Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 1587955 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3150 on: January 24, 2023, 05:22:14 pm »
In speaking about city dwellers, I wasn't thinking about suburbs, exurbs, and gated bastions. People who live there are possibly even more isolated than the other two groups. Places like Fifth Avenue and such are off my radar screen. Those people tend to be older, and I'm really not tuned in to their homogeneity or lack thereof.

I wasn't speaking of suburbs, etc., either, unless you're referring to my mention of Santa Monica. I'll admit, I don't really understand how Los Angeles works. The other diverse pairings I cited are all in cities. I don't have much in common with Fifth Avenue denizens either, but that's exactly my point -- that city is extremely diverse -- or at least was during the brief period I lived there; I'm sure rising housing costs are eroded some of the diversity. (Although what I mentioned were residents of the Upper West Side, who probably have a fair amount in common with Denver residents, though probably higher median income). Same for other cities with rich and poor neighborhoods, including my own.
 
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But here in Denver we just had more than 20,000 people at our annual MLK "Marade" which is both a march and a parade. We also have big celebrations for the Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo. Our governor is gay. Many neighborhoods are becoming more diverse or being gentrified, whichever way you want to look at it. You can easily get gender-affirming treatment or an abortion, for example. More and more places are bi- or trilingual. Our performing arts center, which has won an Emmy for best regional arts, has been a champion of Black playwrights and BIPOC actors and dancers, and the audiences have grown more diverse.

But wait, weren't you arguing that cities are less diverse/more homogenous? I'm not sure of your point here. You mentioned a lot of different marginalized communities, although you said you weren't talking about them, either. Sounds like what you're describing is a nice, progressive, 21st century city.

If we're talking strictly politics, it's possible that people in cities (as you said, not suburbs) are more homogenously blue-voting, whereas although rural people may tend to vote red, it's probably not as universal because there certainly are Democrats/lefties/progressives in rural areas and small towns.

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The local media have done series on the problems in rural areas and many of the institutions that brought people together are dying out. Many people, particularly older ones, are isolated and younger people are leaving some of the rural communities.

Yes, as they have for decades if not forever, leaving the rural dwellers more homogenous, not less -- more similar in age, background, race (if we're talking about that), etc.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3151 on: January 24, 2023, 05:29:58 pm »
I was wondering if we could come up with a list of the criteria for a good "Shouts & Murmurs". I'll start. 1) It should contain references to weird current happenings the way "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" does. 2) It should not be heavy, hammy, or over-the-top. Well, it can go over the top, but just at the end. 3) It should expose an irony, absurdity, or folly. 4) Setting a current situation in another time or place is okay, but that shouldn't be all the piece does.

I think it can occasionally take on non-current events, but I agree that most should focus on those. Agreed that they should expose folly and do more than setting a current situation in another time or place. And I really, really agree that they should not be hammy, etc. That's the most common problem I see in them; people seem to feel that, right from the get-go, the jokes have to be way out there crazy. But way out there doesn't work because it's not recognizable as satire.




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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3152 on: January 24, 2023, 06:00:15 pm »
I'm glad you agree with me about hammy. I hesitated about including that but it seems to strike a chord.

About homogeneity, I think we are having problems talking about it because we are defining it differently. I define it as "similar in nature." I know that doesn't help much because, what is nature? For the purposes of this discussion, I define it as behavior and preferences. So, I'm not talking about demographics, such as age, background, race, education level, income, voting record, etc.

Another term I've used that causes problems is diversity. Most of the time, diversity refers to a wide range of demographic characteristics. But in this context, I am using diversity to mean the opposite of homogeneity. As a debater, I know I should keep my day job!

You mention that young people have been leaving rural areas for ages. I agree. I started out this discussion by saying the rural/urban separation began during the Industrial Revolution when the U.S. went from an agrarian society to an industrial society.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3153 on: January 24, 2023, 11:09:47 pm »
About homogeneity, I think we are having problems talking about it because we are defining it differently. I define it as "similar in nature." I know that doesn't help much because, what is nature? For the purposes of this discussion, I define it as behavior and preferences. So, I'm not talking about demographics, such as age, background, race, education level, income, voting record, etc.

I know, but then actually, what are we talking about as far as nature goes? We don't really have data on what other traits might be significant in determining homogeneity or diversity in cities vs. rural areas aside from demographics, plus I guess voting records and purchasing patterns and ...? In the absence of that info, we can say that age, background, race, education level, income, voting record, etc., tend to be highly correlated with other traits -- not infallibly, of course, but across populations. People of different demos tend to like different music and food, spend their free time in different ways, have different expectations for the present or hopes for the future, but resemble those within their demographics more than they do other groups. It's not a solid predictor -- not all Black people vote for Democrats, not all high-income people like fancy restaurants, and so on -- it's just a tendency.

But if they're different in those ways, what makes them similar? If you talk about public events that a lot of people went to, it's great because cities can draw big crowds, but I'm assuming not all Denver residents attended. If you say you don't have anything in common with residents of 5th Ave. in NYC because they're old (and rich), doesn't that suggest that NYC is diverse, based on demographics as well as other behaviors? Some live on 5th Avenue, some live in the East Village and on and on, all of them likely to have slightly different traits, behaviors, tastes and whatever else we're talking about.




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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3154 on: January 26, 2023, 02:17:29 pm »
I'll answer you on that topic in my blog since it's getting far away from whatever was in the New Yorker that inspired it.

In the Jan. 30 issue I read "Shouts & Murmurs" first to see if any other criteria became apparent. There were 1 or 2 slightly clever parts but certainly not enough to justify the time reading it. I thought it was weak because it only really applies to restaurants in NYC and also because it attacks the restaurant industry which has suffered enough. I also thought it seemed mean-spirited. I'm inclined not to like mean or snarky writings. Satire and irony are okay with me, but many S&Ms cross the line. What are others' impressions?

I'm also starting to develop a list of topics we think could be good for S&Ms. Add your ideas!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3155 on: January 26, 2023, 04:22:05 pm »
Talk about timely. I just finished the article about the Murtaugh murders in South Carolina (Jan. 23). Murtaugh went on trial this week for murdering his wife and son.
"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 #3156 on: Today at 10:36:01 pm »
"chewing gum and duct tape"