Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 610622 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #660 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
"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 #661 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.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #662 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.  :(
"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 #663 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.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #664 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.  :-\
"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 #665 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."


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #666 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. ...)
"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 #667 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.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #668 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.
"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 Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #669 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.
"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.