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BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum  |  The World Beyond BetterMost  |  The Culture Tent (Moderator: Sheriff Roland)  |  Topic: In the New Yorker... 0 Residents and 5 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 334163 times)
Jeff Wrangler
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« Reply #1930 on: April 10, 2018, 01:28:11 pm »

Over my just-completed lunch today, I read John Seabrook's April 9 article that takes off from his highway spin-out on black ice. It was too long with too many digressions, but what Seabrook had to say on p. 33 about the writing of the Swiss geologist Albert Heim struck a chord.

Heim wrote about falls from great heights, but his description seemed to match my own experience in a fall from a relatively short height. When I was thrown from--OK, fell off--my horse in '09, time seemed to slow down. I clearly remember feeling that I was falling in slow motion, and I had the time to formulate in my mind the entire sentence, "When you hit the ground, roll, so the horse won't step on you." And that's exactly what I did. Yet that was not a very far fall.
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« Reply #1931 on: April 11, 2018, 09:22:36 am »

Heim wrote about falls from great heights, but his description seemed to match my own experience in a fall from a relatively short height. When I was thrown from--OK, fell off--my horse in '09, time seemed to slow down. I clearly remember feeling that I was falling in slow motion, and I had the time to formulate in my mind the entire sentence, "When you hit the ground, roll, so the horse won't step on you." And that's exactly what I did. Yet that was not a very far fall.

I got thrown by a horse in about 2012 or so. I had time, as I went headfirst over the horse's neck, to think, "Great, now I'm going to be out $11,000," because that's the out-of-network health-insurance deductible. Luckily, I was on the side of the dirt road, cushioned with soft pine needles and leaves. If I had rolled to avoid being stepped on I might have rolled down the mountain, so it's lucky I was more worried about the insurance. But I wasn't hurt enough to need a doctor's care. Just pretty bruised up, less from the impact of the fall than from being yanked off the saddle.

My friend Beth (another of our group of six or so) wasn't so lucky. When her horse saw what happened to mine, he threw her, too -- only she was in the middle of the hard-packed dirt road. She broke her pelvis and had to be carried off the trail on a stretcher. Then she had to spend the rest of our vacation (in Eureka Springs, AR), sitting on the big porch of the house we'd rented, taking opioids and being waited on. She needed help to get to the bathroom and a special elevated toilet attachment and when we flew back, she had to make arrangements for a wheelchair. Luckily, one member of our group was a nurse.

Even more luckily, Beth works for a hospital so has good employer-sponsored health insurance. Also, she comes from a family of nurses and doctors who were there to help her during the six weeks she had to stay home recovering.

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Jeff Wrangler
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« Reply #1932 on: April 12, 2018, 09:31:28 am »

I thought this was interesting. I'm reading the April 9 article about the new CEO of Uber, and he shows up on the Today show this morning.
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« Reply #1933 on: April 18, 2018, 01:39:18 pm »

Over lunch today I read Andrew Marantz's April 16 piece on Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook scandal. It reminded me that a long time ago, probably about the time the movie The Social Network came out, The New Yorker ran a piece about Zuckerberg. I don't remember who the author was, but I do remember that he was gay. I remember that when he confronted Zuckerberg with the concept that not all people want everything about their lives put "out there" for the rest of the world to know, Zuckerberg seemed unable even to comprehend why anyone wouldn't.

I can't say why. I haven't been able to put my finger on it. But somehow I feel as if there is a line between Zuckerberg's incomprehension and the current scandal. Maybe it has to do with not caring what's "out there," or where it's coming from. I don't know. I just feel that somehow there is a connection.  Huh?
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« Reply #1934 on: April 19, 2018, 08:57:47 am »

The view got uninteresting from the plane around Missouri, so I brought out my New Yorker Magazine. In the packing rush, I grabbed a back copy for March 5, in which we had just discussed the Jordan Peterson article. But the longer article on Donald Glover was fascinating and so well written! How Tad Friend could relate and capture someone so different than himself was amazing to behold! Here are a few quotes that resonated with me:

"If you grew up knowing there was a bear in your future, because your dad kept telling you, ‘When you’re thirteen, you’re going to have to kill a bear,’ then, when you turned thirteen, you would kill the bear.” Beetz was baffled. “The bear,” she repeated. The door was still beeping, the way a jarring sound grows in a scene until you realize it’s an alarm clock and it was all a dream."

"he makes the city look both vast and confiningly tiny, as it might to an onlooker playing with a telescope."

"Earn and Van are feeling floaty and relaxed, enjoying each other—a setup for quarrels to come."

Nestled in the middle of the article on Glover is a recap of television's recent history that I found enlightening. "That creative breakthrough [the Sopranos] allowed shows to aim for smaller but more fervent audiences, to traffic not in quirky heroes but in flawed Everymen prone to depression and savagery."

And this point seemed very Brokieish: "Ambiguity has become a selling point, with nonlinear storytelling the new norm. Many dramas are designed to be solved or resolved online, where fans can collaborate to crack open the hidden Easter eggs."

Then it goes back to Glover's selling of the TV show "Atlanta" to the FX network and the concept of "Trojan-horsing". The FX CEO told Glover, "The parts that you’re worried we’re going to think are too weird—lean into those.” The CEO also said, "We’re in the business of making pieces of commercial television that mask deeper artistic narratives.”

And speaking of masks, "I feel like people are going to be writing essays twenty years from now on all the masks in the show...starting with why Earn is wearing a white mask.” A reveller is wearing what the script called an “innocent child face” mask, whose “black eyeholes peer into Earn’s soul.” How Brokieish is that!!

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« Reply #1935 on: April 19, 2018, 09:31:17 am »

Thanks for the quotes, Lee! I saw that article but didn't read it. i have seen part of an episode of the show. The show is acclaimed, so I've wanted to watch it, but my sons warned me that I probably wouldn't get it because there are too many rap-culture in-references. I did have a hard time following the segment I watched, but then I was just jumping into the middle of a series that has been on more than one season, without knowing anything about the characters or storyline.

I did read a few quotes from the story somewhere. Despite his talent, I think Donald Glover may be going a little over the top when he speculates that people will be writing essays about his show 20 years from now. Well ... maybe. But are people even still writing essays about The Sopranos or The Wire, which were roughly 20 years ago? Or even Mad Men and Breaking Bad, which were more recent? Not to say his show isn't or can't be as good as those classics. It's just that you'd think a show's essay shelf life would be limited to a few months after the season finale, if that.


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Jeff Wrangler
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« Reply #1936 on: April 19, 2018, 10:11:12 am »

That might not even be limited to TV shows. Is anybody writing scholarly essays on BBM anymore? Seriously, I'd like to know if anybody is. I remember hearing about academics writing things in the immediate wake of the film, but is anybody doing it now?

I imagine BBM might get mentioned if someone writes an essay about Call Me By Your Name right now, but I think that would be different from being the focus of the essay/aritcle.
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« Reply #1937 on: April 19, 2018, 10:46:22 am »

The only exception I can think of would be students writing essays as college papers. My son wrote a paper about the philosophical themes reflected in two Cohen Brothers' movies (No Country for Old Men and A Serious Man) as a requirement for his BA in Media Arts and Culture.

A lot of people still think of essays as school papers that start with "In this essay, I will blah blah blah" and end with "So in conclusion, blah blah blah" and in between cite a bunch of academic papers and research.

But I, and most people who are familiar with literary essays (like those in The New Yorker, for example) think of them as more creative and informal pieces that people read for information, entertainment and novel ideas. And it's hard to think of a publication that would run an essay about an old TV series or movie. It would have to be really, really good and say something strikingly new. And maybe not even then.

The only exception I can think of is someone writing something about a really old but widely familiar show. Someone not long ago wrote a piece on Slate "proving" that Mike and Carol Brady had killed their dead spouses. It was silly, of course. But someone on Facebook posted it who apparently knew the essay's writer. I wrote a comment with a link to that related New Yorker short story about the couple on the plane. The writer of the Slate essay popped in to point out that story contained no proof, whereas his essay was supported with "evidence."

He did have a point. One of his pieces of evidence, for example, was that in this big happy family made of bereaved widows and grief-stricken young children, nobody ever even mentions the deceased spouses/parents. Which would be really weird, come to think of it.

And I read another essay recently about how Ross and Rachel, the lovebirds of Friends who finally get together in the last episode, were actually a terrible couple and that Ross treated Rachel like shit. She made some valid points, also with evidence. I can't imagine anybody being interested except those who watched Friends (though admittedly, that's a lot of people, including me).

Whereas I never watched much of The Brady Bunch, but certainly have seen and heard enough about it to feel pretty familiar with the setup.

Oh now I can think of one more essay about TBB that I first read a long time ago, possibly even in the New Yorker. It was called "Here's the Story" in reference to the opening words of TBB's theme song, and he connected his regular TV watching in childhood and to the similarities and differences in his real life. That one was pretty good, too.





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Jeff Wrangler
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« Reply #1938 on: April 19, 2018, 11:47:56 am »

Interesting points. I was thinking narrowly of scholarly journals (on paper--if they continue to exist--or online). But then I didn't read the Glover article because when I glanced through it, it seemed that it would not interest me whatsoever. While I had heard of his series (possibly it was even in good old-fashioned  TV Guide   Shocked ) the show itself didn't interest me whatsoever.

Maybe he did have in mind articles such as the one proving that Mike and Carol Brady had murdered their previous spouses.
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« Reply #1939 on: April 19, 2018, 05:03:14 pm »

Nestled in the middle of the article on Glover is a recap of television's recent history that I found enlightening. "That creative breakthrough [the Sopranos] allowed shows to aim for smaller but more fervent audiences, to traffic not in quirky heroes but in flawed Everymen prone to depression and savagery."


Here's more about The Sopranos, which you specifically asked about. “The Sopranos,” which arrived on HBO in 1999, established a new benchmark, verisimilitude; in the fifth episode, we saw the Mob boss Tony Soprano strangling an informant. . . . “True Detective. . .reinvents the procedural form using a unique, layered story structure which braids multiple time periods and employs occasionally unreliable narration. “Fargo” ’s “Season One Is a Triangle,” Structure is the new Tony Danza. [In the old days of television, when four networks dominated the industry, the survival standard was clear. A show thrived by attracting a huge audience, and it attracted a huge audience by being diverting yet comforting. You just needed that actor everyone liked, Tony Danza or Ted Danson]"
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May 2018 be better for us all.
Pages: 1 ... 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 [194] 195 196 197 198 Go Up Print 
BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum  |  The World Beyond BetterMost  |  The Culture Tent (Moderator: Sheriff Roland)  |  Topic: In the New Yorker... « previous next »
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