03:24 am
Happy to oblige: October 13, 1997. A date that is incised in my memory!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Brown Eyes on July 03, 2011, 12:35:54 am
Thanks Lee!

I've been having a Brokie nostalgia trip lately.  Just tonight I un-earthed a bunch of my Brokie memorabilia from boxes.  It's been fun.  I don't own a copy of that New Yorker.  Seems like one of the best pieces of Brokie history/ material probably.
:)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 09, 2011, 02:57:24 pm
The July 11/18 edition is wonderful. So far I've read a hilarious David Sedaris essay that had me cackling so loudly while sitting on the patio I thought the neighbors might wonder what's up, an interesting profile of a kind of oddball tech visionary named Jaron Lanier, and another interesting profile of Sheryl Sandberg, a top executive at Facebook, that examines the reason for the scarcity of women in the tech industry.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 09, 2011, 03:42:19 pm
The July 11/18 edition is wonderful. So far I've read a hilarious David Sedaris essay that had me cackling so loudly while sitting on the patio I thought the neighbors might wonder what's up.

I read that while I was eating lunch today. Chrissi would love the section on learning German.  ;D 

The article reminded me very much of a James Thurber piece called "There's No Place Like Home," about learning to speak French from a phrase book. I know the Thurber piece from its inclusion in the collection called My World--And Welcome To It (anybody else remember that short-lived TV series?), but like as not the article first appeared--where else?--in The New Yorker.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 09, 2011, 09:12:55 pm
I read that while I was eating lunch today. Chrissi would love the section on learning German.  ;D 

Yes! I thought of Chrissi when I read ... hold on, I'm going to go get the magazine so I can quote it correctly ... OK, here it is:

"The first time I went [to Germany], in 1999, I couldn't bring myself to say so much as a Guten Morgen. The sounds felt false coming out of my mouth, so instead I spent my time speaking English apologetically. Not that apologies were needed. In Paris, yes, but in Berlin people's attitude is 'Thank you for allowing me to practice my perfect English.' And I do mean perfect. 'Are you from Minnesota?' I kept asking."

Also, I know exactly what he means about feeling like foreign languages sound false coming out of one's own mouth. In order to pronounce things correctly, you have to get out of your own way and get over feeling fake about putting on someone else's accent.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 14, 2011, 01:25:26 pm
I finished the Sheryl Sandberg article over lunch today (then passed the magazine on to my coworker). As I was working my way through the article, I thought the part on the issue of mentoring was interesting, but by the time I finished the article I felt vaguely annoyed with myself for wasting my time on the "issues" facing this enormously fortunate and privileged woman and the others like her mentioned in the article.

I preferred the article about the bicyclists in Rwanda.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 14, 2011, 08:41:40 pm
by the time I finished the article I felt vaguely annoyed with myself for wasting my time on the "issues" facing this enormously fortunate and privileged woman and the others like her mentioned in the article.

Wow, you read it differently than I did. Obviously she is fortunate. I thought that was the point -- she's an extreme anomaly.

In other words, what I thought was the "issue" is that so few women in general are able to become as enormously fortunate as she is by rising through the ranks in the technology industry, as the statistics mentioned early in the piece pretty clearly showed. The ones who have issues, consequently, are not the Sheryl Sandbergs, it's the ones we don't hear about because they don't have those jobs.

Quote
I preferred the article about the bicyclists in Rwanda.

I skimmed that one. I like Philip Gourevitch, but it was pretty long and it didn't grab me right away.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 14, 2011, 09:05:36 pm
Wow, you read it differently than I did. Obviously she is fortunate. I thought that was the point -- she's an extreme anomaly.

In other words, what I thought was the "issue" is that so few women in general are able to become as enormously fortunate as she is by rising through the ranks in the technology industry, as the statistics mentioned early in the piece pretty clearly showed. The ones who have issues, consequently, are not the Sheryl Sandbergs, it's the ones we don't hear about because they don't have those jobs.

Yes, I guess I did end up reading it differently. Part of my point was that Sheryl Sandberg was "enormously fortunate" from the get-go: Ivy League education, Lawrence Summers as her mentor, and so forth. For me, as a child of the Working Class, I ended up asking myself, Do I really give a flip whether women can rise to the top ranks of the technology industry? No. That's an issue for an extremely small, privileged group of people to begin with.

Do I really care who's in the top ranks of the technology industry, male or female? No.

Understand that I'm not denying the existence of a glass ceiling. I would just be more engaged, and more sympathetic, to an article, for example, about women trying to become middle managers at Walmart, rather than an article like this one, about a small handful of women becoming millionaires in the technology industry.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 14, 2011, 11:11:02 pm
I actually had similar feelings as you, Jeff, as I read the article. I wasn't able to finish it, either.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 14, 2011, 11:37:50 pm
Yes, I guess I did end up reading it differently. Part of my point was that Sheryl Sandberg was "enormously fortunate" from the get-go: Ivy League education, Lawrence Summers as her mentor, and so forth. For me, as a child of the Working Class, I ended up asking myself, Do I really give a flip whether women can rise to the top ranks of the technology industry? No. That's an issue for an extremely small, privileged group of people to begin with.

Do I really care who's in the top ranks of the technology industry, male or female? No.

Understand that I'm not denying the existence of a glass ceiling. I would just be more engaged, and more sympathetic, to an article, for example, about women trying to become middle managers at Walmart, rather than an article like this one, about a small handful of women becoming millionaires in the technology industry.

I don't know for sure, and I could easily be wrong, but I would guess it's possible that by now it's not that hard for women to become middle managers at Walmart.

In fact, my feeling is that in most professional fields women are represented at many levels -- especially on the lower rungs, like middle managers at Walmart -- except at the very top, where they are still a tiny minority. And apparently the minority is even smaller in the tech industry, which isn't known for being particularly female-friendly in the first place. But it happens in other big companies, as well as in public office and other areas.

That doesn't directly affect me in any way I can think of (my own profession is fairly woman-friendly; the editor of the newspaper where I work is a woman; I'm not a millionaire; I'm not all that interested in the tech industry; I don't have daughters, etc.). But it's important to me in the same way, say, marriage equality is important to me even though it doesn't affect me directly, because I want everybody to have the same opportunities.

What's the solution, in this case? I think it's structural and institutional and societal. Sandberg thinks it's more personal -- that the problem is that women aren't stepping forward and grabbing the bull by the horns. I disagree with her, but I found it interesting to hear her side.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 15, 2011, 08:44:41 am
Well, here's an odd one: I'm actually "ahead" of my New Yorkers!

I guess because that one issue had only one article (the piece on Harriet Beecher Stowe) that I wanted to read, and the last issue being a two-week issue, I've actually finished up all the issues in my queue. Today being a Friday, I'll read a newspaper at lunch, but after that, I don't know what I'll read until the next New Yorker arrives.

Incidentally, I've also started a file of editing/proofreading goofs in the magazine. Eventually I will send them to the editor. The last straw that made me start this file was actually the Sandberg article. Sombody's name went from Hewlett to Hewitt and back again within the space of two paragraphs.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 15, 2011, 08:46:30 am
I don't know for sure, and I could easily be wrong, but I would guess it's possible that by now it's not that hard for women to become middle managers at Walmart.

That might be true. I don't know. When I dreamed up that hypothetical topic, I was thinking of that class-action lawsuit over pay that was recently thrown out of court. I do have it somewhere in my memory that Walmart has been accused of not being particularly woman-friendly.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 15, 2011, 10:01:29 am
That might be true. I don't know. When I dreamed up that hypothetical topic, I was thinking of that class-action lawsuit over pay that was recently thrown out of court. I do have it somewhere in my memory that Walmart has been accused of not being particularly woman-friendly.

That could be.

But, and not to prolong this quibble forever, now that I think about it, even if the Walmart workers did have a problem I doubt that an article about them would be inherently more interesting to me than an article about people at the upper echelons of the tech industry. I've worked at Kmart and at Macy's, so I feel fairly familiar with what life is like in the former group. Whereas the latter is a group I'll never be a part of, so that article to me was a peek into that world. It was interesting, to me, to see what kind of people wind up there.

Today being a Friday, I'll read a newspaper at lunch, but after that, I don't know what I'll read until the next New Yorker arrives.

Wow, that never happens to me. In just about every room of my house there are stacks of books and magazines waiting to be read. In fact, I'm halfway into at least five books as we speak and have several more in the queue. I'll never even put a dent in the whole collection, of course, but at the same time it's hard to throw them away.

Quote
Incidentally, I've also started a file of editing/proofreading goofs in the magazine. Eventually I will send them to the editor.

Maybe they'll hire you!  :laugh:

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 21, 2011, 08:52:48 am
Yee-haw! Finally, I've got a New Yorker to read again! No more dragging a heavy book to work just to have something to read over lunch!  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 21, 2011, 01:01:30 pm
Now, here's something that I really like about The New Yorker: So often, it seems to me, reviews are so much more than just reviews. The Hilton Als review in the July 25 issue of the new production of Terrence McNally's Master Class, with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas, is a case in point.

Als begins with a reminiscence of the opera queens he knew in the 1980s, many of whom are now dead of AIDS. Then he gives us benighted provincials some biographical information on Callas herself. Only then does he turn to the new production of McNally's play and Daly's performance as Callas. He speaks very highly of both.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on July 21, 2011, 10:07:32 pm
Now, here's something that I really like about The New Yorker: So often, it seems to me, reviews are so much more than just reviews. The Hilton Als review in the July 25 issue of the new production of Terrence McNally's Master Class, with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas, is a case in point.

Als begins with a reminiscence of the opera queens he knew in the 1980s, many of whom are now dead of AIDS. Then he gives us benighted provincials some biographical information on Callas herself. Only then does he turn to the new production of McNally's play and Daly's performance as Callas. He speaks very highly of both.  :)

I saw Master Class a few weeks ago, largely to support a colleague of mine who directed it, and thought it was really good, and Tyne Daly also.  But no matter how good the play and performances, the best parts are the monologues, during which the lights dim and you hear Callas's actual voice fill the theater in excerpts from La Sonnambula and Macbeth.  She can still make the hair stand up on my neck.  What a great artist.  8)

I'm so glad Terrence McNally wrote that play so that people outside the opera world can get a glimpse of the power of great artistry and be reminded of who and what Callas was. 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on July 22, 2011, 01:13:57 pm
I loved Master Class too.  I saw it many years ago in Boston, with Faye Dunaway--brilliaint! 

Meanwhile, David Sedaris's article in the current New Yorker on learning languages is hilarious.  I love how he describes German: "It's like English, but sideways."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 22, 2011, 01:44:26 pm
Meanwhile, David Sedaris's article in the current New Yorker on learning languages is hilarious.  I love how he describes German: "It's like English, but sideways."

All those people from Minnesota. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 23, 2011, 11:08:46 am
Calvin Trillin's memoirish article about the Freedom Riders in the most recent issue is really good.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 23, 2011, 01:29:54 pm
Calvin Trillin's memoirish article about the Freedom Riders in the most recent issue is really good.

I'm looking forward to that one. This issue has a lot of good stuff. The article on Wilkie Collins is good, too. I knew the name and the titles of his two most famous works, but I knew nothing about his life.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 25, 2011, 01:14:07 pm
I liked Alec Wilkinson's article on the Tiny House Movement. I'd like to know more about that--like, What do you do about plumbing?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 27, 2011, 01:25:31 pm
Yesterday at lunch I finished Cavlin Trillin's article about the Freedom Rides. Today at lunch I finished Jane Kramer's article about the French intellectual Elisabeth Badinter.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 27, 2011, 02:37:44 pm
Yesterday at lunch I finished Cavlin Trillin's article about the Freedom Rides. Today at lunch I finished Jane Kramer's article about the French intellectual Elisabeth Badinter.

I read and enjoyed both. Though I also thought the Badinter piece was kind of all over the place; when I finished I wasn't sure I had a really cohesive idea of what Badinter's main points are. I would have liked a tiny bit less objectivity, too -- perhaps more of Kramer's analysis of the ideas.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 27, 2011, 02:56:00 pm
Though I also thought the Badinter piece was kind of all over the place; when I finished I wasn't sure I had a really cohesive idea of what Badinter's main points are. I would have liked a tiny bit less objectivity, too -- perhaps more of Kramer's analysis of the ideas.

She came across to me as something of a privileged dilettante, though the main points that stick with me are her support for the French law to ban the burqa and her opposition to anything that puts "motherhood" ahead of a woman's right to self-accualization.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 27, 2011, 05:26:47 pm
She came across to me as something of a privileged dilettante, though the main points that stick with me are her support for the French law to ban the burqa and her opposition to anything that puts "motherhood" ahead of a woman's right to self-accualization.

Right, but I felt like the article kind of jumped around rather than making a cohesive point or flowing in some logical direction. She opposes anything that puts "nature" ahead of women's advancement! Oh, and she's privileged and has had a cushy life! Oh, and she wants to ban the burqa! Oh, and here's what some American feminist has to say about her! Oh, and she doesn't really like to socialize, but does occasionally! Oh, and here's how her husband liked writing with her! Oh, and here's what she has studied about the 18th century! Oh, and this is her favorite philosopher!

I would have chosen one thing to focus on -- my choice would be the first, the nature vs. women's advancement, which I personally find fascinating -- and delved into that. Most of the other stuff would be mentioned only in passing or omitted altogether.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 28, 2011, 02:56:02 pm
Today I read the article about the hedge fund guy. Totally beyond me.  :(

I think I'd rather read about overly privileged French feminists.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 28, 2011, 06:42:00 pm
I read and enjoyed both. Though I also thought the Badinter piece was kind of all over the place; when I finished I wasn't sure I had a really cohesive idea of what Badinter's main points are. I would have liked a tiny bit less objectivity, too -- perhaps more of Kramer's analysis of the ideas.



My thoughts exactly! Although I couldn't stop reading out of a fascination for the bizarre and disorganized. It was kind of like watching a bear run away, all disjointed like he's falling apart.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 06, 2011, 12:07:06 pm
I've read the Alex Ross piece on Oscar Wilde in the August 8 issue--makes me want to go back and reread The Picture of Dorian Gray to look for all the discreet gay allusions that I don't remember seeing when I read it years ago.  ;D

Also makes me want to look up Alex Ross; apparently he's gay and married to his partner.

Anyway, what really fascinated me was to learn that Arthur Conan Doyle knew Oscar Wilde, and they both published in Lippincott's magazine, which was published here in Philadelphia--the Lippincott name endured in publishing for well over a hundred years, actually. I had never thought about Conan Doyle and Wilde moving in the same circles.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 06, 2011, 04:08:01 pm
If you had seen the new PBS Sherlock (I know, I know, you're not interested) the gay theme would rocket right out at you and you'd see Wilde's influence on Doyle!! Also, it's insightful to go back and read the original stories or watch the earlier TV versions after seeing the latest incarnation.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 07, 2011, 09:40:15 pm
Pooh! Sherlock Holmes and John Watson ain't queer. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 07, 2011, 11:01:10 pm
Pooh! Sherlock Holmes and John Watson ain't queer. ...  ;D

Nobody's business but theirs.  ;D

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on August 08, 2011, 12:08:03 am
Pooh! Sherlock Holmes and John Watson ain't queer. ...  ;D

Well, Sherlock sure seems to think he has good gaydar:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zG8CbCiBD4[/youtube]
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on August 08, 2011, 08:19:56 am
I had never thought about Conan Doyle and Wilde moving in the same circles.
I wouldn´t have guessed it either. Cool to know.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 08, 2011, 08:43:14 am
Nobody's business but theirs.  ;D

 :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 08, 2011, 01:41:44 pm
Last night I was reading Murder in Baker Street: New Tales of Sherlock Holmes, a kind of collection of fan fiction. The first story by Stuart Kaminsky, "The Man From Capetown" had the climactic murder scene set at the Cadogan Hotel, described as "known to be the London residence of Lilly Langtree and rumoured to be an occasional hideaway of the notorious playwright Oscar Wilde. "

It is too soon to say since I'm just on the second story, but so far the writing doesn't measure up to Doyle. But it is interesting to see how the various authors interpret his work.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 08, 2011, 01:57:07 pm
Last night I was reading Murder in Baker Street: New Tales of Sherlock Holmes, a kind of collection of fan fiction. The first story by Stuart Kaminsky, "The Man From Capetown" had the climactic murder scene set at the Cadogan Hotel, described as "known to be the London residence of Lilly Langtree and rumoured to be an occasional hideaway of the notorious playwright Oscar Wilde. "

It is too soon to say since I'm just on the second story, but so far the writing doesn't measure up to Doyle. But it is interesting to see how the various authors interpret his work.

It happens. For years I wanted to read the stories where Holmes goes after Dracula and then after Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. When I finally found a copy of the book, I found both stories kind of disappointing.

OTOH, I enjoyed Nicholas Meyer's "editions" of a few long-lost manuscripts of Dr. Watson.  ;D

I suppose all True Believers still hope for the discovery of the manuscript of the case involving the Giant Rat of Sumatra.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 09, 2011, 01:03:32 pm
I am currently reading the article in the August 8 issue about the mission to take out Osama bin Laden. All American taxpayers should be pleased to learn that the White House orders sandwich platters from Costco instead of from some place more expensive.  ;D

On a much, MUCH more serious note, it troubles me to read the quotations indicating that the bin Laden raid was carried out "for God and Country." For "Country" by all means, but, to keep this short, the "God" part troubles me because I think every reference to the Almighty lends credence to claims by radical Islamic fundamentalists that the West is on some sort of "crusade" against Islam.

I simply won't go into what I as a Christian feel about that reference to God, but I will assure you that I'm not in favor of it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 09, 2011, 11:48:39 pm
I am currently reading the article in the August 8 issue about the mission to take out Osama bin Laden.

I've heard this is a really good piece. Looking forward to it.

Quote
All American taxpayers should be pleased to learn that the White House orders sandwich platters from Costco instead of from some place more expensive.  ;D

Yes, and thank goodness that meanwhile the Tea Party is preserving the right of the wealthy-American community to order their sandwiches from [insert name of restaurant so swanky that I've never even heard of it because I won't be able to afford to eat there in my lifetime].

Quote
On a much, MUCH more serious note, it troubles me to read the quotations indicating that the bin Laden raid was carried out "for God and Country." For "Country" by all means, but, to keep this short, the "God" part troubles me because I think every reference to the Almighty lends credence to claims by radical Islamic fundamentalists that the West is on some sort of "crusade" against Islam.

I simply won't go into what I as a Christian feel about that reference to God, but I will assure you that I'm not in favor of it.

Excellent point. That's troubling to read as a non-Christian, too. For the reason you mention, but also because people holding the notion that there is a God who takes sides in the ridiculous wars on Earth have always disgusted me. Even when, from my POV, my own side seems clearly morally superior (the North in the Civil War; the Allies in WWII) it is disgusting to assume that God would be monitoring things from on high and have an opinion on the preferred outcome (in which case, why wouldn't God intervene on behalf of the "good" side and avoid the war entirely?).

And it's particularly repulsive in this case, because when Americans hear Islamic terrorists say they're fighting on behalf of Allah or because they expect to get 72 virgins in Heaven or whatever, Americans typically find it ridiculous. But -- and here's the repulsive part -- not because it's ridiculous for anyone to think that God's on their side exclusively, but because they think it's ridiculous to think that God is on THEIR (Islam's) side, when clearly (they think) God is on their own side. And they might not have 72 virgins in Heaven, but gosh darn it they'll have wings and a harp.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 10, 2011, 08:43:20 am
I've heard this is a really good piece. Looking forward to it.

It really is very good.

Quote
And it's particularly repulsive in this case, because when Americans hear Islamic terrorists say they're fighting on behalf of Allah or because they expect to get 72 virgins in Heaven or whatever, Americans typically find it ridiculous. But -- and here's the repulsive part -- not because it's ridiculous for anyone to think that God's on their side exclusively, but because they think it's ridiculous to think that God is on THEIR (Islam's) side, when clearly (they think) God is on their own side. And they might not have 72 virgins in Heaven, but gosh darn it they'll have wings and a harp.

When "they" try to turn their fight, not to say their episodes of mass murder and atrocity, into whatever is the Islamic equivalent of a "crusade" on behalf of Allah, it can be very, VERY difficult not to respond in kind.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 10, 2011, 09:19:13 am
When "they" try to turn their fight, not to say their episodes of mass murder and atrocity, into whatever is the Islamic equivalent of a "crusade" on behalf of Allah, it can be very, VERY difficult not to respond in kind.  :(

Perhaps. But of course the mature response is to note the flaw in the idea itself, not to indulge in it equally.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 10, 2011, 10:31:59 am
Perhaps. But of course the mature response is to note the flaw in the idea itself, not to indulge in it equally.

Of course. My point is really the struggle against the knee-jerk, gut-level urge to respond likewise, to respond, in effect, "OK, you want a Holy War? We'll give you a Holy War!"

Heh. Even without indulging in the rhetoric of Holy War and Crusade, after the events of last weekend I think there is a visceral desire to bomb Afghanistan back into the Stone Age--and to wonder whether anybody other than the Afghanis, and maybe the Pakistanis, would really care?  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 10, 2011, 03:27:34 pm
I am currently reading the article in the August 8 issue about the mission to take out Osama bin Laden. All American taxpayers should be pleased to learn that the White House orders sandwich platters from Costco instead of from some place more expensive.  ;D

On a much, MUCH more serious note, it troubles me to read the quotations indicating that the bin Laden raid was carried out "for God and Country." For "Country" by all means, but, to keep this short, the "God" part troubles me because I think every reference to the Almighty lends credence to claims by radical Islamic fundamentalists that the West is on some sort of "crusade" against Islam.

I simply won't go into what I as a Christian feel about that reference to God, but I will assure you that I'm not in favor of it.

That phrase was regrettable. The person who said it, who had just killed "Geronimo" was probably not thinking about the full ramifications of what he was saying. Perhaps he just meant that what was done was for moral as well as political reasons.

The article was one of those that you just can't put down!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 10, 2011, 03:48:59 pm
The article was one of those that you just can't put down!!

You can say that twice and mean it!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 10, 2011, 05:04:11 pm
Here's a link to the article, everyone:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_schmidle (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_schmidle)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 13, 2011, 03:25:17 am
I actually really liked the article immediately after that, the one by Adam Gopnik about how dogs became dogs (it's thought that wolves started hanging around human settlements to scavenge food; the more friendly ones got fed and rewarded and eventually taken in and, through inadvertent selective breeding of the friendlier ones, become more and more pet-like). I read a National Geographic article a few weeks ago that indicates scientists are now deliberately doing the same thing with foxes. You can't usually take a wild animal in and train it to behave like a pet, but in some cases apparently you can breed it to become a pet after several generations. So they've created foxes that act like friendly dogs.

An interesting but unmentioned sidenote to that piece: At one point, Gopnik mentions that some people tend to describe dog thinking in really mechanical terms (e.g., they act loving to their owners because they get rewarded with food, etc.), and notes that at one time we thought babies didn't have much in the way of nuanced thoughts and feelings, either. But now scientists have discovered that babies actually do complex inner lives (though, like dogs, they aren't based on language). What he doesn't say is that his sister, Alison Gopnik, is a nationally renowned researcher in this very field. She co-wrote "The Scientist in the Crib." I interviewed her a couple of times.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 13, 2011, 05:17:26 pm
I actually really liked the article immediately after that, the one by Adam Gopnik about how dogs became dogs.

I liked that article, too. I rather like the notion that perhaps humans didn't choose dogs, that instead dogs chose us.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 14, 2011, 02:15:37 am
I liked that article, too. I rather like the notion that perhaps humans didn't choose dogs, that instead dogs chose us.  ;D

Apparently some plants have done the same thing. A fascinating book I read a few years back is Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire (Pollan normally writes for the NYT magazine, not the NYer, so this is slightly OT), in which he talks about plants that have evolved to interact with humans. Here's the description from his website:

The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-Eye View of the World


In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed reciprocal relationships similar to that of honeybees and flowers. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 14, 2011, 09:31:04 pm
I've read the Alex Ross piece on Oscar Wilde in the August 8 issue--makes me want to go back and reread The Picture of Dorian Gray to look for all the discreet gay allusions that I don't remember seeing when I read it years ago.  ;D

Also makes me want to look up Alex Ross; apparently he's gay and married to his partner.

Anyway, what really fascinated me was to learn that Arthur Conan Doyle knew Oscar Wilde, and they both published in Lippincott's magazine, which was published here in Philadelphia--the Lippincott name endured in publishing for well over a hundred years, actually. I had never thought about Conan Doyle and Wilde moving in the same circles.

There's a new book coming out about Dorian Gray by Nicholas Frankel this year and yesterday he recommended books of "decadent writing of the 19th century." The first was a book by my ancestor, Robert Louis Stevenson, called The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Doyle...Wilde...Stevenson...the game is afoot!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 15, 2011, 08:55:31 am
The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-Eye View of the World


In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed reciprocal relationships similar to that of honeybees and flowers. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?

Potatoes = control?  ???  I guess I need to read the book.  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 15, 2011, 12:31:55 pm
Potatoes = control?  ???  I guess I need to read the book.  ???

I can't remember the exact argument regarding potatoes, other than that they're, obviously, food. The overall point is that plants that provided something useful to humans flourished, while those that didn't didn't, so it was like they "learned" through evolution to please humans.

Or something like that.  ::) ;D

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 30, 2011, 01:14:00 pm
I'm reading the articled about Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the Aug. 29 issue. I would never have imagined that I would ever have anything good to say about Clarence Thomas, but I actually do approve his practice of hiring clerks from less prominent or lesser known law schools than Harvard and Yale. I think that's a good idea.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 06, 2011, 12:54:46 pm
Finished the Timothy Ferriss article (Sept. 5 issue) over lunch today. Sounds like a high-end snake oil salesman, you ask me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 06, 2011, 01:46:22 pm
Finished the Timothy Ferriss article (Sept. 5 issue) over lunch today. Sounds like a high-end snake oil salesman, you ask me.

Yes, especially the part about the 15 minute orgasm!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 07, 2011, 01:30:20 pm
Well, I had a great time at lunch today reading Louis Menand's piece on Dwight Macdonald in the September 5 issue. Makes me want to run out and read some Macdonald.

But then, I also always enjoying reading Louis Menand. I envy people who get to have him for English at Harvard. I love sentences like this:

Quote
A person whose financial requirements are modest and whose curiosity, skepticism, and indifference to reputation are outsized is a person at risk of becoming a journalist.

 ;D

Of course, with regard to Macdonald's financial requirements, Menand does mention that Macdonald married a woman who had a trust fund.  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 07, 2011, 08:59:14 pm
But then, I also always enjoying reading Louis Menand. I envy people who get to have him for English at Harvard. I love sentences like this:

He has claimed he never rewrites, that the sentences you read are exactly what he wrote the first time.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 07, 2011, 09:10:13 pm
He has claimed he never rewrites, that the sentences you read are exactly what he wrote the first time.

 :o

Actually, that sentence I quoted made me think of you, Katharine.  ;)

At least the part about the outsized curiosity and skepticism.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 07, 2011, 11:54:05 pm
:o

Actually, that sentence I quoted made me think of you, Katharine.  ;)

At least the part about the outsized curiosity and skepticism.  :)

 :laugh:  8)  Thanks -- I think.

You could throw modest financial requirements in the mix, too. Indifference to reputation? Well, that depends, I guess.  ;D

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 08, 2011, 01:59:31 pm
:laugh:  8)  Thanks -- I think.

You're welcome, I'm sure. Of course "outsized curiosity and skepticsm" is a good thing!

Quote
You could throw modest financial requirements in the mix, too.

I left it out because you have kids.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 08, 2011, 05:51:54 pm
I left it out because you have kids.

True, my financial requirements are no longer so modest. Still too modest for their taste, though.  ::)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 08, 2011, 07:48:23 pm
True, my financial requirements are no longer so modest. Still too modest for their taste, though.  ::)



Isn't that the truth!! Today my son sold one of his bikes for $1K which he pocketed. The price we paid for it new: $7999.00  :o
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 14, 2011, 01:01:45 pm
Anybody else checked out the schedule for this year's New Yorker Festival, published in the Sept. 15 issue?

Wow. ...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 14, 2011, 05:12:44 pm
Anybody else checked out the schedule for this year's New Yorker Festival, published in the Sept. 15 issue?

Wow. ...

I did. I thought I might watch some of it online later. I have watched videos of past segments, including talks by Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 14, 2011, 06:34:56 pm
I did. I thought I might watch some of it online later. I have watched videos of past segments, including talks by Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki.

I'm sure they're both fascinating to hear!

One of these days I'll get around to reading The Tipping Point. ...  ::)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 14, 2011, 07:23:45 pm
I'm sure they're both fascinating to hear!

Yes. That's where I first heard that, up until the Reagan Administration or so, the highest income-earners were taxed at 75 percent or whatever it was. Nowadays, that's more widely known, but it was news to me at the time.

Quote
One of these days I'll get around to reading The Tipping Point. ...  ::)

You should! It's good. So is "Outliers."


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: louisev on September 14, 2011, 08:23:09 pm
Yes. That's where I first heard that, up until the Reagan Administration or so, the highest income-earners were taxed at 75 percent or whatever it was. Nowadays, that's more widely known, but it was news to me at the time.



90% actually.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 14, 2011, 10:07:50 pm
You should! It's good. So is "Outliers."

Oh, well, at least I've read the New Yorker articles based on The Tipping Point and Outliers.  ;D

Funny, I would be kind of interested to hear Jon Lee Anderson and Dexter Filkins. Or, rather, I have to admit I'm curious as to what they look like. I don't exactly like Jon Lee Anderson's articles; they're too long, and they put me to sleep, but I slog through them anyway because I figure they're good for me. And I just like to know what someone with a neat name like "Dexter Filkins" looks like.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 14, 2011, 10:23:12 pm
I always imagine him looking like the Jon Anderson of Yes fame.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 15, 2011, 08:15:39 am
90% actually.

Right, but the last time it was 90% was in the '50s. Since I was making reference to the Reagan Administration, which was the turning point, I went lower and sort of split the difference. Actually, in 1980 it was 70%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 15, 2011, 09:08:17 am
I always imagine him looking like the Jon Anderson of Yes fame.

I don't know who he is, but I figure someone named "Jon Lee" must be from the South.

Edit to add: Well, his mother taught in Florida. ...  ;D

At least this answers my question about what he looks like:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lee_Anderson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lee_Anderson)

Dang. No picture of Dexter Filkins.  >:(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter_Filkins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter_Filkins)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 20, 2011, 01:11:02 pm
From my blog, today:

Quote
At lunch today I read Gay Talese's article in the Sept. 19 New Yorker about Tony Bennett recording "The Lady is a Tramp" as a duet with Lady Gaga. I loved the article! I loved that Tony Bennett called Lady Gaga "a sweet little Italian-American girl who studied at N.Y.U."   I thought it was very interesting that Lady Gaga has a vocal coach; somehow, I just don't associate in my mind singers like her having vocal coaches, yet, according to the article, her coach has also worked with Mick Jagger, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Bono, and Jon Bon Jovi.

I also learned a bit about the song. Possibly I knew it was Rodgers and Hart and had just forgotten it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't know it was a show tune, from Babes in Arms (1937).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 20, 2011, 01:55:50 pm
The only thing I didn't like about it was that it seemed to be a manufactured story.

So, TB had his birthday party in New York on the night of the Emmys and apparently Alec Baldwin, pissed that a joke he told about Rupert Murdoch was cut, went to the party instead of the Emmys. I missed the show because I had a slight eye infection. Looks like I didn't miss much!!

There's an upcoming story about the lone pharmacist in Nucla, Colorado that is very much worth a look.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 20, 2011, 02:02:48 pm
The only thing I didn't like about it was that it seemed to be a manufactured story.

I haven't read the story, but I'm curious about what you mean. Manufactured how?

Quote
I missed the show because I had a slight eye infection. Looks like I didn't miss much!!

I didn't see it either, though I did see some clips posted on blogs and so on the next day that were amusing.

Quote
There's an upcoming story about the lone pharmacist in Nucla, Colorado that is very much worth a look.

I'll look for it!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 20, 2011, 02:39:30 pm
I haven't read the story, but I'm curious about what you mean. Manufactured how?


Oh, it was just a mash-up of Talese, Bennett, and Gaga, as if there was an editorial meeting and someone said, "What can we do to promote Tony Bennett with his birthday coming up?"
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 21, 2011, 04:58:07 pm
I really enjoyed Alice Munro's short memoir "Dear Life" and am looking forward to reading about how T.S. Eliot became T.S. Eliot and about Wilhelm Reich and the sexual revolution. The fiction based on Pat Nixon, not so much.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 21, 2011, 08:29:57 pm
I really enjoyed Alice Munro's short memoir "Dear Life" and am looking forward to reading about how T.S. Eliot became T.S. Eliot and about Wilhelm Reich and the sexual revolution. The fiction based on Pat Nixon, not so much.

I read the Alice Munro piece over lunch today. I enjoyed it. I didn't get the T.S. Eliot article, and I found the sexual revolution article only so-so. The Pat Nixon fiction doesn't interest me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 23, 2011, 08:37:57 pm
Over coffee and dessert after my dinner this evening I jumped ahead to the Sept. 26 issue to read Peter Hessler's piece about the man who runs the drug store in Nucla, Colorado. I first got out my atlas to see exactly where Nucla is. I wasn't that terribly far from it on my Durango ramble back at Memorial Day.

Anyway, the story had a surprisingly prominent gay angle. The druggist's older brother had been gay and basically went away to Chicago and became estranged from the family because his father was not accepting of his sexual orientation. He died of AIDs, but according to his wishes, the family scattered his ashes where he directed in Colorado. (The article didn't say whether anybody put a stone up anywhere.)

And then there was the story of the elderly closeted gay man who turned out to be connected to the once-powerful Penrose family of Philadelphia (in the first half of the 20th century, Boies Penrose of Philadelphia was a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania and a political boss of Pennsylvania). He was also estranged from his family because he was gay.

I thought this was a good article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 23, 2011, 08:45:19 pm

There's an upcoming story about the lone pharmacist in Nucla, Colorado that is very much worth a look.

Glad you liked it, friend!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 23, 2011, 08:48:15 pm
Glad you liked it, friend!

I can imagine what Annie Proulx might have made of the story of Mr. Brick.  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 23, 2011, 09:13:45 pm
If you liked that story, you might like Emus Loose in Egnar, (http://www.amazon.com/Emus-Loose-Egnar-Stories-Small/dp/0803230168) which is about small town journalism in Colorado.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 23, 2011, 10:28:56 pm
I'm still reading the September 19th issue, and found a Brokeism in Ariel Levy's review of books about sexual evolutions of the past: "On warm spring evenings, [George Boyce] and a companion would roam around town looking for anonymous action with amenable young women. Their pursuits were almost always fruitful. Often ...a bold stare would suffice."

...like Aguirre's!!  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 27, 2011, 01:25:08 pm
Granted it's in an ad for MSNBC, but has anyone noticed the statement in the Sept. 19 issue that presumably really does come from Chris Matthews?

"Over time, people who advance liberties tend to win the argument, whether it's for women, African Americans, immigrants, or the gay community. In the end, America takes the side of the people looking for rights. That's one of the wonders of this country. Eventually, we live up to our ideals."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 27, 2011, 01:28:45 pm
Over lunch today, I read the Sept. 19 article about the playwright Katori Hall. Imagine, she's got Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett doing her play, The Mountaintop, on Broadway!

As a fan of hats myself, I was charmed by the author's comment that Hall "doesn't shy from hats."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 01, 2011, 10:18:58 am
Oct. 3 is one of the best New Yorkers in memory. I have already read Mindy Kaling's funny and true piece about romcoms, and Elizabeth Kolbert's review of Steven Pinker's book, which I've been interested in. Now I'm starting Atul Gawande, who is never not interesting, and looking forward to Clapinto and Collins. and will probably even read Thomas McGuane's fiction (read the opening, and it looks promising). Oh, and the Current Cinema is about two movies I want to see: Moneyball and 50/50.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 03, 2011, 12:56:51 pm
I gave up on Janet Malcolm's article (Sept. 26) on the guy who took the photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Boring. ...

I like the photograph, except that the color and fabric texture of the dress the queen is wearing reminds me of my La-Z-Boy recliner.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 03, 2011, 10:06:22 pm
I like the photograph, except that the color and fabric texture of the dress the queen is wearing reminds me of my La-Z-Boy recliner.

They were never known for being fashion icons, were they?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on October 04, 2011, 02:22:58 am
Annoying. I can't pay to only access the magazine's web edition. It's not likely that people abroad will pay for the paper edition since the shipment would cost as much as the magazine itself.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 05, 2011, 05:51:31 pm
There are actually quite a few international subscribers. But the subscription price is $112 for a year...kind of expensive!! Yes, they should definitely have online subscriptions, at least for international readers!

Continuing in the Swedish theme...I read the long article about IKEA on Monday evening and then went to the new store in South Denver yesterday! There was just one thing I wanted to get. A set of wire cookie cooling racks. But...would you believe they didn't have any?? Amazing!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 06, 2011, 01:07:20 pm
... the Sept. 26 issue to read Peter Hessler's piece about the man who runs the drug store in Nucla, Colorado. I first got out my atlas to see exactly where Nucla is.

Just learned that Hessler received a MacArthur "genius" grant:

http://www.cpr.org/article/Ridgway_Writer_Wins_Genius_Grant (http://www.cpr.org/article/Ridgway_Writer_Wins_Genius_Grant)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 06, 2011, 02:22:13 pm
I'm finally more-or-less finished with that issue. Over lunch today I read the "bullet-proof couture" article.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 07, 2011, 09:28:57 pm
Over dessert this evening I finished Atul Gawande's article about coaching. I love his writing.

If I ever need a thyroid operation, I wish I could go to Boston and have him do it!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 07, 2011, 10:24:00 pm
He was rather self disparaging, but it was an interesting article.

I'm in the middle of the Taylor Swift bio now.  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 07, 2011, 11:41:48 pm
Over dessert this evening I finished Atul Gawande's article about coaching. I love his writing.

If I ever need a thyroid operation, I wish I could go to Boston and have him do it!

Me too!

He was rather self disparaging,

Yes, that's one of the things I like most about him. He's a 46-year-old hotshot surgeon, a Harvard professor, a regular writer for the New Yorker ... and he's totally able to admit being flawed and human.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 07, 2011, 11:48:33 pm
Yes, that's one of the things I like most about him. He's a 46-year-old hotshot surgeon, a Harvard professor, a regular writer for the New Yorker ... and he's totally able to admit being flawed and human.

I like that about him, too. I think in his writing he comes across as being very well grounded, with a very honest and realistic view of himself.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 10, 2011, 01:28:57 pm
I read the long article about IKEA on Monday evening and then went to the new store in South Denver yesterday! There was just one thing I wanted to get. A set of wire cookie cooling racks. But...would you believe they didn't have any?? Amazing!

I finished that article over lunch today. Company sounds like a cult. I've never been to an IKEA store and I have no desire to visit one. I get a catalog in the mail, and IKEA's stuff is just not to my taste.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 10, 2011, 11:10:21 pm
I'm most of the way through that one. Kind of interesting, though it's a little more than I really need to know about IKEA.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 11, 2011, 08:45:37 am
I'm most of the way through that one. Kind of interesting, though it's a little more than I really need to know about IKEA.

The thought crossed my mind as I was reading it that the article is longer than it really needs to be.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 11, 2011, 08:16:43 pm
The thought crossed my mind as I was reading it that the article is longer than it really needs to be.

Admittedly I still haven't finished it. But frankly, the article reads to me like she felt she needed some tension -- IKEA is a cult! Its founder is weird! They try to control their employees! They want to make everybody in the world the same, and their nefarious scheme to do that is tweaking their catalog displays depending on the country! -- and couldn't find more than a few little minor things, but milked them for all they were worth. So far, my takeaway is that IKEA makes cheap, reasonably attractive, environmentally questionable furniture that a lot of people seem to like. Which is approximately how I felt about the company going in.

Unless of course, there's some big reveal in the last fifth or so that I haven't reached yet.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 11, 2011, 09:23:01 pm
Admittedly I still haven't finished it. But frankly, the article reads to me like she felt she needed some tension -- IKEA is a cult! Its founder is weird! They try to control their employees! They want to make everybody in the world the same, and their nefarious scheme to do that is tweaking their catalog displays depending on the country! -- and couldn't find more than a few little minor things, but milked them for all they were worth. So far, my takeaway is that IKEA makes cheap, reasonably attractive, environmentally questionable furniture that a lot of people seem to like. Which is approximately how I felt about the company going in.

It did seem a little "forced." On the other hand, it also seemed to me to take the usual New Yorker attitude to Europeans: "See the amusing foreigners? Aren't they so quaintly ... amusing?"

Quote
Unless of course, there's some big reveal in the last fifth or so that I haven't reached yet.

I won't spoil the ending for you.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 17, 2011, 11:23:53 pm
I just finished the 16-page article "The Fallout" by Evan Osnos in the October 17 issue. It's a very powerful story from beginning to end about the Japanese tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 20, 2011, 12:38:33 pm
I'm in the middle of the Taylor Swift bio now.  8)

I finished that article over lunch today. It was interesting, but I found it kind of creepy, too. I'm not sure why.  ???

Maybe it's because teenage girls scare the liver 'n' lights out of me.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 20, 2011, 04:16:36 pm
Maybe it's because teenage girls scare the liver 'n' lights out of me.  ;D

The wha' ...?  :o

I've always heard it as, "scare the living daylights out of me."

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 20, 2011, 04:27:42 pm
I finished that article over lunch today. It was interesting, but I found it kind of creepy, too. I'm not sure why.  ???

Maybe it's because teenage girls scare the liver 'n' lights out of me.  ;D

hehe, I feel similarly Jeff, ever since those teenage (Tween age, actually) girls held me down in the church bathroom and made me inhale on a cigarette!!  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 25, 2011, 01:23:32 pm
Goes to show how far behind I am, or, rather, that I have three issues going at once, but at lunch today I finished the Oct. 10 article about Art Pope in North Carolina. It was a very good, though scary and depressing, example of why social conservatives with lots of money are a danger to the country.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 29, 2011, 02:12:36 am
Did you see the ad for "big ass fans" in the back of the latest issue? Double Brokeism!!!  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 29, 2011, 11:36:24 am
Just finished David Sedaris' piece in the Oct. 24th issue. Man, he has really gotten good at combining irreverent humor with deep but subtle poignancy. The last line is a killer.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 15, 2011, 02:15:21 pm
Ordinarily I find Jon Lee Anderson's articles ponderous, tedious, and overly long, but I liked his story on the rise, history, and fall of Muammar Qaddafi (Nov. 7 issue).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 18, 2011, 10:39:45 am
Hurrah, the annual food issue has arrived!!  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 18, 2011, 11:13:38 am
Speaking of food, I loved the article on chef Sean Brock in the Oct. 31 (Cartoon!) issue. (Loved the pic of him with the piglet on page 44!  :D )

Made me hungry to try some Hoppin' John!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 21, 2011, 02:00:53 pm
Jill Lepore's article on the attack on Planned Parenthood in the Nov. 14 issue is absolutely essential reading.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 21, 2011, 06:04:44 pm
Jill Lepore's article on the attack on Planned Parenthood in the Nov. 14 issue is absolutely essential reading.

I'm in the middle of reading it now.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 21, 2011, 10:57:28 pm
Yes I agree about the Planned Parenthood article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2011, 09:38:43 am
Yes I agree about the Planned Parenthood article.

I'm going to be saving this one for the historical points that Lepore makes, such as the one about the percentages of Americans in 1972 who favored leaving the control of a woman's body up to her self and her doctor.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 22, 2011, 11:10:39 am
I'm going to be saving this one for the historical points that Lepore makes, such as the one about the percentages of Americans in 1972 who favored leaving the control of a woman's body up to her self and her doctor.

I'm still reading it. But it's amazing how much our attitudes toward contraception have changed over a century -- whereas once it was immoral and criminal, it's now acceptable or even favorable (even to many -- or most? -- Catholics).

Without drawing any explicit parallels (at least as far as I've read) Lepore subtly suggests how drastically today's opinions might eventually be similarly overturned.

(Also, not that I should need an article for this, but it caused me to pause and marvel at the fact that today we're further from 1960 than 1960 was from 1910 -- at least in time if not in culture.)


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2011, 11:44:36 am
I'm still reading it. But it's amazing how much our attitudes toward contraception have changed over a century -- whereas once it was immoral and criminal, it's now acceptable or even favorable (even to many -- or most? -- Catholics).

And not only that. Once it was Republicans who were in favor of "a woman's right to choose" (my words, not Lepore's or the Republican Party's), and now the Party has reversed itself solely in the quest for political power.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 28, 2011, 02:29:27 pm
I liked Malcolm Gladwell's article on the new biography of Steve Jobs in the November 14 issue. I'm not surprised that the genius was also a perfectionist who continued to tweak everything (Gladwell makes Jobs sound like someone I know), but, miserable offender that I am, I must confess to some schadenfreude in learning that the genius was also a jerk and a bully, and someone who stole other people's ideas and also took credit for other people's ideas. He is not someone I would have liked to have known personally.

And I thought it grandly ironic that Jobs, who stole the mouse and the screen icons from IBM, claimed that Bill Gates never created anything new, just stole from other people.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 29, 2011, 12:07:19 am
Malcolm Gladwell had a piece a couple of months ago about how genius is rarely all about one person coming up with some great invention in isolation. The central anecdote was about how IBM developers in a lab setting came up with some great ideas for computers but didn't know how to produce and market them effectively to the masses, and Jobs took those ideas and turned them into consumer-product gold.

I smell a book in the works. Something about how creative genius doesn't exist in isolation, but relies on building upon other people's ideas.

Too bad Steven Johnson recently published a book about that same idea.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Good-Ideas-Come-Innovation/dp/1594485380/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 (http://www.amazon.com/Where-Good-Ideas-Come-Innovation/dp/1594485380/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 29, 2011, 09:38:23 am
Malcolm Gladwell had a piece a couple of months ago about how genius is rarely all about one person coming up with some great invention in isolation. The central anecdote was about how IBM developers in a lab setting came up with some great ideas for computers but didn't know how to produce and market them effectively to the masses, and Jobs took those ideas and turned them into consumer-product gold.

I smell a book in the works. Something about how creative genius doesn't exist in isolation, but relies on building upon other people's ideas.

Too bad Steven Johnson recently published a book about that same idea.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Good-Ideas-Come-Innovation/dp/1594485380/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 (http://www.amazon.com/Where-Good-Ideas-Come-Innovation/dp/1594485380/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1)

I remember that article, and I agree with you about a forthcoming book.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 29, 2011, 02:34:40 pm
I'm really enjoying the Food Issue (November 21). Over dinner last night, I read, "The King's Meal," and I got quite a kick out of Lucy Worsley (who seems to be quite a dish herself) calling David Starkey "a cross owl" in the jacket photos on his books.  ;D

Starkey wrote Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne, the best book on Elizabeth I that I've ever read, and conceivably the best book ever on Elizabeth I.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 02, 2011, 10:37:53 pm
I liked the cover of this week's issue: a man goes into a bookstore, looking for something. The saleslady directs him to a corner where, on an obscure shelf are...some books! Also I liked the poem "Falling for Her" in which the poet writes about her mother.

Now, back to the food issue...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 04, 2012, 02:26:44 pm
For sheer weirdness, I suggest "Higher, Faster, Madder" in the Dec. 19, 26, 2011, issue.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 04, 2012, 08:25:57 pm
I went through a big stack of magazines a few weeks ago. I made what is usually a mistake: glanced through the tables of contents of each one before putting it in recycling. I wound up keeping a (much smaller) pile of issues containing stories I'd overlooked or never got around to the first time but which still looked interesting. Normally when I do that, THOSE sit around forever unread. But this time, I opened the magazines to the interesting articles and stacked them that way, opened, on my bedside table. Now, whenever I'm near them with time to read, I grab one of those. I've been reading stuff from as far back as July that I might have missed but am glad I found. Then when I've finished the good pieces, I throw the magazine into the recycling bag.

For example, there was a Nick Paumgarten piece on internet dating, and one by I can't remember who on Han Han, the Chinese superstar novelist. A short essay by Nora Ephron about "almost" becoming an heiress -- great ending, BTW. Something by Malcolm Gladwell, which is weird -- I usually make a point to read Gladwell's pieces (along with David Sedaris, George Saunders and a few others) right when they come out.

And I just finished a fascinating piece -- this is actually from as recently as October -- by Philip Gourevitch about how humanitarian aid, counterintuitively, can actually increase atrocities, how although we all naturally consider those good deeds beyond blame or reproach they actually can wind up aiding genocidaires and dragging out atrocity-filled conflicts -- an outcome predicted, fascinatingly, by Florence Nightingale.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 04, 2012, 09:00:47 pm
And I just finished a fascinating piece -- this is actually from as recently as October -- by Philip Gourevitch about how humanitarian aid, counterintuitively, can actually increase atrocities, how although we all naturally consider those good deeds beyond blame or reproach they actually can wind up aiding genocidaires and dragging out atrocity-filled conflicts -- an outcome predicted, fascinatingly, by Florence Nightingale.

I remember that one. Fascinating article!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 05, 2012, 12:21:08 am
For sheer weirdness, I suggest "Higher, Faster, Madder" in the Dec. 19, 26, 2011, issue.

I'm reading a great, though long, article about the quest to build a greenbelt across sub-Saharan Africa of billions of trees.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 05, 2012, 09:39:12 am
I'm reading a great, though long, article about the quest to build a greenbelt across sub-Saharan Africa of billions of trees.

I've read that one, too.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 05, 2012, 10:24:55 am
I also read the Margaret Atwood story Stone Mattress, which was great, and started Reality Effects about essaying, in the same issue. I seem to be stuck on this issue!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 06, 2012, 10:37:54 am
and started Reality Effects about essaying


I'm so glad you drew my attention to this, which I hadn't noticed. I'm in the middle of reading the book of essays he reviews.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 06, 2012, 10:39:27 am
It made me think of you!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 08, 2012, 07:57:17 pm
To get me in the mood for the season premiere of Downton Abbey, I'm reading "The King's Meal" by Lauren Collins, in the food issue (from November 21). It's a lovely piece about the curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley. Cool name, cool job, cool lady!! Is this the year of 15 minutes of fame for the curators of the world? I hope so. Reading about her BBC programmes, I realize I'd be watching a lot more TV if I lived in Britain!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 12, 2012, 02:28:36 pm
Even though the New Hampshire primary has come and gone, I think Nicholas Lemann's commentary, "Enemy of the State," in the January 9 issue, is a good read. He sets out the implications of Republican anti-government in a lucid and succinct way.

I also like the following: "On the small isues, ... the triumph of anti-government rhetoric has been a real impediment for President Obama. It gives the Republicans justification to oppose, by rote, every appointment and every expenditure, which helps make their belief in public-sector inefficiency self-fulfilling but otherwise doesn't do anybody much good."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on January 12, 2012, 07:28:04 pm
   I agree with your statement Jeff.  I just cannot understand, how none of the people that vote Republican, can not see it.  That it is the Tea Party folk, and the rest of the people, that follow their lead.  That are causing the congress, and the Country to be in this stalemate.  It is not the President.  He inherited the problems that we are facing.  It was the fault of GWB.  He got out before he got all the derision that he deserved.  I guess
that a lot of people are just plain stupid.  Even in the face of facts to the contrary.  They refuse to place the blame where it belongs.  I suppose it is the fault of the so called "LIBERAL MEDIA?"  I don't know even where that kind of media resides.  Even here in Portland..  Liberal as it is.  The local newspaper.  The Oregonian is very conservative.  It endorses every conservative candidate that runs for office.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 15, 2012, 02:23:03 am
As I'm working through my past issues, I started a piece from July by Alec Wilkinson, about people who live in tiny (REALLY tiny) houses. In the opening, he says, "I used to dream sometimes that I had found rooms in my apartment that I didn't know were there, and, as I explored them, I felt a serenity that I did not feel in my waking life."

I suspect Wilkinson is revealing more in that sentence than he knows. Houses, in dreams, typically don't stand for actual living spaces, but represent one's own mind. Dreaming of finding previously unknown rooms in his home most likely means he has been discovering unknown aspects of himself -- coming upon a bear, so to speak.

It might sound a little crazy, but dreams tend to be really symbolic, and often in an oddly literal way.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 16, 2012, 08:18:23 pm
As I'm working through my past issues, I started a piece from July by Alec Wilkinson, about people who live in tiny (REALLY tiny) houses.

I remember that article, though, by now, not a lot of the details. I remember when I read it being concerned about bathroom space.  ;D

I wouldn't mind living in a small space, though not too small. I have fond memories of the studio that was my first apartment in Philadelphia.

The only trouble is lack of space for my model trains. ...  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 17, 2012, 12:19:56 am
The only trouble is lack of space for my model trains. ...  ;D

Couldn't you run a track on the wall near the ceiling, at plate-rail level?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 17, 2012, 10:20:07 am
Couldn't you run a track on the wall near the ceiling, at plate-rail level?

From what I remember from reading the article, I'm not sure the "tiny houses" would even have room for that.

And my collection has grown way too large. ...  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 19, 2012, 02:24:50 pm
I just finished Peter Hessler's article in the Jan. 9 issue about the guy he grew up with in Missouri who has Marfan syndrome and is a crime reporter in Japan. I found it fascinating. In contrast to the way the yakuza are often portrayed on American TV, Hessler makes them sound almost ... quaint.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 19, 2012, 07:10:39 pm
I can't remember where I saw it, but somewhere I read that many New Yorker pieces start out, usually in the first sentence, by mentioning a specific date, or a month and year, or at least establishing a time frame of some sort. Since then, I've noticed how true that is. For example, here are the opening words from some of the articles in the Jan. 16 issue:

"Last week,"

"On a dark winter evening"

"In 2011,"

"On a rainy night in late November,"

"In the eighteen-sixties,"

"A few weeks after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak,"



And here are some from the Oct. 11 issue (I just grabbed these two issues at random from the pile on my nightstand):

"Since September 11, 2001,"

"The other day,"

"Over the course of the past four years,"

"When Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street' came out, in 1987,"

"On a warm night during a trip to Beijing last month,"

"Two months before I was to leave Bombay for Toronto,"

"In 1980,"

"On April 20, 2010,"

"In the early nineties,"

"When Marvin Miller took over as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, in 1966,"

"In Biafra in 1968,"

"Some years ago,"



Once you become aware of this pattern, it's both amazing and slightly tiresome. It's not just occasional -- literally almost all of the articles excluding the reviews and fiction start out with a time reference. I don't have, say, a Harper's or Atlantic handy for comparison, but I bet they don't do it as often.

Maybe it's a Remnick influence? I don't remember if this was the pattern back in the Brown or Shawn eras.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 19, 2012, 07:44:07 pm
I can't remember where I saw it, but somewhere I read that many New Yorker pieces start out, usually in the first sentence, by mentioning a specific date, or a month and year, or at least establishing a time frame of some sort. Since then, I've noticed how true that is.

That's an interesting observation. I'd never heard that, or noticed. I'll have to look for it in future issues.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 20, 2012, 11:32:01 pm
Over dinner tonight (what else?), I read Patricia Marx' article in the Jan. 16 issue about shopping for food in New York. What a fun article!  :D

I loved her description of a store called Fairway. What's not to love about a place that stocks 600 varieties of artisanal cheese from all over the world but isn't too snooty to also carry Velveeta and Spam?  ;D

(Incidentally, the article begins, "In the eighteen-sixties. ..."  ;D)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 21, 2012, 12:19:01 am
Over dinner tonight (what else?), I read Patricia Marx' article in the Jan. 16 issue about shopping for food in New York. What a fun article!  :D

I loved her description of a store called Fairway. What's not to love about a place that stocks 600 varieties of artisanal cheese from all over the world but isn't too snooty to also carry Velveeta and Spam?  ;D

(Incidentally, the article begins, "In the eighteen-sixties. ..."  ;D)


 ;D

I love her writing. Her shopping topics aren't always all that compelling, but she makes them fun with her wry humor.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 21, 2012, 04:16:47 pm
Okay, I decided to test your very interesting theory with the latest issue. I skipped the political scene article but I'm sure it's good, because it's by Ariel Levy. I did notice, however, that it began "Eight days before Christmas..." Bingo! Ditto with the next article, "Out the Window", bu Donald Hall, which began "Today it is January..." I skipped it but will probably go back to it if I have timje. I was most intrigued by the 4th article, "Slow and Steady" by William Finnegan. The photo is wonderful...two guys staring at the camera from a grassy perch. Only one of the giuys is a plowshare tortoise!! It begins, "One smuggler wore a trilby, which with a black band..." and then it goes on to describe two other smugglers. So, it breaks the rule by leading with character development.

Then comes a fiction piece, "Labyrinth" by Roberto Bolano. From what I can tell by a quick scan, it is all character development and little else! Written in the present tense and translated from Spanish, the storyt appears to take place sometime in the 1980s or 1990s. Obviously, if you want your article to be up front in the New Yorker, begin with a calender reference by all means!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 21, 2012, 05:55:22 pm
I wish I could find the article or blog post or whatever it was where I first read about this. I tried googling various relevant terms, but unfortunately they're all too common to pull it up.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Ellemeno on January 23, 2012, 04:08:34 am
I just spent the last few days reading the last twenty or so pages of this thread.  I miss reading the New Yorker.  I kept not keeping up, and when it became time to renew, I wouldn't let myself.  So I enjoyed the Malcolm Gladwell and David Sedaris vicariously through your posts.

I feel kind of pleased, because I had independently observed that articles often start out with a date or time reference.  One time it popped out at me, and I watched for it ever since.

Jeff, here's Dexter Filkins:

(http://www.academyofdiplomacy.org/images/Filkins,%20Dexter%20Baghdad.jpg)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 23, 2012, 04:58:53 pm
Jeff, here's Dexter Filkins:

(http://www.academyofdiplomacy.org/images/Filkins,%20Dexter%20Baghdad.jpg)

So that's Dexter Filkins! Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 25, 2012, 02:27:49 pm
Over lunch today I enjoyed William Finnegan's article in the January 23 issue about Eric Goode and the plowshare tortoise of Madagascar.

I like tortoises. They look so wise. And they must be the longest-lived fauna on earth. Finnegan mentions a tortoise that Captain Cook gave to the king of Tonga in 1777 that didn't die until 1966, which is 189 years later (and presumably the creature was full grown when Cook gave it to the king).

Incidentally, this article begins, "One smuggler wore a trilby, white with a black band."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 25, 2012, 10:45:04 pm
Finnegan mentions a tortoise that Captain Cook gave to the king of Tonga in 1777 that didn't die until 1966, which is 189 years later (and presumably the creature was full grown when Cook gave it to the king).



Mind-boggling!  :o


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 26, 2012, 12:19:20 am
I was most intrigued by the 4th article, "Slow and Steady" by William Finnegan. The photo is wonderful...two guys staring at the camera from a grassy perch. Only one of the giuys is a plowshare tortoise!! It begins, "One smuggler wore a trilby, which with a black band..." and then it goes on to describe two other smugglers. So, it breaks the rule by leading with character development.

Yes, I wrote that already...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 30, 2012, 11:29:03 am
Interesting...In the article "Groupthink" by Jonah Lehrer, he throws out the counter theory that it is the process of debating and discussing ideas generated by a group that produces even more ideas. Without the debate, people are more creative on their own.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 30, 2012, 11:14:36 pm
Interesting...In the article "Groupthink" by Jonah Lehrer, he throws out the counter theory that it is the process of debating and discussing ideas generated by a group that produces even more ideas. Without the debate, people are more creative on their own.

Looking forward to that! Jonah Lehrer is a writer I like. He's really good at exploring psychology topics in clear, entertaining ways. He appears to be about 23.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 31, 2012, 02:11:40 pm
I enjoyed Ariel Levy's article on Callista Gingrich in the Jan. 23 issue (I always enjoy Levy's articles). I especially liked the part where the guy in Iowa took the Newt by the hand and called him an asshole to his face.  ;D

Levy says that the Newt converted to Roman Catholicism to please Callista. One assumes that Callista was raised Catholic, but Levy doesn't say so. Yet she attended a Lutheran church-affiliated college. This puzzles me. ???

I just don't associate in my mind someone for whom being Roman Catholic is an important part of who they are (Levy directly quotes Callista saying, "When Newt became a Catholic, it was one of the happiest moments of my life") attending a Lutheran-affiliated school. Perhaps Callista's religion became more important to her as she got older. Or maybe she got a good scholarship deal (the reason I went to a college affiliated with the Church of the Brethren) (Levy says money was always tight in Callista's family). Levy doesn't address this, so I guess I'll remain puzzled.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 02, 2012, 09:31:32 am
Did everyone notice that the latest New Yorker has an article about Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who killed himself after his roommate videotaped him? I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to seeing what the reporter found out about that sad, mysterious case.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2012, 09:36:24 am
Did everyone notice that the latest New Yorker has an article about Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who killed himself after his roommate videotaped him? I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to seeing what the reporter found out about that sad, mysterious case.

Is that the issue with the President watching "the Big Game" on the cover? As of yesterday's mail, my copy hasn't arrived yet.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 02, 2012, 10:16:55 am
Mine has arrived and I've read half the article already. There are misconceptions concerning the case. Loved the cover!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 02, 2012, 01:52:23 pm
Is that the issue with the President watching "the Big Game" on the cover? As of yesterday's mail, my copy hasn't arrived yet.

Yes.

Mine has arrived and I've read half the article already. There are misconceptions concerning the case. Loved the cover!!

You mean there are misconceptions in the article, or the article exposes misconceptions by the public?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2012, 09:03:25 pm
That issue arrived in today's mail. I began reading the article over dinner tonight. I'll probably comment on it on my blog. ...  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 07, 2012, 02:16:52 pm
Interesting...In the article "Groupthink" by Jonah Lehrer, he throws out the counter theory that it is the process of debating and discussing ideas generated by a group that produces even more ideas. Without the debate, people are more creative on their own.

I finished this over lunch today. The part I liked best was the history of Building 20 at M.I.T. I'd never heard any of that before.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 09, 2012, 01:16:33 pm
I have received the annual anniversary issue, the one with Eustace Tilley on the cover.  ;D

I immediately read Jonathan Franzen's article on Edith Wharton, who is an author I'm more interested in reading about than reading.  ;D  ::)

I managed to get through high school and college without reading Ethan Frome. The closest I've come to Edith Wharton was the movie of The Age of Innocence, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeifer, some scenes of which were filmed at the venerable Academy of Music here in Philadelphia.

Though I must say, after reading Franzen's article, I am a bit curious about a book whose main character is named Undine Spragg.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 09, 2012, 02:11:42 pm
I have received the annual anniversary issue, the one with Eustace Tilley on the cover.  ;D

I immediately read Jonathan Franzen's article on Edith Wharton, who is an author I'm more interested in reading about than reading.  ;D  ::)

I managed to get through high school and college without reading Ethan Frome. The closest I've come to Edith Wharton was the movie of The Age of Innocence, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeifer, some scenes of which were filmed at the venerable Academy of Music here in Philadelphia.

Though I must say, after reading Franzen's article, I am a bit curious about a book whose main character is named Undine Spragg.  ;D

I turned to that right away, too. I'm about halfway through it. I read AoI maybe a decade ago and read HoM just three years ago. Loved both. I haven't read any of her others. I also am generally a Franzen fan.

But I'm finding Franzen's piece annoying. And the constant, constant harping on EW's looks strikes me as sexist -- I can see how her appearance would be a factor in her life, and is undoubtedly worth mentioning, but I think he's overplaying it in implying it's sort of the defining fact of her life and writing. From the photo accompanying the story, she's not a gargoyle, just not out-and-out beautiful. Lots of writers aren't. How would he analyze George Eliot? Eudora Welty? Would he use the same lens to analyze Henry James? Jean-Paul Sartre?

I should add that he does make some excellent points about the way we sympathize with characters in fiction. But I don't extend that to the authors themselves -- I think a character can be sympathetic even if his/her author is not. Who cares whether Edith Wharton was rich, plain or non-charming, as long as you enjoy her novels?

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 15, 2012, 02:20:01 pm
Over lunch today I read Ian Frazier's article in the Feb. 6 issue about the fate of the Stella D'Oro and Archway cookie companies (I love Ian Frazier's articles). I found it very interesting. Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, I knew both brand names, though my family was not a user of Stella D'Oro products. We were an Archway family, and we always--well, almost always--had Archway cookies in the house. Archway soft molasses cookies were the next best thing to homemade, and as a small boy I also particularly liked Archway's "Icebox" chocolate chip cookies (I never really understood that name, "Icebox"; I always assumed it came from the shape of the cookie  ;D ). As an occasional treat, before I was allowed to drink coffee, my mother would make a cup of coffee and let me dunk Archway sugar cookies into the coffee.  :D

Frazier's article I guess sort of explains why for a while it was impossible to find Archway cookies in the stores, and why, before this past Christmas, I began to notice some of them in stores again--though, sadly, not the soft molasses cookies.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 15, 2012, 02:33:12 pm
I could be wrong, but my understanding is that "icebox" cookies are chilled in a solid block (or cylinder) and then sliced off and put on a cookie sheet. Non-icebox cookies (like typical chocolate-chip cookies) are glopped by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

I've started reading the one about the guy who lost his face after being electrocuted. I've gotten as far as where the doctors have carved off the burn-damaged tissue until he's just a bare skull on top of a body. The photo shows him with a face, though an odd looking one, so I'm waiting to see what they'll do next.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 15, 2012, 02:54:22 pm
I could be wrong, but my understanding is that "icebox" cookies are chilled in a solid block (or cylinder) and then sliced off and put on a cookie sheet. Non-icebox cookies (like typical chocolate-chip cookies) are glopped by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

That makes sense because the Archway cookies were rectangular in shape, as if they were sliced off a solid block and then baked.

Quote
I've started reading the one about the guy who lost his face after being electrocuted. I've gotten as far as where the doctors have carved off the burn-damaged tissue until he's just a bare skull on top of a body. The photo shows him with a face, though an odd looking one, so I'm waiting to see what they'll do next.

Haven't gotten to that one yet. As usual I have three issues "going" at once.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 16, 2012, 02:54:04 am
Serious, I'm totally with you on the Edith Wharton article. I really like Franzen, but he was sort of out in left field here.

I couldn't resist the article about the man with the new face. I sort of felt guilty reading it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 16, 2012, 09:22:50 am
As usual I have three issues "going" at once.  :)

Only three? I've got some from last summer in my stack.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 21, 2012, 02:07:50 pm
Over lunch today I finished "The Plagiarist's Tale." I have to admit I'm somewhat in awe of what this person did. Someone quoted in the article mentioned the amount of work involved, and it does seem to me that stealing a whole bunch of text from a whole bunch of different authors and stitching it all together to make a coherent tale is kind of, well, awe-inspiring.

Not that I'm condoning it, because I'm not.

I've now started the face transplant story.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 21, 2012, 04:04:43 pm
I've now started the face transplant story.

It's a longy. I'm only partway through it, but it's interesting -- an examination of the history and difficulties involved in transplants in general and face transplants in particular.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 21, 2012, 04:18:16 pm
It's a longy. I'm only partway through it, but it's interesting -- an examination of the history and difficulties involved in transplants in general and face transplants in particular.

Yeah, that's sorta why I left it for last. I tend to read the short articles--pieces that can be completed in one or two lunches or dinners--first, and then read the long stuff.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 21, 2012, 05:39:59 pm
Yeah, that's sorta why I left it for last. I tend to read the short articles--pieces that can be completed in one or two lunches or dinners--first, and then read the long stuff.

Me too, sort of. I start with the back page (if I remember to), then go to the "Shouts and Murmurs" and "Current Cinema," then to anyone whose byline is an immediate must-read -- Sedaris, Gladwell, Levy, Gawande, Lepore, etc. -- then I turn to to either the shortest or the most accessible piece (like, some light thing about American culture would come before reportage about fighting in Afghanistan -- what can I say? I'm a typical American airhead). If nothing jumps out, it goes onto The Stack.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 21, 2012, 06:02:47 pm
Sort of like eating an Oreo, everyone has their own way of reading The New Yorker. I like to read in bed but I often read at the bathroom counter while drying my hair in the morning. Sometimes I put the latest issue in my computer bag, but I can't recall ever having the time to read it while I'm about during the day.

I start at the beginning and go straight through. I skip all of the political articles and some of the Middle East fiasco articles. If an issue seems particularly uninteresting, which is rare, I just start looking at the cartoons. I often skip over the fiction and come back to it later. I try to discipline myself to read the poems which are usually quite good.

Then, when the new issue comes, I drop the old one by my bed and start the new one. Otherwise, I'm not up on the latest news and happenings, which would be a disaster!!  ::) The half read issues pile up until I lose my job or get sick. Right now, there are only two issues by my bed! I feel very efficient!!

I take old issues over to my mom's retirement home, where the residents look at them like they are made out of some poisonous material.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 21, 2012, 07:33:42 pm
Me too, sort of. I start with the back page (if I remember to), then go to the "Shouts and Murmurs" and "Current Cinema," then to anyone whose byline is an immediate must-read -- Sedaris, Gladwell, Levy, Gawande, Lepore, etc. -- then I turn to to either the shortest or the most accessible piece (like, some light thing about American culture would come before reportage about fighting in Afghanistan -- what can I say? I'm a typical American airhead). If nothing jumps out, it goes onto The Stack.

That's actually pretty close to the way I read the magazine. Usually the movie-TV-theater-books stuff first, then the "by-lines." Actually, I usually skip "Shouts and Murmurs" and the back page. If nothing jumps out, I give it to my co-worker.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 21, 2012, 08:37:41 pm
Mine is almost the opposite of  how I grew up reading it. As a child, I read only the cartoons (and usually didn't get them -- sometimes I would ask my dad to "get them to me."). As a 20-somethng, I focused on the fiction (which I didn't always get, either -- still don't, to be frank) and the movie reviews, which were great -- say what you like, Pauline Kael and Penelope Giliatt were plenty accessible and interestingly analytical.

Now I rarely read either the fiction or the cartoons. I read the reviews only if they're not so hopldessly art housy that they would never make their way to Minneapolis of that, if they even did, I'd never have a chance of seeing them

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 21, 2012, 09:50:18 pm
Wow. ... Your folks got The New Yorker when you were a kid?  :o

Anyway, the Feb. 27 issue was in my mailbox when I got home today. Very uncharacteristically, I went right for the Thomas McGuane short story and read it. The reason really was the photograph accompanying the story. I can notice no indication where the picture was taken, but it so reminded me of Riverton that I read the story over my dinner (I'm sure the picture isn't actually of Riverton, but I don't know where it is).

The story has one very Brokeback line in it, which I won't spoil by revealing.  ;D

This McGuane story makes me think of Annie Proulx with more standard punctuation.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 29, 2012, 09:35:55 pm
I highly recommend Calvin Trillin's "Three Scenes Inspired by the Gingrich Campaign" in the Feb. 27 New Yorker. HI-larious, and pointed.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 01, 2012, 10:04:51 am
In the March 5 issue I went directly to Adam Gopnik's article on Elaine Pagels' new book on the Biblical book of Revelations.

Pagels' books on Scripture, canonical or otherwise, are books I know I'd enjoy reading and ought to read, but somehow I never get around to looking for them.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 01, 2012, 08:25:52 pm
In the March 5 issue I went directly to Adam Gopnik's article on Elaine Pagels' new book on the Biblical book of Revelations.

Pagels' books on Scripture, canonical or otherwise, are books I know I'd enjoy reading and ought to read, but somehow I never get around to looking for them.  :(

Yes, she seems really fascinating.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 08, 2012, 12:53:40 pm
In the March 5 issue I went directly to Adam Gopnik's article on Elaine Pagels' new book on the Biblical book of Revelations.

Heard her on Fresh Air yesterday; it was really interesting. I liked the part about the monster with 7 heads named 666 referring to the Roman empire, and the theory that some of the writing was politically motivated.

In the same issue, I tried to read Nick Paumgarten's article about the World Economic Congress in Davos, Switzerland. I was disappointed that he didn't cover any of the subjects of the sessions. There are hundreds of sessions but he seemed to imply that attendees are too blase to actually pay attention to them. I was also disappointed that he didn't mention that the governor of my state, John Hickenlooper, was there.  ::)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 08, 2012, 01:27:09 pm
In the same issue, I tried to read Nick Paumgarten's article about the World Economic Congress in Davos, Switzerland. I was disappointed that he didn't cover any of the subjects of the sessions. There are hundreds of sessions but he seemed to imply that attendees are too blase to actually pay attention to them. I was also disappointed that he didn't mention that the governor of my state, John Hickenlooper, was there.  ::)

I didn't get to that article yet. I have to admit that the subject doesn't exactly grab me. OTOH, the "next issue" (March 12?--I don't have it here in front of me) has arrived, and I went immediately to the article about the book about Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court case that overturned the decision on the case from Georgia and effectively made anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. I was pleased to note that in the Lawrence case, former Madam Justice O'Connor issued a Concurring Opinion based on the reasoning that I've said all along will eventually legalize same-gender marriage: equal protection under the law.

Now, which justice was it (Stevens, maybe?) who actually said to his gay clerk that he didn't think he knew any gay people?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 12, 2012, 01:30:54 pm
I rarely read the fiction in The New Yorker, but I always seem to read Alice Munro's stories (March 5). I rarely get the "punch line," however. I like her stories, though.

Her descriptions of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada puzzle me. Maybe things are different up North. In the U.S., "Church of the Hosannas" does not sound like a name for an Anglican/Episcopal church; it sounds more like a store-front church of some Baptist variety. And her description of members of the United Church feeling that you don't have to turn up every Sunday and can take a drink now and then sounds more like an Anglican attitude to me. When my grandparents, who were Methodists (yes, they really were  ;D ) were touring western Canada in 1966, they went on Sundays to United Church services. Methodists, of course, do think that you should turn up every Sunday, and drinking is a sin. Or at least they used to think that way.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 13, 2012, 08:44:42 am
my grandparents, who were Methodists

Sorry to correct you, but the proper grammar is:

My grandparents was Methodists.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 13, 2012, 10:17:36 am
Sorry to correct you, but the proper grammar is:

My grandparents was Methodists.

 ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 13, 2012, 03:08:28 pm
In the same issue, I tried to read Nick Paumgarten's article about the World Economic Congress in Davos, Switzerland. I was disappointed that he didn't cover any of the subjects of the sessions. There are hundreds of sessions but he seemed to imply that attendees are too blase to actually pay attention to them.

Read that article today over lunch. One word: Yawn.

Quote
I was also disappointed that he didn't mention that the governor of my state, John Hickenlooper, was there.  ::)

Maybe he doesn't realize that there are people in Colorado who read The New Yorker. Remember the famous cover of "A New York View of the World"?  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on March 13, 2012, 06:43:17 pm



rink now and then sounds more like an Anglican attitude to me. When my grandparents, who were Methodists (yes, they really were   ) were touring western Canada in 1966, they went on Sundays to United Church services. Methodists, of course, do think that you should turn up every Sunday, and drinking is a sin. Or at least they used to think that way.
Posted on: March 08, 2012, 01:27:09 pm Posted by: Jeff Wrangler


  Does anyone else think it is odd, how the church ideas and doctrines change, along with the common usage.  It would seem to me that the tenants of a church would (should) be immutable.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 13, 2012, 11:20:47 pm

  Does anyone else think it is odd, how the church ideas and doctrines change, along with the common usage.  It would seem to me that the tenants of a church would (should) be immutable.

I suppose I agree that there are certain core concepts that should never change, but there are a lot of things that must change. The human race no longer needs to reproduce itself ad nauseum, in fact if it does, it is doomed. This idea has many reverberations; for instance it is no longer important that everyone be heterosexual and "breeders."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 14, 2012, 08:46:26 am
I suppose I agree that there are certain core concepts that should never change, but there are a lot of things that must change. The human race no longer needs to reproduce itself ad nauseum, in fact if it does, it is doomed. This idea has many reverberations; for instance it is no longer important that everyone be heterosexual and "breeders."

Let's also not forget the role of women in the church--still an issue for some denominations, if not for others. I believe it was once universally held that women should keep silent in church. Fortunately, those days are gone in many denominations.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on March 14, 2012, 04:23:07 pm




   I suppose that I agree that it has to change.  I find that the problem is usually not the change, but the fact that they have interpreted the items, in such a way, that it now has to be changed.  I personally do not profess to be a religious person.  I do think the (morals and tenants) should be absolute.  Not the interpretations.  The morals.  I have a real issue with the things that the "church," has thought were so, that were only decided to be so. 
   I do not think that morals are a changeable thing.  If they are moral, they are moral.  If not then the same is true.  I never think that love, or caring is to be decided by an entity.  Any more than rights are changeable.  A right is a right.  Endowed at birth.  Period...  Others may interfere with that.  But it is still the true fact.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 14, 2012, 11:29:50 pm
I'm reading a fascinating profile of Christian Marclay, who created "The Clock" a 24-hour video mashup of timed scenes from movies.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 03, 2012, 09:17:53 pm
I'm reading a fascinating profile of Christian Marclay, who created "The Clock" a 24-hour video mashup of timed scenes from movies.

I must have skipped that one, accidentally or on purpose. I'm sure I didn't read it, and I have no memory of it.

Good grief, it's been almost a month since anyone had anything to say here.  ::) 

Today my copy of the April 9 issue arrived. Even though I have a lot to read in the April 2 issue (next/first up, the article by Robert Caro about LBJ), when I checked the table of contents of the April 9 issue, I went right to the article about the Karl May festival in a place called Bad Segeberg, in Germany.

I am probably one of the few Americans who has heard of Old Shatterhand and Winnetou.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 10, 2012, 01:32:25 pm
I am presently enjoying Lauren Collins's article on the Daily Mail in the April 2 issue.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 25, 2012, 01:26:55 pm
At lunch today I was entertainingly appalled by another Lauren Collins article, this one in the April 16 issue, about Brits (specifically university students) on holiday in Croatia--or what we in the colonies should say, on spring break. In response to the article, all I can really say is, No wonder they lost the empire. ...  8)

OTOH, it's kind of comforting to know that spring breakers from the U.K. aren't very different from spring breakers in the U.S. I was afraid it was just us. ...  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 28, 2012, 02:37:39 pm
I'm in the middle of three New Yorker stories from three different issues simultaneously: the Robert Caro one about LBJ's experiences during Kennedy's assassination, Jill Lepore's article about the madness of our gun culture, and the one about whether Obama made missteps in handling the economy.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on April 28, 2012, 07:49:52 pm


   No wonder you have a hard time writing some times.   Wow, are you doing research?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 29, 2012, 01:59:28 pm
In the May 21 issue, I read the "Talk of the Town" mini profile of Dustin Lance Black (Milk). I was charmed to read there that according to the mother of author Pat Conroy, "All Southern literature can be summed up in these words: 'On the night the hogs ate Willie, Mama died when she heard what Daddy did to Sister.'"
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 31, 2012, 09:18:12 pm
In the May 21 issue, I read the "Talk of the Town" mini profile of Dustin Lance Black (Milk). I was charmed to read there that according to the mother of author Pat Conroy, "All Southern literature can be summed up in these words: 'On the night the hogs ate Willie, Mama died when she heard what Daddy did to Sister.'"

That WAS funny.

I'm so pleased to see that the double fiction issue that just arrived has an article by Ray Bradbury and also one by Anthony Burgess of Clockwork Orange fame. The articles are both very good. Bradbury is still whip smart!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 07, 2012, 10:44:04 am
I'm so pleased to see that the double fiction issue that just arrived has an article by Ray Bradbury and also one by Anthony Burgess of Clockwork Orange fame. The articles are both very good. Bradbury is still whip smart!

Now I'm going to reread that article since it's probably the last thing we'll have the opportunity to read from him.  :'(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 18, 2012, 01:05:48 pm
I wonder whether Mr. Shawn ever permitted a deliberate sentence fragment, like this one:

(From the July 2 story by William Finnegan about the Mexican drug cartels fighting over Guadalajara)

"They were local people who had recently gone missing. Ordinary citizens, not narcos, kidnapped and murdered. Four were said to have been students at the University of Guadalajara."

At least, I assume it's deliberate.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 18, 2012, 04:02:36 pm
Well, there were lots of similar fragments in Brokeback Mountain, which was published by the New Yorker in 1997. But I think Tina Brown was editor then.

Is that really a sentence fragment? It has a subject and two verbs.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 18, 2012, 07:07:08 pm
Is that really a sentence fragment? It has a subject and two verbs.

Something is certainly wrong with it. Kidnap and murder are verbs--maybe transitive verbs--needing to pass their action on to a direct object? And they don't do that here. The meaning is that ordinary citizens were kidnapped and murdered, not that ordinary citizens kidnapped and murdered other people. But the were is missing.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 18, 2012, 09:41:49 pm
I agree that something's wrong with it. But Annie Proulx uses wrong sentences effectively. However, this one's confusing too.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 18, 2012, 10:26:51 pm
I agree that something's wrong with it. But Annie Proulx uses wrong sentences effectively. However, this one's confusing too.

Well, I never said it wasn't effective. It's a very conversational way of writing. I merely wondered whether a writer would have been allowed to do something like that during the decades-long editorship of William Shawn.

And I have to wonder whether William Shawn would have felt that Annie Proulx was a New Yorker kind of writer.

Times do change.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 18, 2012, 11:41:28 pm
Personally, I love them. Sentence fragments.

Though I'm sure Mr. Shawn and I would disagree about any number of things.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: TOoP/Bruce on July 19, 2012, 07:27:49 am
In the May 21 issue, I read the "Talk of the Town" mini profile of Dustin Lance Black (Milk). I was charmed to read there that according to the mother of author Pat Conroy, "All Southern literature can be summed up in these words: 'On the night the hogs ate Willie, Mama died when she heard what Daddy did to Sister.'"

Thanks, dude.  

Reading that just sent Starbucks coffee right up the back of my nose... :o
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 19, 2012, 09:19:19 am
Thanks, dude.  

Reading that just sent Starbucks coffee right up the back of my nose... :o

Don't thank me. Thank Pat Conroy's mother.  ;D

I'm sure that Starbucks swill will clean out your nasal passages. ...  8)

Personally, I love them. Sentence fragments.

Though I'm sure Mr. Shawn and I would disagree about any number of things.

They can be very effective. When used judiciously.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 19, 2012, 05:11:37 pm
The New Yorker has caught the Bucolic Plague. I'm up to page 21 of the latest issue and I've read a blurb on what the drought is doing to the corn crop, ELizabeth Gilbert's publication of her grandmother's cookbook, and rhapsodies about food.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 23, 2012, 01:48:26 pm
At lunch today I read the excerpts from Mavis Gallant's diaries, about being a (literally) starving writer in Madrid in 1952 (August 9, 16 issue).

Next up will be Dexter Filkins on Afghanistan.

I don't like Dexter Flikins' or Jon Lee Anderson's articles mainly because they're too long. However, I read them anyway because I figure they're Important and also good for me.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 24, 2012, 01:24:17 am
I don't like Dexter Flikins' or Jon Lee Anderson's articles mainly because they're too long. However, I read them anyway because I figure they're Important and also good for me.  :-\

I know what you mean. The New Yorker as cod liver oil.

I feel that way, too, but I resist it. There's only so much time in the world, and consequently I'm going to have to skip a lot of worthy articles. If I'm going to cross off "Worst Hollywood hairstyles" or whatever on the internet (and I do try to be pretty conscientious about limiting that shit), then I can cross of some boring Jon Lee Anderson article, too, and skip to something that's both important and actually interesting.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 24, 2012, 10:33:20 am
I know what you mean. The New Yorker as cod liver oil.

That's exactly the image I had in mind!  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 29, 2012, 09:44:35 am
Interesting article on foresnsic linguistics that may come in handy during the trail of James Holmes. Which is expected to drag on for years now, I hear.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 31, 2012, 09:09:24 am
This just in from this morning's Metro:

Jonah Lehrer quit yesterday. Somehow it was discovered that he made up quotes from Bob Dylan for his book, Imagine: How Creativity Works.

David Remnick called it a "terrifically sad situation."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 31, 2012, 09:52:53 am
Oh, I saw that yesterday, and I agree with Remnick -- very sad.

Unlike other journalist-fabricationists like Stephen Glass or Janet Cook or Jayson Blair, Jonah Lehrer was really talented at writing that doesn't involve making stuff up. But he must have been super busy -- blogs, articles, bestselling books -- and maybe could not resist the temptation to cut corners.

Resigning in disgrace from the New Yorker is so unheard of I would imagine it would seriously threaten any future career. Plus, the publisher has stopped shipping his book and has pulled the electronic version.

It had sold 200,000 copies so far.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 31, 2012, 12:28:17 pm
Next up will be Dexter Filkins on Afghanistan.

I don't like Dexter Flikins' or Jon Lee Anderson's articles mainly because they're too long. However, I read them anyway because I figure they're Important and also good for me.  :-\

OK, well, in spite of myself, I actually enjoyed the Filkins piece on Afghanistan. It was still a bit longer than I thought was necessary, but it was interesting.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 31, 2012, 04:24:15 pm
A more thorough account of the Jonah Lehrer debacle:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/107779/jonah-lehrers-deceptions?all=1 (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/107779/jonah-lehrers-deceptions?all=1)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 31, 2012, 06:03:18 pm
And a scathing TNR review of his most recent book (published before the controversy):

http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103912/bob-dylan-jonah-lehrer-creativity?page=0,0 (http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103912/bob-dylan-jonah-lehrer-creativity?page=0,0)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 31, 2012, 07:01:08 pm
Thanks, Katharine.

I'll have to check those articles out at work tomorrow. Links disagree with my antique PC.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 01, 2012, 09:20:26 pm
In defense of Jonah Lehrer:

http://observer.com/2012/08/laffaire-lehrer-sticking-up-for-jonah/ (http://observer.com/2012/08/laffaire-lehrer-sticking-up-for-jonah/)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 02, 2012, 09:39:12 am
In defense of Jonah Lehrer:

http://observer.com/2012/08/laffaire-lehrer-sticking-up-for-jonah/ (http://observer.com/2012/08/laffaire-lehrer-sticking-up-for-jonah/)

I think Tullis' point about the coverup seeming worse than the crime is worth noting.

And I love it that he calls Bill O'Reilly a fathead.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 02, 2012, 02:14:20 pm
I think Tullis' point about the coverup seeming worse than the crime is worth noting.

Too bad Lehrer didn't give Tullis a call before responding to the accusations. Tullis' proposed explanation is genius.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 02, 2012, 02:27:23 pm
Too bad Lehrer didn't give Tullis a call before responding to the accusations. Tullis' proposed explanation is genius.

Not that I'm trying to excuse Lehrer, but it does seem to me that if you do something like what he did, and get caught at it, you only make it worse for yourself when you lie about it. That's what I took away from my admittedly swift read of Tullis' defense.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 11, 2012, 10:47:28 am
Well, now that Romney has named Paul Ryan as "the next President of the United States,"  :laugh:  I'm going to have to read the Aug. 6-issue article about Ryan. The article's title is "Fussbudget."  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 11, 2012, 11:40:43 am
Did you hear that Fareed Zakaria (!) was found to have lifted passages for a column in Time (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2121660-1,00.html) from Jill Lepore's piece on guns in America? (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/23/120423fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all) He has apologized profusely ("terrible mistake," "serious lapse," "entirely my fault") and been suspended for a month. What next??! Do people not think readers have memories or internet connections?

You would think it must be a mistake -- maybe he had the paragraphs in his notes and somehow mistook them for his own writing or something. Because Fareed Zakaria is very high-profile and Jill Lepore is pretty high profile (she has a new book out!) and the article came out in April -- in fact, I read it only a couple of months ago. (If I didn't say so earlier, it's really good.)

The paragraph and Zakaria's changes read like a lazy midde-school student cribbing a school paper from Wikipedia:

Zakaria in "The Case for Gun Control":

    Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the "mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man."

And Lepore in "Battleground America":

    As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.

(Material above lifted from Slate (http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/08/10/fareed_zakaria_s_new_yorker_plagerism_time_columnist_apologizes_for_terrible_mistake_.html).)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on August 11, 2012, 11:50:29 am
That's so upsetting about Fareed Zakaria!  He's such a favorite of mine for his clear statement of the issues and fair approach.  His show on CNN is one of the best on cable.  I really hope he weathers this reasonably intact.  I would certainly miss him dearly during all this election hoo-ha and also for his knowledge of the Middle East.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 11, 2012, 02:36:46 pm
Tell you what, I'm certainly not an apologist for anybody's lapses (except, I hope, my own), but I can't help being a little bit suspicious that now in the digital age, when so much of everything, including researching of sources and taking of notes, is being done electronically, that it's going to get even easier and easier to accidentally plagiarize.

And I am talking accidentally. Deliberate plagiarizers will always be with us, but I'm talking about honestly forgetting to note the source for something copied and pasted from an on-line source--or even finding something on line that has included something not properly attributed.

That doesn't excuse Zakaria, who is not known to me, from being more careful in checking his work and his sources, but I'm just sayin'.

Meanwhile, I thought Lepore's article was very good, too, and I note that when Kentucky, Louisiana, and Indiana passed those laws, they were still essentially frontier states.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 19, 2012, 02:22:34 pm
I always rejoice when I open a new issue and see an article by Atul Gawande listed in the table of contents.

I'm currently enjoying his article in the Aug. 13 & 20 issue on the benefits of standardization in medicine. I haven't finished it yet.

When I do, I'll have to see whether I can find the location of the nearest Cheesecake Factory.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 19, 2012, 11:26:37 pm
I always rejoice when I open a new issue and see an article by Atul Gawande listed in the table of contents.

I'm currently enjoying his article in the Aug. 13 & 20 issue on the benefits of standardization in medicine. I haven't finished it yet.

When I do, I'll have to see whether I can find the location of the nearest Cheesecake Factory.  ;D

I am so with you on this. I'm in the middle of the Cheesecake Factory piece, too.

Yesterday, a Facebook friend asked for suggestions for creative nonfiction she could assign a class she's teaching. I gave several recommendations, then later thought, Atul Gawande! I gave her the link to his site, and particularly suggested the ones about aging and about end-of-life choices. He's brilliant.

And by the way, Cheesecake Factory is pretty good.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 20, 2012, 08:27:39 am
I'm reading that article as well now!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 20, 2012, 09:17:49 am
And by the way, Cheesecake Factory is pretty good.

So said Dr. Atul also.   ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 21, 2012, 01:36:58 pm
Well! I can hardly believe this. I'm actually caught up on my New Yorkers!  :o  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Meryl on August 21, 2012, 03:17:49 pm
Fareed Zakaria has been reinstated at CNN and Time, I'm glad to report.  He has resigned a position he had at Yale, possibly in an effort to allow himself more time to proof his work.  ;)


Fareed Zakaria and the Perils of Modern-Day Punditry

By Peter Osnos

Is it really is possible to do so many things at once -- columns, daily blog posts, television appearances, Internet videos, books, and speeches? The journalists of old certainly focused their efforts more.

I have been an admirer of Fareed Zakaria's work since he was recruited in 1992 by James Hoge, editor of Foreign Affairs to be that magazine's managing editor, shortly after he had completed a Harvard Ph.D. He proved to be an inspired choice for the position and moved on to Newsweek in 2000, gradually gaining visibility as a sophisticated commentator in a variety of venues. His 2008 book, The Post-American World, was a bestseller, and after a stint with PBS, he launched Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, a show that has a dedicated following and an international audience. It is considered among the most thoughtful programs on global issues.

In 2010, he became a lead columnist for Time. He is also, I gather, in great demand as a paid speaker, and this year delivered the commencement addresses at both Harvard and Duke. He served as a trustee of Yale and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Board of Directors. Jon Stewart is clearly a huge fan, and Zakaria has probably appeared on the Daily Show more often than any other figure from our top tier of pundits.

If you followed the flap over Zakaria's failure to credit a paragraph from Jill Lepore of the New Yorker in a column about gun control -- and his resulting short-term suspension from Time and CNN -- you may well already have read about the extent of his professional activities. But listing them here is intended to provide a sense of just how productive he has been, at a consistently high level, and why I hoped this mishap -- widely described, and in my judgment, with exaggeration, as plagiarism -- would turn out to be a small-bore setback in what will be a long and distinguished run.

Now that Time and CNN have reinstated him beginning in September and found no further problems, Zakaria is back on track. He will also resume his column for the Washington Post. The backstory of the case seems to be a confusion in his transcription of notes. Zakaria's apologies were immediate and repeated, even after he was essentially forgiven, because he clearly realized that plagiarism is a cardinal offense for a writer.

An instance of picking up a small section of another person's work (which was quoting facts from a recently published book) didn't strike me as a major failing, although the sensitivities involved were reflected in the public flailing he endured. A clever headline at The Atlantic over a commentary by Jeffrey Goldberg sounded about right to me: "Fareedenfreude (or Alternatively, Schadenfareed)."

Coming so soon after the revelations about Jonah Lehrer's fabrications of quotes from Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works, and a stream of other misrepresentations that cost him his reputation, the Zakaria case easily morphed into further evidence of the same pattern of serious malfeasance, which it certainly was not.

But the episode crystallized something I've been thinking about increasingly in recent years. Today's leading pundits and commentators have adapted to our current media culture in ways that too often seem over-programmed, to the point where it is a veritable certainty that some will eventually stumble. These blunders are taken all the more seriously because of the prominence media stars have attained.

I wonder if it really is possible to do so many things at once: columns, daily blog posts, a full schedule of television appearances and Internet videos, speeches around the country (and the world), and books intended to make a splash. There are also outside activities (or jobs) that take administrative or editorial time. The aggregation of all these activities can be enormously lucrative, but there is also a competitiveness among the cohort -- and their principal employers -- that seems to drive them to take on more roles than frankly makes sense.

Zakaria acknowledged as much in comments to the New York Times: "This week has been very important because it made me realize what is at the core of what I want to do." His goal, he said, is to "help people to think about this fast-moving world and to do this through my work on TV and writing." Other activities, he added, "will have to go away. There's got to be some stripping down." The first resignation was his position at Yale.

Zakaria is by no means the only one of these journalistic polymaths. I am not going to make a list because until there is certifiable wrongdoing, it is fair to assume that they are capable of pulling off so many successes. But the trend toward multi-faceted hyper-productivity is definitely a feature of our age.

The influential columnists of the 1950s through the 1980s -- James Reston, for example, or Russell Baker, the Alsop brothers, and Joseph Kraft, among others -- intently focused on their outstanding output and, while celebrated for their work, spent fewer of their formidable energies on being visible in other arenas. In their day, they probably would not have been recognizable anywhere outside downtown Washington. Television's biggest names -- David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite come to mind -- wrote books only after their anchoring days were over.

Surely there must be examples of media personalities of that time who could juggle columns, articles, books, and broadcasts. But today's demands definitely feel greater than those of the past. Rather than attachment to a single platform, the premium seems to be placed on entrepreneurial diversity.

There is so much of the media in our lives in this digital era that it is less than surprising that a number of the more ambitious and talented of the journalists want to master it all. Spreading your efforts across the many opportunities being offered is considered the best way to build a brand name that will flourish apart from being associated with any single employer. But brands are vulnerable to being undone. "This guy is his own brand," Jim Kelly, a former top editor at Time said in the New York Times, "so . . . you have to be really careful at how you extend yourself. The American corporate landscape is littered with disastrous brand extensions."

The monitors of gaffes, glitches, and writing shortcuts are powerful and have the Internet's resources to track every misstep. Public vilification for mistakes that come from trying to do too much is the downside of stardom. Zakaria's problem turned out to be minor, but nonetheless valuable -- as a warning to others with his ambitions and talents to take extra care in pursuit of acclaim.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/08/fareed-zakaria-and-the-perils-of-modern-day-punditry/261371/
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 26, 2012, 07:35:07 pm
I'm sure I've said somewhere along the line that I'm not much for the short fiction in The New Yorker, but on the other hand, I do always read Alice Munro. I recommend her story in the current (Aug. 27) issue.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 26, 2012, 08:36:25 pm
This quote from the violinist Christian Tetzlaff was wonderful:

"Bach's music confronts the player and the audinece in a very personal situation, in a very alone way. And I try at that moment to put away pretensions of being a strong man, of being invulnerable--and instead say, 'This is where all of us have common ground.' Most of the time, we try to tell ourselves 'I'm confident' or 'I'm doing well'. But then, in a moment alone at home, you feel how close you are to some kind of abyss.

Music, even at terrible moments, can make you accept so much more--accept your dark sides, or the things that happen to you. Maybe it's just because you see that this is a common trait for all of us. You see that we are not alone.

. ...It's about communication. I almost want to say communion, As a player, you really don't interpret anymore. You listen, together with the audience."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 27, 2012, 12:45:20 am
This is how much I like Atul Gawande and the New Yorker. I was still reading his defense, from an issue ago, of "Cheesecake Factory"-style medical delivery. When the latest issue came, I paged immediately to the comments section because I knew there'd be some experts writing in to poke holes in his theory. And there were, but I think his theory still holds up.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 27, 2012, 04:02:38 pm
Did anyone read the article about the neurologist Oliver Sacks's intense experience with psychotropic drugs? As I read through it, I thought about James Holmes, the neurology student who went off the deep end and killed or wounded 80 people in Aurora, Colorado, wondering if he had also experimented with chemicals as Sacks did. I was relieved at the happy ending to the article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 27, 2012, 10:58:52 pm
Did anyone read the article about the neurologist Oliver Sacks's intense experience with psychotropic drugs? As I read through it, I thought about James Holmes, the neurology student who went off the deep end and killed or wounded 80 people in Aurora, Colorado, wondering if he had also experimented with chemicals as Sacks did. I was relieved at the happy ending to the article.

I know! I figured it had a happy ending, since of course Sacks went on to a brilliant career. But that sounded like an awful lot of drugs. And powerful ones.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 29, 2012, 01:11:01 pm
I always read Jane Mayer. Her article on Obama and campaign financing is horribly depressing, but I did have one chuckle, wondering to myself, What would Mr. Shawn have said about a sentence like this:

"[Chris] Hughes and his husband, Sean Eldridge, have decided not to give money to any SuperPACs. ..."

(Boldface obviously added.)

 ;D

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 29, 2012, 01:20:06 pm
wondering to myself, What would Mr. Shawn have said about a sentence like this:

I was just wondering the exact same thing about Lena Dunham's profanity-riddled essay in the Aug. 13/20 issue. Sample sentence: "What the fuck is this shit?"



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 29, 2012, 02:01:01 pm
I was just wondering the exact same thing about Lena Dunham's profanity-riddled essay in the Aug. 13/20 issue. Sample sentence: "What the fuck is this shit?"

(Nods head) I remember thinking more or less the same thing when I read that piece.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 31, 2012, 03:11:14 pm
Loved the "Bromance" cover in this week's issue. And "How to Win at Conversations" by Paul Simms made me laugh out loud!! (LOL)  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 01, 2012, 05:12:08 pm
I'm sure I've said somewhere along the line that I'm not much for the short fiction in The New Yorker, but on the other hand, I do always read Alice Munro. I recommend her story in the current (Aug. 27) issue.

It was a good story; however, I'm getting a little tired of Munro's often used theme. What's wrong with Canadian men anyway that they are always taking advantage of women so? I also read the T. C. Boyle story in this week's issue, (Something) Wood. It started out promisingly but ended strangely, as if he had to rush off to an appointment.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 01, 2012, 09:42:03 pm
It was a good story; however, I'm getting a little tired of Munro's often used theme. What's wrong with Canadian men anyway that they are always taking advantage of women so? I also read the T. C. Boyle story in this week's issue, (Something) Wood. It started out promisingly but ended strangely, as if he had to rush off to an appointment.

I have something terrible to confess: I never really "get" Alice Munro. She's revered among all writers, but I read her stories and come to the end and think, "OK, so?" I know -- shameful! Also, from what I've read of her she sounds very nice. I'd probably like her. What's wrong with me?

T.C. Boyle I have much better luck with. He exudes such authorial authority that he usually carries me along. But I haven't yet read, or seen, the story you mentioned. And I did bail on his fairly recent George Saunderish one about the giant guy in some Latin American dictatorship being kept in captivity for breeding a race of giants.

Fiction used to be the part of the New Yorker I would most reliably read (well, that and movie reviews). Now I rarely read it unless at first glance it looks easy (lots of dialogue and short paragraphs) and short. I rarely read stories that refer to their protagonists primarily by their last names. I rarely read stories with long paragraphs of dialogueless prose. I rarely read stories unless I can get into them within the first couple of paragraphs.

Now the parts of the New Yorker I most reliably read are still movie reviews (especially Anthony Lane's), James Surewiecki's (sp?) columns, the main editorial if I'm interested in the topic, Shouts and Murmurs (unless I start them and they seem too far-fetched -- I love Bob Odenkirk on Breaking Bad, but his recent S&M lost me midway through). The book reviews sometimes, if I have any interest in the book.

After that, it's hit and miss depending on the writer and subject.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 03, 2012, 05:18:49 pm
Your reading patterns over the years are interesting. I take a different approach...I usually begin with Talk of the Town at the beginning and barrel right through to the critical reviews at the end. If I skip anything, it's usually the fiction. I also skip political stories, especially during election season, and sometimes Middle East or Africa stories.

This odd approach means that I'm sometimes not done with an issue when the new one comes. When that happens, I drop the half-read issue by the side of my bed and take up the new issue. I save the half-read issue for long winter nights or if I get sick.

I rarely read the fiction, but when the annual fiction issue comes out I force myself to read at least a few of the stories. Why? I think you know why...not a single story has hit me with anything near the force of our beloved Brokeback Mountain. The state of fiction today seems to be pretty sad to me. Sir Arthur is the Boyle I prefer to read, rather than T. C.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 03, 2012, 07:25:00 pm
I have something terrible to confess: I never really "get" Alice Munro. She's revered among all writers, but I read her stories and come to the end and think, "OK, so?" I know -- shameful! Also, from what I've read of her she sounds very nice. I'd probably like her. What's wrong with me?

I read her for the tone. I think the latest evokes what must have been the very chilly atmosphere of World War II-era Canada. Most of her stories also seem to take place in small towns, and as a kid I spent a lot of time in the small town where my parents grew up, so I sort of relate to that atmosphere. I don't know if that qualifies as "getting" her, but there you have it.

Quote
Shouts and Murmurs (unless I start them and they seem too far-fetched -- I love Bob Odenkirk on Breaking Bad, but his recent S&M lost me midway through).

I'n't that funny? I almost never read "Shouts and Murmurs." I don't really know why. Maybe I've just read too many of them that struck me as, well, dumb.  :-\

Sir Arthur is the Boyle I prefer to read, rather than T. C.

Who's Sir Arthur Boyle? What did he write?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on September 03, 2012, 07:45:25 pm


Who's Sir Arthur Boyle? What did he write?  ???
(http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/images/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-1.jpg)
Sir Arthur  [Conan D]oyle, maybe!


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 03, 2012, 09:05:29 pm
Most assuredly, Dr. Watson!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 03, 2012, 09:43:36 pm
I'n't that funny? I almost never read "Shouts and Murmurs." I don't really know why. Maybe I've just read too many of them that struck me as, well, dumb.  :-\


I know. Many of them strike me as dumb, too.

But I'll have to say, the most recent one (or the most recent one I've seen -- the one with little pictures of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on the front, I think it's Sept. 3) had me laughing out loud numerous times. It's titled "How to Win at Conversation" or something like that. Still, the parts that struck me the funniest, oddly, aren't the punchlines of each section, but the second lines of each section.

Years on years ago, I saw a S&M that was so amazing I clipped and saved it (not forever, unfortunately). It was a little story about a guy going to a party that was packed with positive versions of verbs and adjectives we almost exclusively use the negative versions of. "Plussed" instead of "nonplussed," for example. Chalant. Nerving. And so on.

In subsequent years, I've tried in vain to find it again. I don't remember the author and have no idea how I'd search for it.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 03, 2012, 09:52:00 pm
(http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/images/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-1.jpg)
Sir Arthur  [Conan D]oyle, maybe!

Most assuredly, Dr. Watson!!

 ::)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 03, 2012, 09:54:31 pm
Years on years ago, I saw a S&M that was so amazing I clipped and saved it (not forever, unfortunately). It was a little story about a guy going to a party that was packed with positive versions of verbs and adjectives we almost exclusively use the negative versions of. "Plussed" instead of "nonplussed," for example. Chalant. Nerving. And so on.

In subsequent years, I've tried in vain to find it again. I don't remember the author and have no idea how I'd search for it.

I don't remember that one, but I'd wager "kempt" was probably at that party, too.

Of course I do have to stop and replus myself when I see it referred to as "S&M." That generally means something else where I come from.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 03, 2012, 10:40:43 pm
Loved the "Bromance" cover in this week's issue. And "How to Win at Conversations" by Paul Simms made me laugh out loud!! (LOL)  :laugh:

As you can see, Katherine, we're definitely on the same page!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 03, 2012, 11:53:00 pm
As you can see, Katherine, we're definitely on the same page!

Hey yeah! I didn't know what you were referring to before today.


I don't remember that one, but I'd wager "kempt" was probably at that party, too.

Bet you're right!

Quote
Of course I do have to stop and replus myself when I see it referred to as "S&M." That generally means something else where I come from.  ;D

For a moment, I considered calling it a Shout and Murmur, singular.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 10, 2012, 01:18:59 pm
How timely is the article on the making of CLOUD ATLAS in the latest issue! It's great to read all about the brother/sister duo who made the movie as well as the Matrix series. At the debut in Toronto (covered in another thread here in the Culture Tent), Lana had her first credit as a director. Before this she was listed as Larry.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 10, 2012, 01:27:54 pm
It was also exciting to read of James Schamus's pivotal role!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 10, 2012, 01:37:15 pm
How timely is the article on the making of CLOUD ATLAS in the latest issue! It's great to read all about the brother/sister duo who made the movie as well as the Matrix series. At the debut in Toronto (covered in another thread here in the Culture Tent), Lana had her first credit as a director. Before this she was listed as Larry.

I haven't seen that story yet (but I'm also not sure it interests me). I went directly to Ariel Levy's article about Naomi Wolfe's new biography of the vagina.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 10, 2012, 08:03:35 pm
Wow! John Gallagher has posted the story here (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,50143.msg637997.html#msg637997). Yay, John!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 10, 2012, 09:56:48 pm
Ariel Levy's review of Naomi Wolf's book about her vagina [Sept. 10 issue] is a brilliant model of deadpan humor.

I was going to say dry humor, but decided not to.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 10, 2012, 10:38:57 pm
Ariel Levy's review of Naomi Wolf's book about her vagina [Sept. 10 issue] is a brilliant model of deadpan humor.

I was going to say dry humor, but decided not to.

Occasionally I have wondered whether Andrea Dworkin is really a sex-negative, man-hating lesbian, but let be, let be. ...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 02, 2012, 01:15:34 pm
Well, that made for a depressing lunch, reading Jerome Groopman's article about the emergence and spread of cephalosporin-resistant strains of gonorrhea (Oct. 1).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 02, 2012, 01:40:18 pm
Yes, I read that last night before bed and it made for fitful sleeping too!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 05, 2012, 10:05:49 pm
Over dinner this evening I finished Jill Lepore's article on the beginnings of political advertising ("The Lie Factory," Sept. 24). I like Leport's articles. I always learn something from them, and I find them entertaining, too.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 10, 2012, 01:19:24 pm
Interesting (to me, anyway) that in conversation J.K. Rowling is apparently given to using the rather homely phrase, "believe you me" ("Mugglemarch," by Ian Parker, in the Oct. 1 issue).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 10, 2012, 10:57:19 pm
Interesting (to me, anyway) that in conversation J.K. Rowling is apparently given to using the rather homely phrase, "believe you me" ("Mugglemarch," by Ian Parker, in the Oct. 1 issue).

When you say "homely," which definition do you mean? I think, arguably, it's both.

home·ly/ˈhōmlē/
Adjective:   

    (of a person) Unattractive in appearance.
    (of a place or surroundings) Simple but cozy and comfortable, as in one's own home.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 11, 2012, 07:52:23 am
Gee, I have homely phrases (homilies?) aplenty but no one wants to interview me! One I have started using lately is "up the yin yang" and I can't seem to quit myself of it.

I have tried to not verbize nouns and hold back the tide. Was thinking that one of the earliest instances of verbizing was when Richard Harris sang "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for happy-ever-aftering, here in Camelot." Anyone recall an earlier example?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 11, 2012, 09:13:32 am
When you say "homely," which definition do you mean? I think, arguably, it's both.

home·ly/ˈhōmlē/
Adjective:   

    (of a person) Unattractive in appearance.
    (of a place or surroundings) Simple but cozy and comfortable, as in one's own home.

I don't find it unattractive, just very old-fashioned and surprising in an Englishwoman (she lives in Scotland now but she was raised in the West of England, near Bristol) who is younger than I am.

Gee, I have homely phrases (homilies?) aplenty but no one wants to interview me! One I have started using lately is "up the yin yang" and I can't seem to quit myself of it.

Try harder. Maybe put a dollar in a coffee can or something every time you use it. That phrase isn't homely; yin-yang is just a euphemism for anus.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 11, 2012, 07:29:27 pm
I have tried to not verbize nouns and hold back the tide. Was thinking that one of the earliest instances of verbizing was when Richard Harris sang "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for happy-ever-aftering, here in Camelot." Anyone recall an earlier example?

I don't know any offhand, but I'd be surprised if earlier word-playing songwriters like Cole Porter hadn't verbized.


I don't find it unattractive, just very old-fashioned and surprising in an Englishwoman (she lives in Scotland now but she was raised in the West of England, near Bristol) who is younger than I am.

Those Brits have all kinds of homely sayings. I work with a man who's my age but British, and he spouts lots of funny ones.

One thing he says a lot is "a shed load," to indicate mass quantities. I've often wondered if he's actually unintentionally misusing a cruder Americanism that he misheard.

Quote
Try harder. Maybe put a dollar in a coffee can or something every time you use it. That phrase isn't homely; yin-yang is just a euphemism for anus.

You can't judge a homely euphemism entirely by what it's euphemizing; "Jiminy Cricket" and "dad blast it" are pretty homely.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 11, 2012, 07:39:19 pm

One thing he says a lot is "a shed load," to indicate mass quantities. I've often wondered if he's actually unintentionally misusing a cruder Americanism that he misheard.


This reminds me of the scene where Meryl Streep in her Academy Award winning role in Sophie's Choice admired Kevin Kline's "cocksucker" (instead of seersucker) suit.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 22, 2012, 11:17:22 am
I'm about midway through the article on microbes in the Oct. 22 issue. Fascinating!  :o :)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 22, 2012, 11:40:40 am
I'm even further behind than I usually am. I took an issue with me on my ramble and then didn't even open it.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 24, 2012, 08:36:35 pm
Well, I think I've achieved a new personal record: I now have four issues of The New Yorker "on the go" at once.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 11, 2012, 02:10:30 am
Alex Ross' Nov. 12 piece about the political evolution of the gay community is riveting.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 11, 2012, 02:28:26 am
Alex Ross' Nov. 12 piece about the political evolution of the gay community is riveting.

Absolutely. As soon as that issue arrived and I saw that article, I dropped all my other New Yorkers to read it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 12, 2012, 10:44:32 pm
I am pretty behind on my New Yorker reading, but not hopelessly. Recently I reread the fiction "The Semplica Girl Diaries" by George Saunders. It is haunting and grows on you. It's a diary written by a well meaning but financially strapped dad and is set in the near future, so it's a little sci-fi. Anybody else read it?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 12, 2012, 11:40:10 pm
Absolutely. As soon as that issue arrived and I saw that article, I dropped all my other New Yorkers to read it.

It read like it could be an excerpt from a book. It's so amazing how much has changed for gay people (and black people, and women) over the course of our lifetimes.


I am pretty behind on my New Yorker reading, but not hopelessly. Recently I reread the fiction "The Semplica Girl Diaries" by George Saunders. It is haunting and grows on you. It's a diary written by a well meaning but financially strapped dad and is set in the near future, so it's a little sci-fi. Anybody else read it?

I haven't read that yet, but I will. Love George Saunders.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 13, 2012, 10:18:35 am
I am pretty behind on my New Yorker reading, but not hopelessly. Recently I reread the fiction "The Semplica Girl Diaries" by George Saunders. It is haunting and grows on you. It's a diary written by a well meaning but financially strapped dad and is set in the near future, so it's a little sci-fi. Anybody else read it?

I have not.

I'm now working my way through the issue (Oct. 29 & Nov. 5) with the cover cartoon of Mitt Romney getting the tatoos of all this former positions crossed off.

It's interesting to read articles intended for before the election after the election.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 14, 2012, 02:08:14 pm
I'm reading George Packer's profile of Jeff Connaughton in the Oct. 29--Nov. 5 issue. I have not yet finished reading the article. In passing the article paints a rather unflattering portrait of Vice President Biden, I believe.

It's also got me wondering whether this Connaughton guy is gay. The article seems conspicuously silent on his personal life, and it also strikes me as ... unusual ... for someone who "played" at the level in Washington that Connaughton did to be unmarried (to a woman, I mean).

Not that Connaughton's sexuality matters, of course. I'm just sayin'.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 15, 2012, 11:35:47 am
It's also got me wondering whether this Connaughton guy is gay. The article seems conspicuously silent on his personal life, and it also strikes me as ... unusual ... for someone who "played" at the level in Washington that Connaughton did to be unmarried (to a woman, I mean)

I recently used similar logic to argue to my son that Keanu Reeves is gay. A handsome, A-list actor who has been famous since the 1980s, and I've never seen him linked to any woman; in fact, his entire personal life is far more obscure and low-profile than other actors of roughly his age/fame/level of attractiveness: Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Ashton Kutcher,Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Dennis Quaid, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo, George Clooney, etc. etc.

In all of those cases, I have heard of at least one wife or girlfriend (couldn't necessarily name them, but at least am aware of their existence). That doesn't prove the star in question is NOT gay (cough Tom Cruise cough); it just shows that the modern celebrity media usually keep us at least vaguely posted on stars' romantic involvements. If they've done that with Keanu, I missed it.

I guess there are a few other male stars with similarly low-profile private lives -- John Cusack, and um, well, I'm sure there are others. Maybe they're gay, or maybe in some cases the media/public just aren't that interested for one reason or another. With Keanu, I'm pretty sure it's the former, FWIW.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on November 15, 2012, 02:56:10 pm
I always thought Keanu was a robot.  Maybe he's a gay robot.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 15, 2012, 04:10:05 pm
I always thought Keanu was a robot. 

I guess that's another possible explanation for the lack of celebrity-media information about his private life. When he's not making a movie they turn him off and pack him away in a ... um, closet.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on November 15, 2012, 04:23:32 pm
Gotta say that Keanue Reeves doesn´t show up on my gaydar.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 15, 2012, 08:05:17 pm
Gotta say that Keanue Reeves doesn´t show up on my gaydar.

Wow, that's either some pretty well-tuned gaydar or some pretty bad acting, if it can penetrate the heterosexual role an actor is playing.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 15, 2012, 10:25:38 pm
I have a bad cold so I'm settling down with Demeter by Maile Meloy in the latest issue. If I make it through that, I'll go to Cloud Atlas.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on November 16, 2012, 01:19:53 am
Wow, that's either some pretty well-tuned gaydar or some pretty bad acting, if it can penetrate the heterosexual role an actor is playing.


Now, you do understand  "gaydar" isn´t an exact science, do you not? 8)

the heterosexual role an actor is playing.


that´s a pretty bold statment


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 16, 2012, 09:01:37 am
that´s a pretty bold statment

How so? I think of it as a simple statement of fact: Keanu usually plays heterosexuals.

I guess I can think of one role in which, as I recall, Keanu played a gay man (My Own Private Idaho), so if you were thinking of that one, or some other role in which he's gay that I'm not thinking of, or maybe even some role in which his sexual orientation is not specified, then my statement was simply incorrect. Still not particularly bold, though.

The larger point I was making is, unless you've spent time with Keanu outside of his movies, you haven't seen what he's really like, so how would he set off your gaydar or not? And as I said earlier, I don't see much about Keanu outside of his movies -- haven't seen him on talk shows or red-carpet interviews or things like that. But maybe you watch different shows than I do and you have seen him as himself.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on November 16, 2012, 09:29:52 am
How so? I think of it as a simple statement of fact: Keanu usually plays heterosexuals.

I guess I can think of one role in which, as I recall, Keanu played a gay man (My Own Private Idaho), so if you were thinking of that one, or some other role in which he's gay that I'm not thinking of, or maybe even some role in which his sexual orientation is not specified, then my statement was simply incorrect. Still not particularly bold, though.

The larger point I was making is, unless you've spent time with Keanu outside of his movies, you haven't seen what he's really like, so how would he set off your gaydar or not? And as I said earlier, I don't see much about Keanu outside of his movies -- haven't seen him on talk shows or red-carpet interviews or things like that. But maybe you watch different shows than I do and you have seen him as himself.





Uhm...of course I don´t personally know Keanue Reeves. If I had, you´d definately know by now.... O0

I have as much to go on as you do when you say you think he might be in the closet.

I thought by playing "the heterosexual role" you implied something more than just characters he portrays on screen. If an actor portrays a heteresexual man on-screen it doesn´t neccessery impact my thoughts on the person´s sexual orientation. I have a recent example - I have just started watching an old favorite tv-show of mine again - The Pretender - that I haven´t watched in more than 10 years. I used to be ADDICTED to it in the late 90´s. I´m delighted that I still love it. Back then - in the late 90´s - I wasn´t very aware of the chance that I guy I liked might be gay. It was simply never on my mind.  This time around though - more than 10 years - and many experiences - later - my gaydar was set off instantly regarding the very good-looking male lead - Michael T Weiss. A quick google search later and yes - indeed he´s gay. And I might add that, on the show, he portrays a heterosexual man. It´s difficult to know what exactly sets the gaydar off, but it usually works.
So no, Keanue Reeves doesn´t show up on my gaydar. Simple as that. But might he still be gay? Of course.


Michael T Weiss. The eyes...they eyes.....mmmmm
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 16, 2012, 10:08:45 am
The larger point I was making is, unless you've spent time with Keanu outside of his movies, you haven't seen what he's really like, so how would he set off your gaydar or not?

I think gaydar doesn't necessarily work that way. Everyone's gaydar seems to have its own way of functioning.

Neil Patrick Harris set off mine years before I learned that he actually is.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 16, 2012, 12:15:12 pm
I think gaydar doesn't necessarily work that way. Everyone's gaydar seems to have its own way of functioning.

Neil Patrick Harris set off mine years before I learned that he actually is.  ;D

That's a point. Plus, I would guess that gaydar functions best for people or in situations where it's useful or important to distinguish whether someone is gay or not. In most cases, for me, it doesn't affect my life in any way, so maybe it's not as strong. When it does go off, it's like noticing a person's ethnicity or age -- an interesting characteristic, but not a significant factor in most situations.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 19, 2012, 03:41:28 pm
Something I hardly ever do is to read ahead electronically rather than waiting for my print copy to arrive. But I just had to read what David Denby said about "Life of Pi." I'll wait until Thursday to read about David Petraeus.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 05, 2012, 02:27:25 pm
Jill Lepore is another author I always read when she has an article in the magazine. Her article on the history of taxation in the Nov. 26 issue is amazing.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on December 06, 2012, 09:06:21 am
Slightly OT, but I mysteriously started getting New York magazine in the mail for some reason. I must have received a magazine subscription with something I purchased, but I swear I don't remember ordering it.

I love New York too --- compared to the New Yorker, it's a little edgier and more risk-taking, though not generally as deep, and of course more pop-culture focused. Either way, though, there's a whole nother pile of weekly magazines to accumulate.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 06, 2012, 09:45:09 am
For some reason, probably the fault of the postal service, I got the December 10 issue before the December 3 issue.  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on December 07, 2012, 01:59:38 am
I spent an hour this afternoon in the company of Calvin Trillin! He was in town to promote his latest book, and he stopped by the paper and talked to reporters, mostly about the New Yorker, where he became a staff writer in 1963. He talked a lot about his "U.S. Journal" series, which he wrote every three weeks, from the late '60s to the mid-'80s. He'd go through newspapers and find an interesting story somewhere in the country, travel to the place and spend a week there talking to folks, then return to NY and write a 3,000 word evocative charming memorable piece. Of course, that's not how he described them. He was low key, mild-mannered, non-assuming and pretty funny.

He name-dropped William Shawn and John McPhee, the latter of whom he said had a really elaborate writing system that involved bringing home his draft (typed on paper, in those days) and stuffing it into some niche in his house that he felt was unlikely to succumb in case of fire. "Is that neurotic?" McPhee asked Trillin. "Nah," Trillin told him. Not if that's what works for him.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 07, 2012, 10:03:08 am
I spent an hour this afternoon in the company of Calvin Trillin! He was in town to promote his latest book, and he stopped by the paper and talked to reporters, mostly about the New Yorker, where he became a staff writer in 1963. He talked a lot about his "U.S. Journal" series, which he wrote every three weeks, from the late '60s to the mid-'80s. He'd go through newspapers and find an interesting story somewhere in the country, travel to the place and spend a week there talking to folks, then return to NY and write a 3,000 word evocative charming memorable piece. Of course, that's not how he described them. He was low key, mild-mannered, non-assuming and pretty funny.

He name-dropped William Shawn and John McPhee, the latter of whom he said had a really elaborate writing system that involved bringing home his draft (typed on paper, in those days) and stuffing it into some niche in his house that he felt was unlikely to succumb in case of fire. "Is that neurotic?" McPhee asked Trillin. "Nah," Trillin told him. Not if that's what works for him.

Wow! Lucky you!  :D

Of course, I spent some time with him yesterday, too--reading his piece on food in Oaxaca (sp?).  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 07, 2012, 03:47:29 pm
Katherine, that is so amazing to hear! Did he happen to tell you the most unusual thing he's ever eaten, what he likes to cook for himself as comfort food, or what his favorite cookbook is? I have always wanted to ask him how he made the transition from Kansas City to New York City. If I ever made that move, I would probably go to every restaurant and play and exhibit and performance until I dropped dead of exhaustion!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on December 08, 2012, 12:48:53 am
Katherine, that is so amazing to hear! Did he happen to tell you the most unusual thing he's ever eaten, what he likes to cook for himself as comfort food, or what his favorite cookbook is? I have always wanted to ask him how he made the transition from Kansas City to New York City. If I ever made that move, I would probably go to every restaurant and play and exhibit and performance until I dropped dead of exhaustion!!

He didn't talk much about food. Someone asked him if he'd eaten any interesting food since arriving in our city, and he immediately said "No." But to be fair, he'd just gotten off the plane.

I was curious about whether he ever still missed the Midwest. But I agree with you about New York. I was fortunate to live there for nine months. It wouldn't be a good fit for me long term, probably, but I loved having that extended stay.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 18, 2012, 02:37:13 pm
The December 3, 2012, issue is just full of Wyoming attachments.

There is Judith Thurman's account of cooking trout while participating in a two-week wilderness living course offered by an outfit in Lander.

Then, having been to Dubois, on Roundup, I was tickled over lunch today to read Philip Gourevitch's account of his very brief career as a skinner of bears in Dubois.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 27, 2012, 01:08:12 am
Thanks for the info, friend. I've unburied that issue so I can peruse it again. Right now I'm reading an interesting article about the rewilding movement in Europe. Possible to bring back the aurochs? Intriguing!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 06, 2013, 10:46:21 pm
I highly ... highly ... HIGHLY recommend Daniel Mendelsohn's account of his "corresponding friendship" with Mary Renault (Jan. 7, 2013, issue).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 07, 2013, 03:33:17 pm
Thanks for the info, friend. I've unburied that issue so I can peruse it again. Right now I'm reading an interesting article about the rewilding movement in Europe. Possible to bring back the aurochs? Intriguing!

Finished that one over lunch today. Aurochs is an interesting word. Apparently it's both singular and plural: one aurochs, two aurochs, a herd of aurochs.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 08, 2013, 09:03:07 am
I highly ... highly ... HIGHLY recommend Daniel Mendelsohn's account of his "corresponding friendship" with Mary Renault (Jan. 7, 2013, issue).

OK, good. I've started it, but hadn't actually been hooked yet. Essays by successful writers fondly recalling youthful correspondences with other writers have come to seem kind of cliched. But Mendelsohn is a good writer. With that high recommendation, friend, I'll stick with it.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 08, 2013, 10:17:41 am
OK, good. I've started it, but hadn't actually been hooked yet. Essays by successful writers fondly recalling youthful correspondences with other writers have come to seem kind of cliched. But Mendelsohn is a good writer. With that high recommendation, friend, I'll stick with it.

Of course, my high recommendation is also based on my being a Mary Renault fan. Someone who doesn't enjoy her books may find Mendelsohn's essay just plain boring. Plus, it's also yet another coming out story (groan).  ::)

Also, since I finished the article, I've been thinking, "Well, I guess I'm really not a writer, then, because I could never be as self-dramatizing as Mendelsohn is in this essay!"  :laugh:

But the article "spoke" to me for a couple of reasons. I figure from the dates and school years that he mentions, Mendelsohn is about three years younger than me, but that still puts us fairly close in age. I came to Mary Renault's novels at a few years older than he did, but I love them, too, and Mendelsohn has got me wondering what influence they may have had on my own ideals of love and gay relationships (I might be a little older than Mendelsohn, but, hey, I was a late bloomer). It's rare that I can say that a magazine article has stayed with me after I've completed it the way Mendelsohn's essay has.

I've also found myself wondering how and why it is, that so many of my favorite authors are English women: Alison Weir (Tudor history), Mary Renault, Ellis Peters (real name: Edith Pargeter).  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 09, 2013, 11:49:50 am
I've started the article too but before I could finish it I got distracted by the account of Sebastian Junger's group RISC which means Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues. As a journalist, the article leaped out at me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 09, 2013, 12:22:32 pm
Finished that one over lunch today. Aurochs is an interesting word. Apparently it's both singular and plural: one aurochs, two aurochs, a herd of aurochs.

What is the weird sensation called when a word keeps popping up? Today, I was reading a review of the new movie Beasts of the Southern Wild (recommended by Dave Cullen) when aurochs appeared yet again: http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_21055216/bracing-beauty-beasts-southern-wild-triumphs-child-hero (http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_21055216/bracing-beauty-beasts-southern-wild-triumphs-child-hero)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 16, 2013, 12:20:44 am

I haven't read that yet, but I will. Love George Saunders.


I just heard that he has published a book of short stories...sounds like a must-read!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 16, 2013, 02:35:20 pm
OK, well, that made for depressing lunchtime reading, Rachel Aviv's article, "The Science of Sex Abuse," in the Jan. 14 issue.

It was particularly depressing to me because the principal subject of the article has been a member of the Society for Creative Anacronism, and he isn't the only "SCAdian" I've heard of to be a pedophile. The Society was almost destroyed because of civil judgments arising from a case that occurred right here in Pennsylvania, where a member who was actually celebrated for his involvement in "youth activities" turned out to be a serial child molester.

And the part in the article about offenders essentially telling therapists what the therapists wanted to hear (because the therapists wouldn't believe the truth) reminded me yet again of accused "witches" telling their prosecutors what the prosecutors wanted to hear.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 16, 2013, 07:01:00 pm
What is the weird sensation called when a word keeps popping up? Today, I was reading a review of the new movie Beasts of the Southern Wild (recommended by Dave Cullen) when aurochs appeared yet again: http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_21055216/bracing-beauty-beasts-southern-wild-triumphs-child-hero (http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_21055216/bracing-beauty-beasts-southern-wild-triumphs-child-hero)

Well, now I've seen the movie and when the aurochs appeared, I was like "Wait a minute, those look like pigs and that's wrong!" I knew from the New Yorker story that cows are descended from aurochs, not pigs. And I had just been to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where I saw an aurochs skeleton. In the following article the special effects guy admits that in using Vietnamese pot belly pigs for the aurochs they were taking poetic license with evolution:

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/17/exclusive-the-secret-of-the-aurochs-those-beasts-of-the-southern-wild/ (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/17/exclusive-the-secret-of-the-aurochs-those-beasts-of-the-southern-wild/)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 16, 2013, 07:47:07 pm
Well, now I've seen the movie and when the aurochs appeared, I was like "Wait a minute, those look like pigs and that's wrong!" I knew from the New Yorker story that cows are descended from aurochs, not pigs. And I had just been to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where I saw an aurochs skeleton. In the following article the special effects guy admits that in using Vietnamese pot belly pigs for the aurochs they were taking poetic license with evolution.

I'd say that's a lot of license.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 04, 2013, 02:08:14 pm
Over lunch today I finished the Jan. 28 article about the illegal export and sale of a Mongolian dinosaur fossil. The author mentioned a fossil show held annually at the Denver Merchandise Mart. A fossil show sounds almost as much fun as a train show. Have you ever gone to the fossil show, FRiend Lee?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 07, 2013, 02:06:45 pm
I don't ordinarily pay much attention to the ads in The New Yorker, but in the Jan. 28 issue I noticed an ad for ceiling fans. The company's name is Big Ass Fans.  ;D

The ad is on page 33.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 07, 2013, 02:31:53 pm
The profile of Dr. Oz in the Feb. 4 is pretty good. It's mystifying that a doctor with his credentials would present what sound like snake-oil sellers as credible guests on his show. I've long mistrusted Oz, if nothing else for his ubiquitous presence in Facebook ads hawking questionable weight-loss treatments.

Still, the article failed to penetrate Oz's seemingly blithe self-assurance or explain his willingness to endanger his well-founded professional reputation. You're left still not really understanding why he does that. Maybe it's just not possible to explain any further.

 

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 07, 2013, 02:50:41 pm
The profile of Dr. Oz in the Feb. 4 is pretty good. It's mystifying that a doctor with his credentials would present what sound like snake-oil sellers as credible guests on his show. I've long mistrusted Oz, if nothing else for his ubiquitous presence in Facebook ads hawking questionable weight-loss treatments.

Still, the article failed to penetrate Oz's seemingly blithe self-assurance or explain his willingness to endanger his well-founded professional reputation. You're left still not really understanding why he does that. Maybe it's just not possible to explain any further.

I've had a chance to read only the first few pages of that article, and it was interesting to me to learn about his background (I was a bit baffled by the comparison to George Clooney; I don't see that at all  ;D ). In general I don't trust "celebrity doctors."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 07, 2013, 03:51:42 pm
Last night I sat by the fire and read about the female mass shooter Amy Bishop (http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2013-02-11&email-analytics=newsletter130211p070#folio=070 if you're a subscriber). What a sad and yet compelling story, especially the part about her shooting her brother several years before the mass shooting. It's becoming increasingly clear that young people can develop this murderous tendency if genetics and environment go haywire.

I've also been reading about John Hinkley Jr., who shot Pres Reagan and Jim Brady. There are some intriguing conspiracy stories that I was not aware of before about his father's friendship with the Bush dynasty. Bush was running against Reagan for the presidency at the time.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 07, 2013, 07:05:57 pm
In this week's issue (it's the double anniversary issue) there is also a review of Steven Soderburgh's Side Effects which opens tomorrow. I'm interested in seeing the movie, not least because it has Rooney Mara (sister to Kate) and other good actors in it. The review mostly covers Soderburgh's body of work and his announced retirement from filmmaking. That would be sad but he has some exciting plans for the future.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 08, 2013, 11:22:51 pm
I finished the Dr. Oz profile today. Seems like he's turned into a bit of a snake oil peddlar himself. Too bad.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on February 09, 2013, 01:34:53 pm
I finished the Dr. Oz profile today. Seems like he's turned into a bit of a snake oil peddlar himself. Too bad.  :(

His is a familiar face on Facebook, in ads hawking unrealistic diet plans. For example, I just went there now and quickly saw this:

Dr.Óz Diet: Lose 27 lbs Monthly

(http://creative.ak.fbcdn.net/hads-ak-prn1/s110x80/735313_6007245457704_12587_n.png)

Its beén called the hollywood diét and it rapidly melts belly fat like nothing else ! DrÓz


(Not sure why all those accents aigus appeared.)

Rachel Ray is on there a lot, too, in ads claiming she lost tons of weight with this one little secret.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 11, 2013, 02:52:40 pm
Over lunch today I started to read Jon Lee Anderson's article in the Jan. 28 issue about Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. The part early in the article about the rise and fall of Caracas really made me sad.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 18, 2013, 11:29:43 am
Last night I sat by the fire and read about the female mass shooter Amy Bishop.

I read that article over the weekend. What a tragedy.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 20, 2013, 02:17:09 pm
Today I finished Ian Frazier's article on Staten Island after Sandy. I was struck by his use of a comment about the beeping of trucks backing up as a kind of refrain.

Of course I've also greatly enjoyed Kelefa Sanneh's article on Islay scotch. I'm sure I'll never find any Bruichladdich in a Pennsylvania liquor store (the sale of spirituous liquors is a state monopoly here).

(Feb. 11 and 18 issue, the annual anniversary issue)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 20, 2013, 03:30:14 pm
Of course I've also greatly enjoyed Kelefa Sanneh's article on Islay scotch. I'm sure I'll never find any Bruichladdich in a Pennsylvania liquor store (the sale of spirituous liquors is a state monopoly here).

I'm reading that article too. I'll start hunting around. There's a British pub here that boasts the largest collection of single malt Scotches in the US. I'd check there but I heard they were shut down recently for license violations.  >:(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 20, 2013, 04:24:15 pm
I'm reading that article too. I'll start hunting around. There's a British pub here that boasts the largest collection of single malt Scotches in the US. I'd check there but I heard they were shut down recently for license violations.  >:(

We must remember that it's Eye-lah and Brook-laddy.  ;D

Incidentally, I've been wondering about Kelefa Sanneh since I started seeing his by-line in The New Yorker. I forgot that he wrote the article about Jeremiah Wright.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelefa_Sanneh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelefa_Sanneh)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 28, 2013, 01:47:24 pm
At lunch today I read Dexter Filkins' article in the Feb. 25 issue. I'm glad I did; I didn't know that in the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah is fighting for the Assad regime.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 28, 2013, 07:02:09 pm
I've had to go back and read some of the issues from over the holidays because I was too busy and crazy to read them when they came out. I'm currently reading "Utopian for Beginners" by Joshua Foer in the Dec 24-Dec 31 double issue. It's great...I love any article about words, language, and linguists. This issue also has "Recall of the Wild" by Elizabeth Kolbert and an article about being gay in Africa.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 04, 2013, 09:53:49 pm
I'm reading that article too. I'll start hunting around. There's a British pub here that boasts the largest collection of single malt Scotches in the US. I'd check there but I heard they were shut down recently for license violations.  >:(

Pints Pub has reopened; yay! I was there yesterday and noticed that they have not one but four Bruichladdiches on the menu. I was attending a meeting that had a test as part of it, and was driving besides so I wasn't able to partake. Here's the website for the place: http://www.pintspub.com/ (http://www.pintspub.com/)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 04, 2013, 11:32:00 pm
Pints Pub has reopened; yay! I was there yesterday and noticed that they have not one but four Bruichladdiches on the menu. I was attending a meeting that had a test as part of it, and was driving besides so I wasn't able to partake. Here's the website for the place: http://www.pintspub.com/ (http://www.pintspub.com/)

I must remember this place next time I get to Denver. I don't know when that might be.  :( After a visit there, you and OCD might have to carry me out.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 04, 2013, 11:49:31 pm
It wouldn't be the first time we have done that! Looking forward to tipping a glass with you at Pints Pub some day. I was reading their web site and they make a tall claim: the most single malt Scotches this side of Edinburgh!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 05, 2013, 10:16:35 am
It wouldn't be the first time we have done that! Looking forward to tipping a glass with you at Pints Pub some day. I was reading their web site and they make a tall claim: the most single malt Scotches this side of Edinburgh!

As Jack Benny used to say, "Now, cut that out!"  :laugh:  You and OCD have never carried me out of anywhere!  :laugh:

(That I can remember. ...)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 05, 2013, 11:25:32 am
I remember him saying that! I knew I should have reworded that statement. It wouldn't be the first time OCD and I have carried someone out of a bar. And the last time, I believe it was the Mint Bar in Sheridan, Wyo!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 05, 2013, 01:04:43 pm
I remember him saying that! I knew I should have reworded that statement. It wouldn't be the first time OCD and I have carried someone out of a bar. And the last time, I believe it was the Mint Bar in Sheridan, Wyo!

Well, that wasn't me. On Roundup I walked back to the motel under my own power.  ;D

Maybe it was that fella who downed all the liquid marijuanas.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 11, 2013, 10:31:43 am
I keep thinking about this article from last October 22:

 Michael Specter on the benefits of bacteria (http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2012-10-22&email-analytics=newsletter121022p032#folio=032)

and wondering, are we individuals who harbor colonies of bacteria, or are we bacteria universes, with human beings just the packaging or infrastructure?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 11, 2013, 02:07:46 pm
Today I finished the March 4 article about Steven Zeitels, the phonosurgeon who has treated Julie Andrews, Adele, Steven Tyler, and Roger Daltry.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 13, 2013, 12:09:36 pm
and wondering, are we individuals who harbor colonies of bacteria, or are we bacteria universes, with human beings just the packaging or infrastructure?

Depends on whom you ask: us or the bacteria.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 19, 2013, 09:37:00 am
I just started the article on the horrible attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi.  :(

I didn't know he was once a principal dancer there, but it makes sense.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 19, 2013, 10:40:20 am
You're braver than me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 19, 2013, 01:28:01 pm
I'm also reading the article about Aaron Swartz, the computer genius who ended his own life.

I'm reading a lot of downers right now.  :-\

I can understand Swartz's feelings that his life was an imposition on the planet, and his dislike of imposing on other people, even people like librarians, who exist to be imposed upon (because their job is to help people find things).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Monika on March 19, 2013, 01:35:02 pm
I´ve read that article too and have watched a number of youtube videos with Aaron.
He was great and a true visionary.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 20, 2013, 05:55:46 pm
Here's an article about fact-checking the inaccuracies Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" series in the New Yorker, which of course ironically is known for scrupulous fact-checking and accuracy. Among other things, it mentions that William Shawn himself scrawled "How know?" about a scene describing solo actions by someone who'd been murdered.

Needless to say, the standards for nonfiction applied to ICB would not hold up today, at the New Yorker or a lot of other places.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/03/fact_checking_in_cold_blood_what_the_new_yorker_s_fact_checker_missed.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/03/fact_checking_in_cold_blood_what_the_new_yorker_s_fact_checker_missed.html)



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 21, 2013, 01:03:20 pm
I'm now reading the profile of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 11). This article is a good illustration of why I like The New Yorker: the profiles. Even now, 20 years after she joined the Supremes, I really knew nothing about her background until I began to read this article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 22, 2013, 12:56:27 pm
It's interesting to see the similarities and contasts between Ginsburg and O'Connor. O'Connor was just interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air show in connection with her autobiography. O'Connor was a difficult interview subject for Terry Gross. She refused to answer several questions, including some that seemed totally innocuous.

I'm reading the profile of Australia's mining heiress. It's kind of squalid, I mean sordid.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 22, 2013, 01:40:01 pm
I just started the article on the horrible attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi.  :(

I didn't know he was once a principal dancer there, but it makes sense.

I've finished this article, and it turned into a real rip-snorter. Who needs Black Swan when you've got this real-life drama at the Bolshoi? This story has it all: flamboyant, jealous, temperamental artists, fat Russian oligarchs who are "patrons" of ballerinas (like something right out of the 19th century), money, conspiracy, violence. It's like an episode of Murder, She Wrote only without Jessica Fletcher!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 04, 2013, 01:00:40 pm
OK, how annoying is this? As difficult as it is for me to keep up with my New Yorkers, yesterday I finished one issue, and today I forgot to bring the next issue with me to read at lunch!  >:(  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 06, 2013, 10:19:11 am
OK, how annoying is this? As difficult as it is for me to keep up with my New Yorkers, yesterday I finished one issue, and today I forgot to bring the next issue with me to read at lunch!  >:(  :laugh:

"Yesterday, I finished one issue" ... words that, sadly, I never hear myself say! I read an article or two, but they never get "finished" until I get into my most ruthless possible mood and go through the pile and start tossing.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 06, 2013, 10:21:34 am
David Sedaris' piece in the newish one is pretty good. I mean, he's never NOT good. This particular subject isn't as exciting as some -- it's about the red tape involved when he and Hugh renew their permanent-resident status in England -- so maybe his life is just so settled down and successful that he's running short on experiences with comedic possibilities. But I did LOL a few times, as usual.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 06, 2013, 10:40:18 am
I like my friends' diverse styles of reading TNY. Jeff scrupulously studies while Katherine only selects the cream of the crop to read. My style used to be to start at the very beginning and read through to the end, or when the new issue comes, drop the old one like a hot potato and just finish it if I got laid off or sick. After a major election is over, I usually toss the stack of older issues, sending them to my mom's retirement home or the hospital waiting room. Lately, however, I just carry my issue around in my briefcase until it's obsolete, never having time to crack it open. I read specific stories online sometimes.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 06, 2013, 12:04:00 pm
David Sedaris' piece in the newish one is pretty good. I mean, he's never NOT good. This particular subject isn't as exciting as some -- it's about the red tape involved when he and Hugh renew their permanent-resident status in England -- so maybe his life is just so settled down and successful that he's running short on experiences with comedic possibilities. But I did LOL a few times, as usual.

Yes, I jumped ahead and read that article, too. He's one of the authors I always turn to immediately.

For all his pissing and moaning, it still sounds to me like it's easier to get permanent residency status in England than it is in the U.S.

Of course, when I say that I've finished an issue, that sometimes means that I've exhausted the articles in it that I'm interested in reading. Sometimes I pass the magazine on with half the contents unread by me.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 07, 2013, 03:50:56 pm
Talk about ripped from the headlines.  :-\

I'm currently reading the April 1 story about allegations of decades-long sexual abuse of boys by teachers at the elite Horace Mann private school. I was only about a page and a half into the article when it all began to sound eerily familiar. Then it hit me: this was essentially the plot from an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit that aired this past fall.

The similarity went so far as to have a character in the show, a teacher at a school for boys that was being investigated for decades of sexual abuse, say pretty much what one actual teacher from the Horace Mann School actually said: "Everything I did was in warmth and affection and not a power play. In those days it was very spontaneous and casual, and it did not seem really wrong."

According to The New Yorker, an article about the allegations of abuse at Horace Mann was published in the Times Magazine last June, and there was a follow-up story in the Times itself. Allegations of improper behavior went as far back as the 1960s and continued into the 1990s, and the headmaster and the board of trustees did absolutely nothing. The plot of the L&O: SVU episode followed the story of the events concerning the Horace Mann School almost exactly.

(And this all goes to show that the cover-up of abuse of minors is not limited to the Roman Catholic Church.)

ETA: It also goes to show that an elite education isn't everything. One individual discussed obviously had the elite private school education at Horace Mann, and then also at the New England Conservatory of Music, and he still ended up as a hustler ("escort in a gay bar") and a porn performer (never having seen him--that I know of  ;)  ::) --I won't call him a "porn star.")
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 20, 2013, 10:11:36 pm
I highly recommend John Le Carre's account in the April 15 issue of his experiences during the filming of the movie version of his novel The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, with Richard Burton.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 25, 2013, 01:21:10 pm
Today at lunch I enjoyed the article in the April 15 issue about the improbably named puppeteer Basil Twist--whose name really is Basil Twist; in fact, he's Basil Twist III.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 11, 2013, 03:48:56 pm
That was a great article, Jeff. This week's issue (the one with the two moms on the cover reading their Mother's Day Card) has an article about our governor, John Hickenlooper. It's not really very well written and it overdramatizes his latest crisis associated with prisons, but it's worth a scan.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 18, 2013, 10:58:45 am
Finally finished the April 29 books article comparing writing about the Depression to writing about the recent recession. Fascinating. I'm going to type my favorite passage, partly to help myself commit it to memory:

"The Great Depression left people more helpless and isolated -- Agee's sanctified tenant farmers are passionate and alone -- but the new depression seems to have produced less hope. Over the years, the structures that were built during the Roosevelt Republic to secure Americans against another catastrophe -- banking regulations, collective bargaining, federal credit, business-labor coöperation [ ;D] public education, a scrupulous press -- have steadily eroded. So has the public's faith in institutions, and the idea of sure upward movement through each successive generation. Americans have been thrown back on their oldest belief of all, the cult of the individual. Its current deities, objects of worshipful fascination, are celebrities and entrepreneurs who preach the native philosophy of mind-cure, handed down from Emerson by way of Napoleon Hill to Oprah Winfrey and Timothy Ferris: if you can think it, you can do it -- you are responsible for your own success, your own failure."


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 18, 2013, 11:26:37 am
Hmmm, I'm definitely going to have to read that article! I currently hold similar views but am more hopeful because of the new tools, chiefly the Internet, that make individual influence and power more accessible to the general population.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 19, 2013, 01:49:33 am
Hmmm, I'm definitely going to have to read that article! I currently hold similar views but am more hopeful because of the new tools, chiefly the Internet, that make individual influence and power more accessible to the general population.

Me too, and I think it helps. Look at what has happened in the Middle East. Or even in the U.S., you can see instances where the freedoms of the internet have helped unleash opinions that might have been repressed by the previous rigid gatekeepers -- and I say this knowing that the gatekeepers were mass media and I was essentially a (low on the ladder) one of them. The internet has opened the door to many more opinions, and that's ultimately liberating for all. But it's still too slow a process for my taste.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on June 09, 2013, 05:55:27 pm
Annie P. has a story in the new fiction issue.  It's titled "Rough Deeds".

She even uses the word "whoreson". 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 17, 2013, 01:39:49 pm
Annie P. has a story in the new fiction issue.  It's titled "Rough Deeds".

What's with Western writers and tire irons? Sherman Alexie mentions one in his story in the same issue as A.P.'s story.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 23, 2013, 01:11:19 pm
I enjoyed Deborah Friedell's short article in the June 24 issue on the origins of Superman. I'm glad I got to read it before I saw Man of Steel last night.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 25, 2013, 06:16:57 am
Finally finished the Larissa McFarquahar (sp?) piece on suicide in Japan. Fascinating and genuinely enlightening. Took me forever, since I'm traveling and my son was reading it, too, but worth it.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 25, 2013, 09:10:36 am
Finally finished the Larissa McFarquahar (sp?) piece on suicide in Japan. Fascinating and genuinely enlightening. Took me forever, since I'm traveling and my son was reading it, too, but worth it.

I read that over lunch yesterday, I found it fascinating as much for its description of the life of a Buddhist monk and priest as for what it had to say about suicide in Japan.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 25, 2013, 09:28:09 am
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 25, 2013, 09:55:35 am
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

That part really surprised me. And why do the parents do it?  ???

Quote
The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.

Haven't read that one yet. Groopman's articles are usually quite good, in my view.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 27, 2013, 05:09:01 am
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

I found that part interesting, too, because I know an American hikikomori -- a relative of my ex-husband's, an intelligent young man in his mid-20s who won a National Merit Scholarship and then lost it because he fought with a teacher and refused to turn in a paper. So he never attended MIT as planned, eventually did attend a few semesters in Texas (where the family lives), but didn't come close to finishing. He lives at home and sits at his computer. He has never had a job, a driver's license or a girlfriend and, from what I gather, has few or no friends, at least in real life. His behavior has mystified the extended family for years, but I've always just assumed he has major depression or some similar illness. His parents don't talk about it, so nobody knows whether he's getting treated or what.

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The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.

As someone who had a parent who died of Alzheimer's and who also writes about it from time to time at my job, I was a little disappointed. It laid out the schools of thought but, like conflicting schools of thought over weight loss and other medical mysteries, it didn't really point to any clear new direction in treatment or prevention. I just hope the researchers keep busily working on it, but from what I hear -- for example, from the head of the Alzheimer's department at the Mayo Clinic or an official at the Alzheimer's Association -- research money is getting scarcer and scarcer, even as cases, of course, are ever increasing.

I like Groopman, too, although to be honest when it comes to medical writers for the NYer I prefer Atul Gawande.



 




 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 27, 2013, 09:31:47 am
I found that part interesting, too, because I know an American hikikomori -- a relative of my ex-husband's, an intelligent young man in his mid-20s who won a National Merit Scholarship and then lost it because he fought with a teacher and refused to turn in a paper. So he never attended MIT as planned, eventually did attend a few semesters in Texas (where the family lives), but didn't come close to finishing. He lives at home and sits at his computer. He has never had a job, a driver's license or a girlfriend and, from what I gather, has few or no friends, at least in real life. His behavior has mystified the extended family for years, but I've always just assumed he has major depression or some similar illness. His parents don't talk about it, so nobody knows whether he's getting treated or what.

As a nonparent, I probably have no business commenting, but it seems to me that these are situations where the whole family needs "treatment" of some sort. After all, the parents are "enabling" by providing the hikikomori with food and a bed and a roof over his head, not to mention the electricity to run that computer. I'm sure that sounds harsh, but. ...

Quote
As someone who had a parent who died of Alzheimer's and who also writes about it from time to time at my job, I was a little disappointed. It laid out the schools of thought but, like conflicting schools of thought over weight loss and other medical mysteries, it didn't really point to any clear new direction in treatment or prevention. I just hope the researchers keep busily working on it, but from what I hear -- for example, from the head of the Alzheimer's department at the Mayo Clinic or an official at the Alzheimer's Association -- research money is getting scarcer and scarcer, even as cases, of course, are ever increasing.

I'm only half way through--no time to read yesterday--but my impression so far is because right now there are no clear new directions in treatment of prevention. That's unfortunate, but my impression from what I've read so far is that we need to learn more about the plaques and so forth and how they form and how they work to creat the disease before we can treat it or preven it--but maybe I'll have a different impression when I get to finish the article. From what I've read so far, the biggest revelation in the article--because I see so much about the use of them in my work--is that donepizil and memantine don't really do much.

Quote
I like Groopman, too, although to be honest when it comes to medical writers for the NYer I prefer Atul Gawande.

Agreed. Plus I've seen Dr. Gawande on the Today show, and I think he's hot.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 30, 2013, 08:43:41 am
As a nonparent, I probably have no business commenting, but it seems to me that these are situations where the whole family needs "treatment" of some sort. After all, the parents are "enabling" by providing the hikikomori with food and a bed and a roof over his head, not to mention the electricity to run that computer. I'm sure that sounds harsh, but. ...

I guess it comes down to what causes people to become hikokomori. That's why I say the son seems to need treatment: diagnosis, medication, counseling, or whatever. Let's assume he's got depression, an actual clinical disease. Are the parents "enabling" by caring for him and providing a home? Without their support, would he pull himself up by his bootstraps -- that is, are they in some sense making him worse by sheltering him from the responsibilities of life -- or would he just go untreated and perhaps face some worse fate -- suicide, homelessness? I don't know, to be honest, but I do know that if the case of disabling physiological disease, others are far less likely to criticize a family for supporting the afflicted, or blame them for "enabling" the person to be sick.

Quote
I'm only half way through--no time to read yesterday--but my impression so far is because right now there are no clear new directions in treatment of prevention. That's unfortunate, but my impression from what I've read so far is that we need to learn more about the plaques and so forth and how they form and how they work to creat the disease before we can treat it or preven it--but maybe I'll have a different impression when I get to finish the article. From what I've read so far, the biggest revelation in the article--because I see so much about the use of them in my work--is that donepizil and memantine don't really do much.

Right. I'm not really blaming Groopman for failing to provide any earth-shattering news if there isn't any to report. But without it, the piece becomes simply a look at how things are going with Alzheimer's research. An informative piece, to be sure, but more like a good, in-depth newspaper story than groundbreaking magazine journalism.

Quote
Agreed. Plus I've seen Dr. Gawande on the Today show, and I think he's hot.  ;D

Agreed on that, too!



That whole issue of the New Yorker is packed with good stuff. Yesterday, I read Jill Lepore's fascinating look at the history of privacy, secrecy and mystery. The perspective she takes is as philosophical as it is historical. Malcolm Gladwell's review of a biography is good, too, mainly because the man profiled was intriguing. Now I'm reading the short piece about the original artist and writer of "Superman," also good.

Always enjoy Anthony Lane, haven't yet gotten to the review of Kanye West's album but will probably at least skim it because I like Kanye. I'll probably skip the Gang of Eight thing and, most likely, the Thomas McGuane story (I think he's good and all, just not really my cup of tea).

One disappointing part, as is so often the case, was the Shouts and Murmurs column. It seems like there'd be much better ways to skewer the Boy Scouts' homophobia, and this seemed slightly tasteless besides.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 30, 2013, 04:44:07 pm
I guess it comes down to what causes people to become hikokomori. That's why I say the son seems to need treatment: diagnosis, medication, counseling, or whatever. Let's assume he's got depression, an actual clinical disease. Are the parents "enabling" by caring for him and providing a home? Without their support, would he pull himself up by his bootstraps -- that is, are they in some sense making him worse by sheltering him from the responsibilities of life -- or would he just go untreated and perhaps face some worse fate -- suicide, homelessness? I don't know, to be honest, but I do know that if the case of disabling physiological disease, others are far less likely to criticize a family for supporting the afflicted, or blame them for "enabling" the person to be sick.

I guess I still see it as "enabling" if they aren't doing anything to get help for the hikikomori. Maybe that's not strictly speaking considered "enabling" behavior, but that's how I see it--one thing to provide that kind of support for someone who is making an effort at recovery, another thing altogether if they're just letting their kid go on that way indefinitely. And if they are just allowing their kid to drift and not make any effort to recover--well, that's why I say the whole family needs therapy.


Quote
That whole issue of the New Yorker is packed with good stuff.

I agree.

Quote
I'll probably skip the Gang of Eight thing.

That's my "duty article" in this issue. I'm reading it because I think it's probably important and good for me and all that.

And there is one important reminder that I'm taking away from that article: While the media tends to focus mainly, I think, on interparty conflict, the article reminds me how much conflict and rivalry can exist within each party's caucus.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 01, 2013, 09:41:26 am
I guess I still see it as "enabling" if they aren't doing anything to get help for the hikikomori. Maybe that's not strictly speaking considered "enabling" behavior, but that's how I see it--one thing to provide that kind of support for someone who is making an effort at recovery, another thing altogether if they're just letting their kid go on that way indefinitely. And if they are just allowing their kid to drift and not make any effort to recover--well, that's why I say the whole family needs therapy.

Oh, I agree with the getting help part. If they're not actively seeking treatment of whatever kind, they're not just enabling but ignoring a mental-health problem, which is on par with ignoring a physiological illness.

Quote
That's my "duty article" in this issue. I'm reading it because I think it's probably important and good for me and all that.

And there is one important reminder that I'm taking away from that article: While the media tends to focus mainly, I think, on interparty conflict, the article reminds me how much conflict and rivalry can exist within each party's caucus.

My "duty articles" are the ones I never quite get around to. Finally, when I weed through a stack of old issues, I rip out the duty articles and staple them and keep them in a pile and still never get around to them. If all goes well, by the time I go through the pile again there'll be a new president in office, the issues will have changed or been resolved, and I can throw the duty article into the recycling.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 01, 2013, 10:05:23 am
My "duty articles" are the ones I never quite get around to. Finally, when I weed through a stack of old issues, I rip out the duty articles and staple them and keep them in a pile and still never get around to them. If all goes well, by the time I go through the pile again there'll be a new president in office, the issues will have changed or been resolved, and I can throw the duty article into the recycling.

 ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 11, 2013, 08:43:56 am
The Jill Lepore piece in the July 8/15 issue is another gem. She alternates between accounts of her mother's life, her own, and that of Jane Franklin, Ben's sister, to suggest ideas about how women's family responsibilities, historically, have constrained their lives and limited their potential achievements.

I also started reading the one about voting rights in the South and the one about an epidemic of self-immolation in Tibet. Both important subjects, both with interesting openings, but both have gradually wandered into duty-article territory. I haven't quite given up on them, though.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 11, 2013, 09:16:20 am
The Jill Lepore piece in the July 8/15 issue is another gem. She alternates between accounts of her mother's life, her own, and that of Jane Franklin, Ben's sister, to suggest ideas about how women's family responsibilities, historically, have constrained their lives and limited their potential achievements.

I also started reading the one about voting rights in the South and the one about an epidemic of self-immolation in Tibet. Both important subjects, both with interesting openings, but both have gradually wandered into duty-article territory. I haven't quite given up on them, though.

Jill Lepore is always a good read.

The voting rights article was not a duty article for me, but for some reason right now it was very depressing to be reminded of the things that were done within my own lifetime by Americans down South just to prevent other Americans from exercising their right to vote.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 11, 2013, 09:37:37 am
The voting rights article was not a duty article for me, but for some reason right now it was very depressing to be reminded of the things that were done within my own lifetime by Americans down South just to prevent other Americans from exercising their right to vote.  :(

Depressing and shocking. Even though I've watched Eyes on the Prize, and heard about those days time and time again, every new account -- and this piece includes a number of incidents I hadn't heard about before -- is sort of freshly astonishing. What racists got away with back then. How could people -- I don't mean just racist murderers, but the police and judges and juries that ignored or acquitted them -- live with themselves?

And I certainly didn't realize how blithe the Kennedy Administration was about the situation until it became internationally awkward. I just assumed, or felt I had been told, that the Kennedy Administration considered civil rights a moral priority.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 11, 2013, 10:43:13 am
Depressing and shocking. Even though I've watched Eyes on the Prize, and heard about those days time and time again, every new account -- and this piece includes a number of incidents I hadn't heard about before -- is sort of freshly astonishing.

I can't say why, but as I was reading this I kept thinking things like, "Wait, I was 6 when that happened," or, "Wait, I was 7 that year." This isn't "history," this is "current events"--"current" to my own lifetime.

Quote
What racists got away with back then. How could people -- I don't mean just racist murderers, but the police and judges and juries that ignored or acquitted them -- live with themselves?

Got me. Another thing I was thinking as I read it was that these people must have been operating from some very deep-seated fear--fear of what might happen if they lost control because they knew that in so many places they were in the minority.

Quote
And I certainly didn't realize how blithe the Kennedy Administration was about the situation until it became internationally awkward. I just assumed, or felt I had been told, that the Kennedy Administration considered civil rights a moral priority.

Me, too. I guess they did once it became internationally awkward.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 11, 2013, 10:42:31 pm
I can't say why, but as I was reading this I kept thinking things like, "Wait, I was 6 when that happened," or, "Wait, I was 7 that year." This isn't "history," this is "current events"--"current" to my own lifetime.

Mine too, since you and I are the same age. It's mind-boggling.

When I lived in the South, I was always amazed whenever I would see two older people -- one black, one white -- conversing cordially. I would think, wow, they've really managed to change with the times. Now I think maybe they were just both socialized to be polite, and that there still might have been plenty of racism involved, underneath the surface. Thanks for that enlightenment, Paula Deen!

Not that there's not racism in the North, as well. There is, but it just takes a somewhat different form: more segregated, more about "the other."

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 12, 2013, 09:09:19 am
When I lived in the South, I was always amazed whenever I would see two older people -- one black, one white -- conversing cordially. I would think, wow, they've really managed to change with the times. Now I think maybe they were just both socialized to be polite, and that there still might have been plenty of racism involved, underneath the surface.

I think you may well be right about the people being socialized to be polite. Your comment reminds me of my experiences when I went to graduate school in Williamsburg, Virginia, now more than 30 (  :o  ) years ago. As a Yankee who grew up in the Sixties and Seventies I had been "socialized" to expect black people to have chips on their shoulders toward white people. But, as best I can remember after all these years, I never met a single black person while I was in graduate school who acted that way. Everyone was friendly.

(I write this recognizing that Williamsburg is a tourist town, where it's in everyone's interest to act friendly toward outsiders and visitors, but, still. ...)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 12, 2013, 10:08:39 am
I think you may well be right about the people being socialized to be polite. Your comment reminds me of my experiences when I went to graduate school in Williamsburg, Virginia, now more than 30 (  :o  ) years ago. As a Yankee who grew up in the Sixties and Seventies I had been "socialized" to expect black people to have chips on their shoulders toward white people. But, as best I can remember after all these years, I never met a single black person while I was in graduate school who acted that way. Everyone was friendly.

(I write this recognizing that Williamsburg is a tourist town, where it's in everyone's interest to act friendly toward outsiders and visitors, but, still. ...)

I had the same exact experience in New Orleans.

Now and then I did encounter some fairly shocking racism by white people, though -- strangers like store owners or cab drivers who would make racist comments to me in a comradely way, I guess assuming I would agree. I had never experienced that in Minnesota, but then again, Minnesota at the time was about 95 percent white, whereas NOLA was 65 percent black. White Minnesotans had less reason to spout hate speech.

When looking for our first apartment, I would call about a listing and, among other questions, ask the person on the phone what kind of neighborhood it was in. What I meant was, is it a quiet residential street or a more urban setting, are there lots of cute little restaurants and coffee shops, is it near a park or the river. They would answer something like, "Well, it's mixed." I stopped asking.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 29, 2013, 01:30:38 pm
I just finished the July 22 article about British egg collectors. Weird. I knew the Brits were nuts about birds, but. ... Weird.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 31, 2013, 01:39:51 pm
I was fascinated by the July 29 article about Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), an African American actor who had great success in Europe, and his daughter Luranah (1860-1932), an opera signer who apparently would have sung at Bayreuth if she hadn't gotten sick. What really struck me, however, was the note that another of Ira Aldridge's daughters, Amanda, a singer, composer, and teacher, taught no less than Paul Robeson and Philadelphia's own beloved Marian Anderson.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 18, 2013, 04:16:14 pm
Over supper last night I finished Ariel Levy's Aug. 5 article about the Steubenville, OH, rape case and the woman who blogged about it.

OT, but are teenagers stupider today than in my day, or have advances in technology just made it easier for them to exhibit the same level of stupidity that was always there?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 19, 2013, 09:39:52 am
It took me days, but I finally finished the long piece about civil asset forfeiture in Aug 12-19 issue. It sounds like a duty article, but it's actually fascinating and horrifying. It will shake your faith in the United States. A friend had something similar happen to him -- on a much smaller scale -- so I know how widespread this seemingly unconstitutional yet widely "legal" practice is.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 19, 2013, 11:39:35 am
It took me days, but I finally finished the long piece about civil asset forfeiture in Aug 12-19 issue. It sounds like a duty article, but it's actually fascinating and horrifying. It will shake your faith in the United States. A friend had something similar happen to him -- on a much smaller scale -- so I know how widespread this seemingly unconstitutional yet widely "legal" practice is.

That was a very scary article to read.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 19, 2013, 01:36:47 pm
So, over lunch today I read Robert Gottlieb's (Aug. 12 and 19) review of Boris Kachka's Hothouse, about Roger Straus and his publishing house, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Clearly to have had a career in publishing, I picked both the wrong ancestors and the wrong half of the twentieth century in which to be born.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 20, 2013, 11:16:13 am
I didn't read that review but I read the one in the Wall Street Journal last Saturday and concluded that Hothouse is a must-read!

I just look longingly at my New Yorkers covers these days. Between spiffing up the house to sell, my rental housing, and a couple of groups I am member of that have textbook assignments, and my own book I am writing, I don't even have time to peruse the Hamley's Saddle Catalogue! But I did leaf through the latest issue briefly and was delighted that almost every cartoon was quite funny. I even LOLed a couple of times! Is it just when you're in the right mood that many of the cartoons seem funny, or is it something they do at the magazine?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 21, 2013, 01:27:11 am
I even LOLed a couple of times! Is it just when you're in the right mood that many of the cartoons seem funny, or is it something they do at the magazine?

Yeah, some weeks the cartoon editor says, "Know what? Let's use funny ones this week!"  :laugh:

I actually feel that way sometimes, but about the written content. Some issues I find half a dozen pieces that look really enticing. Other issues, everything looks meh or "duty." Most, of course, are in between.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 21, 2013, 09:12:43 am
I actually feel that way sometimes, but about the written content. Some issues I find half a dozen pieces that look really enticing. Other issues, everything looks meh or "duty." Most, of course, are in between.

Yup, I feel exactly the same way. Some weeks it seems there is nothing that I'm really interested in, others like I need to read the entire magazine from cover to cover.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 21, 2013, 01:24:34 pm
At lunch today I really enjoyed Ben McGrath's Aug. 12 and 19 story about women's professional softball.  :D

Makes me want to run right out to see A League of Their Own, which I've never seen.  :-\

Bull Durham, too. ...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 21, 2013, 04:45:11 pm
Makes me want to run right out to see A League of Their Own, which I've never seen.  :-\

I saw just yesterday that that was airing on some cable channel late at night. I was on my way to record a different show and thought about recording it, but didn't. I saw it when it came out, and didn't feel compelled to see it again. Maybe I'll read the article and change my mind.

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Bull Durham, too. ...

That I've seen, probably three times. Which means it's really good -- the only movie I've seen more than three times is, well, the one I saw 22 times.

I've said it before, but Kevin Costner is always enjoyable in light romantic comedies (less so in dramas).

But of course, BD isn't about women's professional softball.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on August 21, 2013, 06:28:18 pm
Makes me want to run right out to see A League of Their Own, which I've never seen.  :-\

I can highly recommend this film as a fun evening's entertainment.  A great film by Penny Marshall, with Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell (!), Tom Hanks, and Madonna, in a supporting role.  She plays "All the Way May" LOL.  With a bizarre cameo by Jon Lovitz. 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 21, 2013, 07:06:04 pm
I can highly recommend this film as a fun evening's entertainment.  A great film by Penny Marshall, with Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell (!), Tom Hanks, and Madonna, in a supporting role.  She plays "All the Way May" LOL.  With a bizarre cameo by Jon Lovitz. 

A League of Their Own has always struck me as a fun movie. It's just one of the myriad that I've somehow never gotten around to seeing.  :-\

I'm glad to have your recommendation, Paul. Thanks!  :)

(Jon Lovitz is always bizarre.  ;)  ;D )
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 27, 2013, 12:32:15 pm
Well, this is a first. I got a postcard from The New Yorker saying that their latest issue would reach me a week late. I wonder what happened.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 27, 2013, 01:15:45 pm
I got two issues within less than a week of each other! Maybe they're all busy getting ready for the New Yorker Festival.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 27, 2013, 02:26:45 pm
You've noticed that the interior has been redesigned?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 27, 2013, 03:41:26 pm
I found that quite jarring.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 27, 2013, 09:35:39 pm
I found that quite jarring.

It was quite a surprise, wasn't it?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 27, 2013, 10:34:12 pm
Yes! Those angle irons are...weird!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 03, 2013, 01:35:29 pm
Everyone must read Ariel Levy's Sept. 30 article about Edith Windsor and her lawsuit that brought down DOMA.

(Indicentally, I received no postcard, and none of my issues has been late.)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 14, 2013, 10:23:04 am
Oi, I'm sure behind in my issues now! I read hardly anything at all the entire week I was on vacation. Now here we are in the middle of October and I'm still reading the last issue from September (duty article about the Iranian military guy).  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 15, 2013, 11:00:08 pm
Ha! I'm still reading articles from 2012.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 16, 2013, 09:16:02 am
Ha! I'm still reading articles from 2012.

I don't have room to hold on to issues that long.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 16, 2013, 09:40:04 am
I don't have room to hold on to issues that long.  :-\

When the stacks start to tilt and slide off onto the floor, I go through and rip out the articles I still think are worth reading and throw out the rest of the magazine. That greatly reduce their volume. I staple each article separately, and keep the pile of articles handy. I grab one when I'm looking for something quick to read, or I stuff a little bunch in my purse for when I have to wait somewhere and my iPhone isn't getting a good signal.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 16, 2013, 10:46:38 am
I suppose it could be interesting to read political articles long "after the fact"--to see whether or not the author was correct.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 17, 2013, 09:16:22 am
Still trying to figure out if Bill Clinton did the right thing with the welfare program. Oh, and that "don't ask, don't tell" idea? That's idiotic. I sure hope they change that soon.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 22, 2013, 01:31:52 pm
I'd hardly say I'm catching up on my issues, but over lunch today I did enjoy the Oct. 14 issue article on Henry Wallace. Previous to reading this article, Wallace had been only a name to me, the vice president to FDR who came before Harry Truman. Now I know something about him.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 25, 2013, 06:10:05 pm
Just finishing Louis Menand's Norman Mailer profile. What a weird guy. Norman, I mean, not Louis.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 25, 2013, 07:56:41 pm
Just finishing Louis Menand's Norman Mailer profile. What a weird guy. Norman, I mean, not Louis.

Really? I figured you wouldn't get to that one for a few more years.  ;D

I"m reading it now. Yeah, Mailer sure was a strange character.

How come he never ended up in jail for stabbing his wife?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 25, 2013, 08:46:24 pm
I enjoyed the article about Alexander Payne and I thought it might inspire your son, Katherine.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 25, 2013, 11:51:51 pm
Really? I figured you wouldn't get to that one for a few more years.  ;D

 :laugh:

No, I always read a few articles right away. It's the rest of them, the more "dutiful" articles, that sit around until the next presidential administration.

Quote
How come he never ended up in jail for stabbing his wife?  ???

I know! On the contrary, it seems only to have enhanced his reputation!


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 25, 2013, 11:52:23 pm
I enjoyed the article about Alexander Payne and I thought it might inspire your son, Katherine.

I bet so! Thanks. I'll try to get him to read it.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 11, 2013, 02:22:17 pm
If you have not yet read Dana Goodyear's Nov. 4 article "Beastly Appetites," I recommend that you not read it over lunch.  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 11, 2013, 08:12:36 pm
If you have not yet read Dana Goodyear's Nov. 4 article "Beastly Appetites," I recommend that you not read it over lunch.  :P

I haven't. Thanks for the heads up! Is it worth reading away from the table?


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 11, 2013, 11:23:24 pm
I haven't. Thanks for the heads up! Is it worth reading away from the table?

Yes, I think so. I found it interesting. It does kind of go all over the place from the international politics of whale fishing to how people in many countries other than the U.S. eat horse meat, but I still found it interesting.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 12, 2013, 08:11:44 pm
Yes, I think so. I found it interesting. It does kind of go all over the place from the international politics of whale fishing to how people in many countries other than the U.S. eat horse meat, but I still found it interesting.

I often wonder about how different foods become acceptable in one country and not others.

I'm sure people in India are horrified that we eat cow.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 12, 2013, 09:47:51 pm
Jumping ahead to the Nov. 11 issue, I'm being charmed by the article about the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. I've never seen an episode of Doctor Who, but being generally culturally aware, I have heard of Doctor Who, and I have a general idea about the show. I've even heard of the Daleks, although until I started reading the article, I had no idea what a Dalek was. Or a Tardis. ...  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 12, 2013, 11:54:55 pm
I often wonder about how different foods become acceptable in one country and not others.

I'm sure people in India are horrified that we eat cow.

I think it has a lot to do with the lifestyles of the ancient people. For example, I have heard that kosher eating forbids eating pork because raising pigs requires staying in one place and the early nomadic Jewish people did not want to be rooted down. And if a social rule morphs into a religious rule, how much more effectively it can be enforced. Not sure how to explain the meat/milk issue, though.

I've always thought Catholics don't eat meat on Friday due to a slaughtering or selling schedule that meant that by Friday the (unrefrigerated) beef would go bad. Maybe fishermen came in late in the week.

As for cows in India, it makes sense that an animal that can provide milk, cream, cheese, butter and yogurt might be considered worth more alive than dead. Again, making the animal sacred is a stronger deterrent than just saying it's not fiscally prudent.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 13, 2013, 09:12:53 am
I've always thought Catholics don't eat meat on Friday due to a slaughtering or selling schedule that meant that by Friday the (unrefrigerated) beef would go bad. Maybe fishermen came in late in the week.


I had a friend who told me that the a decree was issued by the church to abstain from meat on Friday in an effort to help the fishing market, but I'm not sure how true that is, I've never researched it myself.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 13, 2013, 09:56:46 am

I had a friend who told me that the a decree was issued by the church to abstain from meat on Friday in an effort to help the fishing market, but I'm not sure how true that is, I've never researched it myself.

That sounds plausible. In any case, that religious food rules would have developed to serve some practical social function, rather than being handed down from God -- makes sense (to me).


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 13, 2013, 10:22:20 am
I had a friend who told me that the a decree was issued by the church to abstain from meat on Friday in an effort to help the fishing market, but I'm not sure how true that is, I've never researched it myself.

I've heard that, too, with a slight variation for post-Reformation England: It was to support the fishing industry, because it was from the fishing industry that the navy derived extra sailors needed in time of war.

But that certainly didn't apply to the Mediterranean world of the early first millenium. Perhaps it had something to do with the value of cattle and sheep for other things besides their meat (dairy products, wool), but I don't know where hogs would fit into that scheme. (Muslims also don't eat pork.)

I'm sure the idea of fasting on Friday because it's the day of the Crucifixion must factor into the justification somewhere, but why fish should be considered permissable on a fast day when other forms of animal protein aren't brings us full circle back to the question again, I guess.

The meat/milk prohibition is a puzzle, too, especially when you think of it in terms of not boiling a calf or kid in its mother's milk, but maybe that was originally some twist on not butchering a cow or sheep or goat while it was still good for dairy products. Today farmers send cows to slaughter when they're no longer good milk producers.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 13, 2013, 07:26:06 pm
The meat/milk prohibition is a puzzle, too, especially when you think of it in terms of not boiling a calf or kid in its mother's milk, but maybe that was originally some twist on not butchering a cow or sheep or goat while it was still good for dairy products. Today farmers send cows to slaughter when they're no longer good milk producers.

Well, that seems logical. If you have a cow and a calf, and you've killed the calf (for meat) and kept the cow (for dairy), then in terms of livestock value you've probably killed the wrong animal. Maybe originally they wanted to encourage people to give up the milk in favor of the meat until the calf was old enough to produce milk. Therefor, keep the two foods separate. Or sumpn' like that.  ???

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 13, 2013, 08:04:41 pm
Well, that seems logical. If you have a cow and a calf, and you've killed the calf (for meat) and kept the cow (for dairy), then in terms of livestock value you've probably killed the wrong animal. Maybe originally they wanted to encourage people to give up the milk in favor of the meat until the calf was old enough to produce milk. Therefor, keep the two foods separate. Or sumpn' like that.  ???

Not being a farm boy, I don't know about these things, but it just occurred to me to wonder whether, in primitive agricultural situations, if you take a calf away from a cow ("boil it in its mother's milk"), will the cow continue to produce milk if she doesn't have a calf to nurse?  ???

But to bring this back to The New Yorker, at lunch today I finished Jane Kramer's Nov. 4 article about the Italian chef Massimo Bottura. I always read Jane Kramer, and the part I liked best about this story wasn't about the chef himself but about the Italian mamas and nonnas that he learned from.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 13, 2013, 09:17:06 pm
Not being a farm boy, I don't know about these things, but it just occurred to me to wonder whether, in primitive agricultural situations, if you take a calf away from a cow ("boil it in its mother's milk"), will the cow continue to produce milk if she doesn't have a calf to nurse?  ???


Yes, if you continue to milk the cow after you've taken the calf away, she will continue to produce milk for a given amount of time. Then, in the farmer's language, you have to "freshen" her by breeding and having her produce another calf.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 14, 2013, 02:42:52 am
What Lee said about cows.



Re eating horses:
I grew up eating horse and donkey salami. Horse goulash also every now and then. Consequently I don't have a problem eating horse meat, albeit I don't do it now.
I don't like salami anymore at all, no matter the animal, and it never occurred to me to look for a horse butchery around here. I don't cook meat anyway. Meat products, like sausages, yes. But raw meat is totally yuck for me. All 'real' meat in our household is cooked by Jens. But a friend of ours had horse Bratwurst (fried sausage) at his BBQ some years ago, and I ate them.

Eating horse meat is by far not as common as the regular stuff like pork, beef, poultry, etc. I'd say it's somewhat rare, but not totally exotic (if that makes any sense, lol). Most common is the salami, which you can often get at regular butcheries. But for whole pieces of horse meat you have to go to specialized horse butcheries.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 14, 2013, 09:55:27 am
Yes, if you continue to milk the cow after you've taken the calf away, she will continue to produce milk for a given amount of time. Then, in the farmer's language, you have to "freshen" her by breeding and having her produce another calf.

Thanks, FRiend! Never imagined you know so much about cows.  :D

With your experience of chickens and what you know about cows, maybe you should have bought a house in the country where you could keep chickens and cows. You could have your own farm-fresh, organic, free-range eggs and milk whenever you wanted.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 14, 2013, 11:07:04 am
There are a lot of interesting links in this, but unlike the talented John Gallagher I'm only doing the first one, to the original news story. If you want to see some of the others, go to the Slate page.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2013/11/12/man_and_dog_vs_bears_and_the_wild_outrage_that_a_starving_man_ate_his_dog.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2013/11/12/man_and_dog_vs_bears_and_the_wild_outrage_that_a_starving_man_ate_his_dog.html)

Nov. 12 2013 11:00 AM
A Lost Hiker Ate His Dog To Survive. Why Does This Infuriate Us So?
By Rebecca Onion


Canadian outdoorsman Marco Lavoie spent three months stranded (http://www.torontosun.com/2013/11/01/man-apparently-ate-his-dog-to-stay-alive-in-quebec-woods) in the wilderness of the Nottaway River in Western Quebec. His plight began when a bear attacked and wrecked his boat, ravaging his supplies. Lavoie’s pet German shepherd apparently helped drive off the bear. Eventually Lavoie, starving and dehydrated, struck his dog on the head with a rock and ate him.

Lavoie’s actions earned him a torrent of criticism when he was finally found, 90 pounds thinner and dogless, earlier this month. While survival experts supported his decision, Lavoie told authorities immediately after the rescue that he wanted another dog, and this wish provoked particular ire. On the Huffington Post, for example, one commenter wrote “I would rather eat my own limbs than my dogs.”

I wrote a master’s thesis on dog-in-the-wilderness stories, so the Lavoie tale, and the outraged public reaction, piqued my interest. Of the “Man and Dog vs. the Wild” genre, popular at the turn of the 20th century, we mostly remember the works of Jack London, a writer so loved that a new biography merits a long review in the New Yorker. Parents may be familiar with the real-life tale of Balto the sled dog, who brought diphtheria medicine to snowbound Nome, Alaska in 1925 and has been memorialized in children’s books, animated movies, and a statue in Central Park.

But many of the “Man and Dog” stories from the 1900s to 1930s now reside on the lower layers of the cultural landfill. Ever heard of Arthur Bartlett’s Spunk: Leader of the Dog Team (1926)? Ernest Harold Baynes’ Polaris: The Story of an Eskimo Dog (1924)? Esther Birdsall Darling’s Baldy of Nome (1916)? Probably not. Even John Muir’s story “Stickeen,” about a dog who traversed a dangerous Alaskan glacier at the explorer’s side, is now relatively unfamiliar.

What all of these stories have in common is a careful balancing of ideals of wildness and domesticity. Historian Gail Bederman, whose book Manliness and Civilization shaped a lot of my ideas, describes key conflicts within turn-of-the-century ideas of white masculinity. At a time of urbanization and modernization, Bederman argues, people were obsessed by wildness and tameness. Fears of the bad effects of soft city living were joined by equal fears of descent into total “savagery.” (This was a time when eugenics and cultural chauvinism were quite mainstream.)

Summer camps, wilderness recreation, and cultural tourism on Southwestern reservations, all of which were newly popular, were inoculations against softness. What all of these activities had in common was the promise that participation might give you just enough of that taste of wildness to get you through your everyday “civilized” life. 

The dog in the wilderness was a perfect literary metaphor for the times. Dogs like London’s Buck in The Call of the Wild found their wild interior when they were forced up against the harsh realities of Alaskan travel. Dogs learned to fight, to eat wild game, and to persevere on long runs.

But through all of this exertion, they always loved their masters. Their wildness was never so complete as to foreclose that affection—and, indeed, many of the fights they engaged in were on behalf of those masters. Like Lavoie's dog, they stepped between the dangers of the great North and their masters' hides, turning "red in tooth and claw," but for a purpose. The dogs in these stories, like the men they accompanied into the wilderness, were brawny, with a solid core of morality.

In using dogs as transportation, white explorers, missionaries, and prospectors were adopting a practice of the native Alaskan, but they staunchly held that they were doing it better. Hudson Stuck, a missionary who wrote a memoir called Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled, argued that native Alaskans had never figured out how to run dogs in teams, and it took white immigrants to perfect the concept. (Musher Scotty Allan and game warden Frank Dufresne agreed, taking credit for the invention of the harnesses and sleds that made rapid dog transportation possible.)

Sourdoughs in any number of stories contrasted white kindness to animals with native cruelty. At a time when the anti-animal cruelty movement gained traction nationwide, the stories embraced this particular emblem of “civilization” as one that differentiated white from native in the frozen North.

In a 1905 story by Addison Powell in Alaska Magazine, “The Alaska Partners,” a prospector’s dog, Summit, is kidnapped by native Alaskans, who have covetously observed his hunting prowess. Summit’s fate,  “tied to a post with no food except an occasional raw salmon that a squaw threw to him,” shows the inferiority of native treatment. In Katherine Reed’s story “The Klondike Nugget,” published in Alaska Yukon Magazine in 1907, the heroic Prospector Dave’s very character is tied up in this difference. The narrator observes: “‘Go to Hell yourself but be white to your dogs’ was one of [Dave’s] favorite proverbs.”

Dog-eating, an extreme form of this kind of cruelty, was in these fictions a practice observed only by native Alaskans. In the 1933 film Eskimo, for example, Mala, the Inuit star, eats his dogs one by one when he’s lost on the ice. In a 1930 skit in which he played a sourdough, W.C. Fields made a joke at Balto’s expense, telling an inquirer that he “just et Balto,” and adding “Right good he was with mustard, too.” That joke worked because white prospectors were not supposed to eat their heroic companions, no matter how hard things got.

People angry at Marco Lavoie aren’t explicitly mad that he wasn’t “being white to his dogs.” But the long history of the “Man and Dog vs. the Wild” story can shed some light on the fury his action provoked. Taboos about the treatment of particular species, as Dana Goodyear explored in her recent story aboout eating and loving animals in the New Yorker, are wrapped up in a lot of cultural baggage. In the case of Marco Lavoie, we have years of stories telling us that we should starve rather than violate the man-dog bond.

That doesn't mean the reactions to his case were uniform. Some of the most interesting responses to the Lavoie story can be found in the comments section of the conservative site The Blaze. Here, some commenters compared Lavoie to Obama, repeating the story that Obama ate dog meat in Indonesia while growing up. Other commenters shrugged, saying “Let’s just say he was resourceful.” One added: “If [Lavoie] would have died before eating his dog, his dog would have surly [sic] ate him.”

Rebecca Onion, who runs Slate’s history blog The Vault, is a writer and academic living in Philadelphia. Send her an email or follow her on Twitter.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 14, 2013, 12:01:39 pm
Geez. That doesn't infuriate me. It makes me sad, but I would have thought Lavoie a fool if he had chosen to die himself rather than eat his dog.

I wonder what the dog was surviving on before Lavoie killed him? There probably wasn't much left to the dog by the time Lavoie ate him.

In the Jamestown colony, during the "Starving Time" of 1609-10, people ate horses, dogs, rats, and, finally, each other.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 14, 2013, 12:48:11 pm
What is the most unusual thing you ever ate? For me, I guess it would be sea urchin. It was wonderful, but I wouldn't eat it often. In Scotland I ate (and loved) haggis and in Nepal I ate yak meat. That was pretty bland. There are more off-putting dishes here in America, IMHO. Okra! Fried pickles! In fact, anything fried kind of turns my stomach.

Thanks, friends, for talking about the Nov. 4 issue. It got lost in the chaos at my house. I dug it out of a pile of magazines that were going to the retirement home and now am enjoying reading through it. If I had missed it, it would be the first time in more than 15 years that I didn't read the food issue from cover to cover!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: milomorris on November 14, 2013, 02:50:02 pm
On the Huffington Post, for example, one commenter wrote “I would rather eat my own limbs than my dogs.”

Yeah...right. I'll believe that when it happens. Smack talk from HuffPuffers is often entertaining


Back when I was at Verizon, we had a software enginner on the web team who grew up in rural China. When he was a boy, his family made a move from one farming community to another. They had 2 dogs. His father was able to give one of the dogs away to a neighbor. Nobody wanted the second dog. The engineer's father killed it, his mother cooked it, and the family ate it. Nobody thought anything of it. Apparently, the Chinese do not look at pets the same way we do here in the west.

I would say that Lavoie is a brave man, and displayed a great deal of courage in this ordeal. He must have felt absolutely horrible about having to kill and eat a dog that he no doubt loved. Sometimes one has to make difficult choices.   
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: milomorris on November 14, 2013, 02:52:37 pm
What is the most unusual thing you ever ate?

White trash.

And, BTW, Okra happens to be one of my favorite things in the world.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 14, 2013, 03:37:44 pm

Quote
On the Huffington Post, for example, one commenter wrote “I would rather eat my own limbs ....”


I wonder if anyone has ever done that. Move over, James Franco, a movie about that would be far grosser than 127 Hours.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 14, 2013, 03:44:47 pm
What is the most unusual thing you ever ate? For me, I guess it would be sea urchin. It was wonderful, but I wouldn't eat it often. In Scotland I ate (and loved) haggis and in Nepal I ate yak meat. That was pretty bland. There are more off-putting dishes here in America, IMHO. Okra! Fried pickles! In fact, anything fried kind of turns my stomach.

I usually like to try anything unusual I have the opportunity to eat. So ostrich, rattlesnake, alligator, nutria, raw oysters, crawfish, fried pig's tail (like if bacon were shaped like a pig's tail), all the stuff they put in sushi. Plenty of okra. And fried pickles, at a restaurant in Wyoming in the company of Brokies!  :D

Someone recently circulated a list of 100 "unusual" foods on Facebook (most but not not all them unusual to the average American) and I scored 71.

I added a couple to my list, Lee, at that restaurant in Denver that possessed the city's first liquor license and where the walls are covered with animal heads. That dinner was kind of a disaster, though -- my younger son was a vegetarian at the time, and a restaurant covered literally floor to ceiling in multiple rooms with severed animal heads is not the ideal setting.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 16, 2013, 02:01:40 pm

I added a couple to my list, Lee, at that restaurant in Denver that possessed the city's first liquor license and where the walls are covered with animal heads. That dinner was kind of a disaster, though -- my younger son was a vegetarian at the time, and a restaurant covered literally floor to ceiling in multiple rooms with severed animal heads is not the ideal setting.

Oh, that would be the Buckhorn Exchange (http://www.buckhorn.com/). What did you have there? The BBQer's went there in 2007 before departing Denver for Estes Park. I didn't go because I was picking up Chrissi at the airport. However, I did go back there with Luigi a year or so later and we had a rattlesnake appetizer. And there's a fellow Wyoming-loving friend who I meet there in the upstairs bar for a drink every once in a while.

I can see how your vegetarian son would have been freaked out by the animal heads. There are getting to be some nice vegetarian restaurants in Denver now. And many of the regular restaurants are adding vegetarian dishes. When I am out with my vegetarian friends I always follow their dietary preferences but, secretly, I miss fish and seafood when I can't order it...meat, not so much.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 16, 2013, 06:25:47 pm
I could understand vegetarianism, although I am not one. But I could never understand veganism until recently. Then I realized that we have an abundance of milk and other dairy products because the calf is taken away from its mother shortly after it is born. That seems cruel, maybe even more cruel than eating meat. I still drink milk and eat cheese but I am careful not to waste it. Milk is so cheap that we oftentimes just grab a gallon of it and then end up pouring half down the drain at the end of a week.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: milomorris on November 16, 2013, 07:05:13 pm
Milk is so cheap that we oftentimes just grab a gallon of it and then end up pouring half down the drain at the end of a week.

We were having that issue too. Then we started down-sizing. We finally figured out about 3 years ago that 1 quart would get used regularly before any of it spoiled.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 16, 2013, 08:22:00 pm
We were having that issue too. Then we started down-sizing. We finally figured out about 3 years ago that 1 quart would get used regularly before any of it spoiled.

I actually never buy milk unless I know people are coming over and want it for coffee.  I don't drink coffee, and almost never use milk.  If I buy it I end up wasting it, so better not to have it at all.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 17, 2013, 04:21:41 am
We were having that issue too. Then we started down-sizing. We finally figured out about 3 years ago that 1 quart would get used regularly before any of it spoiled.


Good thinking. "Just grab a gallon" - that's something one can't do over here. We don't sell beverages in gallons, but in liter packages (tetra paks for non-carbonated beverages, bottles for carbonated). One liter is almost exactly a quart. Even if we could buy a gallon of milk, nobody could put it into their fridge. Not enough space in there for huge gallon packages. :laugh:
That's actually something I started wondering about in the 90ies, watching the TV show Roseanne. They always took those huge plastic containers out of the fridge. Who can even empty such a big container before the contents get spoiled?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 17, 2013, 10:12:22 am
Sometimes I think I was born on the wrong continent. I agree with you that those gallon jugs are awful. They're even a pain when empty. Finally the recyclers now accept them. But they take up so much room! My daughter buys milk at Costco, which comes in a box of two gallon jugs. Even that doesn't last a week at her house! She does make yogurt and buttermilk. She also buys cream by the quart and makes sour cream and cheese.

Meat is another matter. I'm trying to clean out the fridge in preparation for moving. That means coping with big hunks of meat that have been chilling in there since forever. Fortunately, EDelMar and OCD have scheduled a movie night tonight. I know I can count on them to eat bunches of this meat!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 17, 2013, 11:17:13 am
I don't drink coffee


What? Chuck, you're not from Texas!  8)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 17, 2013, 11:49:29 am
Oh, that would be the Buckhorn Exchange (http://www.buckhorn.com/). What did you have there? The BBQer's went there in 2007 before departing Denver for Estes Park. I didn't go because I was picking up Chrissi at the airport. However, I did go back there with Luigi a year or so later and we had a rattlesnake appetizer.

I think we had the rattlesnake, too. And somebody had ostrich, and somebody I'm sure had buffalo, and I can't remember what all else.

Quote
I can see how your vegetarian son would have been freaked out by the animal heads. 


He's no longer a vegetarian. It only lasted a couple of years, but man while he did it he was intense. I had to make two batches of spaghetti sauce, and if the spoon from the meat one went into the non-meat one, the non-meat one was ruined. He wouldn't sit on a leather chair. He made himself throw up when he found he had eaten Ceasar salad dressing containing anchovy paste. Couldn't eat lots of pies and most Hotess items because they contain lard. No gelatin-containing candy. Had to have a non-leather baseball glove.

Then one day he started right back eating meat.

Quote
There are getting to be some nice vegetarian restaurants in Denver now. And many of the regular restaurants are adding vegetarian dishes. When I am out with my vegetarian friends I always follow their dietary preferences but, secretly, I miss fish and seafood when I can't order it...meat, not so much.

I have to eat a lot of animal products because I avoid carbs. But I'm always happy to eat a vegetarian meal here and there. I find these days that most nice restaurants have at least one vegetarian dish on the menu. During Jack's vegetarian days he at some really delicious meals in restaurants. Sometimes I would join him. My then-husband and son always had to have meat.


But I could never understand veganism until recently. Then I realized that we have an abundance of milk and other dairy products because the calf is taken away from its mother shortly after it is born. That seems cruel, maybe even more cruel than eating meat.

It gets a lot crueler than that in the world of factory farming. Take the chickens who spend their entire lives in wire cages the size of shoeboxes, stacked by the thousands in big dark warehouses, their entire existence devoted to being egg-laying machines. And a "cage free" label usually just means they're packed by the thousands into big dark warehouses but without the wire cages.

I'm less familiar with the lives of cows but I'm sure all factory farmed animals endure various forms of hell. If you want to understand more about the moral argument for veganism, I highly recommend Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals.

So here's a thought I had last night. I went with some friends to see 12 Years a Slave, and as always with a movie like that, you have to examine your conscience -- what would I have done if I'd lived in those times? And of course I always like to think I would have been a progressive abolistionist and not a slaveholder (and by the way, this exercise doesn't just apply to white Americans whose ancestors were here back then -- unless you want to argue that different ethnic groups have different moral capabilities, then it applies to everybody). But of course you can never know -- if I'd grown up as a white person in rural Louisiana in the 19th century, I'd be highly unusual if I even thought to object to slavery. Even if I weren't entirely comfortable with it (as clearly some of the white characters aren't in the movie), I wouldn't necessarily do anything about it.

Now I'm someone who thinks that factory farming is evil, but I continue to eat eggs, dairy and meat. I do always grab the "cage free" eggs (figuring that's better than the alternative) and buy eggs and meat from a small farm at the farmer's market whenever I go, and look for sausage in the grocery story from this one company that even JSF kind of approved of because they raise their pigs so humanely. But those are pretty lame actions compared to the larger principle.

To be very clear, I'm not equating the lives of humans and animals, or saying factory farming is just as bad as slavery or anything like that. I'm just wondering: how far are average people (myself, for example) willing to go on behalf of their moral beliefs? Not that far, usually.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 17, 2013, 11:54:55 am
What? Chuck, you're not from Texas!  8)


Nope!  Jersey through and through!   I do enjoy a mug of hot chocolate on occasion.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 17, 2013, 11:56:31 am
That's actually something I started wondering about in the 90ies, watching the TV show Roseanne. They always took those huge plastic containers out of the fridge. Who can even empty such a big container before the contents get spoiled?

I'll tell you who -- my two sons. Together, they are capable of going through nearly a gallon a day. That's without me drinking any.

One reason I had to go to the grocery store so often when they were both home is because my fridge and car and grocery cart can only hold so many gallons of milk. (My fridge is the smallest I could find and it's still pretty big, but most current American fridges would not fit under the cabinets in my 1948 kitchen.)

Now with just one son here we go through maybe a gallon and a half of milk a week, plus a gallon jug of apple cider and other juices in smaller containers.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 17, 2013, 03:56:05 pm
Had to have a non-leather baseball glove.

I didn't even know there was such a thing.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 18, 2013, 02:05:37 am
I'll tell you who -- my two sons. Together, they are capable of going through nearly a gallon a day. That's without me drinking any.


 :laugh:
Okay, I take my question back. ;D
We need roughly one liter a day. But I'm restricting milk (rather cocoa) for my kids first because I think it's food, not a beverage for quenching your thirst. And second they don't drink pure milk anyway, only sweet cocoa. I think one or two cups a day is enough of the sweetness.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 18, 2013, 10:03:33 am
:laugh:
Okay, I take my question back. ;D
We need roughly one liter a day. But I'm restricting milk (rather cocoa) for my kids first because I think it's food, not a beverage for quenching your thirst. And second they don't drink pure milk anyway, only sweet cocoa. I think one or two cups a day is enough of the sweetness.

I can understand that. For myself I can't imagine drinking milk as a thirst quencher.  :P  The only way I can stand to drink it is with chocolate in it  ;D  or along with eating something, preferably something sweet. Otherwise I can't stand the taste of the stuff, especially if it isn't whole milk.

Incidentally, I seem to recall reading somewhere that there is a school of thought that a fluid intended to nurture baby bovines is not something humans should be consuming.  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: brian on November 18, 2013, 01:39:52 pm
Milk is my favourite thirst quencher. However I buy lite milk and about 1 litre per week. I often put strawberry flavouring in it or make hot chocolate in winter. I love milk shakes and it is one thing I find hard to buy when travelling in Europe. I now use SoGood (soy milk) on my cereal for breakfast. I always have a cappuchino when out (probably about 4 times per week Dunedin is famous for its coffee culture) but only drink black coffee at home. I cannot start my day without a black coffee.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 18, 2013, 02:30:40 pm
I just finished Adam Gopnik's Nov. 4 article about baking bread with his mother. Almost makes me want to go out and do it.

Although his mother's habit of referring to yeast as "little bugs" might tend to curb one's appetite a bit.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 18, 2013, 06:49:57 pm
Although his mother's habit of referring to yeast as "little bugs" might tend to curb one's appetite a bit.  :-\

Yay think?  :laugh:

Now, whenever I hear 'yeast' I think of Glee.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 18, 2013, 11:30:54 pm
Now, whenever I hear 'yeast' I think of Glee.

Hunh?  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on November 19, 2013, 09:17:20 am
Hunh?  ???

:laugh:

Three of the 'students' on Glee have graduated (Kurt, Santana, & Rachel) and the show divides its time between the students still in school, and these three.   Well, the three of them made a friendly bet to see who would be the first to book acting/singing jobs.

Santana won the bet, explaining she had been picked to do a commercial for a product called "Yeast-I-Stat".

She then played the commercial for them, and it's a take-off on all those bad feminine hygene commercials, she's running through fields of grass, swinging on a swing,......I thought it was hysterical.

The best line in her commercial comes close to the end, when she's hosting a breakfast gathering, and holding a tray of bagels.



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d67hYDaWcwc[/youtube]
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 19, 2013, 10:46:15 am
I'm restricting milk (rather cocoa) for my kids first because I think it's food,

 :laugh:  That's exactly why I let my kids drink it in unlimited quantities. Well, to be honest I let them drink just about anything (nonalcoholic) in unlimited quantities. But milk is so much more nutritious and less sugary (they drink it plain) than beverages they might choose instead.

While we're on the topic, or rather so far off topic I can't even see the tracks from here, can I ask you one more quick non-New Yorker question? How do you introduce your kids to alcohol over there? Do you wait until they're 18 and then they just drink as older people do? Or do they drink at home at younger ages? I'm interested in your family, but also your culture in general.

The drinking age here is 21. But when we were in Europe last summer, my then 18-year-old was old enough to drink. And my 17-year-old, while not yet strictly legal, had absolutely no problem obtaining a mojito when the two went to the beach together in Barcelona, or buying a beer when he stopped into the corner bodega in France. I decided to play it when-in-Rome, loosening the rules for my younger son also, and let them drink a little bit, which they never do at home. They were very moderate: a mojito on the beach, a beer or vodka-orange juice late at night. My confidence in their alcohol use was actually increased over what it would be if I had banned it entirely and then had no idea whether, given half a chance, they might drink until they were blotto.

The other night my son and I went to my stepmother's for dinner. She, after asking my permission, poured him a third of a glass or so of wine. She's American but very Europhillic, and her husband is Hungarian. I had no problem with it. It seems a much better approach than the standard American approach to alcohol, to absolutely prohibit it until the magic age is reached, and then ... time to binge like crazy!!

In Wisconsin, about an hour's drive from here, the culture is somewhat different. The state was settled mainly by Germans, and there's a very bar-friendly, beer-friendly culture there. Kids accompanied by their parents can drink in bars in unlimited quantities -- until they're 18. Then they can't drink publicly under any circumstances until they're 21. Sound bizarre? It's because at 18 they're adults, as everyone in the country is, so their parents aren't in charge of them, but Wisconsin's drinking age is 21, as it is everywhere in the country, so they can't legally drink.

When I was a teenager, both the age of adulthood and the drinking age were 18 (i.e., like almost everywhere else in the developed world), but a few years later they raised the drinking age. The federal government did not force states to raise their drinking ages, but would not give federal highway funding to any state below 21. Thus, all states are now 21.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 19, 2013, 11:00:40 am
Incidentally, I seem to recall reading somewhere that there is a school of thought that a fluid intended to nurture baby bovines is not something humans should be consuming.  8)

That's more than a school. It's the explanation for why some demographic populations have high rates of lactose intolerance. If your genetic heritage comes from a part of the world where cows weren't widely cultivated for milk, there's a good chance your body lacks the enzymes needed to digest it properly.

But the way you phrase your comment, it sounds like you're getting at something broader, an idea based on logic rather than enzymes. Like, if it's designed for baby cows to drink, it can't be good for humans. By that logic, though, we'd probably better avoid not just all dairy but also eggs, because yuck, and even honey, because it's produced for insects, not humans.

And by that logic, we'd be at least somewhat better off drinking human milk. We could end dairy farming and repace it with breast factories, offering employment opportunities for countless otherwise unskilled young women.

And indeed, I have heard of places that sell cheese and ice cream and things like that made of human breast milk (not sure how it was obtained). But tell you what, I don't think those products were flying off the shelves.

BTW, of course, baby humans can not drink plain baby cow's milk. It's amazing to think how tied down women were, how dependent babies were on their mothers, and the important role in some cultures of wet nurses, in the many many millennia of human history before the invention of infant formula.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 19, 2013, 11:49:04 am
The position of wet nurse was a very popular one for women who needed to work back in the day. Another option was to get a couple of goats, as Robert Duvall did when he played a man whose wife died in childbirth (I forget the name of the movie). Sure, babies can't drink cow's milk but zillions managed to survive somehow when they didn't have a mother, as often happened in the days pre-obstetricians and maternity wards.

In this interesting discussion, I'm reminded of another New Yorker article about the bacteria that live in our bodies and allow us to live. One of the things I learned from that article is that babies are born without this colony of bacteria and have to build it up over time. Thus, they even have trouble digesting mother's milk, and that leads to the dreaded "spit-up" situation. Now you can thank me for tethering the discussion, if ever so slightly, back to the title of the thread!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 19, 2013, 12:29:15 pm
But the way you phrase your comment, it sounds like you're getting at something broader, an idea based on logic rather than enzymes. Like, if it's designed for baby cows to drink, it can't be good for humans. By that logic, though, we'd probably better avoid not just all dairy but also eggs, because yuck, and even honey, because it's produced for insects, not humans.

I believe there are some vegetarians who do just that.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 19, 2013, 01:47:43 pm
The position of wet nurse was a very popular one for women who needed to work back in the day.

Years ago, I read a book on the history of motherhood by a renowned anthropologist. In the old days, rich people could hire wet nurses and poorer people could leave their babies at group homes to be nursed. But the latter were so disease-ridden they were virtually a death sentence and even the former was risky. Some families who couldn't feed or otherwise support another child -- this was before birth control was fine-tuned or widely used and abortion methods, herbal or otherwise, were crude and dangerous -- would do basically what Hansel and Gretel's parents did: abandon the kid in the forest. This was not uncommon.

Quote
Another option was to get a couple of goats, as Robert Duvall did when he played a man whose wife died in childbirth (I forget the name of the movie).

I haven't seen that Robert Duvall movie, and hadn't heard anything about newborns being able to survive on untreated goat's milk.

Quote
Sure, babies can't drink cow's milk but zillions managed to survive somehow when they didn't have a mother, as often happened in the days pre-obstetricians and maternity wards.

Zillions survived, and zillions more died. Almost all of the increase in life expectancy -- either between modern times and long ago, or between developed and underdeveloped countries now -- is due to improved infant and child mortality.

Quote
In this interesting discussion, I'm reminded of another New Yorker article about the bacteria that live in our bodies and allow us to live. One of the things I learned from that article is that babies are born without this colony of bacteria and have to build it up over time. Thus, they even have trouble digesting mother's milk, and that leads to the dreaded "spit-up" situation. Now you can thank me for tethering the discussion, if ever so slightly, back to the title of the thread!

There's fascinating research going on now on the functions of our bodies' biotic systems. They're treating digestive-tract disorders with fecal transplants. They've connected obesity to the presence or absence of specific bacteria in the gut, suggesting the possibility of treating obesity by introducing "good" bacteria. They gave fat mice bacteria from the guts of thin mice, and the fat mice lost weight.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 19, 2013, 02:05:23 pm
I believe there are some vegetarians who do just that.

Sure, they're called vegans! But the implication of the school of thought you said you'd recalled reading about was that while there's nothing questionable about eating meat or other animal products, there is something uniquely inappropriate about humans consuming fluid intended to nurture baby bovines.

I say, humans are designed to be omnivorous. If your conscience (or body, or disgust reflex) tells you to avoid meat, by all means avoid meat. Same with dairy and other animal products. If not, that's fine, too. I eat meat because if I eat too much sugar and starch I get fat, and if you cut out sugar and starch it's hard to cut out animal products. But I don't think there's anything inherently "wrong" with eating animals.

What I do think is deeply wrong is how farm animals are treated in this country. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to be a non-vegan American and not at least to some extent support factory farming. It's possible -- buy animal products produced by small farms, whose practices you're familiar with, rather than ordinary brands from the grocery store -- but as a busy single mom of two omnivorous teenage boys with gigantic appetites who restocks groceries multiple times a week, I can't take the time to drive out to family farms. Or at least I choose not to.

Maybe when my sons move out I'll start doing more of that. Or frequenting co-ops that set non-factory standards for the meat and dairy and eggs they sell.

Hunting and fishing for meat (not trophies), though not everybody's cup of tea as outdoors activities, should get the approval of any carnivorous person, IMO. It seems far less "wrong" to kill and eat a duck or deer than it does to keep a chicken in a dark shoebox its entire life. Or to pump a cow full of toxic antibiotics that are not only bad for the cow but also endanger all of humanity by weakening the effectiveness of antibiotics.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 19, 2013, 02:24:00 pm
Sure, they're called vegans! But the implication of the school of thought you said you'd recalled reading about was that while there's nothing questionable about eating meat or other animal products, there is something uniquely inappropriate about humans consuming fluid intended to nurture baby bovines.

You're taking this much too far. I was really just being a wiseass commenting on milk drinking. I wasn't saying anything about meat eating.

Meanwhile, if you haven't done so already, you must read the little piece "London Postcard: Mother Tongue" by Lauren Collins in the Nov. 4 issue. I just read it over lunch. You are in a unique position to enjoy it, and I'm sure you will.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 19, 2013, 05:00:32 pm
You're taking this much too far. I was really just being a wiseass commenting on milk drinking. I wasn't saying anything about meat eating.

Which was exactly my point, but ...  ::) Let be, let be. I missed the implicit "wiseass alert" in your post.

Quote
Meanwhile, if you haven't done so already, you must read the little piece "London Postcard: Mother Tongue" by Lauren Collins in the Nov. 4 issue. I just read it over lunch. You are in a unique position to enjoy it, and I'm sure you will.  :)

Thank you! I rarely read TotT, so I'm sure I would have missed it without your pointing me to it. For those who haven't seen it, it's about words and phrases that are often used by journalists but less often in ordinary conversation. Apparently there's a Twitter hashtag #journalese; I'll have to look it up. I'm surprised they didn't mention "solons" -- a once-common term you rarely see now that I've never heard anywhere else. It's synonymous with lawmakers and legislators (but, like so many favorite journalese terms, fits better in headlines).

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 19, 2013, 05:18:05 pm
I'm surprised they didn't mention "solons" -- a once-common term you rarely see now that I've never heard anywhere else. It's synonymous with lawmakers and legislators (but, like so many favorite journalese terms, fits better in headlines).

Maybe nobody uses it anymore, even in headlines, because Webster's first definition of solon is "a wise and skillful lawgiver." When was the last time you saw one of those in U.S. politics?  ;D

Then again, who studies Ancient Greece in school anymore? I guess you have to be of a certain age to know who Solon was in order to get the meaning of the headline.  :-\

I usually skim TotT to see if there is anything interesting. I figured you'd like this one.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 20, 2013, 03:58:48 am
While we're on the topic, or rather so far off topic I can't even see the tracks from here,

 :laugh: You can say that twice and mean it. :laugh:
My apologies to all others, more OT coming.

Quote
:laugh:  That's exactly why I let my kids drink it in unlimited quantities. Well, to be honest I let them drink just about anything (nonalcoholic) in unlimited quantities. But milk is so much more nutritious and less sugary (they drink it plain) than beverages they might choose instead.

For my kids the alternative is water. Sugary beverages like lemonade, sodas, etc. used to be restriced to one bottle (0.75 liter) per child per week. Now Hannah is old enough to do what she wants, Helen isn't allowed any sugery stuff because of her Crohn's and Oliver simply doesn't like it (which I can't take credit for; just his personal quirk).



Quote
While we're on the topic, or rather so far off topic I can't even see the tracks from here, can I ask you one more quick non-New Yorker question? How do you introduce your kids to alcohol over there? Do you wait until they're 18 and then they just drink as older people do? Or do they drink at home at younger ages? I'm interested in your family, but also your culture in general.


Here's the legal situation:

(http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/Penthesilea09/Nach%20Neugestaltung%20der%20Website/alkohol_kl_01_zps202d56c7.jpg)

On the Y-axis is the age of kids, on the X-axis are (LTR) beer, wine, sparkling wine, alcopops and hard liquor.

Red = illegal
Red with dot = only allowed when accompanied by an adult in charge
Teal = allowed

From 18 on, everything is allowed.

For my kids, I'd say it's okay to have a little bit of the softer alcohols from about 13 on. You know, special occasions, all the family gathering and having a toast, yada, yada. In such situations I'd say it's okay for kids to have one glass of sparkling wine mixed with OJ, or wine mixed with sparkling water, such things. It's roughly the same with all of our extended family/relatives. In practise however Hannah never wanted any of it, Helen isn't allowed any alcohol (Crohn's again) and Oliver is still too young.

Hannah started drinking alcohol between 15 and 16 with her sports team. Every now and then they celebrate special occasions with sparkling wine in the locker room after the game. I find that completely okay. When she started going out at night (around 16) I've always told her "You can drink, but you can't get drunk."
To be honest, I wouldn't have had a problem with her getting drunk once (but I didn't tell her that! ;D). It's something we all have to go through I guess. So far she hasn't, at least that I know of. :laugh:

It was pretty much the same for me when I was a teenager. I started drinking a couple of sips at 12 on special occations. First time drunk was at 15. On purpose, to try it out. Didn't like the feeling/loss of control. In my whole life I was drunk exactly three times, and a little tipsy maybe once every five years or so. Mostly I just don't like the taste of alcohol.

The one thing I'm really strict about is drinking and driving. No way. I don't drive after a single alcoholic beverage, even though it would still be legal, and I await the same from my kids. For their driving friends the rule is one beer (or one wine). If the driver had more than that, my kids have to call me and I pick them up. Hasn't happened so far.


Quote
When I was a teenager, both the age of adulthood and the drinking age were 18 (i.e., like almost everywhere else in the developed world), but a few years later they raised the drinking age. The federal government did not force states to raise their drinking ages, but would not give federal highway funding to any state below 21. Thus, all states are now 21.


Now that's tricky!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 20, 2013, 04:16:19 am
Thank you! I rarely read TotT,

What is TotT in regard to the New Yorker? Topic of the - ?
(Yay, I'm back on topic again! ;))
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on November 20, 2013, 09:30:06 am
What is TotT in regard to the New Yorker? Topic of the - ?
(Yay, I'm back on topic again! ;))

"Talk of the Town".

What is alcopops?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 20, 2013, 10:44:56 am
What is alcopops?

I know! I'm not surprised there is such a thing, but am surprised that it's a big enough thing to be listed right up there in the big six with Bier and Wein! But also, what my imagination conjures from the word seems like it would be classified in the Bier/Wein/Sekt group rather than with Schnaps.

Thank you so much for that thorough explanation, Chrissi!  :)  I've always wondered about habits and norms in other countries. Do you think they're approximately the same in Germany as they are elsewhere in Europe? Or do they vary a lot from country to country?

It's interesting. Every single you wrote, aside from the legal age being 18 part, sounds approximately like what you might hear from a moderately permissive parent here, except this:

Hannah started drinking alcohol between 15 and 16 with her sports team. Every now and then they celebrate special occasions with sparkling wine in the locker room after the game.

A coach here who allowed teenagers to drink even a small amount of sparkling wine in the locker room after a game would be fired on the spot and it might even be literally a headline-making scandal. Youth athletes who are caught drinking any amount get suspended from their teams.

That's what I mean about alcohol being banned altogether until they reach the magic age. And then, bam -- all bets are off! My own paper's free arts & entertainment weekly section recently ran a cover story called "Which College Bar Are You?" -- depending on your traits and preferences, the article would match you with some popular college binge-drinking hangout. Of course, even many college students can't drink legally, but the article ignored that.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 20, 2013, 10:51:58 am
Ahem, so getting back to the New Yorker, TotT, a Paul said, is "Talk of the Town," a weekly section featuring an editorial about some major current issue followed by several shorter articles about people or events of note.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on November 20, 2013, 10:58:18 am
(I see that alcopop = wine cooler, etc.)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 20, 2013, 12:07:33 pm
A coach here who allowed teenagers to drink even a small amount of sparkling wine in the locker room after a game would be fired on the spot and it might even be literally a headline-making scandal. Youth athletes who are caught drinking any amount get suspended from their teams.

Not to mention that said coach might find his or her ass in jail, since it's illegal to supply alcohol to minors. Here in Pennsylvania, anyway, parents who supply beer for their own kids' parties have gotten in trouble with the law.

(I see that alcopop = wine cooler, etc.)

Darn. I was hoping it might be a booze-infused popsicle.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 20, 2013, 12:08:45 pm
Ahem, so getting back to the New Yorker, TotT, a Paul said, is "Talk of the Town," a weekly section featuring an editorial about some major current issue followed by several shorter articles about people or events of note.

First place I ever heard of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal was in a TotT piece years ago.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 20, 2013, 12:24:47 pm
Both my children drank a small glass of wine at the family table during celebratory dinners. But then, my son stopped doing even that, because he is dedicated to his bicycling. When daughter was about 19 or 20 she started making wine with her dad and now, at 25, she makes beer with her husband. I've never seen her tipsy though and she and her husband are very careful to take public transportation or get a ride if they're going to drink. Of course, she didn't drink while pregnant either.


First place I ever heard of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal was in a TotT piece years ago.

Yes, I remember that piece. It wasn't very flattering to Maggie.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: brian on November 20, 2013, 02:34:49 pm
(I see that alcopop = wine cooler, etc.)
Not really that seems to be a Canadian term. Downunder Alcopops are sweetened alcoholic beverages, usually sold in single-serving bottles or cans. Often fruit-flavored and/or carbonated, they closely resemble soda or energy drinks.
Many consider they are worse than beer as they easily lead teenagers into enjoying drinking and can have about 5 to even 12% alcohol.
I think the European rules are very sensible. Both NZ and Australia have big underage drinking problems.
However I thought it hilarious that I had to show my licence to buy an alcoholic drink in some parts of the USA including on Amtrak. I mean I like to think I look young but over 60 with grey hair ?????
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 20, 2013, 04:02:07 pm
I went to a restaurant just the other night -- in a lively entertainment area frequented by young people -- where the bouncer at the door not only demanded my ID (and those of my companions) but really gave it the once over, as if checking to see whether it might be a fake. I'm 56.  :laugh:

I once walked out of a California Pizza Kitchen (a national chain -- this was in a Minnesota mall) because I had forgotten my purse and ID at home and they refused to serve me a glass of wine. I was in my late 40s. I was with my then-husband, who had his ID and is five years younger, and my sons, who were about 10 and 12. The waitress refused. She summoned the manager, who also refused to serve me without ID. I was less angry about the wine itself than the rigidity of their stupid rule -- even a manager was not allowed to use plain common sense. I like to think of myself as youthful-ish, but come on. I went to another restaurant in the same mall and ordered a glass with no problem.

I've seen that airport bars are extremely insistent about demanding IDs from everyone. I once stood next to a man who got carded and must have been around 80. He said, "Let me get out my wallet. Can I set my cane on the bar?"


(I see that alcopop = wine cooler, etc.)

I was hoping it might be a booze-infused popsicle.  ;D

I thought of both, but was surprised that either would be lumped with Schnaps rather than with Wein.

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Not to mention that said coach might find his or her ass in jail, since it's illegal to supply alcohol to minors. Here in Pennsylvania, anyway, parents who supply beer for their own kids' parties have gotten in trouble with the law.

Good point. It's an extremely serious offense. And if a kid who drinks your supplied alcohol then gets in a car accident ... you are doomed.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 20, 2013, 04:08:11 pm
Good point. It's an extremely serious offense. And if a kid who drinks your supplied alcohol then gets in a car accident ... you are doomed.

You bet!

(And maybe I should have clarified my comment that it's against the law to supply alcohol to your own minor kids to drink in your own home.)

And just to steer things back to The New Yorker again, I'll add that I enjoyed Joan Acocella's Nov. 11 article on a new translation of The Decameron.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 21, 2013, 03:36:58 am
I know! I'm not surprised there is such a thing, but am surprised that it's a big enough thing to be listed right up there in the big six with Bier and Wein! But also, what my imagination conjures from the word seems like it would be classified in the Bier/Wein/Sekt group rather than with Schnaps.


It's because they contain Schnaps. The law in Germany defines alcopops as beverages mixed from hard liquor and a fruit and/or soda component. They bacame very popular in youth culture over recent years because their sweetness covers the bitter taste of alcohol and because they're marketed aggressively to youth. Thus they got their own, new law within the laws for protection of the youth and they were burdened with a hefty extra-tax.
Other alcoholic mix-drinks, like pre-mixed beer and soda (what you would call coolers I guess), don't fall under this law. Technically they're not alcopops, but in everyday language they're often called exactly that.



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Thank you so much for that thorough explanation, Chrissi!  :)  I've always wondered about habits and norms in other countries. Do you think they're approximately the same in Germany as they are elsewhere in Europe? Or do they vary a lot from country to country?

Tough question. I know that it's different in Russia. I've read about it and have seen plenty Russian families (on vacation in Southern Europe) allowing much smaller kids to have wine/water mixes with meals and also having a share of their parents' vodka.
I've also read that in France it's common to let younger children have some wine (again mixed with water).



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A coach here who allowed teenagers to drink even a small amount of sparkling wine in the locker room after a game would be fired on the spot and it might even be literally a headline-making scandal. Youth athletes who are caught drinking any amount get suspended from their teams.

Not to mention that said coach might find his or her ass in jail, since it's illegal to supply alcohol to minors. Here in Pennsylvania, anyway, parents who supply beer for their own kids' parties have gotten in trouble with the law.


In Germany the law regulates drinking of alcohol by youth in public. A locker room of a sports club is not a public place. Same goes for private parties at people's homes. And since 16 year olds can drink legally even in public (and under 16 when their parents are with them), the situation is quite different.
Strange thing, those different cultures. What would be a scandal for you is absolutely acceptable over here. OTOH we get panic attacks at the mere thought of 16 year olds driving cars by themselves. :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 21, 2013, 01:55:07 pm
OTOH we get panic attacks at the mere thought of 16 year olds driving cars by themselves. :laugh:

We do too, but we let them do it anyway.  :laugh:


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2013, 10:08:36 am
Last night I started Ariel Levy's article about how she decided to have a baby--and then delivered it prematurely in the bathroom of a hotel room in Ulanbator, Mongolia.  :'(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 22, 2013, 10:27:04 am
Last night I started Ariel Levy's article about how she decided to have a baby--and then delivered it prematurely in the bathroom of a hotel room in Ulanbator, Mongolia.  :'(

I read it about a week ago online because I kept seeing so many people on Twitter linking it and talking about how powerful it is. And they're right. It is.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...SPOILERS
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 22, 2013, 10:53:00 am
I read that last night too. Shouldn't we add a big spoiler alert to your posts?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...SPOILERS
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2013, 11:40:15 am
I read that last night too. Shouldn't we add a big spoiler alert to your posts?

Well, we haven't said how it ends. I don't have the issue here with me at work, but the magazine itself sort of gives it away on the first page of the story, under the title.

And I agree, it's quite powerful.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...SPOILERS
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 22, 2013, 01:06:40 pm
When I began reading the story, the title said "Thanksgiving in Mongolia" and the subtitle said "Adventure and Heartbreak at the Edge of the Earth" so I thought maybe she tried to cook a turkey in Mongolia and it didn't come out well...or maybe she went for a hike and her hiking buddy disappeared or something like that.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...SPOILERS
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2013, 01:29:14 pm
When I began reading the story, the title said "Thanksgiving in Mongolia" and the subtitle said "Adventure and Heartbreak at the Edge of the Earth" so I thought maybe she tried to cook a turkey in Mongolia and it didn't come out well...or maybe she went for a hike and her hiking buddy disappeared or something like that.

Ah, but the "Heartbreak" tells you it's not going to end well, and then it goes into her decision to have a baby, and how quickly she was able to become pregnant, and how she decided to go to Mongolia while enceinte. ...
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 22, 2013, 09:56:47 pm
Well, I finished the story over dinner this evening. As I had read the story of Levy's wedding several years ago, I found it even more saddening that the loss of the baby apparently also led to the breakup of her marriage.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 23, 2013, 04:01:14 pm
Well, I finished the story over dinner this evening. As I had read the story of Levy's wedding several years ago, I found it even more saddening that the loss of the baby apparently also led to the breakup of her marriage.

Now that is a spoiler. I was going to mention something about that -- about how I felt more invested in her marriage than I usually am, because of that other essay -- and decided not to say anything to avoid spoilers. But now that you've let the cat out of the bag ...

I thought it was interesting that she never indicated the gender of her spouse. If you examine the writing, you can see she was careful to avoid using pronouns. I now know much more than I ever had about what it's like in Mongolia in November, but if I hadn't read that other essay I wouldn't know she was married to a woman. (Though of course it's possible that this is actually a different marriage.) Any theories on why she kept that undisclosed?


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 23, 2013, 04:02:54 pm
I also have to say that I was in awe of the intrepidity of her travels. India alone at 22? I wouldn't go to India alone now.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 23, 2013, 05:37:15 pm
Now that is a spoiler. I was going to mention something about that -- about how I felt more invested in her marriage than I usually am, because of that other essay -- and decided not to say anything to avoid spoilers. But now that you've let the cat out of the bag ...

Well, yeah, but I figured the only people who read and post on this thread are going to read the article anyway, so. ...

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I thought it was interesting that she never indicated the gender of her spouse. If you examine the writing, you can see she was careful to avoid using pronouns.

I noticed that immediately, and I thought it was interesting, too. She also didn't go into the how of how she conceived the child.

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I now know much more than I ever had about what it's like in Mongolia in November.


I'd say more than I cared or needed to know about November in Mongolia.  :-\

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But if I hadn't read that other essay I wouldn't know she was married to a woman. (Though of course it's possible that this is actually a different marriage.) Any theories on why she kept that undisclosed?

Good point--I'm assuming it's the gay marriage--and assuming if she had a heterosexual marriage she would have written "my husband" instead of "my spouse" or "my partner." But I suppose she could have had more than one gay/lesbian marriage, too.

Perhaps she kept that undisclosed because it might have been a distraction to readers who didn't already know she's lesbian? Plus, in a way I think the gender of her spouse is kind of irrelevant to the story she's telling. I understand that the loss of a pregnancy sometimes leads to the breakup of heterosexual couples, too.

I am very, very sad for her, and also very relieved for her. She may have come closer to dying than she even realizes. Here we go with my spoilers agaiin  ;D but my jaw dropped when I read that she pulled out the placenta. If it had adhered to her uterus, she could have torn her uterus and bled to death in that Mongolian hotel room. As it was she probably came close.  :(

I also have to say that I was in awe of the intrepidity of her travels. India alone at 22? I wouldn't go to India alone now.

Yeah, me, too.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 23, 2013, 06:12:38 pm
I also have to say that I was in awe of the intrepidity of her travels. India alone at 22? I wouldn't go to India alone now.

If you're thinking about it from the standpoint of safety, India is a far safer country than the US. Every third person is not toting a concealed gun and Indians are such pacifist that they wouldn't harm a cow or even an ant. India is a very popular destination for college graduates who want to see a completely different culture.

If you're thinking that it's a long way away and an arduous plane trip, then it's better to go when you're young than when you're older and not as limber or flexible.

Depends on how you're approaching the idea.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 23, 2013, 06:14:00 pm
Well, yeah, but I figured the only people who read and post on this thread are going to read the article anyway, so. ...


When I first read your comment about the article, there were 2 members reading it and 5 guests.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Penthesilea on November 23, 2013, 06:32:54 pm
I thought it was interesting that she never indicated the gender of her spouse. If you examine the writing, you can see she was careful to avoid using pronouns. I now know much more than I ever had about what it's like in Mongolia in November, but if I hadn't read that other essay I wouldn't know she was married to a woman. (Though of course it's possible that this is actually a different marriage.) Any theories on why she kept that undisclosed?


I noticed that immediately, and I thought it was interesting, too. She also didn't go into the how of how she conceived the child.

I can confirm what you two said here. I read the article earlier today, but had never heard her name before that and thus didn't know anything about her. To be honest, I didn't notice she avoided pronouns and kept the language gender-neutral. Except once when I tipped over the expression "spouse" and found it somewhat - I don't know - strange might be a too strong word, but I noticed this one. Didn't give it a second thought though and only here on BM I learned she's lesbian.
 

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Perhaps she kept that undisclosed because it might have been a distraction to readers who didn't already know she's lesbian? Plus, in a way I think the gender of her spouse is kind of irrelevant to the story she's telling.

It is.


Quote
I understand that the loss of a pregnancy sometimes leads to the breakup of heterosexual couples, too.

Now here's the thing I really found strange. Her marriage was over within three weeks after the incident? I can picture this put a strain on their relationship, and I know many marriages don't survive the death of a child. But that's long term. At first I would imagine a couple clinging together all the closer in such a tragedy. Holding on even tighter to the other in times of overwhelming grief.
Maybe she didn't want to get into more details about her marriage because it's not the point of the story. Similar to what Jeff said about her non-use of pronouns. But still, this tidbit of fact remains strange.


Quote
I am very, very sad for her, and also very relieved for her. She may have come closer to dying than she even realizes. Here we go with my spoilers agaiin  ;D but my jaw dropped when I read that she pulled out the placenta. If it had adhered to her uterus, she could have torn her uterus and bled to death in that Mongolian hotel room. As it was she probably came close.  :(

Yeah, I had similar thoughts when reading the piece. :-\
I think nightmare doesn't even describe what she had to go thru. And she had to go through all of it alone. :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 23, 2013, 10:01:28 pm
Good point--I'm assuming it's the gay marriage--and assuming if she had a heterosexual marriage she would have written "my husband" instead of "my spouse" or "my partner." But I suppose she could have had more than one gay/lesbian marriage, too.

Five to ten years ago, if I heard a woman refer to "my partner" I would assume her partner was a woman, and sometimes would be mildly surprised to find it was a man. But these days it has become such a common locution that I don't make assumptions one way or another when someone says it.

(However, I have rarely if ever heard a straight man refer to his female partner as "my partner" -- if I did, I would probably assume he meant his business partner.)

Quote
Perhaps she kept that undisclosed because it might have been a distraction to readers who didn't already know she's lesbian? Plus, in a way I think the gender of her spouse is kind of irrelevant to the story she's telling. I understand that the loss of a pregnancy sometimes leads to the breakup of heterosexual couples, too.

( * * * SPOILER ALERT * * * )

I decided to retrieve the relevant passages. She doesn't appear to be quite bending over backward to avoid revealing gender -- the sentences feel graceful and natural -- yet the omission, over three mentions, doesn't feel quite random, either. Meanwhile, at least two men in the piece are referred to as having wives.

Quote
I could still feel spikes of adrenaline when I was back at my desk in New York, typing, while my spouse cooked a chicken in the kitchen.

My partner—who had always indicated that I would need to cast the deciding vote on parenthood—had come with me, and we were having one of those magical moments in a marriage when you find each other completely delightful.

Within a week, the apartment we were supposed to move into with the baby fell through. Within three, my marriage had shattered.



I agree that the partner's gender is not crucial to the story. But the essay is full of details that, strictly speaking, it could have lived without: the games she played as a child, what the Greek publisher and his wife (ahem) served for dinner in their apartment, Mongolia's mineral resources. I'm not saying they were excessive or padding, I'm saying that it seems significant that out of all the details she did include, one she didn't, apparently deliberately, is the gender of her (presumably) same-sex partner.

Given that one of the benefits of marriage equality is that it "normalizes" women having wives and men husbands in mainstream minds, it would have been nice to see a casual mention of her wife without further ado. I'm always happy to see same-sex couples portrayed in the media in ways that we're used to seeing straight couples portrayed, without fanfare.

Another possibility is that this is actually a later marriage, the spouse/partner this time is a man, and if she used male pronouns she feared she'd confuse people like us who are familiar with her wedding essay. But nor did she want to have to stop and explain ("Oh, by the way, in case you read my other essay, this is someone else ...").


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 23, 2013, 10:09:35 pm
If you're thinking about it from the standpoint of safety, India is a far safer country than the US. Every third person is not toting a concealed gun and Indians are such pacifist that they wouldn't harm a cow or even an ant. India is a very popular destination for college graduates who want to see a completely different culture.

If you're thinking that it's a long way away and an arduous plane trip, then it's better to go when you're young than when you're older and not as limber or flexible.

Depends on how you're approaching the idea.

No, I'm talking about having the self-confidence to navigate a foreign environment where I can't speak or read the language and am unfamiliar with the customs. I was pretty daunted planning trips to Spain and France last summer with my sons, even though at least one of us spoke the language in either place, I've been to Europe a number of times and their cultures are more similar to ours than India's is. I'm not a very intrepid traveler, I guess.

The idea of violence didn't enter my mind in regard to India, though I'm sure in some other countries that would be a concern. The plane ride would be arduous but that alone wouldn't stop me.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 24, 2013, 12:55:37 am
But, in India, as a former British colony, everyone speaks English!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Sason on November 24, 2013, 07:29:10 am
But, in India, as a former British colony, everyone speaks English!

Just like...ahem....USA....
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 24, 2013, 01:05:46 pm
I know. But I find travel challenging, though rewarding. Kudos to you for not being daunted!

Don't get me wrong -- I'd go to India, just probably not all by myself. I prefer to share my confusion with others.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 24, 2013, 05:34:10 pm
Five to ten years ago, if I heard a woman refer to "my partner" I would assume her partner was a woman, and sometimes would be mildly surprised to find it was a man. But these days it has become such a common locution that I don't make assumptions one way or another when someone says it.

I guess I don't hang around enough straight people. I've never heard a straight woman refer to the man in her life as her partner.

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I decided to retrieve the relevant passages. She doesn't appear to be quite bending over backward to avoid revealing gender -- the sentences feel graceful and natural -- yet the omission, over three mentions, doesn't feel quite random, either. Meanwhile, at least two men in the piece are referred to as having wives.

I'm sure it wasn't random.

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I agree that the partner's gender is not crucial to the story. But the essay is full of details that, strictly speaking, it could have lived without: the games she played as a child, what the Greek publisher and his wife (ahem) served for dinner in their apartment, Mongolia's mineral resources. I'm not saying they were excessive or padding, I'm saying that it seems significant that out of all the details she did include, one she didn't, apparently deliberately, is the gender of her (presumably) same-sex partner.

Sure, she obviously made a decision not to include the gender of her partner.

Meanwhile, what's the deal with Jackson Cox (see page 27 in the hardcopy magazine) and his "friend"? When she arrives at Cox's apartment, they're pouring champagne and listening to Beyonce? After dinner at a French restaurant, they take her to an "underground gay bar"?

First of all, it's interesting to learn that there are French restaurants and gay bars in Ulaanbaatar, but secondly, I'd like to know what she meant by "underground." Illegal, like a speakeasy? Or just in a basement somewhere?

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Given that one of the benefits of marriage equality is that it "normalizes" women having wives and men husbands in mainstream minds, it would have been nice to see a casual mention of her wife without further ado. I'm always happy to see same-sex couples portrayed in the media in ways that we're used to seeing straight couples portrayed, without fanfare.

I'm afraid marriage equality is never going to "'normalize' women having wives and men husbands" for this old buzzard. Those terms, wife and husband, are so heteronormative and gender-linked for me that I'll never be comfortable with their use by same-gender couples. They're also linked in my mind to sex roles--that is, roles in sex--that I don't like to think about. But that's me, so never mind. ...

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Another possibility is that this is actually a later marriage, the spouse/partner this time is a man, and if she used male pronouns she feared she'd confuse people like us who are familiar with her wedding essay. But nor did she want to have to stop and explain ("Oh, by the way, in case you read my other essay, this is someone else ...").

So you're speculating that she's actually bisexual, or she decided she wasn't a lesbian anymore (it's been known to happen)?

Edit to Add:

This just in: For what's worth, the Wikipedia article on Levy mentions only her marriage to Amy Norquist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 25, 2013, 01:24:57 am
I'm afraid marriage equality is never going to "'normalize' women having wives and men husbands" for this old buzzard. Those terms, wife and husband, are so heteronormative and gender-linked for me that I'll never be comfortable with their use by same-gender couples.

It's probably a little difficult for all  of us old buzzards. But when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time, and when that happens it's amazing what people can become comfortable with and nonchalant about. When I lived in New Orleans, every time I would see a black person and white person over a certain age talking amiably and as equals, I marveled at how much people can change.

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So you're speculating that she's actually bisexual, or she decided she wasn't a lesbian anymore (it's been known to happen)?

Edit to Add:

This just in: For what's worth, the Wikipedia article on Levy mentions only her marriage to Amy Norquist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy)

I was speculating something of that nature. But I believe Wikipedia in this case. So now I'm back to square one for an explanation. She could have used a feminine pronoun at some point and not changed one other thing about the piece and it would have been just fine. But for some reason, she chose not to.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 25, 2013, 10:13:45 am
But when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time.

You can say that twice and mean it!

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I was speculating something of that nature. But I believe Wikipedia in this case. So now I'm back to square one for an explanation. She could have used a feminine pronoun at some point and not changed one other thing about the piece and it would have been just fine. But for some reason, she chose not to.

Yeah, who's to say? The best explanation I can come up with is still that for some reason she thought it would have been a distraction. Clearly it would not have been to her readers who already know she's lesbian, but maybe she thought it would be for others.  ???

Meanwhile, I'm still curious about those guys in Ulaanbaatar.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on November 25, 2013, 10:53:10 am
... when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time, and when that happens it's amazing what people can become comfortable with and nonchalant about.

Conservatives usually change their stance when they get to know a gay person personally or if there is someone in their family. Think Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Rock Hudson and he and Nancy became near-advocates for equality. (Although he might not even be thought of as a Conservative today!) However, people like Dick Cheney are die-hards.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 25, 2013, 02:28:15 pm
The Nov. 18 article about the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington is very enlightening.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on November 25, 2013, 11:43:14 pm
Think Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Rock Hudson and he and Nancy became near-advocates for equality.

Reagan was a California Republican, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clinton Eastwood -- fiscally conservative but not especially socially so.

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However, people like Dick Cheney are die-hards.

Actually, I'd always heard Dick Cheney was an exception because of his daughter.

But what I was thinking of was a video I saw online of Bill O'Reilly's on-air statements about same-sex marriage over the years, from likening it to beastiality, I think, to becoming more and more nonchalant about it to finally saying he wasn't opposed.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on November 26, 2013, 02:31:48 pm
The Nov. 18 article about the used grease business was fun to read over lunch.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on December 06, 2013, 11:18:58 am
The New Yorker's website has some nice Mandela coverage:

http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Mandela (http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Mandela)



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 18, 2013, 09:31:32 pm
The "Snow Angel" Francis issue arrived today and I'm looking forward to reading about the Pope. I hope there is a lot about the Pope himself rather than mainly people's reactions to him.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 01, 2014, 08:27:19 pm
The "Snow Angel" Francis issue arrived today and I'm looking forward to reading about the Pope. I hope there is a lot about the Pope himself rather than mainly people's reactions to him.

Jumping around among issues as I do, I finished James Carroll's article (Dec. 23-30, 2013, issue) about Pope Francis over supper this evening (I enjoy James Carroll's articles). I think there is a great movie, a love story if not a sexual one, about the future pope and the woman who mentored him in his secular career before he decided to become a priest and a Jesuit--the woman who was later murdered by an Argentine death squad.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 09, 2014, 02:21:51 pm
At lunch today I finished the Dec. 23-30, 2013, article about "plant neurobiology," so called. I found it very interesting. It makes me want to read The Secret Life of Plants, even if that book has been discredited.

Has anyone read The Secret Life of Plants?

Oh, yes, I also recommend Roz Chast's "Nondenominational Carols."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 09, 2014, 03:59:57 pm
I've read parts of it. I didn't know it had been discredited. I'm still reading that issue and there are three articles I'm especially interested in:

Elizabeth Kolbert's The Lost World, Part Two
Emily Eakin's The Civilization Kit (I've finished this one)
Michael Pollan's The Intelligent Plant

I wonder if they set out to do an environmental issue or it just happened that way!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 10, 2014, 12:10:04 pm
I haven't read The Secret Life of Plants, but now I'm curious about how it has been discredited.

I did read Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World and it is excellent.

I'm in the middle of a duty article about drug trafficking on the Mosquito Coast. It's sad and horrifying.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 10, 2014, 12:56:19 pm
I'm in the middle of a duty article about drug trafficking on the Mosquito Coast. It's sad and horrifying.

I just started that one. The whole subject sounds depressing.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 11, 2014, 11:25:19 am
I just started that one. The whole subject sounds depressing.  :(

It is.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 11, 2014, 01:13:07 pm
I'm in the middle of a duty article about drug trafficking on the Mosquito Coast. It's sad and horrifying.

I just started that one. The whole subject sounds depressing.  :(

It is.

Figured as much.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 12, 2014, 10:45:21 am
Meanwhile, I'm also reading the profile of Jennifer Weiner in the Jan. 13 issue. Much lighter, but I already follow the controversies surrounding male and female writers and literary vs. popular novels, so it's pretty old news to me. Plus, much of it is about events that took place online (which is why I'm familiar with them), which gives the piece and oddly airless and inconsequential-seeming quality.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 15, 2014, 03:05:48 pm
I'm puzzled.

In the Theatre/Now Playing section of the January 6 issue, I noticed an entry for "a musical entertainment with panache and precision" called A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. When I read the description, I immediately recognized the plot of an old (1949) and very delightful Alec Guinness movie called Kind Hearts and Coronets:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041546/?ref_=nv_sr_1 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041546/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

The similarity even extends to one actor playing eight different roles, as Guinness does in the movie.

There is, however, no recognition in The New Yorker of this relationship.

Is this because The New Yorker no longer employs anyone who would know such a thing? Or does The New Yorker no longer care? Or does The New Yorker think it no longer has any readers who would know or care?

 ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 15, 2014, 03:31:43 pm
Jeff, you are correct about the connection between the new musical and the Alec Guinness film.  IIRC, the original review surely recognized this fact.  The play opened in October/November and was reviewed earlier.  The "now playing" blurb is just that, a blurb. 

BTW, I saw this play last week and it was great fun!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 15, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
Jeff, you are correct about the connection between the new musical and the Alec Guinness film.  IIRC, the original review surely recognized this fact.  The play opened in October/November and was reviewed earlier.  The "now playing" blurb is just that, a blurb. 

BTW, I saw this play last week and it was great fun!

It ought to be. The movie is wonderful.

If one of the magazine's regular critics did a full-on review of it, I must have missed it.

I knew in a moment it was Kind Hearts and Coronets. Clever idea to make a musical out of it.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 15, 2014, 04:08:37 pm
It ought to be. The movie is wonderful.

If one of the magazine's regular critics did a full-on review of it, I must have missed it.

I knew in a moment it was Kind Hearts and Coronets. Clever idea to make a musical out of it.  :)

Jeff, I looked for the New Yorker review, but I don't have an online subscription.  Certainly Isherwood in the Times mentioned the connection; his review is very accurate (it's possible I never read a New Yorker review, actually, and was thinking of this one--I guess the New Yorker is better known for film reviews).  As he notes, the musical is even more farcical.  Jefferson Mays (who was astonishing in "I Am My Own Wife") has a wonderfully manic flair in the Alec Guinness role.  Bryce Pinkham, who plays Monty, is pretty easy on the eyes, and has a lovely tenor voice.

I recall seeing the film as a kid.  Perhaps, it's time to summon it on Netflix!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 15, 2014, 04:34:04 pm
Jeff, I looked for the New Yorker review, but I don't have an online subscription.  Certainly Isherwood in the Times mentioned the connection; his review is very accurate (it's possible I never read a New Yorker review, actually, and was thinking of this one--I guess the New Yorker is better known for film reviews).  As he notes, the musical is even more farcical.  Jefferson Mays (who was astonishing in "I Am My Own Wife") has a wonderfully manic flair in the Alec Guinness role.  Bryce Pinkham, who plays Monty, is pretty easy on the eyes, and has a lovely tenor voice.

I recall seeing the film as a kid.  Perhaps, it's time to summon it on Netflix!

Whoever wrote the magazine blurb praises Jefferson Mays.

The film is one of the many I've never got around to adding to my library, but it certainly is delightlful.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 15, 2014, 09:23:09 pm

BTW, I saw this play last week and it was great fun!

Lucky guy! I heard a review on NPR for it and considered going to New York especially to see this! (if I won the lottery).

I recently just saw the movie for the first time. I made a friend of mine watch Local Hero and in return, he made me watch KHAC. I think we both won.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 16, 2014, 09:30:33 am
Jeff, I looked for the New Yorker review, but I don't have an online subscription. 

I have one, but the longer review didn't come up in a search. That's not conclusive, but at least in the movie reviews the New Yorker will note the date of the initial full review, but in this case the blurb makes not mention of one.

Quote
I guess the New Yorker is better known for film reviews

I wouldn't have guessed that, but you may be right. For obvious reasons, I don't follow their theater reviews very closely.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 16, 2014, 10:22:55 am
I have one, but the longer review didn't come up in a search. That's not conclusive, but at least in the movie reviews the New Yorker will note the date of the initial full review, but in this case the blurb makes not mention of one.

I wonder why they don't do that? List the date of an original theater review, I mean.  ???
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 16, 2014, 11:00:22 am
I wouldn't have guessed that, but you may be right. For obvious reasons, I don't follow their theater reviews very closely.

It's funny:  I can easily name the New Yorker film reviewers (especially fond of Anthony Lane); and also the Times theatre reviewers.  But, not vice versa.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 16, 2014, 12:58:17 pm
Hilton Als (whom I've heard of for reasons not directly related to theater -- he writes about other stuff, too) and an older guy, something Lahr.

OK, the above was written pre-googling. I was right on both counts. Lahr is John Lahr (I always picture him as Bert Lahr, but he's not THAT much older; Bert Lahr would be turning 119 this year).


(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eKS87MPI4CQ/UKZtoyunEqI/AAAAAAAACCY/wa2lvxz-r1E/s320/cowardly-lion-oz.jpg)



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 16, 2014, 01:50:13 pm
John Lahr is Bert Lahr's son!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 16, 2014, 02:07:04 pm
I highly recommend Anthony Lane's 2002 book Nobody's Perfect, a collection of film reviews and other related essays.  He has a delightfully wicked sense of humor.  The title refers to the last line of "Some Like it Hot".
(https://d3myrwj42s63no.cloudfront.net/180/037/541/448/7/0375414487.jpg)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 16, 2014, 02:19:16 pm
Meanwhile, I'm also reading the profile of Jennifer Weiner in the Jan. 13 issue. Much lighter, but I already follow the controversies surrounding male and female writers and literary vs. popular novels, so it's pretty old news to me. Plus, much of it is about events that took place online (which is why I'm familiar with them), which gives the piece and oddly airless and inconsequential-seeming quality.

I started this over lunch today. I remember when she was a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Hardly important, but I found it interesting to learn that apparently her name is supposed to be pronounced the proper German way, with a long "i." I've always heard people (mis)pronounce it with a long "e."

(Meanwhile, I thought everybody who read The New Yorker knew that John Lahr was the son of Bert; he's written about his father from time to time.)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 16, 2014, 04:54:25 pm
John Lahr is Bert Lahr's son!

Hardly important, but I found it interesting to learn that apparently her name is supposed to be pronounced the proper German way, with a long "i." I've always heard people (mis)pronounce it with a long "e."

(Meanwhile, I thought everybody who read The New Yorker knew that John Lahr was the son of Bert; he's written about his father from time to time.)

 :-X What can I say? I don't read the theater reviews. Maybe I actually did know that at one time, but today at least I clearly should have read further into the Wikipedia page.


I highly recommend Anthony Lane's 2002 book Nobody's Perfect, a collection of film reviews and other related essays.  He has a delightfully wicked sense of humor.

Yes, the film reviews are often the first thing I read -- when Anthony Lane writes. When it's David Denby, I often skip them, even if I'm interested in the movie!

I remember him reviewing a Tom Cruise movie and prefacing some praise of Cruise by saying something like, "My bedroom walls aren't exactly shrouded in Tom Cruise posters, but ..."


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 16, 2014, 06:51:04 pm
I think my favorite Lane review is of "Contact": 

On a broiling day, I ran to a screening of Contact, the Jodie Foster flick about messages from another galaxy. I made it for the opening credits, and, panting heavily — which, with all due respect, is not something that I find myself doing that often in Jodie Foster films — I started taking notes. These went "v. gloomy," "odd noir look for sci-fi," "creepy shadows in outdoor scene," and so on. Only after three-quarters of an hour did I remember to remove my dark glasses.
...
She (Jodie Foster) does get laid in the film, but only by Matthew McConaughey, and that doesn't count.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 16, 2014, 07:30:57 pm
She (Jodie Foster) does get laid in the film, but only by Matthew McConaughey, and that doesn't count.

Anthony Lane is brilliant, but I would beg to differ with him about this.

Another favorite memory involving Anthony Lane -- he loved Speed! Or so I recall.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 16, 2014, 07:44:39 pm
Another favorite memory involving Anthony Lane -- he loved Speed! Or so I recall.

Yes, he did.  He even liked Titanic.   :P :-X

One of the reasons I like him so much is that his reviews describe the experience of seeing the particular film.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 17, 2014, 11:47:02 am
Seriously, the walls of my bedroom are not shrouded with Matthew McConaughey posters (there's no space between the Christian Bales), but this article from the New Yorker website captures exactly why I find him interesting lately. I love middle-aged self-reinventions.

Oh, and for those of you with HBO, I highly recommend True Detective, starring McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It just started last Sunday and is intriguing so far.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/01/the-mcconaissance.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%2899%29 (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/01/the-mcconaissance.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%2899%29)

January 16, 2014
The McConaissance
Posted by Rachel Syme


This morning, Matthew McConaughey woke up to his first Oscar nomination. There’s no denying the McConaissance now, a bold second act in the American actor’s life which somehow feels as novel as it does deliberate. McConaughey’s return to the Hollywood firmament in the past two years has had an unusually organic quality to it, in that critics and audiences alike have quickly made room for his new oddball intensity and his desire to make interesting choices again after a decade of just livin’ and relying on his dimples and his baritone drawl.

Like everything else he does, McConaughey makes coming back look easy. It isn’t usually this way. Most actresses, after spending a decade in the romantic-comedy trenches in unchallenging movies buttered with cliché, do not get to return to the Hollywood winners’ circle. (Sandra Bullock is a notable exception—maybe the magic is in Texas.) Most actors who disappear for ten years and want to shine again must prove that they’ve been to Hell and back (see: Robert Downey, Jr., and Mickey Rourke). Their awards are a sobriety chip; the serious acting is a kind of thirteenth step of rehabilitation. McConaughey seems unfazed by his return, cool and buoyant and fully aware of where he’s been. In a sauntering speech at the Golden Globes, he winked at his iconic role in “Dazed and Confused,” his openness to the press about his lost, naked bongo years, and his unabashed and well-documented desire to “unbrand” himself and start anew. For years, McConaughey embodied complacency; he was an actor who bought too heavily into his own allure and therefore stalled out early on. The fact that he has been able to unravel that perception in a few roles shows how wrong we were. And it takes an actor who’s keenly aware of his own mythology to play games with his audience, to slash through his own persona with glee and abandon.

The McConaughey that we are getting now is casually weird and much darker than expected. He seems unshackled after decades of trying to be a matinée idol, an affable, guileless human glass of sweet tea. McConaughey has always used his body as an instrument, exuding sexuality in his work—in 1996, a review of “A Time to Kill” practically panted from the pages of the Times, with phrases like “Adonis factor” and “a profile that belongs on a coin”—but now his take on his own eroticism has turned sour, and his sensuality has become a weapon rather than a crutch. Consider his role in “Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he lost forty-five pounds and took on the look of a gangly bobblehead (standard Hollywood penance for a career resurrection). McConaughey was cast as a straight man named Ron Woodroof, who is given a diagnosis of AIDS in the early days of the epidemic and who goes on to become a kingpin distributor of unapproved remedies. In the film, Woodroof is gravely undone by his own sexuality. McConaughey plays Woodroof as virile and cocky, even while he is emaciated, with sunken cheekbones, and covered with sarcomas. Woodroof has paid the price for careless sex, and McConaughey offers his own sexuality as broad and unprotected. He somehow manages to swagger while looking gaunt as a whippet.

Or take “Magic Mike,” the film that kick-started McConaughey’s return. Everything that he had been mocked for—his well-documented love of shirtlessness, his moony love of the ladies, his chest-puffing, blustering self-regard—came together to make a tragic figure, one who flaunts these talents for dollar bills in a tawdry night club. What the McConaissance is about—if it is really about anything—is the clever (and purposeful) undoing of a mythos and the embrace of a more authentic McConaughey, even if that reveals something grimy and sad beneath the creamy Texas accent. It’s also about upholding that past self and twisting it into new combinations. In his small cameo in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” McConaughey, still rail thin, electrifies the film with a five-minute meditation on hedonism and underachievement. He convinces the bushy-tailed broker played by Leonardo DiCaprio that the stock-trading business is simply boys playing games with funny money, trying to walk taller than they are and possess the air. It is easy to apply this pep talk to Hollywood, that ethereal land of money-scented breezes, the ultimate fugazi for the hopeful and the lucky. After “A Time to Kill” came out, McConaughey became famous overnight. The entire country seemed to know the name of his dog (Miss Hud). He has spoken about feeling everyone in every place squeezing in on him, that old byproduct of instant stardom. “The world became a mirror very quickly,” he said in one interview. “Over the weekend, there were more mirrors in the world everywhere.” Mirrors can be fun, of course, when you look like McConaughey. But, after a while, too many can seem like a fun house.

When we think of the “lost” years that came after the heralded ones, the terrible, forgettable films (“Sahara,” “Fool’s Gold,” “The Wedding Planner”), we think of underachievement, dashed potential, and, worse yet, an actor recognizing the limits of his own ability and slowing to a resting heart rate. We felt the kind of disappointment that comes with the promise of a new Paul Newman or Steve McQueen melting into flabby, lucrative resignation. But McConaughey’s resurgence shows us that he was always a good actor; the ability was there. The years he lost now look like an active squandering of his position, a deliberate choice to be famous and handsome and wealthy without trying too hard, to reap the benefits of the indulgent side of fame. But even the most exotic tropical vacations grow wearysome, and McConaughey eventually decided, as we all must do, to get back to work. The starmaking machine loves nothing more than swallowing up its young stars, sometimes unspooling them completely (see: Shia LaBeouf). McConaughey’s lost years now look curiously like self-protection, a recharging of the batteries for a more dangerous late swell of desire. When he beats his chest with a primal grunt in “The Wolf of Wall Street”—an ad-lib originating in McConaughey’s pre-scene warmup exercise—he’s reconnecting with what’s weird and strange and sad about his embodiment of down-home American masculinity.

Though “A Time to Kill” made him a movie star, the younger McConaughey was really at his best in his first film, “Dazed and Confused,” from 1993. Languid, with a mop of blond hair and a slippery mustache, wearing tight salmon-colored pants and a white T-shirt with one sleeve rolled up to hold a pack of cigarettes, he was twenty-three and just getting started. His character, Wooderson, sleazy mustache and all, is a distillation of the raw material that is now being put to use. Some actors overcome their first roles, others never live up to them again. McConaughey seems to have fused with his: Wooderson was stuck in viscid, small-town adolescence, lascivious and joyful and going nowhere in a hurry, the Peter Pan of the prairie who was also a wise man. Whereas Ben Affleck (another actor who has managed to claw his way back from years stuck in the ether), as the other older hanger-on in the film, the raging meathead O’Bannion, channelled violence and vitriol into his lost youth, McConaughey exuded a calm acceptance of his slow pace and of the sense that everything was and would always be all right. He gives a group of angst-ridden teens some sage advice at the film’s end, staring down the length of a football field: “The older you get, the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’, man, L-I-V-I-N.”

These words were also McConaughey’s own—a mantra he repeated to himself to deal with the death of his father, which happened just days into shooting—and they were clairvoyant. He named his foundation for at-risk youth Just Keep Livin’, but the words themselves (so blithe as to lack any real meaning) go beyond that when applied to his career. What moviegoers enjoy even more than an arc of redemption after a dramatic fall is a surge of energy after a period of prodigal wastefulness. McConaughey’s recent trajectory—which just keeps going (the excellent, eerie “True Detective” is on HBO now, and soon he will anchor a Christopher Nolan blockbuster)—is a joy to watch. McConaughey seems to be tapping into something essential, remaining himself while stretching, getting older while staying the same age.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on January 18, 2014, 06:57:18 pm
Well, the walls of my bedroom aren't exactly shrouded with Anthony Lane posters, LOL.  But his Contact snark was way before the McConaissance:  it was 1997.  Lane found casting MM as a philosopher/theologian rather laughable. 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on January 19, 2014, 11:39:36 am
But his Contact snark was way before the McConaissance:  it was 1997.  Lane found casting MM as a philosopher/theologian rather laughable. 

Right. But who's laughing all the way to the Oscars now?

I sometimes detect a bit of snark among straight male critics toward extremely good looking actors, a hint that the actors are lightweights whether or not their performance deserves it. Another example: Bradley Cooper has been good in every movie I've ever seen him in. But in reviews he's often sort of shrugged off or ignored, getting far less praise than his costars (e.g., Jennifer Lawrence).

That said, I myself get impatient when I see supermodelish starlets cast as geophysicists and the like. Maybe that's a similar reaction. Except that those starlets' main purpose for filling those roles seems to be eye candy, which wasn't really the function of MM in Contact, as I recall.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 26, 2014, 03:19:19 pm
I was reading Ben McGrath's article on soccer in Brazil (Jan. 13). I thought it would be interesting, and it was, to a point, but the article was just too long, and I gave up about five pages from the end.

"It has too many notes words. ..."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 30, 2014, 02:42:23 pm
I'm now reading David Remnick's article about the President (Jan. 27). I know this reveals my own shallowness, but I liked the description of the presidential limo, and the breakfast menu on Air Force One.  ;D

On the other hand, as somebody who used to write history for a living, I'm tickled to learn that the President has dinners with historians.  :D

And I loved what Robert Caro, the biographer of LBJ, had to say: "No matter what the problems with the rollout of Obamacare, it's a major advance in the history of social justice to provide access to health care for thirty-one million people."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2014, 02:25:06 pm
As soon as I saw an article by Patricia Marx about traveling on a cargo ship (Feb. 3) I sat right down and read it.  :laugh:

It's ... OK.  :-\ Turned out to be not as long or, frankly, as funny as I might have expected from Marx, but it's still ... OK. And interesting to me that she sailed from the port of Philadelphia instead of from somewhere in the New York region.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2014, 02:27:54 pm
I don't read the theater reviews.

It's not as though I actually expect to get up to New York to see anything, but I always read them as part of my way of keeping "culturally current"--which, you could say, is one reason why I read The New Yorker in the first place.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 06, 2014, 02:07:21 pm
The Feb. 3 article about abortion predator Steven Brigham is disturbing, alarming, and saddening.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 06, 2014, 10:10:27 pm
Oooo, I imagine the Downton Abbey fans aren't going to like Emily Nussbaum's reference to their darling show in her Feb. 10 review of The Fosters: "Beneath the bright surfaces, it explores far more sophisticated themes than, say, 'Downton Abbey.'"
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 25, 2014, 02:16:20 pm
Over lunch today I finished Kelefa Sanneh article in the anniversary issue (Feb. 17 and 24) about a very interesting character named Carl Van Vechten. I'm sure I've come across Van Vechten's name once or twice before, but I knew nothing about him. Turns out he was quite involved, in more ways than one,  8)  with figures of the Harlem Renaissance. I admit I also don't really know much in detail about the Harlem Renaissance, either, so it came as a surprise to me that Sanneh quotes no less a respected scholar than Henry Louis Gates that the Harlem Renaissance was "surely as gay as it was black."

Sanneh's article is accompanied by some amazing color photographs taken by Van Vechten of Billie Holiday, James Earl Jones (so young looking in 1961 that I would not have recognized him), James Baldwin, and Mahalia Jackson.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 04, 2014, 02:56:34 pm
At lunch today I read the Feb. 17--24 article by Roger Angell, age 93. I rather wish I hadn't as I found it quite depressing.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 06, 2014, 09:39:07 pm
The March 10 issue arrived today, and over supper tonight I plunged right into Nicholas Lemann's article about revising the common understanding of the Kittie Genovese murder, which occurred 50 years ago this year. Among other things, I've learned that Kittie Genovese was lesbian.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 07, 2014, 11:24:49 am
The March 10 issue arrived today, and over supper tonight I plunged right into Nicholas Lemann's article about revising the common understanding of the Kittie Genovese murder, which occurred 50 years ago this year. Among other things, I've learned that Kittie Genovese was lesbian.

I'm reading that one and haven't reached that part yet. I'm also looking forward to the Roz Chast thing.

Meanwhile, I started a duty article from the last issue, about a enormously ambitious energy project in France that involves most of the countries in the world, is unfathomably expensive, and has the goal of creating, essentially, a small sun -- a thing as hot as the center of the sun, inside a core as cold as deep space. Sounds very scary and the article is well written and fascinating to a point, but like so many duty articles gives way more detail than I feel I really need to have about this project.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 07, 2014, 11:47:04 am
I'm reading that one and haven't reached that part yet. I'm also looking forward to the Roz Chast thing.

Meanwhile, I started a duty article from the last issue, about a enormously ambitious energy project in France that involves most of the countries in the world, is unfathomably expensive, and has the goal of creating, essentially, a small sun -- a thing as hot as the center of the sun, inside a core as cold as deep space. Sounds very scary and the article is well written and fascinating to a point, but like so many duty articles gives way more detail than I feel I really need to have about this project.

I'm looking forward to the Roz Chast thing, too.

Meanwhile, thanks to the two-week anniversary issue, I'm actually way behind as usual. I'm guessing you're referring to "Star in a Bottle" in the March 3 issue? The only article I've finished in that issue is Anthony Lane's movie review; right now I'm in the midst of David Remnick's article on Vladimir Putin and the Sochi Olympics. Thanks to Remnick I now know more about Putin than I did before. I knew he was former KGB and was mayor of St. Petersburg, but that was about it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 12, 2014, 01:07:31 pm
Meanwhile, I started a duty article from the last issue, about a enormously ambitious energy project in France that involves most of the countries in the world, is unfathomably expensive, and has the goal of creating, essentially, a small sun -- a thing as hot as the center of the sun, inside a core as cold as deep space. Sounds very scary and the article is well written and fascinating to a point, but like so many duty articles gives way more detail than I feel I really need to have about this project.

I'm reading that article now (I haven't had a lot of lunchtime reading time lately). Like so many of its type in The New Yorker, it's way too long, but I'm not finding it a "duty." Rather, with the immediate introduction of exotic, made-up words like tokamak, I'm finding it more than a little like reading a syfy fiction story. I'm enjoying it. Maybe it's a guy thing, although I'm not much of a syfy reader.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on March 13, 2014, 10:20:42 am
Maybe it's a guy thing, although I'm not much of a syfy reader.


I can tell, because if you're talking about the short term for "science fiction," it's actually spelled sci fi.  ;)  ;D

The sci fi stuff is interesting, but I could do with a lot less detail about all the international bureaucracy. Just tell me the thing has become a giant scary disastrous bureaucratic boondoggle; I don't need to know who sent what memo to whom seventeen years ago. Maybe it all gets cleared up later on -- I'm still struggling with it, about halfway through.

It could make a good movie, though!





Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 13, 2014, 10:24:52 am
I can tell, because if you're talking about the short term for "science fiction," it's actually spelled sci fi.  ;)  ;D

I just used TV Guide's spelling for the channel.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on March 19, 2014, 08:40:19 am
LOL  I was just about to post that "Sy Fy" is how the SyFy networks spells it.

However, Catherine is right, the real abbreviation is "Sci fi".
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 19, 2014, 09:28:00 am
Hey, if I wanna spell it like they do on TV, I'm gonna spell it like they do on TV.  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 20, 2014, 09:14:54 am
I've started reading the profile of Darren Aronofsky. I've yet to see Black Swan, but now, thanks to the profile, I know how it ends!  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: CellarDweller on March 20, 2014, 11:18:16 am
Hey, if I wanna spell it like they do on TV, I'm gonna spell it like they do on TV.  ;D

Just a follow up, lol ....I do the Star Ledger crosswords each day at lunch.  One clue from yesterday was:

"___-fi"

I instantly thought of you and this conversation!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 20, 2014, 11:22:14 am
Just a follow up, lol ....I do the Star Ledger crosswords each day at lunch.  One clue from yesterday was:

"___-fi"

I instantly thought of you and this conversation!

 :laugh:

Are you sure the answer wasn't "Hi"?  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 20, 2014, 01:25:37 pm
I'm now reading Jon Lee Anderson's March 10 article about the proposal to build a canal across Nicaragua (less a "duty article" than most of Anderson's pieces). I admit I'm surprised to learn that Daniel Ortega is still around; now, there's a name out of the 1980s for you! (Oliver North and Fawn Hall get mentioned, too!) Ortega is now just your garden-variety corrupt banana-republic dictator.

Anderson himself offers an explanation for why I didn't realize Ortega was still around:

"Since the end of the Cold War, Nicaragua has been on a geostrategic par with Burkina Faso; in other words, it doesn't matter much."

 :laugh:

I wonder whether there are any New Yorker readers in Burkina Faso?  8)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 25, 2014, 01:09:12 pm
At lunch today I finished David Denby's (March 17) article about the new book about the five Hollywood directors who went to war and made films for the military during World War II, John Ford, John Huston, William Wyler, George Stevens, and Frank Capra, who had the rank of major and seems to have been in charge of the operation. Seems to me their experiences would make as good a subject for a movie as the Monuments Men. The article also seems to be nudging me to see certain movies, both vintage and contemporary, that I've never seen.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 25, 2014, 03:14:05 pm
I really enjoyed that article too, and it made me want to see the films they had made before and after the war, to contrast.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 25, 2014, 06:39:20 pm
I really enjoyed that article too, and it made me want to see the films they had made before and after the war, to contrast.

Every one that's mentioned is a classic. I haven't seen them all, but I have seen five of the seven John Ford films mentioned, the three Wylers, The Maltese Falcon (Huston), Gunga Din and A Place in the Sun (Stevens), and It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It's a Wonderful Life (Capra) (I've seen several of them several times). In a college poli sci class I even saw Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will--which is truly creepy and scary. I'm feeling now that I should see The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler) and They Were Expendable (Ford).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 02, 2014, 09:05:58 pm
Today the latest issue arrived and I sat down and read it cover to cover! I haven't done that in years! The cover appealed to me (see below). In Talk of the Town, I was pleased to see that Steven Soderbergh is forging ahead in his new theatrical career after hanging up his director's clapboard. (Do they still use clapboards?) I was even more thrilled to see that the inspiration for his play "The Library" came from the book Columbine by Brokie Dave Cullen! I hope it's successful and I bet it will be.

Just a passing thought: I don't see how anyone today can possibly say "Obamacare is hurting the American people" and actually believe that anyone is paying attention to them.

I read "Chemical Alley" about the lingering problems with the chemical spill in West Virginia. The story is very condemning of the Republicans who have turned back the Clean Water laws. It was rather sad. I read most of John McPhee's latest article "Elicitation" which was very interesting in parts, but jumped around a lot. It seems he's writing his memoirs lately. I just skimmed the other articles except for David Denby's review of Noah. Thank you, David. Now I don't have to see that movie. Gives me more time to spend with the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Sometimes I just don't get the cartoons and this was definitely one of those weeks!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 03, 2014, 01:14:57 pm
Over lunch I just read Anthony Lane's March 24 appreciation--I don't know what else to call it--of Scarlett Johansson. I found the article strange, almost like a verbal orgasm. I really didn't care much for it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: southendmd on April 03, 2014, 02:23:22 pm
Over lunch I just read Anthony Lane's March 24 appreciation--I don't know what else to call it--of Scarlett Johansson. I found the article strange, almost like a verbal orgasm. I really didn't care much for it.

Yes, he certainly does gush in a very Anthony Lane-ish way. 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 03, 2014, 06:37:26 pm
Today the latest issue arrived and I sat down and read it cover to cover! I haven't done that in years!

You didn't mention the article about death certificates. That one looks like lots of fun!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 03, 2014, 08:44:11 pm
Over lunch I just read Anthony Lane's March 24 appreciation--I don't know what else to call it--of Scarlett Johansson. I found the article strange, almost like a verbal orgasm. I really didn't care much for it.

I skipped that piece after reading a critique of it on Slate. I like Anthony Lane and I don't want to not like him. But the critic made that piece sound loathsome and supported her case very well.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 03, 2014, 10:13:36 pm
Well I remember when Pauline Kael went gaga over Last Tango in Paris. It happens sometimes. 
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 09, 2014, 08:50:12 pm
You didn't mention the article about death certificates. That one looks like lots of fun!  :D

I loved the April 7 article about bills of mortality and death certificates.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 11, 2014, 09:29:53 am
I'm working on the "duty article" now, the one about the chemical spill in West Virginia.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 11, 2014, 09:31:51 am
Actually I liked that article because I had heard the story on the radio and it brought up a lot of questions in my mind that the article answered.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 11, 2014, 11:56:26 am
Actually I liked that article because I had heard the story on the radio and it brought up a lot of questions in my mind that the article answered.

It's just that I expect I've read essentially the same story in The New Yorker any number of times over the past thirty years. Just substitute anything else that's harmful to the environment and to people for "chemical spill" and we've all read this story already. I'm not that far into the article but I expect there isn't anything really new here. It's like the saying, "Dog bites man" isn't news; "Man bites dog" is news. The article is The New Yorker equivalent of cod liver oil: you read (take) it because it's good for you.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 11, 2014, 08:40:06 pm
It's just that I expect I've read essentially the same story in The New Yorker any number of times over the past thirty years. Just substitute anything else that's harmful to the environment and to people for "chemical spill" and we've all read this story already. I'm not that far into the article but I expect there isn't anything really new here. It's like the saying, "Dog bites man" isn't news; "Man bites dog" is news. The article is The New Yorker equivalent of cod liver oil: you read (take) it because it's good for you.

Once you realize that and get your dutiful gist of the problem -- chemical spill in West Virginia, bad -- do you not feel you can move on to a different article?

I finally moved on from the one about the international project in France to build the most powerful whatchamajig ever. I kept thinking it was going to get interesting, because basically it sounded like they were trying to build a miniature enclosed sun here on earth, which sounded fascinating and terrifying (do they really know what they're doing? could the thing get out of control and destroy the planet?).

But the article kept dwelling on how all the complicated funding problems and red tape involved in a cooperative effort of that magnitude had bogged down the project, and finally I got sufficiently bogged down myself and gave up. Life is short, boring article, and I've got plenty more New Yorkers where you came from.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 11, 2014, 09:46:11 pm
Once you realize that and get your dutiful gist of the problem -- chemical spill in West Virginia, bad -- do you not feel you can move on to a different article?

Put that way, I didn't need to start it in the first place. I got all that from the television news just after the spill.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 11, 2014, 10:09:29 pm
One thing that's good about the new issue arriving...you are released from any articles you're reading in the past issue! At least, that's the way I look at it.

And now I'm off to peruse the latest issue that arrived today. Going to bed early. I'm getting up at 2:30 am to go to the mountains!!!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 12, 2014, 11:53:57 am
One thing that's good about the new issue arriving...you are released from any articles you're reading in the past issue! At least, that's the way I look at it.

Not me. I would miss too much interesting and educational if I treated the magazine that way. I simply do not have enough time in any week to get through an issue before the next arrives. Perhaps you're a faster reader than I am.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 23, 2014, 01:42:39 pm
Over lunch today I began reading Ryan Lizza's April 14 article on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I was not at all surprised to read that even Christie's political mentor, former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, considers Christie a bully. How else would you interpret Kean's comment, "He [Christie] doesn't always try to persuade you with reason. He makes you feel that your life's going to be very unhappy if you don't do what he says," other than that even Kean considers Christie a bully?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 23, 2014, 10:24:53 pm
I just finished the February 17 & 24 anniversary issue. I enjoyed Roger Angell's "This Old Man" although I didn't think I would. I didn't enjoy the article "Starman" about Neil deGrasse Tyson as much as I thought I would. Also, the tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman left me cold. What I enjoyed the most was the article by Adam Gopnik, "The frankly faithless" about agnostic/atheists through the ages.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 24, 2014, 09:34:59 am
I just finished the February 17 & 24 anniversary issue. I enjoyed Roger Angell's "This Old Man" although I didn't think I would. I didn't enjoy the article "Starman" about Neil deGrasse Tyson as much as I thought I would. Also, the tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman left me cold. What I enjoyed the most was the article by Adam Gopnik, "The frankly faithless" about agnostic/atheists through the ages.

Those all sound worth reading! I'll have to dig that issue out of the pile.

I'm midway through a December article by Michael Pollan about scientists who believe that plants can "think." Once again, an interesting concept turns into a duty article. You kind of get the point early on -- plants interact with their environments and each other in far more complex ways than previously thought, showing awareness of conditions and responding with chemical changes or movement, which some scientists consider something like animals thinking, but others scoff at as not comparable -- and then the article goes on for pages and pages, reiterating and fine-tuning the concept, offering more evidence, quoting more people on both sides.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 26, 2014, 09:48:24 am
I'm reading Michael Kinsley's personal history about how his Parkinson's might or might not be affecting his cognitive abilities in the April 28 issue. (I skip around -- still plodding through Pollan's intelligent plants from December.)

Highly recommended so far. It's courageous -- what if a famous pundit gradually loses his intellectual edge? -- and, as always with Kinsley, measured and even-keeled and humorous. Kinsley has always been probably my favorite political writer.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 26, 2014, 10:19:34 am
I'm reading the Kingsley article too. It makes a nice complement to the Angell article I read last week.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on April 27, 2014, 09:04:35 am
Finished Kinsley. Highly recommended!  :)


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 27, 2014, 10:31:40 am
Trudging through that duty article about horseshoe crabs.  ::)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 29, 2014, 01:26:00 pm
I am very eager to find out what women think of Elizabeth Warren (ref. Jill Lepore, April 21 issue).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 03, 2014, 08:56:51 pm
I found the story "Prescription for Disaster" by Rsachel Aviv, very gripping. And not just because it takes place in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 08, 2014, 02:27:44 pm
A quote from "Prescription for Disaster": "Deaths by opioids have quadrupled in the past ten years. Prescription drugs contribute to half of all deaths by overdose, accounting for more fatalities than heroin and cocaine combined." Our doctors are puppets of the pharmaceutical industry, killing people rather than healing them!

The great thing about this article is how objective it is. It doesn't paint doctors as villains and patients as helpless victims. It's quite a lengthy story but at the end you still don't know what is the truth.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 08, 2014, 02:44:23 pm
A quote from "Prescription for Disaster": "Deaths by opioids have quadrupled in the past ten years. Prescription drugs contribute to half of all deaths by overdose, accounting for more fatalities than heroin and cocaine combined." Our doctors are puppets of the pharmaceutical industry, killing people rather than healing them!

The great thing about this article is how objective it is. It doesn't paint doctors as villains and patients as helpless victims. It's quite a lengthy story but at the end you still don't know what is the truth.

I haven't gotten to that one yet, but I don't need Rachael Aviv to tell me the "truth" that people need to take responsibility for their own responsible use of medications, follow the instructions, and make sure their doctors know ALL the medications they're taking.

Of course, when I say things like that, I usually get accused of blaming the victim. ...

ETA: I'm looking forward to reading Aviv's article, however, when I get caught up to it. Next up is Michael Kinsley's (4/28).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 08, 2014, 06:07:15 pm
I haven't gotten to that one yet, but I don't need Rachael Aviv to tell me the "truth" that people need to take responsibility for their own responsible use of medications, follow the instructions, and make sure their doctors know ALL the medications they're taking.

Of course, when I say things like that, I usually get accused of blaming the victim. ...


I doubt it this time, Jeff, because people don't tend to think of patients who die of opioid overdoses as victims of their doctors. I don't need to read an article to not think of doctors as villains in these cases, except in cases where people die of overdoses while following the prescription to the letter. Opioids are widely abused, and I assume most people who OD are taking them recreationally and/or consciously excessively.

OTOH, when someone says about a rape victim, for example, that she shouldn't have been wearing such a short skirt or whatever, that's blaming the victim because rape victims are victims.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 08, 2014, 07:06:06 pm
Okay, here's another quote from the article: "He said that a specialist there told him 'You could stick multiple Actiq suckers in your mouth and rear end and you still wouldn't overdose.'"

Actiq is a flavored lollipop that contains fentanyl, which is 80 times more powerful than morphine.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 08, 2014, 09:14:41 pm
Okay, here's another quote from the article: "He said that a specialist there told him 'You could stick multiple Actiq suckers in your mouth and rear end and you still wouldn't overdose.'"

Actiq is a flavored lollipop that contains fentanyl, which is 80 times more powerful than morphine.

That sounds like malpractice. The medication isn't responsible for the stupidity of the person prescribing it.

As a matter of fact, I just took a very cursory look at the article in question, and it looks very much like it's about the malpractice of one Stephen Schneider, O.D., not about problems with the drugs themselves. But I'll know more when I get to read the article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 08, 2014, 09:54:04 pm
How strange that they would put something like that in lollipop form!




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 09, 2014, 09:34:57 am
How strange that they would put something like that in lollipop form!

Apparently this has something to do with speeding up the delivery of the medication when it's used for breakthrough pain for cancer patients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl)

Meanwhile, I've got a question.

I always give my magazines to a friend at work when I've finished them--my version of recycling, so to speak--so I don't have back issues to go back to check, but did Rachel Aviv also write the article, some time back, about the criminally negligent abortion doctor? Does anyone remember?

If she did, I sense a theme here, and probably also a forthcoming book.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on May 09, 2014, 11:43:32 am
Here is a list of her contributions:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/bios/rachel_aviv/search?contributorName=rachel%20aviv

I didn't see the abortion story.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 09, 2014, 12:06:05 pm
Here is a list of her contributions:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/bios/rachel_aviv/search?contributorName=rachel%20aviv

I didn't see the abortion story.

Thanks.

Did strike me as interesting that they ran two stories that feature doctors behaving badly in a fairly short time.

I remember the story about Linda Bishop. That was very sad.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 09, 2014, 04:57:19 pm
I remember this one:

Annals of Crime
The Science of Sex Abuse
ANNALS OF CRIME about sex offenders who download child pornography, but may never have molested children. Is it right to imprison them for heinous crimes they have not yet committed? Focusses on one man, John, who, as a thirty-one-year-old soldier stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, used the…
by Rachel Aviv


When I read it, I'd recently been in a conversation with a lawyer friend who said something similar -- that people who possess child porn were being unfairly targeted or something like that. I was skeptical at the time, but after reading this article I could see the point. When a crime is so stigmatized that nobody wants to defend it, the people who commit it can become scapegoats.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 12, 2014, 01:39:30 pm
At lunch today I started Margaret Talbot's April 28 article about "digital cloning of humans." I smiled when I came to her use of the phrase, "pixellated humans." She's using it to mean something like "humans rendered in pixels," and I knew that, but I was also familiar with the older meaning of pixelated (or pixellated, Talbot's spelling; Webster gives both) as "somewhat unbalanced mentally."  ;D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 13, 2014, 01:25:44 pm
Well, on to the next Duty Article, Dexter Filkins on Iraq (April 28).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 19, 2014, 02:11:25 pm
Well, on to the next Duty Article, Dexter Filkins on Iraq (April 28).

Gotta admit I'm actually glad I read the Filkins article. I had no idea of the shit that's been going on in Iraq since U.S. forces left. Not only did the U.S. lose that war, it seems we also lost the peace.  :-\

Anyway, at lunch today I read the May 5 article about the guy who conveyed Boeing trade secrets to the Chinese, and I've started the article on the hunt for El Chapo the Sinaloa drug lord. I'm actually finding that article interesting.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 20, 2014, 01:36:10 pm
I've started the article on the hunt for El Chapo the Sinaloa drug lord. I'm actually finding that article interesting.

Finished it today. It was like an episode of N.C.I.S., only better!  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 21, 2014, 10:07:43 am
Gotta admit I'm actually glad I read the Filkins article. I had no idea of the shit that's been going on in Iraq since U.S. forces left. Not only did the U.S. lose that war, it seems we also lost the peace.  :-\

Sigh. I guess I should read it, too. It sounds like something I should know about. It will definitely be in the line of duty, though.

Quote
Anyway, at lunch today I read the May 5 article about the guy who conveyed Boeing trade secrets to the Chinese, and I've started the article on the hunt for El Chapo the Sinaloa drug lord. I'm actually finding that article interesting.

These would be beyond the call of duty for me.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 21, 2014, 10:16:47 am
Sigh. I guess I should read it, too. It sounds like something I should know about. It will definitely be in the line of duty, though.

It might be useful to know what's going on over there.

Quote
These would be beyond the call of duty for me.

Unfortunately it might also be useful to know how the Chinese have been operating to steal trade secrets, some of which might impact U.S. defense. The El Chapo article reads like a good action story, with bits of humor thrown in (e.g., "el Chapo," the nickname for the head of a ruthless drug cartel, means "Shorty"  ;D ).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 21, 2014, 10:39:14 am
It might be useful to know what's going on over there.

Unfortunately it might also be useful to know how the Chinese have been operating to steal trade secrets, some of which might impact U.S. defense.

Actually, the latter wouldn't be useful for me. The former might help me, say, in my voting decisions. (It will help me realize that Republicans can be wrong and George W. Bush was not a great president.  ;D)

Plus it's kind of intrinsically interesting to see what happens when a country is basically broken and then puts itself back together -- in a way not intended by the people who broke it. And it's always interesting to see how differently people think in different parts of the world.

But if I knew more about the Chinese and U.S. defense, I wouldn't even know what to do that information and it sounds really boring.

At some point you -- and by "you" I don't mean you specifically, Jeff; I just mean "one" -- just have to face the fact that there are only so many free hours in your life, only so many articles you can read, so you might as well skip the ones that sound overly dutiful.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 21, 2014, 01:41:54 pm
Perhaps paradoxically, I found the May 12 "The End of Food" article to be a fun read over lunch.  :laugh: The author mentions some things I haven't heard in years: Whatever happened to Metrecal? And then there was, "A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and then a sensible dinner."  ;D

It's no wonder that Rhinehart improved physically when he started living on his concoction: He was clearly malnourished to begin with.

I wondered at first if I could lose weight if I switched to Soylent, but then it seemed probably not. I think I would like it with chocolate. Almost everything is better with chocolate.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on May 22, 2014, 09:42:29 am
I've been reading a pretty good profile of Sam Shepard. It's from my pile of ripped-out articles -- when I want to clear a big pile of New Yorkers I keep individual articles that still look interesting and recycle the rest. Then, supposedly, I work through the pile at my leisure.

Halfway through the Shepard piece, I noticed it's from 2010.  :laugh:


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 22, 2014, 09:47:59 am
I've been reading a pretty good profile of Sam Shepard. It's from my pile of ripped-out articles -- when I want to clear a big pile of New Yorkers I keep individual articles that still look interesting and recycle the rest. Then, supposedly, I work through the pile at my leisure.

Halfway through the Shepard piece, I noticed it's from 2010.  :laugh:

Better late than never!  :laugh:
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 03, 2014, 01:31:18 pm
OK, I gotta love Emily Nussbaum for coming right out and calling Bill O'Reilly a fathead (May 19).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 03, 2014, 10:06:30 pm
OK, I gotta love Emily Nussbaum for coming right out and calling Bill O'Reilly a fathead (May 19).

I do love Emily Nussbaum, even when I disagree with her, which does not include this case.  :)



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 08, 2014, 03:25:56 pm
On my blog I posted a comment about Hilton Als' June 2 review of the monologue by Edgar Oliver, because it really struck me in a personal way.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 11, 2014, 02:10:14 pm
Spoiler Alert!

Brady Bunch fan fiction in The New Yorker!  :laugh:

I don't know what else you'd call it. The story "'Here's the Story,'" in the June 9 & 16 issue, is essentially a back story to The Brady Bunch. It's not a funny story, and it's also not too flattering of Mke and Carol (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson). I guess if you're a big-deal author you can write fan fiction and get it published in The New Yorker.  :-\

In other matters, the magazine tells me that these first two weeks of June were wonderful weeks for ballet in the Big Apple. NYCB performed Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream the first week, and ABT is performing Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella this week (with the hotties Cory Stearns and David Halberg alternating as the Prince).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 11, 2014, 07:09:55 pm
Spoiler Alert!

Brady Bunch fan fiction in The New Yorker!  :laugh:

I don't know what else you'd call it. The story "'Here's the Story,'" in the June 9 & 16 issue, is essentially a back story to The Brady Bunch. It's not a funny story, and it's also not too flattering of Mke and Carol (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson). I guess if you're a big-deal author you can write fan fiction and get it published in The New Yorker.  :-\

I haven't read it yet, but when I saw your post I glanced through it, and it looks a bit more ambitious than most fan fiction. No offense to fan fiction! Just that it seems -- on that quick skim, anyway -- to have more ambitious artistic goals. But now I'll have the fan fic fans and authors feeling insulted.

I'm trying to think of an analogy. I would say it's like calling GWTW a historical romance novel. But that's not really a good analogy, because basically that's what GWTW is.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 11, 2014, 07:18:51 pm
I haven't read it yet, but when I saw your post I glanced through it, and it looks a bit more ambitious than most fan fiction. No offense to fan fiction! Just that it seems -- on that quick skim, anyway -- to have more ambitious artistic goals. But now I'll have the fan fic fans and authors feeling insulted.

I'm trying to think of an analogy. I would say it's like calling GWTW a historical romance novel. But that's not really a good analogy, because basically that's what GWTW is.

Well, I'm being snarky in calling it "Brady Bunch fan fiction," but if somebody else, an amateur writer, wrote a back story or prequel to the TV series, I think that's what it would be, fan fiction.  :-\ And they might even have the lawyers of the show's producers, or their heirs, after them for copyright infringement.  ::)  I assume this guy got any necessary permissions, or The New Yorker wouldn't have published it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 11, 2014, 09:28:54 pm
I finished the article about David Green, whose novel was turned into the movie The Fault in our Stars, coming out this month. And I also read several of the My Old Flame short pieces. Now, I'll delve into the Brady Bunch prequel. I never saw that series, and in 1967 I was just starting out in high school and didn't have time for TV, what with schoolwork, dating and such. At first place it seems to be a paean to late 1960s pop culture and there is an awful lot about Don Drysdale.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 11, 2014, 10:39:22 pm
OK, I read it and thought it was genius. It was barely about The Brady Bunch. But it really cleverly used its relationship to the BB to express ideas about fate and chance and who gets to be "stars" and who stays in the shadows, and why some people are better as couples, etc. etc. If the BB references weren't woven into it (often pretty subtly), it would stand on its own. It did a good job of capturing its era, and also what it was like for people who were just a little too old to be hippies (my parents, for example, who were just a little older than Mike and Carol Brady). There was even an element of suspense.

Although, as you pointed out, it's not particularly flattering of Mike and Carol, those nonflattering portraits are entirely seen through the other characters' perspectives, so you get that the two might be OK people -- in fact, they didn't seem inconsistent with their characters on the show -- in another context, with other partners (i.e., each other!).

Like Lee, I was pretty busy in the years The Brady Bunch was on and never saw much of it. I would estimate I've seen, cumulatively, maybe two to three episodes. Maybe four. But that's certainly enough to get the gist of the show, and to understand the allusions in this story.

But I wonder what it would have been like to read it without having been clued in first. Frankly, I'm glad you told us, Jeff, spoiler or no, because I think the appreciation of it is greater when you do know than it would be if you had to wait until the end (or, if you were really clever, figure it out en route). So thanks for pointing the story out, Jeff. I'm fairly certain I would never have read it otherwise; I used to read all New Yorker fiction but I rarely do nowadays.

Well, I'm being snarky in calling it "Brady Bunch fan fiction," but if somebody else, an amateur writer, wrote a back story or prequel to the TV series, I think that's what it would be, fan fiction.  :-\ And they might even have the lawyers of the show's producers, or their heirs, after them for copyright infringement.  ::)  I assume this guy got any necessary permissions, or The New Yorker wouldn't have published it.

That's an impossible hypothetical, though. An amateur writer couldn't have written this. Would an amateur writer's backstory/prequel to a TV series get into the New Yorker? No, for the same reason amateur writers' stories about anything don't get published there, because they generally aren't good.

The question is, would this exact same story get into the New Yorker if it came over the transom and they'd never heard of the author and his agent didn't probably submit it in the first place? I suspect not. So that's another problem.

As for the legal issues, I'm sure they're well within their rights to mention widely known fictional TV characters in another context. But you can bet the New Yorker would be all over it if they weren't sure. I once saw David Sedaris speak, and he said he wrote something about a past boyfriend -- unnamed, but riding on the same train as him or something like that -- and the New Yorker fact checkers traced the guy to verify!



I finished the article about David Green, whose novel was turned into the movie The Fault in our Stars, coming out this month.

I'm reading this one, also. I think the movie might be already out. It's funny, I'd never heard of John Green until maybe a year ago, but apparently he's been hugely famous for years. And I've always been kind of baffled at how he can be both a YouTube celebrity and a YA author celebrity, but this piece helps straighten that out.





Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2014, 09:04:58 am
I finished the article about David Green, whose novel was turned into the movie The Fault in our Stars, coming out this month. And I also read several of the My Old Flame short pieces. Now, I'll delve into the Brady Bunch prequel. I never saw that series, and in 1967 I was just starting out in high school and didn't have time for TV, what with schoolwork, dating and such. At first place it seems to be a paean to late 1960s pop culture and there is an awful lot about Don Drysdale.

Drysdale was Big back then, and I think he may have made a guest appearance on the show--I'd have to look that up--as did, famously, Davy Jones of The Monkees.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2014, 09:20:46 am
That's an impossible hypothetical, though. An amateur writer couldn't have written this. Would an amateur writer's backstory/prequel to a TV series get into the New Yorker? No, for the same reason amateur writers' stories about anything don't get published there, because they generally aren't good.

I disagree, but only in the sense that I might better have said unpublished than amateur. I was thinking in the sense that everybody is an amateur until he or she has a book published and the book is a success. Then the amateur is a professional. I agree that the story as published is a bit too sophisticated for most amateurs.

Quote
As for the legal issues, I'm sure they're well within their rights to mention widely known fictional TV characters in another context. But you can bet the New Yorker would be all over it if they weren't sure. I once saw David Sedaris speak, and he said he wrote something about a past boyfriend -- unnamed, but riding on the same train as him or something like that -- and the New Yorker fact checkers traced the guy to verify!

Well, as for people being "within their rights to mention widely known fictional TV characters"--when I wrote that part about the lawyers I was thinking about the writers of Brokeback Mountain fan fiction who got "cease and desist" letters from Annie Proulx' attorneys, so I beg to be skeptical about them being "well within their rights."

David Sedaris' experience is interesting, and I wonder how long ago that was? These days The New Yorker would do well to invest less effort in fact checking and more in copy editing. The number of typos and missing articles and prepositions and so forth that I notice is very depressing. Mr. Shawn must be weeping in his grave.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 12, 2014, 09:43:19 am
I disagree, but only in the sense that I might better have said unpublished than amateur. I was thinking in the sense that everybody is an amateur until he or she has a book published and the book is a success. Then the amateur is a professional. I agree that the story as published is a bit too sophisticated for most amateurs.

Right, that's what I was trying to get at with my "over the transom" scenario. My understanding is that New Yorker stories these days are typically agented. Years on years ago, I used to write fiction, and I submitted things once or twice. I got the sense they read them before rejecting them, but I think you're right that it would be hard for an unknown writer to break in.

Quote
Well, as for people being "within their rights to mention widely known fictional TV characters"--when I wrote that part about the lawyers I was thinking about the writers of Brokeback Mountain fan fiction who got "cease and desist" letters from Annie Proulx' attorneys, so I beg to be skeptical about them being "well within their rights."

I know. But first off, I think the stories Annie Proulx went after were more focused on BBM characters, weren't they? This story barely mentions the Bradys, and then only kind of glancingly. It really could be referring to any California residents who happen to have those fairly common names (as opposed to Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar). It relies on readers' cultural literacy to fill in the so-called "real" identities, which is another interesting aspect of the story.

Second, Annie Proulx may be particularly litigious. Anyone can issue "cease and desist" letters, can't they? It's up to a court to decide whether copyright laws have been violated. It's hard to say what a court would do with fan fic. On the one hand, writing whole stories about characters that someone else created does seem an appropriation of intellectual property. On the other, if you're not making any money from the stories and basically just sharing them with like-minded people, where's the harm? But then I suppose AP could argue that a proliferation of BBM stories dilutes the brand or something ... Hmm, the more I go back and forth on it, the more I suspect she might have a solid case -- if a sort of silly one.

But I don't think "Here's the Story" will put much of a dent in the monetary value of Brady Bunch residuals. If anything, it made me kind of want to watch an episode (though not enough to actually do it).

Copyright laws allow others to reference the work up to a certain number of words. That's how reviewers can get away with quoting passages from a book verbatim. I'm not sure how this exception applies to other creative works as opposed to reviews, but "Here's the Story" is certainly well under the word count.

Quote
Mr. Shawn must be weeping in his grave.  :(

Over the swearing, too! Here's an interesting factoid from the John Green profile that Mr. Shawn wouldn't like: The Norwegian edition of Green's YA book "The Fault in our Stars," which is about teenagers dying of cancer, is titled "Fuck Fate."


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2014, 10:31:40 am
Over the swearing, too! Here's an interesting factoid from the John Green profile that Mr. Shawn wouldn't like: The Norwegian edition of Green's YA book "The Fault in our Stars," which is about teenagers dying of cancer, is titled "Fuck Fate."

Right. I forget which article I was reading recently, where someone was quoted using the F-bomb, and I thought to myself, "Mr. Shawn would never have allowed that."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 12, 2014, 11:48:16 am
Read David Gilbert's "Here's the Story" and glad I did. There were probably one gazillion references to the Brady Bunch and other pop icons of the '60s-'70s that I missed, but it was still a good story although chock full of brand names. Some virtuoso writing there. Check this out: "he hitched deliverance to a smile, in the mode of athletes and actors who squint at the light that glows from within" "the diamond might as well have been a classroom clock on the last day of school" "much of the pleasure of being here was walking with the spectre of his wife, defining himself in opposition to her attitude." As to whether it should be called fan fiction, I don't really think so. It seems to me like fan fiction is written for the benefit of the author, not the readers. It's a kind of therapy. IMHO.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 12, 2014, 01:11:15 pm
It seems to me like fan fiction is written for the benefit of the author, not the readers. It's a kind of therapy. IMHO.

Totally agree about the therapy, though from what I've seen  think readers get that benefit out of it, too.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2014, 03:39:11 pm
I think we're really straying into territory better covered on the old Fan Fiction thread, but I have to say, I was under the impression that Louise's stories started out as Brokeback Mountain fan fiction until she got her knuckles rapped by Annie Proulx' lawyers. I could be wrong about that--I only know about it second or even third hand--but if I'm not, I doubt her stories were "therapy." (They may have been for some of her readers.)

Meanwhile, I wish I'd kept The New Yorker issue where I found a to missing from a sentence, but I've already passed that issue on to the friend at work to whom I give all my New Yorkers when I'm finished with them.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 12, 2014, 05:11:33 pm
Don't worry, I bet every time they do something like that they get flooded with tearsheets marked up in red and scrawled with reminders of what Mr. Shawn would think.  :laugh:



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 12, 2014, 05:29:19 pm
Don't worry, I bet every time they do something like that they get flooded with tearsheets marked up in red and scrawled with reminders of what Mr. Shawn would think.  :laugh:

 :laugh:  I should do that, too. I started a file, but I didn't keep up with it.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 14, 2014, 11:00:34 am
Here's the story on "Here's the Story," from the New Yorker website:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/06/this-week-in-fiction-david-gilbert-2.html (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/06/this-week-in-fiction-david-gilbert-2.html)

Since the world of the Bradys is such an artificial world, I wanted the world of Ted and Emma to be absolutely real. That was very important to me, for them to fly above the construct of the show, to take on the appearance of living, breathing souls and perhaps, for a moment, gain their humanity and transcend their non-origin origins. I also liked exploring the idea of fate, of assuming your story is the story when, often, your story is merely a cog in a much bigger story.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 16, 2014, 09:26:44 am
Well, for once I am actually "caught up" with my New Yorkers. Kind of cheated, though. I never care very much for the fiction issues, so this morning I passed the issue with the Brady Bunch prequel on to a coworker.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 16, 2014, 09:59:46 am
I usually skip the fiction in the regular issues but when the special fiction issue comes out, I save it to read all summer long. I don't have time to do "beach reading" but it's handy for bringing to the doctor's office. Now that my mom is living in town, I actually have to sit in doctor's offices.

The New Yorker's choice of fiction can be annoying sometimes, especially when many of the articles are translated from Polish or whatever. But I don't neglect the fiction altogether because, what if there's another Brokeback Mountain in there?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 16, 2014, 10:19:04 am
The New Yorker's choice of fiction can be annoying sometimes, especially when many of the articles are translated from Polish or whatever. But I don't neglect the fiction altogether because, what if there's another Brokeback Mountain in there?

I'm currently reading the Haruki Murakami story, translated from Japanese. Aside from whatever literary merit, those stories can be a convenient way to see what life is like in another country. Murakami's stories are very contemporary and make life in Japan sound a lot like life in the United States, actually.

But my fiction reading is pretty spotty at this point. I used to read the fiction above all else, and now I rarely read it at all. I missed "Brokeback Mountain" when it came out.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 16, 2014, 11:26:23 am
In a regular issue, I will read some fiction if I recognize the author's name, but that's about it. I think it's a good thing for The New Yorker to give exposure to writers who may be newer and out of the WASP main stream, but usually what they write doesn't interest me--immigrants in the New York region. I always used to read John Updike (funny thing, though, I never read any of his novels) (it seemed to me as though his short stories often took place in his home region, which, however fictionalized, is my home region), and I always read Joyce Carol Oates and Louise Erdrich. I can't think of any other names off the top of my head right now.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on June 16, 2014, 12:04:48 pm
I like Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Stephen King, Jonathan Safren Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Dave Eggers, George Saunders, and Haruki Murakami. Those are all I can remember right now.

I never did enjoy Updike's work or any other writer who writes about the suburbs. Too close to home, I suppose.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on June 16, 2014, 07:38:23 pm
I always used to read John Updike (funny thing, though, I never read any of his novels)

Same here. I read a few of his novels and loved them. Never any of the Rabbit ones, though people always recommend them.

Quote
I always read Joyce Carol Oates and Louise Erdrich.

Me too. I interviewed Louise Erdrich once (for the Toronoto Globe & Mail). But I always read her before that.

I like Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Stephen King, Jonathan Safren Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Dave Eggers, George Saunders, and Haruki Murakami.

I would look at all of these, but the only ones I'd for sure read are King, Franzen and especially Saunders. Maybe Eggers.

I read something by Sam Shepard recently. It was only OK. Actually, I had two stories of his, but the other one was missing pages (it was from my ripped-out pile) so I couldn't finish it. I had stapled these along with a profile of Shepard by John Lahr. That was more interesting than the stories.

I would read Jennifer Egan. I read something in the NYer by her about a year ago that was a story composed entirely of tweets. In fact, she had first "published" it on Twitter. I know it sounds hokey, but it was actually quite good. The tweets all represented brief, individual communiques from some kind of spy on a dangerous mission, either making notes on the mission or communicating with her team, so the form worked quite well. The story was so good it moved me to read Egan's novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I also really liked.

Sometimes i'll take a quick glance at a story to decide whether I want to read it. Frankly, I realize I'm looking for signs that the story will be easy to read: lots of dialogue, more short paragraphs than long dense ones, a recognizable setting and relatable voice and protagonist. I generally don't like stories in which the protagonist is referred to only by his (or sometimes her) last name.




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 19, 2014, 01:30:12 pm
I am positively delighting in Janet Malcolm's June 23 article about the Argosy Bookshop.  :D Run, don't walk to read this one.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on June 30, 2014, 03:01:38 pm
David Sedaris' June 30 article about his life with a FitBit makes me want one.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 02, 2014, 01:35:48 pm
So, at lunch today, I began to read the profile of director Richard Linklater (June 30), and I suddenly became acutely aware of what I think is a characteristic New Yorker sentence structure with regard to direct quotations, which is beginning to annoy me because of its repetitive use.

The structure goes something like this:

Name, long or longish modifiying clause, says.

Examples (italics added by me):

"... Quentin Tarrantino, who calls 'Dazed and Confused' his favorite film of the nineteen-nineties, says."

"... Ethan Hawke, who has appeared in eight of Linklater's films, says."

"... Jack Black, who starred in it, says." (OK, that's not a particularly long clause, but it follows the pattern.)

Actually, the pattern in complete form is:

Direct quotation, name, modifying clause beginning with "who," says.

If I were king of the universe, or editor of The New Yorker (they're the same thing, aren't they?  ;D), I would at least vary that structure somewhat.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 02, 2014, 05:19:17 pm
Well, they do vary it. Later on in the article these appear:

Cathleen Sutherland, the film's production manager, looked around wistfully. "I used to go to summer camp--same girls for years," she said.

One of the film's admirers was Tina Harrison. She had grown up in the Bay Area and moved to Austin for graduate school in art history, but "found Austin rather dreary after San Francisco and Berkeley."

"It used to be just Linklater, Malick, and Rodriguez," Rebecca Campbell, the film society's executive director, says.

Hawke: "He wasn't just looking for two actors, in a way--he was looking for two partners."

Lorelei bounced down the stairs in a velvet cocktail dress. "This is one option," she said.

There are more examples if you need them. But the two examples you cited of Hawke and Tarantino follow each other so they seem rather prominent.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 02, 2014, 06:38:29 pm
Well, they do vary it. Later on in the article these appear:

Cathleen Sutherland, the film's production manager, looked around wistfully. "I used to go to summer camp--same girls for years," she said.

One of the film's admirers was Tina Harrison. She had grown up in the Bay Area and moved to Austin for graduate school in art history, but "found Austin rather dreary after San Francisco and Berkeley."

"It used to be just Linklater, Malick, and Rodriguez," Rebecca Campbell, the film society's executive director, says.

Hawke: "He wasn't just looking for two actors, in a way--he was looking for two partners."

Lorelei bounced down the stairs in a velvet cocktail dress. "This is one option," she said.

There are more examples if you need them. But the two examples you cited of Hawke and Tarantino follow each other so they seem rather prominent.

I've seen this structure used so often in so many articles, not just the Linklater profile (which is otherwise very interesting) that I'm stickin' to my story. And that Rebecca Campbell sentence follows the pattern--it ends with the says all by itself after the modifying clause.

I don't care if it is The New Yorker. It's bad writing. I don't know who does the magazine's actual copy editing, but I'm beginning to suspect that whoever it is can't edit himself or herself out of a paper bag.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 02, 2014, 08:48:53 pm
I've noticed this for years. I've assumed they have a rule that the verb "said" always has to follow the subject, whereas in most writing, you would go

"... says Quentin Tarrantino, who calls 'Dazed and Confused' his favorite film of the nineteen-nineties."

"... says Ethan Hawke, who has appeared in eight of Linklater's films."

"... says Jack Black, who starred in it, says."


It's not just some rogue copy editor; I'm fairly certain this is the magazine's preferred style, like the diaeresis over words like cooperate. It's still stupid, though. I think those attributions read very awkwardly, and what's the point of hanging onto a rule that makes your writing awkward?

Here's a piece about the diaeresis, by the way, that shows how stodgy the NYer can be about style:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/the-curse-of-the-diaeresis.html (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/the-curse-of-the-diaeresis.html)




Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 02, 2014, 10:41:16 pm
I've noticed this for years. I've assumed they have a rule that the verb "said" always has to follow the subject, whereas in most writing, you would go

"... says Quentin Tarrantino, who calls 'Dazed and Confused' his favorite film of the nineteen-nineties."

"... says Ethan Hawke, who has appeared in eight of Linklater's films."

"... says Jack Black, who starred in it, says."

Or else you start with the attribution and end with the direct quotation:

Quentin Tarrantino, who calls "Dazed and Confused" his favorite film of the nineteen-nineties, says, "With his first four or five films, you may have thought you had Rick pegged, and you would have been wrong."

Quote
It's not just some rogue copy editor; I'm fairly certain this is the magazine's preferred style.

"Actually, I agree," Jeff Wrangler, who reads the magazine faithfully, said.  ;D

Quote
It's still stupid, though. I think those attributions read very awkwardly, and what's the point of hanging onto a rule that makes your writing awkward?

I agree; it's stupid and awkward.

Quote
Here's a piece about the diaeresis, by the way, that shows how stodgy the NYer can be about style:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/the-curse-of-the-diaeresis.html (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/the-curse-of-the-diaeresis.html)

I find the diaeresis amusingly quaint, but the magazine also violates everything I was ever taught about the use of italics in titles.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 03, 2014, 08:59:43 am
A New Yorker convention that is maddening sometimes is their rule about writing out numbers, even big numbers like two thousand nine hundred and fifty two. It makes reading (or writing) an article about economics nearly impossible!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 03, 2014, 10:09:24 am
A New Yorker convention that is maddening sometimes is their rule about writing out numbers, even big numbers like two thousand nine hundred and fifty two. It makes reading (or writing) an article about economics nearly impossible!

I agree. What's up with that? In fact, I was thinking exactly the same thing when I was typing nineteen-nineties in the Tarrantino quote in my last post--and that's nearly as bad as your example.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 03, 2014, 11:03:30 am
A New Yorker convention that is maddening sometimes is their rule about writing out numbers, even big numbers like two thousand nine hundred and fifty two. It makes reading (or writing) an article about economics nearly impossible!

"I agree," serious crayons, who was born in one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and is very coöperative, says.

P.S., my spellcheck objects to coöperate, though not to cooperate. Though what does it know? It also objects to spellcheck.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 03, 2014, 01:00:50 pm
Thanks for the laugh serious!

A New Yorker convention that is maddening sometimes is their rule about writing out numbers, even big numbers like two thousand nine hundred and fifty two. It makes reading (or writing) an article about economics nearly impossible!

Shock! I violated one of my own rules, calling it "their convention" instead of "its convention". I don't want The New Yorker (or any business) to get the idea that it is a person!!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 04, 2014, 11:40:47 am
I feel the need to apologize personally to Al Franken!  ::) Moving on...

It's interesting to contrast the Linklater article to the book review of a Stephen Crane biography by Caleb Crain (relation? I think not) in the same issue. The book review is the better written, IMO, and skips along merrily, pulling the reader effortlessly with it. In contrast, one must plod through the Linklater profile. I think part of the problem is that the author, Nathan Heller, overreached, and tried to quote too many people in the piece. It results in an overlong article with too many quotes. Did he think he must include at least one quote from each person he interviewed? You can usually tell when someone had fun writing something and these two articles illustrate that.

The Crane review is quite an eye-opener! Never realized what a revolutionary person he was. Like America's Byron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Byron).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 07, 2014, 01:39:03 pm
Here's something that was interesting to me.

Early in Nathan Heller's article about San Francisco (July 7 & 14), he quotes an activist named Tommi Avicolli Mecca. Well, two decades ago, Tommi Avicolli Mecca lived here in Philadelphia, where he was also an activist (involved with Act-Up, if I remember correctly) and worked for the Philadelphia Gay News.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 07, 2014, 07:06:47 pm
I found the story about the 33 Chilean miners who survived underground for 56 days so inspiring that I gave the issue to my minister.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 07, 2014, 09:26:39 pm
I found the story about the 33 Chilean miners who survived underground for 56 days so inspiring that I gave the issue to my minister.

And I'm probably not even going to read that one.  :-\

The only other article in that entire issue that interests me is, I want to see what Adam Gopnik has to say about the 9/11 memorial.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 08, 2014, 01:42:25 pm
The only other article in that entire issue that interests me is, I want to see what Adam Gopnik has to say about the 9/11 memorial.

I read Gopnik's article today. Actually, what interested me most was his discussion of the history of public memorials (e.g., the Shaw memorial, by Saint-Gaudens).

I cannot believe the museum has loops of victims' last phone calls playing for anyone and everyone to hear. To me that seems such an invasion of the privacy of both the deceased and the person to whom the call was made. I guess the museum must have the permission of the calls' recipients, though; I suppose that's where the recordings came from.

On a lighter note, I took a look at David Denby's movie reviews, and I got a kick out of his "Seven Horsemen of the Multiplex."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 09, 2014, 09:05:20 am
I guess I might be reading that story about the miners after all. I'm out of stuff to read while I eat my lunch.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 09, 2014, 10:53:31 am
I guess I might be reading that story about the miners after all. I'm out of stuff to read while I eat my lunch.  :-\

I thought it sounded kind of interesting -- not totally duty. Report back!

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 09, 2014, 11:21:01 am
I guess I might be reading that story about the miners after all. I'm out of stuff to read while I eat my lunch.  :-\

I thought it sounded kind of interesting -- not totally duty. Report back!

FRiend Lee found it very inspiring:

I found the story about the 33 Chilean miners who survived underground for 56 days so inspiring that I gave the issue to my minister.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 10, 2014, 09:05:47 pm
I thought it sounded kind of interesting -- not totally duty. Report back!

Well, I finished the article over dinner this evening. I was familiar with the story from news accounts when it happened, so you might say I knew how it was going to end. It was kind of like reading an adventure story that you know how it ends. It was "kind of interesting," but for myself, I'm afraid I can't call it "inspiring." It definitely wasn't a "duty article." For me "duty articles" are usually about the Middle East.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 11, 2014, 11:54:05 am
For me "duty articles" are usually about the Middle East.

Same here. Though I might extend that to pretty much any other continent besides North America, with the possible exception of Europe, unless it's about economics or politics, in which case Europe is duty, too.

I know, I'm sort of geocentric that way.  :-\

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 11, 2014, 12:12:29 pm
Same here. Though I might extend that to pretty much any other continent besides North America, with the possible exception of Europe, unless it's about economics or politics, in which case Europe is duty, too.

I know, I'm sort of geocentric that way.  :-\

Is there a word that means "focused on one's own continent or hemisphere"? Isn't that what you really mean?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 11, 2014, 05:23:14 pm
Is there a word that means "focused on one's own continent or hemisphere"? Isn't that what you really mean?

Sort of. I'm actually focused on my own culture, I think.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 11, 2014, 07:29:51 pm
I'm sort of geocentric that way.  :-\

Is there a word that means "focused on one's own continent or hemisphere"? Isn't that what you really mean?

Sort of. I'm actually focused on my own culture, I think.

Well, that word would be ethnocentric, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 12, 2014, 09:27:06 am
Speaking of culture, there must have been something that allowed 33 miners to all survive almost two MONTHS underground in a small refuge in a mine. That's why I found the article interesting. I would assume that after a couple of weeks they would start attacking each other. But according to this story they didn't even have much of any disagreements. And on the surface, I would think the rescuers would give up the search after a certain period of time. The big unknown in the story was how they persevered to the end, and I think the author did get to the bottom of it. When you are faced with your impending mortality, the mettle of your soul is proven.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 12, 2014, 10:39:45 am
Speaking of culture, there must have been something that allowed 33 miners to all survive almost two MONTHS underground in a small refuge in a mine. That's why I found the article interesting. I would assume that after a couple of weeks they would start attacking each other. But according to this story they didn't even have much of any disagreements. And on the surface, I would think the rescuers would give up the search after a certain period of time. The big unknown in the story was how they persevered to the end, and I think the author did get to the bottom of it. When you are faced with your impending mortality, the mettle of your soul is proven.

Well, they were underground for 69 days--about ten weeks--but they were out of touch with the surface for about three weeks. People survive in jail for a lot longer than that, and I would think it made some difference once they were in contact with the surface and food and other things could be passed down to them. It seems to me this is one failing of the article, it doesn't really go into what it was like for them after the rescuers made contact with them and they waited for the escape shaft to be drilled. Surely it made some difference. Surely it was difficult to wait for that shaft to be drilled, but surely it wasn't like it was during those first three weeks.

Edit to Add: Tell you what, it occurs to me that this is the sort of New Yorker story that ends up as a full-length book. I won't be surprised at all to see this one as a book. Perhaps the book will address what I see as the shortcomings of the magazine article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 13, 2014, 10:47:56 am
In the June 23 issue I'm reading "The Disruption Machine" by Jill LePore; she reviews Clayton M. Christensen's 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma, and the industry of disruptive innovation it has spawned. Two of his handpicked case studies are Morrison-Knudsen and Time, Inc. He blames MK's embrace of the mass transit business line for destroying the company, when, as I recall, it was the mismanagement and corruption of MK's leader at the time, William Agee. Christensen doesn't mention anything about Agee's infamous mis-leadership of the company.

Time, Inc. failed in its foray into new-media with the Pathfinder portal. I was involved in a company that invested hundreds of thousands into development of a "portal" which is just a glorified web site. Such facades failed because there was little or no content to make it worthwhile to access and navigate through their elaborate and counter-intuitive structures. LePore concludes that disruptive innovation for its own sake is merely a gimmick and I agree with her. I'm all for innovation, but it is not the goal in itself, it is merely a tool.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 13, 2014, 01:51:39 pm
LePore concludes that disruptive innovation for its own sake is merely a gimmick and I agree with her. I'm all for innovation, but it is not the goal in itself, it is merely a tool.

She really picks that theory apart, doesn't she?
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 14, 2014, 01:31:43 pm
Well, I wasn't going to read Emily Nussbaum on Orange Is the New Black (July 7 & 14), but it was worth it for her quotation from the show:

"A lot of people are stupid and still live full, productive lives."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 16, 2014, 01:19:22 pm
I wasn't going to read Peter Schjeldahl on the Jeff Koons retrospective, but I'm just about out of anything in the magazine that interests me as I wait for the next issue. However, in the end I'm glad I read the piece for this wonderful pun:

"We might justly term the present Mammon-driven era in contemporary art the Koons Age."

 ;D

Actually, it's always kind of interesting to read that somebody from York, Pennsylvania, could become an internationally famous--some might say notorious--artist.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 21, 2014, 01:41:05 pm
Today I finished Rachel Aviv's July 21 article about the test cheating scandal in Atlanta, and I must say I'm not the least bit upset about it because it just seems to me that when you base everything in education on test scores, something like the Atlanta scandal is just waiting to happen. I actually feel sorry for the teachers caught up in it. But then, I think Aviv's article was written in a way to evoke sympathy for the teachers.

I've also gone on to start Louis Menand's article on "The Sex Amendment." I had a bit of a laugh. In his sermon yesterday, our rector made reference to the rather nasty and racist exchange between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony back in 1869; now I think I know where he got it: from Menand's article.  ;D

David Remnick was on the Today show this morning. He doesn't look anything like I imagined he would look. I figured he would wear eyeglasses.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 23, 2014, 09:52:22 am
I'm reading Aviv's article too. It's really eye-opening. I must be naive...hard to believe those teachers and the principal engaged in such bald-faced cheating!

But meanwhile the new issue came and I devoured Elizabeth Kolbert's article on the Paleo fad: Stone Soup (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/07/28/stone-soup).
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 24, 2014, 09:53:47 am
Does everybody here know that the New Yorker on Monday removed the paywall on its archives for the next three months?

Of course, we subscribers can look through its archives anytime, but I almost never do that unless I'm really desperate to look up a story because I find their archive access very user unfriendly. This makes it easier. (Though I still hate having to read by pushing around an image of a magazine page rather than scrolling through a regular html-type page, and I hate not being able to print out longer pieces.)

Here are a couple of places with lists of suggestions of articles to read.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/07/22/new_yorker_online_free_for_three_months_what_should_you_read.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/07/22/new_yorker_online_free_for_three_months_what_should_you_read.html)

http://longform.org/posts/our-25-favorite-unlocked-new-yorker-articles (http://longform.org/posts/our-25-favorite-unlocked-new-yorker-articles)

I know many people are excited about big names (David Grann! Seymour Hersch! John McPhee! Janet Malcolm!) or big topics, but I myself plan to reread Larissa MacFarquhar's 2001 profile of movie producer Brian Grazer. For whatever reason, that article, which I read purely by chance in an idle moment -- it came out a month after 9/11, so it was hardly the most pressing subject at the time -- has stuck with me all these years. Whenever I see Grazer's name on a movie or TV show my interest is slightly piqued and I'm more likely to watch it. (Luckily, Grazer's projects are usually pretty good -- he produces Ron Howard's movies, among other things.) Now I'm going to go back and find out what made that profile so influential. (http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2001-10-15#folio=176 (http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2001-10-15#folio=176), in case anyone else is interested.)

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on July 24, 2014, 11:34:31 am
I wondered why the link was so easy to access on Stone Soup! Hopefully, they'll open up access to their archive for everyone!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on July 24, 2014, 12:52:40 pm
Speaking of Stone Soup, I'm reading it right now and noticed this line (emphasis mine): "Livestock are major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions, not just because of the fuel it takes to raise them but also because they do things like belch out methane and produce lots of shit, which in turn produces lots of nitrous oxide."

Mr. Shawn must be turning in his grave knowing that swear words are now preferred to more formal terms in articles that are otherwise pretty straightforward journalism. I myself prefer "shit" to "excrement" or "feces" here, although "manure" might have been the best choice.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on July 24, 2014, 01:34:49 pm
Speaking of Stone Soup, I'm reading it right now and noticed this line (emphasis mine): "Livestock are major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions, not just because of the fuel it takes to raise them but also because they do things like belch out methane and produce lots of shit, which in turn produces lots of nitrous oxide."

Mr. Shawn must be turning in his grave knowing that swear words are now preferred to more formal terms in articles that are otherwise pretty straightforward journalism. I myself prefer "shit" to "excrement" or "feces" here, although "manure" might have been the best choice.

Or, perhaps, "waste material," which is somewhat euphemistic, I guess, but would still get the point across.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 05, 2014, 01:23:19 pm
I just enjoyed the July 28 article about Ronda Rousey, the M.M.A. fighter.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 07, 2014, 10:50:45 am
I enjoyed the profile recently of Richard Linklater -- a fascinating guy, and I'm looking forward to seeing Boyhood.

Now I'm reading Michelle Goldberg's article about the conflict between radical feminists and transgender women -- the "radfems" don't think transgender women should be allowed to play in their reindeer games because if they started out as men they had all of the privilege and power that maleness confers, even if they ultimately chose to waive it.

It's OK, but once you get the point it gets sort of repetitive. Or at least it has so far.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 07, 2014, 12:12:46 pm
Now I'm reading Michelle Goldberg's article about the conflict between radical feminists and transgender women -- the "radfems" don't think transgender women should be allowed to play in their reindeer games because if they started out as men they had all of the privilege and power that maleness confers, even if they ultimately chose to waive it.

It's OK, but once you get the point it gets sort of repetitive. Or at least it has so far.

I read that, and I almost feel that I should read it again, and this time "in one sitting." Reading it in parts at different times, I found myself being unable to remember who was who, and what were the various positions advocated.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 08, 2014, 10:51:11 am
I read that, and I almost feel that I should read it again, and this time "in one sitting." Reading it in parts at different times, I found myself being unable to remember who was who, and what were the various positions advocated.  :-\

I'm reading it in multiple sittings, too, but frankly I'm not intensely interested because the politics of the radical feminists seem so marginal. Most feminists, I think, support transgender people. Or at least "feminism" as a movement takes no stance against them.

Someone apparently wrote a piece triumphantly pointing to this article as evidence that "feminism is dead."  ::)  Yeahno.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 08, 2014, 11:05:40 am
I'm reading it in multiple sittings, too, but frankly I'm not intensely interested because the politics of the radical feminists seem so marginal. Most feminists, I think, support transgender people. Or at least "feminism" as a movement takes no stance against them.

Someone apparently wrote a piece triumphantly pointing to this article as evidence that "feminism is dead."  ::)  Yeahno.

I'm frankly puzzled by all the fuss over bathroom usage, but then I'm a guy, so. ...  :-\

Especially in the case of individuals who have had complete gender reassignment surgery.

Not that I think someone should be checking.  :-\

I was also vaguely bothered by a suspicion that some of the writers might have a point--at least, a bit of a point--with regard to individuals who take medications--hormones?--to grow breasts up top, but stop short of getting rid of their manparts down below.

The whole article was of interest to me because it seems lately that our local gay paper has had more articles about transgender issues than about gay issues--and at least to some extent there is a need for it, because in the last ten years or so transgender individuals in this city have been the victims of crimes--murders--that have been every bit as horrific as Matthew Shepard's, if not more so (at least Matthew wasn't dismembered)--and the police have not exactly been falling all over themselves to solve them.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 09, 2014, 05:06:03 pm
I'm frankly puzzled by all the fuss over bathroom usage, but then I'm a guy, so. ...  :-\

Especially in the case of individuals who have had complete gender reassignment surgery.

Not that I think someone should be checking.  :-\

I think the idea is that the transgender people don't feel that bathrooms of either gender provide safe environments. I suppose if they've had reassignment surgery and don't "look transgender" it would be less of an issue.

But only a minority of transgender people have surgery. I imagine it's a combination of expense, the trauma of such major surgery and maybe the potentially disappointing results? I wrote a long profile of a trangender woman 20 years ago who worked, often undetected, as a fashion model, but had not had surgery (she once lost a modeling job when someone burst into her dressing room at the wrong time). She was in a long-term relationship with a guy who claimed to be straight but said he was fine with her anatomy.

Quote
I was also vaguely bothered by a suspicion that some of the writers might have a point--at least, a bit of a point--with regard to individuals who take medications--hormones?--to grow breasts up top, but stop short of getting rid of their manparts down below.

I guess since the whole is about having the person feel comfortable with their gender presentation, if that's what makes them most comfortable it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

Quote
The whole article was of interest to me because it seems lately that our local gay paper has had more articles about transgender issues than about gay issues--and at least to some extent there is a need for it, because in the last ten years or so transgender individuals in this city have been the victims of crimes--murders--that have been every bit as horrific as Matthew Shepards, if not more so (at least Matthew wasn't dismembered)--and the police have not exactly been falling all over themselves to solve them.

Yes, from what I've heard at this point transgender people are subject to much more bias and violence than gay people. Which I guess shows some progress for gay people, at least.  :-\





Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 18, 2014, 01:39:55 pm
David Remnick's article about Putin (Aug. 11 & 18) is a useful read, not exactly a duty article.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on August 19, 2014, 11:10:24 am
Malcolm Gladwell's article (Aug. 11-18) about the difference between the fortunes of Italian gangsters vs. African-American gangsters is interesting. One big difference, apparently, is the treatment of the two groups by police -- with the first group, police often looked the other way. With the second, police are a constant fixture in their lives. It goes a long way toward explaining disproportionate black incarceration rates.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 27, 2014, 03:13:19 pm
Michael Spector's article (Aug. 25) about the crusader against genetically modified food plants and other plants (e.g., cotton) is very interesting.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 27, 2014, 08:35:21 pm
I guess I'm going to have to read a book at lunch tomorrow. I'm actually caught up with all my New Yorkers.  :o
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on September 19, 2014, 08:57:54 am
I was hanging out at a Swiss observatory during bad weather and picked up a National Geographic. There was an article by Elizabeth Kolbert about the anniversary of the Wilderness Act. It was a good article but I was shocked by how poor the writing was. It must have been the editing, because her writing for The New Yorker is very good. I was a little shaken by the abominable writing in NG, and am going to retreat back to my New Yorkers for the foreseeable future!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 19, 2014, 10:21:03 am
I was hanging out at a Swiss observatory during bad weather and picked up a National Geographic. There was an article by Elizabeth Kolbert about the anniversary of the Wilderness Act. It was a good article but I was shocked by how poor the writing was. It must have been the editing, because her writing for The New Yorker is very good. I was a little shaken by the abominable writing in NG, and am going to retreat back to my New Yorkers for the foreseeable future!

Gotta be bad editing at NG.

Similarly, I recently learned that Jill Lepore wrote a book on King Philip's War, a subject very different from what we usually see her writing on in TNY. I should try to track down a copy of her book.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 19, 2014, 11:17:33 am
On the other hand, i just came across a particularly egregious example of the New Yorker's ridiculous attribution-structure policy:

"It's just absolutely out there, surreal and brilliant," the actress Helen Mirren, whose husband, Taylor Hackford, directed the film, said. (in the John Lahr profile of AL Pacino in the Sept. 15 issue.)

Actually introducing a whole other person forces the reader top stop and think -- wait, who said this, Helen or Taylor?

Any other publication would have used the much clearer "said the actress Helen Mirren, whose husband ..." What is the NY's problem with that?


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 19, 2014, 11:26:14 am
On the other hand, i just came across a particularly egregious example of the New Yorker's ridiculous attribution-structure policy:

"It's just absolutely out there, surreal and brilliant," the actress Helen Mirren, whose husband, Taylor Hackford, directed the film, said. (in the John Lahr profile of AL Pacino in the Sept. 15 issue.)

Actually introducing a whole other person forces the reader top stop and think -- wait, who said this, Helen or Taylor?

Any other publication would have used the much clearer "said the actress Helen Mirren, whose husband ..." What is the NY's problem with that?

Don't know, but I agree with you and I've said before how annoying I find that sentence structure, especially when it's repeated ad nauseum in the same article. That said just lands there with a thud, like a safe on Wile E. Coyote.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on September 20, 2014, 10:07:04 am
And what was the copyeditor thinking to let through this sentence construction -- by, of all people, the erudite Adam Gopnik?

"To see her as a victim of other people's cruelties is also to take an old-fashioned and romantic attitude toward the mental illness from which she suffered, even if the treatments for it in her day strike us as uncivilized and ignorant (as ours will in the future)." (from a piece about Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in the Sept. 22 issue)

Maybe I'm being picky, but the end of that sentence strikes me a non sequitur; in the future, it won't be "us." Either "even if the treatments for it in her day now seem uncivilized and ignorant (as ours will in the future)" OR "even if the treatments for it in her day strike us as uncivilized and ignorant (as ours will to people of the future)."

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 20, 2014, 11:41:06 am
Yours is much better than Gopnik's, Katharine.

Sometimes I wonder whether TNY is even copyedited at all anymore.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 29, 2014, 01:40:42 pm
I found Meghan Daum's personal history piece in the Sept. 29 issue, which I read over lunch today, to be a real downer.

Fortunately, the movie listings section included a reprint of Pauline Kael's capsule review of A Streetcar Named Desire, where Kael had this to say about the film: "Elia Kazan's direction is often stagy, and the sets and the arrangement of actors are frequently too transparently 'worked out,' but who cares when you're looking at two of the greatest performances ever put on film and listening to some of the finest dialogue ever written by an American?"
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 04, 2014, 12:44:25 am
I'm a Meghan Daum fan, but I didn't make it through the whole essay.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 14, 2014, 09:12:37 pm
I started gong through my old New Yorkers tonight to recycle them. I didn't even make it through the whole pile, which contained issues as old as Sept. 2013.

I kept ripping out articles I wanted to read. Not all of them duty articles, either! Now I'll staple those and keep them in a pile and they'll just sit there gathering dust while I don't get around to reading them.

No -- somehow I vow to find time to read at least some of them! Some looked pretty good!


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 14, 2014, 09:35:32 pm
I took an issue with me to read when I had dinner out Saturday night. Turned out my waiter is also a reader, and a big fan of Jill Lepore.  :D
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 16, 2014, 10:56:45 pm
I'm enjoying Peter Hessler's story (Oct. 13) about his trash collector in Cairo.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 17, 2014, 09:36:22 am
I'm enjoying Peter Hessler's story (Oct. 13) about his trash collector in Cairo.

I need to go back and find this. At first glance, I dismissed it as a bit too "duty." (Sorry to sound so xenophobic, but "takes place on foreign soil" is one of the factors I associate with duty.) But I've heard it praised in several places now, so I will definitely give it a try.

I, meanwhile, am reading the article about fast-food workers trying to unionize, which is less duty than you might think. Their working conditions really are awful, and the ratio between the earnings of fast-food CEOs and the line workers is like 900-something to 1, which is outlandish even by American standards -- in the construction industry, for example, it's 90-something to 1. (I once read that Japanese CEOs consider it a mark of shame if they make more than maybe 30 times their employees, and even in the earlier days of the United States the ratio was something like 20 or 30 to 1.) $15 an hour may sound like a lot to earn for working at McDonald's, but in constant dollars it's about what fast-food workers made 30 years ago.

(All of the numbers in the above paragraph rely on my memory and are approximate at best.)


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 17, 2014, 11:06:27 am
I need to go back and find this. At first glance, I dismissed it as a bit too "duty." (Sorry to sound so xenophobic, but "takes place on foreign soil" is one of the factors I associate with duty.) But I've heard it praised in several places now, so I will definitely give it a try.

Actually, it's the kind of "takes place on foreign soil" article that I really like, because it goes into what it's like to actually live in these places. It's not about the Muslim Brotherhood or what's going on in Tahrir Square--at least, not as far as I've read--or subjects like that.

Quote
I, meanwhile, am reading the article about fast-food workers trying to unionize, which is less duty than you might think. Their working conditions really are awful, and the ratio between the earnings of fast-food CEOs and the line workers is like 900-something to 1, which is outlandish even by American standards -- in the construction industry, for example, it's 90-something to 1. (I once read that Japanese CEOs consider it a mark of shame if they make more than maybe 30 times their employees, and even in the earlier days of the United States the ratio was something like 20 or 30 to 1.) $15 an hour may sound like a lot to earn for working at McDonald's, but in constant dollars it's about what fast-food workers made 30 years ago.

(All of the numbers in the above paragraph rely on my memory and are approximate at best.)

I guess we really do have different ideas about what makes a "duty article." I don't disagree with anything you say about the article or how awful it is for these people, and yet this is the sort of article that I find far more duty-ish than one about the life of a trash collector in Cairo.  :-\  (I did read that article, and it resonated because it appeared not too long after a protest right here in Philadelphia, but it's still the sort of article that I consider duty-ish. I guess anything even remotely political--even foreign political--is duty-ish for me. Plus it's probably true that  anything by Jon Lee Anderson or Dexter Filkins is duty-ish for me.  ;D)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 17, 2014, 10:44:47 pm
My reason for reading the New Yorker is to read excellent writing and so try to keep my own skills sharp. I've been in for a learning experience lately as it seems like the magazine is undergoing an overhaul, from the Talk of the Town to the cartoons and beyond. It's unsettling every time I open a new issue, and sometimes I am concerned that they're going in a wrong direction. But, then I come across a gem that inspires me.

Today, I was reading Anthony Lane's review of Gone Girl and I thought he nailed it when he said, "Nick remains, to put it gently, a lunkhead." Nick is the protagonist of the movie, played by Ben Affleck. There are many other examples of the new New Yorker approach. I'll post some of them here.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 17, 2014, 11:33:19 pm
My reason for reading the New Yorker is to read excellent writing and so try to keep my own skills sharp. I've been in for a learning experience lately as it seems like the magazine is undergoing an overhaul, from the Talk of the Town to the cartoons and beyond. It's unsettling every time I open a new issue, and sometimes I am concerned that they're going in a wrong direction. But, then I come across a gem that inspires me.

Today, I was reading Anthony Lane's review of Gone Girl and I thought he nailed it when he said, "Nick remains, to put it gently, a lunkhead." Nick is the protagonist of the movie, played by Ben Affleck. There are many other examples of the new New Yorker approach. I'll post some of them here.

Please do! Because I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about, though I'm not arguing with your point. I'm just curious about what you've seen that you find unsettling or that seems like part of an overhaul.

I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

Also, I once read a transcript of a discussion between David Remnick and, I think it was, Jonathan Franzen. They were discussing David Foster Wallace and I believe Franzen noted that Wallace's essays had never been published in the New Yorker. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick replied, and I thought, "Really?? You're feeling smug about being too selective to publish a writer who was perhaps the greatest essayist of his generation? OK, then. Yippee for you."

The New Yorker did publish Wallace's fiction, but I think posthumously.





Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 18, 2014, 11:22:44 am
I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

Seriously, I do sometimes question whether the magazine gets any serious copyediting and proofreading any more.

And it occurs to me to wonder whether this has anything to do with having an editor or editors who also have their own writing career?

I mean, did William Shawn have his own writing career? Or was his job to edit The New Yorker? I've never heard Mr. Shawn remembered as a writer, only as the editor of The New Yorker--but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't also a writer.

Quote
Also, I once read a transcript of a discussion between David Remnick and, I think it was, Jonathan Franzen. They were discussing David Foster Wallace and I believe Franzen noted that Wallace's essays had never been published in the New Yorker. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick replied, and I thought, "Really?? You're feeling smug about being too selective to publish a writer who was perhaps the greatest essayist of his generation? OK, then. Yippee for you."

The New Yorker did publish Wallace's fiction, but I think posthumously.

The magazine also published an article about him after he killed himself.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 18, 2014, 11:34:43 am
I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

It's as if they have a template, and every article gets made to fit the template.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 18, 2014, 01:49:07 pm
The magazine also published an article about him after he killed himself.

Good point!

It's as if they have a template, and every article gets made to fit the template.  :-\

Good point. They do sometimes publish outside-the-box writers like Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Steve Martin or even David Sedaris, they're generally people who had already achieved fame and popularity elsewhere (such as show business).

Otherwise, they adhere pretty closely to a certain style and tone -- mostly serious though occasionally mildly amusing, erudite but modest, factual and detached and dispassionate. Not a lot of eccentrism or attitude. Writing, in other words, that doesn't call attention to itself as Writing. Exemplified by staffers like Adam Gopnik. Which is no doubt why David Foster Wallace didn't make the cut -- his stye was idiosyncratic and colorful and slightly neurotic; it just didn't fit the New Yorker mold.

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 20, 2014, 10:40:58 pm
Good point. They do sometimes publish outside-the-box writers like Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Steve Martin or even David Sedaris, they're generally people who had already achieved fame and popularity elsewhere (such as show business).

Well, speak of the devil! Apparently the new issue, which I have yet to receive, contains fiction by Tom Hanks.

A Slate columnist reveiwed the story and wasn't particularly impressed. Here's her most damning paragraph:

I certainly was not blown away by this story, which seems to exemplify a growing New Yorker trend of opening up certain sections to famous Hollywood types. Jesse Eisenberg, Mindy Kaling, Steve Martin, Lena Dunham, and Tina Fey have all recently appeared in the magazine’s pages. Not to reverse-discriminate, but how many of their pieces would have made the cut without the glittering byline? Perhaps it is enough for The New Yorker to deliver the minor thrill of a popular figure trying something new. (Not that Hanks is an entirely unpracticed literary hand: He also wrote the scripts for That Thing You Do and Larry Crowne.) But the world is full of rich, interesting, funny, moving fiction by people we’ve never heard of. It’s a shame to see the high-profile New Yorker fiction perch occupied by a mediocre story that breezed past the bodyguards because of its Hollywood pedigree. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/10/20/tom_hanks_new_yorker_story_alan_bean_plus_four_is_not_very_good.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/10/20/tom_hanks_new_yorker_story_alan_bean_plus_four_is_not_very_good.html)

She asks a good question. I genuinely enjoyed the piece or two by Mindy Kaling that I read there. But then, Kaling was a writer before she was an actress -- she wrote the play Ben and Matt, she was a writer for The Office as well as an actress on it, and she has at least one book out that I think looks pretty decent (I gave it to my niece, along with another book, as a graduation present). But even in so, I wonder if the New Yorker would publish her if she weren't famous elsewhere.

The others, I bet, would not make the cut. I've read most of Lena Dunham's book and it was just OK (though I love Girls). I was never all that impressed with Steve Martin's writing and wasn't ever excited enough to read Tina Fey's book based on the few excerpts I did read. Again, Tina Fey was an SNL writer before she was a star, but still.

And I think I saw Jesse Eisenberg's "Shouts and Murmurs" piece and didn't think it was good.

Meanwhile, a year or so ago I read an interview in which David Remnick practically boasted about rejecting David Foster Wallace (or at least, about the magazine rejecting him; I'm not sure Remnick was editor when Wallace was alive). Anyway, Jonathan Franzen in this interview mentioned that DFW had never been published in the NYer. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick said. I wanted to slap him.

Jesse Eisenberg clears the bar because he did a good job playing Mark Zuckerberg. But David Foster Wallace, one of the greatest essayists of the past 20 years, can't get in?



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 21, 2014, 09:35:49 am
Well, speak of the devil! Apparently the new issue, which I have yet to receive, contains fiction by Tom Hanks.

A Slate columnist reveiwed the story and wasn't particularly impressed. Here's her most damning paragraph:

I certainly was not blown away by this story, which seems to exemplify a growing New Yorker trend of opening up certain sections to famous Hollywood types. Jesse Eisenberg, Mindy Kaling, Steve Martin, Lena Dunham, and Tina Fey have all recently appeared in the magazine’s pages. Not to reverse-discriminate, but how many of their pieces would have made the cut without the glittering byline? Perhaps it is enough for The New Yorker to deliver the minor thrill of a popular figure trying something new. (Not that Hanks is an entirely unpracticed literary hand: He also wrote the scripts for That Thing You Do and Larry Crowne.) But the world is full of rich, interesting, funny, moving fiction by people we’ve never heard of. It’s a shame to see the high-profile New Yorker fiction perch occupied by a mediocre story that breezed past the bodyguards because of its Hollywood pedigree. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/10/20/tom_hanks_new_yorker_story_alan_bean_plus_four_is_not_very_good.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/10/20/tom_hanks_new_yorker_story_alan_bean_plus_four_is_not_very_good.html)

Ouch!

Quote
And I think I saw Jesse Eisenberg's "Shouts and Murmurs" piece and didn't think it was good.

"Shouts and Murmurs" is the one feature I practically never read, unless maybe if it's by David Sedaris or Paul Rudnick. The few times I have read it when it was by other people, I found it not funny at all--downright amateurish, in fact, like a bad attempt at humor in a high school newspaper.

Quote
Meanwhile, a year or so ago I read an interview in which David Remnick practically boasted about rejecting David Foster Wallace (or at least, about the magazine rejecting him; I'm not sure Remnick was editor when Wallace was alive). Anyway, Jonathan Franzen in this interview mentioned that DFW had never been published in the NYer. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick said. I wanted to slap him.

Jesse Eisenberg clears the bar because he did a good job playing Mark Zuckerberg. But David Foster Wallace, one of the greatest essayists of the past 20 years, can't get in?

I've never read DFW, so I'm really, really not equipped to comment. But I think your points about celebrity authors are well taken.

I suppose being a good writer for TV comedy (e.g., Tina Fey) doesn't necessarily make one a good writer for a magazine.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 21, 2014, 10:32:32 am


"Shouts and Murmurs" is the one feature I practically never read, unless maybe if it's by David Sedaris or Paul Rudnick. The few times I have read it when it was by other people, I found it not funny at all--downright amateurish, in fact, like a bad attempt at humor in a high school newspaper.

I agree with you, Jeff. "Shouts and Murmurs" can be far-fetched sometimes. I still read it, but sometimes don't finish it. Comedy writing is difficult. I like a broad range of comedy and satire, especially Monty Python-style comedy, so I tend to like Steve Martin's writing as well as Tina Fey's. But it's not for everyone. Conspicuously absent from this lineup is Woody Allen. I usually don't like the pieces that he has in The New Yorker. Martin has been writing for TNY for quite a few years, I think. I remember seeing his work there when I started reading it back in the previous century!
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 21, 2014, 11:05:15 am
I agree with you, Jeff. "Shouts and Murmurs" can be far-fetched sometimes.

"Far-fetched" is a good way to describe some of what I've seen in "Shouts and Murmurs." That's what made me think of a kid trying to write something funny for a high school newspaper--and failing miserably.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 22, 2014, 10:23:17 am
Somehow, The Onion manages to be pretty consistently funny on a weekly basis. But outside of TV, that's the only example I can think of. The Onion is working off the news, but then again so is "Shouts and Murmurs" sometimes. And I agree, it's only occasionally funny.

That said, I have occasionally happened on really good S&Ms by obscure writers. One, years ago, was so clever I ripped it out and saved it for years. Eventually I threw it away in a frenzy of organization and have regretted it ever since. It was an entire S&M written in the regular forms of words that we normally use only in prefixed forms. Not sure if those terms are right -- and I can hardly remember any examples, which is why I regret tossing it -- but basically it used "chalant" to mean the opposite of "nonchalant," "plussed" as the opposite of "nonplussed" and so on.



Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 22, 2014, 01:23:33 pm
That said, I have occasionally happened on really good S&Ms by obscure writers. One, years ago, was so clever I ripped it out and saved it for years. Eventually I threw it away in a frenzy of organization and have regretted it ever since. It was an entire S&M written in the regular forms of words that we normally use only in prefixed forms. Not sure if those terms are right -- and I can hardly remember any examples, which is why I regret tossing it -- but basically it used "chalant" to mean the opposite of "nonchalant," "plussed" as the opposite of "nonplussed" and so on.

I think I remember that "Shouts & Murmurs." Or maybe I just have a vague memory of some comedian somewhere doing a routine about the same subject (e.g., kempt is not the opposite of unkempt). The Oct. 20 article is by Paul Rudnick; I read it over lunch, and despite its author, I didn't find it very funny.

And I didn't quite know what to make of the Patricia Marx piece about "emotional-support animals."
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 22, 2014, 07:30:22 pm
My NY came this afternoon finally so I had to sit down and read "Allen Bean Plus Four" by Tom Hanks. It was a breezy upbeat account of four madcap twenty-somethings who decide to make a figure eight voyage around the moon in their Rube Goldberg space capsule, just for fun. Kind of a Disney ride, science-fiction-lite saga. There were some interesting turns of phrase and the oft-expressed conceit that you can do anything with an iphone these days. Other than that, it was a bit of a waste of time, but at least I didn't end a NY fiction-reading session mired in existential angst as I so often do.  :P
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 22, 2014, 10:24:50 pm
Mine arrived today, too. I jumped right into the profile of Billy Joel. I didn't even notice Tom Hanks' name in the contents.  :-\
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 23, 2014, 11:09:31 am
I am always the last person on the planet to get the latest New Yorker.  :(

Well, I should amend that. Once I was talking on the phone to a friend in New Orleans. This was about a year after Katrina. I mentioned something in the New Yorker and asked if she'd seen it. No, she said, because they still weren't getting magazine delivery.  :o

Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 23, 2014, 11:49:22 am
I am always the last person on the planet to get the latest New Yorker.  :(

I thought I was the last one. Ordinarily, Lee seems to get hers days before I get mine. Annoys me because I'm only an hour and a half from New York, and she's 1500 miles away.  >:(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 23, 2014, 07:17:41 pm
Well, I didn't get mine today, either. I'll let you know when it comes, and you'll see what I'm talking about.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 23, 2014, 09:30:14 pm
Well, I didn't get mine today, either. I'll let you know when it comes, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Shit. That's hard.  :(
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 23, 2014, 11:53:00 pm
Shit. That's hard.  :(

 :laugh:  Well, a Brokieism always improves the situation.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 24, 2014, 09:04:41 am
:laugh:  Well, a Brokieism always improves the situation.

 ;D  I hope it gets there soon.  :)
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 29, 2014, 01:52:47 pm
Well, I'm now reading the Oct. 27 article on "The Ebola Wars." It reminds me of reading The Andromeda Strain, and I remember the article from years ago, about that hemorrhagic fever that broke out among the monkeys in the research lab in Reston, Virginia. It's absolutely riveting and absolutely terrifying.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 30, 2014, 09:21:38 am
Well, I didn't get mine today, either. I'll let you know when it comes, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I STILL don't have it.

By the time I read "The Ebola Wars," Ebola will have been cured.


Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 30, 2014, 10:20:55 am
I STILL don't have it.

By the time I read "The Ebola Wars," Ebola will have been cured.

I'd contact Customer Service and complain.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 30, 2014, 06:03:36 pm
I'll have to remember not to blab on about the latest issue until I'm sure everybody has received it. So, has everybody received the food issue (Nov 3)? This issue seemed strange because it was so focused on events within the U.S. borders. I'm not used to an issue where there is nothing about the Middle East or Africa. So far, I have enjoyed John Lancaster's piece "Shut Up and Eat" which launches the issue. We're in the age where we're supposed to laugh at ourselves for being so food-obsessed, which is okay except then we just go on with our obsession as normal. Not about food, but I also enjoyed the article about Bob Dylan's early work.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on October 30, 2014, 09:18:47 pm
I received the Nov. 3 issue this week, and I went directly to Adam Gopnik's piece on the cronut and the pretzel croissant. Cronuts don't interest me, but I'd like to try a pretzel croissant.
Title: Re: In the New Yorker...
Post by: serious crayons on October 30, 2014, 10:50:35 pm
I'll have to remember not to blab on about the latest issue until I'm sure everybody has received it.

Oh, you never need worry about that! It's not like we're giving away spoilers here.

Quote
So, has everybody received the food issue (Nov 3)? This issue seemed strange because it was so focused on events within the U.S. borders. I'm not used to an issue where there is nothing about the Middle East or Africa. So far, I have enjoyed John Lancaster's piece "Shut Up and Eat" which launches the issue. We're in the age where we're supposed to laugh at ourselves for being so food-obsessed, which is okay except then we just go on with our obsession as normal. Not about food, but I also enjoyed the article about Bob Dylan's early work.

So I finally I got a New Yorker in the mail today, and I was all set to come here and say at last I had the famous Tom Hanks issue -- except that's not it, it's the Food Issue. I think what happened was that I never got the Oct. 27 issue.

I have a few different piles of magazines (practically one in eve