Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 888397 times)

Online serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2420 on: May 20, 2020, 06:41:48 pm »
She was certainly very critical at the end of the article. I was surprised. But then, I was too old for Sesame Street when it began and have no children, so pretty much all I knew about the show was Jim Henson's involvement and the Muppet characters that have become a part of the popular culture. I found the early history of the show, how it came about to be, quite interesting.

Now I'm intrigued. I was too old for the show, too, and my children never really got into it. But critical? Hmm!

For some reason I saw a clip online the other day of Prince on the show with Muppets -- he had even written a song for the occasion. I have a fair amount of interest in Prince, but I couldn't get through the segment.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2421 on: May 21, 2020, 10:29:34 am »
Now I'm intrigued. I was too old for the show, too, and my children never really got into it. But critical? Hmm!

For some reason I saw a clip online the other day of Prince on the show with Muppets -- he had even written a song for the occasion. I have a fair amount of interest in Prince, but I couldn't get through the segment.

I guess I picked up bits and pieces over the years. I don't recall knowing that Prince appeared on the show, but I do know that Angel Corella, now the artistic director of the Pennsylvania Ballet, appeared when he was a Big Deal in the world of ballet in New York City. (I'm not being sarcastic, calling him a Big Deal. Twenty-odd years ago, he was considered one of the greatest dancers of his generation. He really was a huge star.)
"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 #2422 on: May 25, 2020, 06:58:21 pm »
Of course I really liked Anthony Lane on overnight train travel (May 11).

I'm two issues behind, but I still may go back and read Jill Lepore on Kent State, and on Sesame Street, again.
"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 #2423 on: May 25, 2020, 07:21:03 pm »
I was reading a letter that was a bit critical of Jill Lepore's essay on loneliness and went to find my April 6 issue to read it again, because the letter writer echoed my own views that solitude need not always be a curse. But I couldn't find the issue, so I guess I'll have to read it online.

There was an author who wrote about a year ago about the rise in persons living alone. He viewed this as a recent phenomenon, as older people tended to move in with their children's families in the past and become a kind of servant/governess/etc. Either that or they would join in group living arrangements such as boarding houses, retirement homes, etc. Other options have sprung up; older people could move in to subsidized housing, patio homes, condos, or the dreaded trailer park. They could take in boarders who could help maintain the home or just be close by if needed. Until recently, few older people had the option of staying in their prime-years home or maintaining their own autonomy and privacy.

The author also addressed young people living alone, and the housing options developed for them. Oddly, young people don't seem to be interested in the small post-war houses that still exist, preferring lofts, multi-story condos, or co-housing arrangements. Young people often try to seek solitude in Nature, at least in my area, but are thwarted by hordes of other young people seeking the same thing.

I have given myself a precious gift, a home where I feel safe and at home by myself. I don't know if I am an outlier, but I do know that people stare at me when they see me mowing or on my roof turning on my swamp cooler. It gives them an uneasy feeling, I can tell, but it gives me an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2424 on: May 26, 2020, 10:20:49 am »
I was reading a letter that was a bit critical of Jill Lepore's essay on loneliness and went to find my April 6 issue to read it again, because the letter writer echoed my own views that solitude need not always be a curse.

I only skimmed part of Lepore's essay, but I have written on this topic and gotten the same response -- people feeling my thesis is incorrect because they themselves don't feel lonely. That's understandable, because it's an individual taste. But as a group, research has shown that older people are more socially isolated and more unhappy because of it.

At least, that was the case in the Before Times. Now isolated young people may be suffering as much if not more.

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There was an author who wrote about a year ago about the rise in persons living alone. He viewed this as a recent phenomenon, as older people tended to move in with their children's families in the past and become a kind of servant/governess/etc. Either that or they would join in group living arrangements such as boarding houses, retirement homes, etc. Other options have sprung up; older people could move in to subsidized housing, patio homes, condos, or the dreaded trailer park. They could take in boarders who could help maintain the home or just be close by if needed. Until recently, few older people had the option of staying in their prime-years home or maintaining their own autonomy and privacy.

I think in the past older people remained closer to their families, whether in the same house or the same street or town. If they were physically capable of living on their own, they often did. If not, moving in with their children was often an option.

Now young people move farther away (a phenomenon that has been reversing, however). If older people can't live in their own homes anymore, there are various multi-unit options. Many of them have movie nights and birthday parties and shopping trips, etc., where residents can socialize, but it's not always one big happy family. My mom rarely left her room in assisted living. My aunt, who is very gregarious, was in a nursing home and actually preferred to stay there rather than move to an assisted living place because at the nursing home people went around and socialized with each other, where as in the assisted living they mostly stayed in their own units all day.

My grandmother-in-law lived to 105, living alone in her own (duplex with renter) home until she was in her 90s. Her son, my ex-FIL, lived close enough that he could check on her, do chores, take her to the doctor, and eventually she went to live with my in-laws. She was not a servant or governess -- if anything, it was the other way around. I think it was a happy way for her to live her last years.

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Oddly, young people don't seem to be interested in the small post-war houses that still exist, preferring lofts, multi-story condos, or co-housing arrangements. Young people often try to seek solitude in Nature, at least in my area, but are thwarted by hordes of other young people seeking the same thing.

Young people are definitely more in favor of social, walkable neighborhoods with restaurants, stores, bars, coffee shops and multi-unit housing. Boomers often favor those environments, too. Or at least they did -- how the onslaught of a contagious illness that's harder to avoid in close quarters will affect that preference for density has yet to be seen.

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I have given myself a precious gift, a home where I feel safe and at home by myself. I don't know if I am an outlier, but I do know that people stare at me when they see me mowing or on my roof turning on my swamp cooler. It gives them an uneasy feeling, I can tell, but it gives me an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Why would they feel uneasy, I wonder? Do they worry about your, or ...?

I have the same arrangement as you (sans the tenants) except that my son is still living with me. I have never totally minded having him around because I actually don't particularly like living alone. But for both of our sakes, it was getting time for him to get a place of his own or with friends. Then COVID hit, and I'm really glad to have him here -- we get along better now and he's been good company.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2425 on: May 26, 2020, 01:01:17 pm »
I think in the past older people remained closer to their families, whether in the same house or the same street or town. If they were physically capable of living on their own, they often did. If not, moving in with their children was often an option.

Depending on how past is past, don't forget economics. Before Social Security and such, economic necessity  played a role in causing older people to live with their children, or sometimes the other way around. My grandparents raised eight children while living with my great-grandparents in a house that was owned by my great-grandparents.
"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.

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2426 on: May 27, 2020, 10:09:49 am »
Depending on how past is past, don't forget economics. Before Social Security and such, economic necessity  played a role in causing older people to live with their children, or sometimes the other way around.

True. Or they'd go to a poor house or a poor farm. I'm not sure there were even nursing homes, but in any case there certainly weren't assisted living or senior housing facilities.

But I think that at least in many cases people liked living in multi-generational homes. Old people wanted to die at home, offspring felt an obligation to care for them just as they'd received care as children.

I have a friend from Georgia the country who was studying for a grad degree in gerontology and through a university program was able to live in a nearby senior complex at a discounted rate in exchange for spending time with the older residents. She loved it and was happy to spend more time than was even required. She grew up in Georgia living close to her grandmother, knowing all her grandmother's friends, etc., and thinks it's weird and sad that in this country different generations aren't as well connected.



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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2427 on: June 03, 2020, 08:56:00 am »
The fiction issue has arrived just in the nick of time. Only three works of fiction, though, but one of them by Ernest Hemingway!
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2428 on: June 03, 2020, 09:25:09 am »
The fiction issue has arrived just in the nick of time. Only three works of fiction, though, but one of them by Ernest Hemingway!

Wow, they got Ernest Hemingway to write a story for their fiction issue? That David Remnick is a genius!

I've noticed that in recent years fiction issues don't have a lot of full short stories, though they might scatter through some little page-long reminiscences by prominent fiction writers like Zadie Smith or Jonathan Franzen.

I'm reading the story in an April issue about the search for a cure for viruses. Finally I at least kind of understand the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection and why antibiotics only work on the former. If more people understood that, antibiotics wouldn't be losing their potency as fast because doctors wouldn't over-prescribe them. Of course doctors understand the difference, but what I've heard is that they write the prescriptions to placate patients, causing the bacteria to evolve faster and make the antibiotics ineffectual.

Other factors, as I understand it, are giving farm animals too many antibiotics and -- get this -- overuse of sanitizing gels like Purell! I once had a big bottle of Purell that I threw out long ago after hearing that people were using it unnecessarily and exacerbating the antibiotic problem.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2429 on: June 04, 2020, 08:56:45 pm »
I am now three issues behind. I can't recall ever being that far behind.
"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.