Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 2131754 times)

Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3040 on: August 24, 2022, 12:04:09 pm »
S&M was dumb.

Lots of people think S&M is dumb.  ;D
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3041 on: August 24, 2022, 12:23:49 pm »
You'd think with their legendary comics that they could do a comedy column very easily, but no.

On the other hand, maybe I'm losing my sense of humor. The last David Sedaris piece I read I didn't think was funny at all. It was an account of his book tour to the US, and he was very critical of the country and people. Well, I understand why he would be, but still, he styles himself as a comedy writer.

In the Ephron piece, the author quotes the two stars of "You've Got Mail" writing emails to each other before they meet in person and find out they're competitors. And then Syme writes, "Of course, even in the golden age of AOL, few people wrote such emails." Really? I seem to remember emails being almost an art form, people spending hours crafting them. Then came the age of texting and now it's just "K" or an emoji. What happened?

Your Taco Bell story was really funny, Katherine. There's a product placement in the Ephron story too, where she sees a Virginia Slims cigarette butt in her second husband's (Carl Bernstein) ashtray and knows he's been unfaithful.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3042 on: August 24, 2022, 02:58:49 pm »
Lots of people think S&M is dumb.  ;D

I know, it's dumb more often than not. However, lately there have been a few that made me literally LOL (LLOL). Recently, "Are Mice People?" was one.

You'd think with their legendary comics that they could do a comedy column very easily, but no.

I blame the editor. I submitted a piece a year or two ago, when conservatives were refusing to wear masks. My piece was about how people of the future would view masks. Personally, I thought it was pretty funny, but it was rejected by the New Yorker and McSweeney's and one other humor column I found that was part of The Rumpus. Then I ran out of places to submit it and masks became less of a current-event topic.

Quote
In the Ephron piece, the author quotes the two stars of "You've Got Mail" writing emails to each other before they meet in person and find out they're competitors. And then Syme writes, "Of course, even in the golden age of AOL, few people wrote such emails." Really? I seem to remember emails being almost an art form, people spending hours crafting them. Then came the age of texting and now it's just "K" or an emoji. What happened?

That's right, I remember that, too! Long emails much like the letters of previous centuries. I still send lengthy messages to one or two friends but that's it.

Quote
Your Taco Bell story was really funny, Katherine. There's a product placement in the Ephron story too, where she sees a Virginia Slims cigarette butt in her second husband's (Carl Bernstein) ashtray and knows he's been unfaithful.

I was talking earlier today with my son, Jack, who works in PR, about product placement. We reminisced about how it was satirized on "30 Rock" and "Wayne's World," and wondered about how you sometimes see a product dissed in a product placement and whether it's placed there by the manufacturer or a competitor. For an extreme hypothetical example, if a character were to take a sip of soda and say "Blech, this is terrible!" and the label says Pepsi, would it be placed by Coke, or by Pepsi figuring there's no such thing as bad publicity or possibly to show they had a sense of humor or to make Coke look petty? Jack said filmmakers probably sign contracts restricting how they can present the product, but I could swear I recently saw something about a negative product portrayal in a movie that was apparently approved by the manufacturer without knowing how the product would be presented.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3043 on: August 24, 2022, 03:04:40 pm »
Here's my masks piece, if anyone's interested. Might as well publish it here. I realize, reading it now, it was a bit too long, dense and complicated. In order to get the humorous nuances you'd have to read fairly carefully and who does that these days? I should have kept each section no longer than 5-6 sentences.

I think you have to have an agent to submit to the actual Shouts & Murmurs, but they have a Daily Shouts feature online that I thought I might have a shot at.

Note: The ?s throughout the piece are supposed to be ' or " or --. I copied and pasted this from a pdf, but I'm not sure why they appeared that way. I'm just going to leave them because I think it's easy enough to read despite them.

The future of face masks

We?re all on edge these days, with our entire future basically a giant question mark. When can we hug our loved ones? When will our formerly thriving industries come back to life? When will we feel safe setting foot outside our homes? And most of all, when can we stop wearing these stupid masks?

For answers, we asked historians from the future, whose 20/20 hindsight produces data more precise than even Dr. Fauci?s. Turns out the answer depends on what point in the future the historians themselves occupy. Here are their replies:

2100: An Era
The masking era?more of a phase, really?began in the ?20s as protection against the Great Pandemic. The earliest iterations were cloth face coverings, often homemade by DIYers who owned ?sewing machines? (antique appliances long since replaced by clothing stores). Soon, nearly 99% of the population wore masks at all times, especially after the anti-masking portion of the population sharply declined. Even after doctors developed a treatment for SARS-CoV-2, many members of the Interrupted Generation continued wearing masks for the rest of their lives. One unfortunate long-term effect seen among those who had lived through the pandemic was a stubborn delusion, resistant to therapy, that a new virus could emerge at any time.

2200: A Fad
Generation New Normal had worn masks since infancy and grown up accustomed to seeing them on everyone including characters onscreen (except in historical settings, which relied on CGI to render the lower half of characters? faces). Thus, Normals considered masks an essential element of public presentation, as powdered wigs were in the 18th century. Designers continually introduced fresh styles until one year, at the spring shows, an audacious newcomer sent models down the runway fully unmasked. After a collective gasp, the fashion community embraced the naked-face look. Cosmetic companies brought back lipstick. Soon masking seemed outdated and dowdy. Today masks are rarely seen outside museums. Although recently there have been signs of the style?s resurgence in certain parts of the world.

2500: A Beginning
Few people practiced masking before the early 21st century, but masks became standard apparel around the time of the First Great Pandemic. For many years, masks were simple pieces of fabric with stretchy loops. They covered only the lower part of the face, as it was then widely believed that the nose and mouth were the only orifices through which airborne viruses could enter or exit the body. Over the ensuing waves of pandemics, masks became increasingly sophisticated?more effective, more comfortable and frankly cooler looking?eventually becoming the sleek gear we wear today. Our rugged ancestors managed to endure years of rudimentary masks lacking even the most standard features such as wireless transporters, the TelePathi? app and air conditioning.

3000: A Discovery
In the third millennium, individual homo sapien organisms (HSOs) began wrapping bits of cloth around their own mouthparts, a behavior scientists believe was a response to a series of assaults by lethal viruses. The HSOs? attempt to shield themselves with fabric suggests they may have been better at reasoning, communicating and using tools than previously thought. However, the fabric pieces were not infallible, and viruses continued attacking throughout those years, substantially reducing the HSO population. But eventually HSOs, which some scientists believe were measurably more intelligent than viruses, developed a chemical that eradicated their microscopic adversaries. Without a natural predator, invasive swarms of HSOs spread across the earth?s land masses, upsetting local ecosystems and putting other organisms at risk. Finally scientists developed a new treatment that effectively wiped out HSOs. Today, only a few specimens remain, cryogenically preserved for research purposes in a secret government laboratory in an area once called New Mexico.

40,000 BCII: A Mystery
?Did you see these old papers with pictures of people wearing weird coverings on their faces?? one says. ?What?s up with that??
?No idea,? says the other, sweeping a paint-dipped twig across the wall to depict the curve of a running beast?s haunch.
?Think they were trying to hide their identities??
?Why bother? They?d still recognize each other by smell.?
?Oh, right,? the one nods. ?Some kind of ritual, perhaps??
?Sure, maybe, whatever,? says the other. ?Now, would you please throw those old papers on the fire already? The cave is getting chilly.?
 


Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3044 on: August 24, 2022, 03:21:39 pm »

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3045 on: August 24, 2022, 03:55:00 pm »
That was so funny, I'm surprised it wasn't snapped up! It starts out in a straightforward expositional manner and keeps getting funnier as you go further into the future. I didn't find it too complicated at all. Sort of on the theme of 'The Blind men and the Elephant'. I think you should keep trying! TNY obviously needs some better material.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3046 on: August 24, 2022, 04:03:13 pm »
I came up with an idea for an S & M. Most of the emails in my PROMOTIONS tab are titled: "confirmation of your purchase" even though I haven't purchased anything from the company. I know this is just a scam. So I envision a string of emails confirming my purchase, reservation, or subscription to ever more wild and growing items such as cruises, Wild-Animal-of-the-Month plans, and collector's items...maybe Brokeback memorabilia!
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Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3047 on: August 24, 2022, 05:04:19 pm »
Lots of people think S&M is dumb.  ;D

I know, it's dumb more often than not. However, lately there have been a few that made me literally LOL (LLOL). Recently, "Are Mice People?" was one.

I figured you all would pick up that Shouts & Murmurs was not the S&M I was referring to.  ;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 serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3048 on: August 24, 2022, 06:37:46 pm »
I figured you all would pick up that Shouts & Murmurs was not the S&M I was referring to.  ;D

Oops!!  :laugh: :laugh:

I thought it was kind of a weird way to put it -- as if you'd been conducting public polls about opinions of a New Yorker feature. NOW it makes sense.



Online Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3049 on: August 24, 2022, 10:11:59 pm »
I figured you all would pick up that Shouts & Murmurs was not the S&M I was referring to.  ;D

Oops!!  :laugh: :laugh:

I thought it was kind of a weird way to put it -- as if you'd been conducting public polls about opinions of a New Yorker feature. NOW it makes sense.

 ;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.