Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 864166 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2270 on: December 16, 2019, 11:01:43 pm »
But as I've told the people at the tastings, I couldn't drink gin for years because when I was a teenager that's what my parents kept in their (unlocked) liquor cabinet.  :laugh:

After all the years I drank several beer-mug-size gin and tonics on Friday and Saturday nights, it's a wonder I still have a liver. Add to that, I'd go home and take two Tylenols and two Sudafeds to keep from waking up the next morning with a headache and bad sinuses (from all the smoke in the bar).
"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 #2271 on: December 16, 2019, 11:54:09 pm »
I also really enjoyed Anthony Lane's article on gin. It more than made up for the lackluster Shouts and Murmurs.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2272 on: December 31, 2019, 03:50:31 pm »
I'm way behind in my reading. Over lunch today, I read Peter Schjeldahl's article "77 Sunset Me," about himself dying of cancer (Dec. 23). Kind of funny that I read it because I almost never read his regular articles because I think art criticism and literary criticism both are pompous bullshit (or, they are for me, anyway). But sometimes I find artists and writers lives more interesting than their art or their writing. For me that was certainly the case with Schjeldahl.
"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 serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2273 on: December 31, 2019, 05:41:52 pm »
I almost never read his regular articles because I think art criticism and literary criticism both are pompous bullshit (or, they are for me, anyway).

As a reader and sometime practitioner of of literary criticism, I must speak in its favor. If done well, I love it. The New Yorker's book reviews are especially great; usually they are as close as I come to actually reading the book, yet I come away feeling almost familiar with its contents. Often, they're as much essay as they are book review.

Unless! Unless you're talking about academic literary criticism, like in textbooks. I don't know if they're pompous bullshit because they're utterly unreadable. My aunt was the head of the English department at the University of Georgia. Her specialty was gothic literature. I picked up one of her books once and thought, well, goth is at least a popular art and somewhat interesting, so this could be good. I could not finish the first page. I don't mean because it was boring, I mean because I literally couldn't read it.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2274 on: December 31, 2019, 07:00:34 pm »
I am talking about the academic stuff, and I have more or less classified Schjeldahl and Simon Schama in that category--that is, academic. I love the book reviews in TNY. Often they strike me more as essays in their own right, especially when the writer talks about more than one book in the article. I like the "Briefly Noted" book reviews, too.
"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 #2275 on: December 31, 2019, 07:41:49 pm »
Some of the literary criticism of Brokeback Mountain has been p.b., I agree. Especially those that purport to reveal the novel as some kind of polemic against the cultural relativism of the 1960s or whatever.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2276 on: December 31, 2019, 09:27:54 pm »
I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed the article about the Hallmark movies (Dec. 23). I've never watched one; until recently I did't know we received the Hallmark channel in my building. But I remember when I was a kid the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations were kind of a big deal. HHoF was the first place a saw a production of "Harvey," with Jimmy Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, a lovable eccentric whose best friend is an invisible six-foot-tall white rabbit; Helen Hayes played his sister. I also saw "The Belle of Amherst," with Julie Harris in a one-actor play about Emily Dickinson. That was my introduction to Dickinson. (I'm sure that production must exist in DVD form somewhere. I really should try to find it, because I loved it.) I also saw Julie Harris as Mary Todd Lincoln in "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln." Robbie Benson played one of her sons. I sort-of remember a drama about Queen Victoria, but I don't remember anything about it. They were quality productions back in the day.

I would also call attention to the paragraph in the middle of page 49, where the author talks to the C.E.O. of the Hallmark Channel about seeing a gay male couple in a Hallmark movie. I tend to agree with what the C.E.O. says about including gay characters. Of course it's a Good Thing to see gay couples in TV shows, even commercials, but usually when I see them I have a sneaking suspicion that it's just gaysploitation.
"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 serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2277 on: January 01, 2020, 02:39:57 pm »
I have more or less classified Schjeldahl and Simon Schama in that category--that is, academic.

True, I think art criticism is more likely to lean that way because the concepts are so much more abstract and don't lend themselves to tales about larger social issues.

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I love the book reviews in TNY. Often they strike me more as essays in their own right, especially when the writer talks about more than one book in the article.[/font][/size]

For example, I loved the recent essay about the mythification of Thanksgiving -- a fairy tale coverup of an actually brutal history,  though the much-embellished "nice" story is what kids are taught in school. It was mostly about one newly published book, but I think the writer briefly mentioned a couple of others on the topic.

That's usually harder to do with visual art.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2278 on: January 01, 2020, 02:45:22 pm »
Of course it's a Good Thing to see gay couples in TV shows, even commercials, but usually when I see them I have a sneaking suspicion that it's just gaysploitation.

Really, why? I haven't read the Hallmark piece, but isn't it just a matter of diversifying characters, like including actors of color in TV shows and commercials?

I can see why people might dislike Will and Grace (I don't like it myself and have never watched a whole episode). But you'd think a plot in which gay characters go about their normal lives, with gayness being just one aspect of their identity rather than something they would mention every other sentence like they do on W&G, would be welcome.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2279 on: January 03, 2020, 10:04:31 am »
Really, why? I haven't read the Hallmark piece, but isn't it just a matter of diversifying characters, like including actors of color in TV shows and commercials?

Of course I can't and wouldn't presume to speak for people of color, but my reaction to gay people/couples in commercials is, and probably will remain, "It's an effen commercial trying to sell something. Who gives a shit whether people in it are gay or straight?" Do they really think that more gay people will buy their product because they have gay people in their commercials? (Maybe they do, and maybe they're correct. There are an awful lot of stupid gay people out there who will no doubt fall for that.)

(Come to think of it, I can't think of the last time I saw a commercial featuring people of color who weren't at least upper Middle Class, if not higher. But then maybe the target audience of the commercial is  people of color who are top-flight lawyers and likely to buy a Lexus.)


Quote
I can see why people might dislike Will and Grace (I don't like it myself and have never watched a whole episode). But you'd think a plot in which gay characters go about their normal lives, with gayness being just one aspect of their identity rather than something they would mention every other sentence like they do on W&G, would be welcome.

The thing about the Hallmark article: The reporter mentioned to the C.E.O. that she thought she saw a gay couple--two (hot) guys running an animal shelter--in a Hallmark movie, and she asked the C.E.O. about it. He replied that she was correct. He responded that Hallmark did want to "reflect the broader population." He also said "[W]e believe that if we do it authentically, without doing it just to do it--which is the wrong reason to do it, by the way--people will feel good about it, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum." He also said, "They're not being called out and made to either look cool or weird." So the thing is, the gay couple was just there. There were no gay PDAs, nobody was waving a rainbow flag to say, "Hey, Hallmark viewers, we're gay!"

This sort of thing I do welcome--the "not being called out," or having attention called to them.

BTW, I do take commercials as a category apart from scripted TV shows.

"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.