Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 974947 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2630 on: January 18, 2021, 06:20:09 pm »
Oops! You're a better New Yorkerologist than I am.

I just figured it was a typo.

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Could I find 19 more colorful characters to write about? Maybe not. But probably at least five or six.

Well, you lived and worked in NOLA. Isn't that whole city full of colorful characters?


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So I quit that one and flipped to Jlil Lepore's piece about work. I've only just started it but so far it's excellent. I already knew about most of the work-related things she's said so far, but they don't get said enough. It's one of those book-review essays and one amazing aspect is how she manages to read that many books, plus write that much, plus teach history at Harvard.

You know how much I adore her, but I confess to wondering sometimes about her teaching work. It's difficult for me to imagine her with a full teaching load. Maybe she just does a graduate seminar or two. If she has any undergraduate sections, I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of them might actually be taught by graduate student assistants. I hope I'm wrong about that. If I were a Harvard undergrad and signed up for one of her classes and then found out it was taught by a TA, I'd feel cheated.
"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 #2631 on: January 18, 2021, 08:48:05 pm »
Well, you lived and worked in NOLA. Isn't that whole city full of colorful characters?

True, although admittedly most of the people I actually knew-knew there were journalist colleagues, most too ordinary to make a good New Yorker essay. I did interview some more exotic people along the way, though.

Here's one interesting character I've heard about lately. Stop me if I've told it before (oh wait, I guess you can't! :laugh:). A photographer colleague just published a book called You Oughta Write a Book About Me. It's about this guy -- the "me" of the title -- who my friend followed around for, I guess, years. The way my photographer friend met the guy was that he loves taking photos of American flags, in all contexts -- flagpoles, tattoos, whatever -- he's known for it. So one time he saw a homeless guy sleeping on the sidewalk, using an American flag as a blanket. He took his picture and the guy woke up and said "You oughta write a book about me." Why, my friend asked. "Because I've been in two Superbowls."

 :o  Take that, Rachel Kushner!

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It's difficult for me to imagine her with a full teaching load. Maybe she just does a graduate seminar or two. If she has any undergraduate sections, I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of them might actually be taught by graduate student assistants. I hope I'm wrong about that. If I were a Harvard undergrad and signed up for one of her classes and then found out it was taught by a TA, I'd feel cheated.

Plus, her title is one of those "The [some venerable person] Professor of History Chair at Harvard." I never know what those mean. Maybe they mean you hypothetically teach history there, but you don't do that much.

Hmm. If this is her resume ...

-- Full load at Harvard
-- Staff writer regularly churning out deeply researched New Yorker stories
-- Author regularly churning out deeply researched (I assume) books

... even with summers off and long winter breaks, that sounds pretty superhuman. Perhaps she has a clone?

Well, I guess she probably does have a staff of researchers. Other famous historians like Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin do (or did, in Ambrose's case).





Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2632 on: January 18, 2021, 10:28:13 pm »
Here's one interesting character I've heard about lately. Stop me if I've told it before (oh wait, I guess you can't! :laugh:). A photographer colleague just published a book called You Oughta Write a Book About Me. It's about this guy -- the "me" of the title -- who my friend followed around for, I guess, years. The way my photographer friend met the guy was that he loves taking photos of American flags, in all contexts -- flagpoles, tattoos, whatever -- he's known for it. So one time he saw a homeless guy sleeping on the sidewalk, using an American flag as a blanket. He took his picture and the guy woke up and said "You oughta write a book about me." Why, my friend asked. "Because I've been in two Superbowls."

Seriously no joke. I swear I heard something like that story recently, something to do with a guy who had played in the Superbowl and had ended up homeless. Like one of those uplifting stories they do at the end of a news broadcast, or something like that. I wonder if it's the same guy? I don't remember anything about a photographer being involved, though. That could just mean I don't remember. ???

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Plus, her title is one of those "The [some venerable person] Professor of History Chair at Harvard." I never know what those mean. Maybe they mean you hypothetically teach history there, but you don't do that much.
.

Could be. I really don't know what those mean, either. At the least I've assumed it means some super-rich person left enough money as an investment somewhere to pay the salary of the person who gets the chair.

"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 #2633 on: January 19, 2021, 11:22:53 am »
Seriously no joke. I swear I heard something like that story recently, something to do with a guy who had played in the Superbowl and had ended up homeless. Like one of those uplifting stories they do at the end of a news broadcast, or something like that. I wonder if it's the same guy? I don't remember anything about a photographer being involved, though. That could just mean I don't remember. ???

I bet it's the same one, especially if this was recently, because the book came out recently. And although Ted is a great photographer and that's how they met, he also wrote the book, so the photo part wouldn't necessarily come up in a short segment.

I see I got the title slightly wrong. I thought that was weird yesterday -- Ted works for a newspaper, so the guy suggesting a book as soon as they met seemed a bit presumptuous. Definitely worth a story, though. And eventually, I guess, a book.

You Ought to Do a Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption Hardcover August 25, 2020 by Ted Jackson  (Author)

https://www.amazon.com/You-Ought-Story-About-Friendship/dp/0062935674

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Could be. I really don't know what those mean, either. At the least I've assumed it means some super-rich person left enough money as an investment somewhere to pay the salary of the person who gets the chair.

That seems likely!


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2634 on: January 19, 2021, 08:38:48 pm »
I see I got the title slightly wrong. I thought that was weird yesterday -- Ted works for a newspaper, so the guy suggesting a book as soon as they met seemed a bit presumptuous. Definitely worth a story, though. And eventually, I guess, a book.

You Ought to Do a Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption Hardcover August 25, 2020 by Ted Jackson  (Author)

That sounds familiar.
"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 #2635 on: January 22, 2021, 11:06:23 pm »
The Dec. 21 issue has one of those multi-book review/essays about imagining other lives one might have had if they'd picked a different college, not missed the bus that day, took the other road that diverged in the yellow wood ... it's kind of a thin concept for an essay, IMO, but the writer makes it more or less work. It includes more than a paragraph about Jack and Ennis -- Ennis being grimly satisfied with his bleak choices but Jack always frustrated about not having the sweet life.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2636 on: January 22, 2021, 11:08:06 pm »
The Dec. 21 issue has one of those multi-book review/essays about imagining other lives you might have had if you'd picked a different college, not missed the bus that day, took the other road that diverged in the yellow wood ... it's kind of a thin concept for an essay, IMO, but the writer makes it more or less work for 4+ pages. It includes more than a paragraph about Jack and Ennis -- Ennis being grimly satisfied with his bleak existence but Jack always frustrated about not getting the sweet life.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2637 on: January 23, 2021, 12:40:31 pm »
The Dec. 21 issue has one of those multi-book review/essays about imagining other lives one might have had if they'd picked a different college, not missed the bus that day, took the other road that diverged in the yellow wood ... it's kind of a thin concept for an essay, IMO, but the writer makes it more or less work. It includes more than a paragraph about Jack and Ennis -- Ennis being grimly satisfied with his bleak choices but Jack always frustrated about not having the sweet life.

In noticed that when I paged through the issue.

I'm six issues behind and counting, now.
"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 #2638 on: January 23, 2021, 01:24:36 pm »
You have remarkable discipline, Jeff.

Me, I'm 16 pages in on a 22-page article by our buddy Luke Mogelson called "The Storm" about the insurrection. He sure is earning his keep at TNY! It turns out that he's been on this story for months now and knew exactly how it was going to unfold. I'm excited about discussing it more after y'all have read it, although it looks like that will be around Easter time.  :-\

Well, just this one anecdote SPOILER ALERT.



At one point, Mogelson mentioned that he was incapacitated for 20 minutes by pepper spray in his face. That would have been the end of the assignment for me, but not for brave Luke!
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2639 on: January 23, 2021, 04:47:11 pm »
At one point, Mogelson mentioned that he was incapacitated for 20 minutes by pepper spray in his face. That would have been the end of the assignment for me, but not for brave Luke!

I don't think any of my colleagues got sprayed when covering George Floyd unrest, but at least a couple were hit by rubber bullets, one was thrown to the ground (by a cop) and told he'd be shot if he moved an inch, and several got their tires slashed (also by cops).

I was happy to miss that kind of action. I've hung out with crazy right-wingers a few times, and some might have even been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but frankly my worst fear was catching COVID since they rarely mask or distance.

I forgot to finish that article! It's fascinating. Did nobody seem to mind him getting videos so close up because they thought he was one of them?