Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 439635 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #191 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:
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Meryl

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #192 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
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #193 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

"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #194 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.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #195 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.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 03:09:33 pm by Jeff Wrangler »
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Online serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #196 on: November 23, 2010, 11:39:52 am »
That Turkey Supreme sounds awful.  Whipped cream and mayonnaise? :P

And turkey and pineapple?  :P


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #197 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.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #198 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
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #199 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
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