Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 1111178 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2710 on: April 09, 2021, 01:40:53 pm »
That was one of the few articles I thought was too short. There is much more to say about the movie. I may have to get the book. (Jeff, this was in the critics section, April 12 issue.)

Thanks. I'm still waiting for that one.

OTOH, I'm currently enjoying the one about the Arecibo telescope in the April 5 issue. I remember hearing about that being used to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.
"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 #2711 on: April 09, 2021, 04:54:59 pm »
Is this available only online?

Yes, if you don't want to wait. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/12/the-making-of-midnight-cowboy-and-the-remaking-of-hollywood



That was one of the few articles I thought was too short.

I thought so, too!

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I found it depressing for several reasons. First, it was in black-and-white and showed the gritty side of New York in the 1960s, when Times Square had become squalid. The innocent Joe Buck is traumatized by the culture. The ending is sad; Ratso never makes it to the Florida he has dreamed about. The class system has overpowered America's dreams of egalitarianism (which never really existed in the first place).

Well, to clarify, it's not like I mistook it for a rom-com. The ending is extremely sad. It's possible I was too young to get depressed about stuff like a squalid Times Square.

Years ago, I cowrote a story about depressing movies with a movie critic. I know we mentioned Platoon and Leaving Las Vegas. And there was some other movie out at the time about a refugee family that kept running into tragic troubles. I can't remember the name.

I think a friend who accompanied me to Blue Velvet was sorry she'd seen it, but for some reason that didn't bother me. Again, my youth may have shielded me a bit; the first depressing movie I recall -- I mean the kind that lingers for two or three days -- was Platoon. It's why I hate Barber's Adagio.

One year my mom and brother were looking for a movie to rent on Christmas Eve and were considering Leaving Las Vegas. I had to put my foot down and forbid it, even though I was going out for the evening. That one left me depressed for days, too -- it's very well made, so it's not like people shouldn't see it if they dare want. Just not on Christmas Eve!

But I didn't swear off depressing movies until I saw a 1990s Nick Nolte movie called Affliction. I don't remember how it went, but I clearly remember thinking afterward that I no longer want to see movies that leave me feeling worse than I was before, so I decided to avoid them.

Speaking of Nick Nolte, for some reason Prince of Tides didn't depress me too much. In fact I was inspired by that same film critic to write a story about male rape.

I did accidentally watch Requiem for a Dream, and at home on a rainy Saturday afternoon to make it worse. I didn't really know what was going to happen and it was critically acclaimed, so it took me off guard.

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I'm not in the mood for a depressing movie very often, but when I look back on it, depressing movies have been among the best I've ever seen, including MC, BBM, The Hurt Locker, and Slumdog Millionaire. Just a day or so ago, I went to the theater to see the Oscar nominated animated shorts. There were seven of them, some very beautiful, some comical, some heartwarming. But the one I predict will win the Oscar is a very depressing one about gun violence. It's called "If Anything Happens, I Love You."

I distinguish between sad and depressing. BBM was obviously sad but didn't leave me depressed; it left me exhilarated and ready to see it again the very next day! I don't remember being especially depressed by The Hurt Locker, although I can't remember how it ended. I do remember a scene where Jeremy Renner, having been discharged, was grocery shopping and realized how disengaged he felt from that culture, and eventually returned to the war zone. That scene was really useful in helping me understand the culture shock vets must experience when they return from battle to ordinary life.

I can see how Slumdog Millionaire might be depressing, but didn't it have a happy ending?


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2712 on: April 09, 2021, 09:06:32 pm »
Yes, if you don't want to wait. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/12/the-making-of-midnight-cowboy-and-the-remaking-of-hollywood

April 12 arrived in today's mail. Over dinner I read the Menand on Midnight Cowboy. I really want to see it now. Pretty much all I really new about it was that Jon Voight was a hustler, and Dustin Hoffman was somebody who coughed a lot.
"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 #2713 on: April 11, 2021, 08:45:26 pm »
Lee, did you read the profile in January of David Lesh, the guy who's widely hated -- but also, by some idiots, admired -- for constantly violating conservation laws and doing gross things in federal wilderness areas in Colorado? Had you heard of him before?

I'm trying to pare down my old magazine pile and came across that one.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2714 on: April 12, 2021, 08:42:07 am »
Lee, did you read the profile in January of David Lesh, the guy who's widely hated -- but also, by some idiots, admired -- for constantly violating conservation laws and doing gross things in federal wilderness areas in Colorado? Had you heard of him before?

I read it. He reminds me of someone else some idiots admire.
"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 #2715 on: April 12, 2021, 09:52:45 am »
Lee, did you read the profile in January of David Lesh, the guy who's widely hated -- but also, by some idiots, admired -- for constantly violating conservation laws and doing gross things in federal wilderness areas in Colorado? Had you heard of him before?

I'm trying to pare down my old magazine pile and came across that one.

Yes, I read that one right away. Yes, I know people like him but not him specifically. The classic example is Aron Ralston, he of the movie 127 Hours, who had to cut off his impinged arm in a slot canyon when a rock rolled on top of it. I also met a Coloradan at Mt. Everest Base Camp who was a self-promoter who wrote a book about his "feat" of pitching a tent and sleeping on all 52 summits of Colorado's tallest mountains--the Fourteeners. I bought the book but tired of his exploits and was relieved when he stoppd posting on Facebook. Lesh is an extreme example of the idea of manifest destiny, that Nature is there for us to tear up, use, and exploit. Fortunately, guys like him are becoming fewer. I don't really know why TNY chose to give him attention like that.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2716 on: April 12, 2021, 11:04:50 am »
The classic example is Aron Ralston, he of the movie 127 Hours, who had to cut off his impinged arm in a slot canyon when a rock rolled on top of it.

Are you saying Ralston is an asshole like this Lesh guy? James Franco made him seem nice. Reckless for not telling anyone where he was going, though.

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Lesh is an extreme example of the idea of manifest destiny, that Nature is there for us to tear up, use, and exploit. Fortunately, guys like him are becoming fewer. I don't really know why TNY chose to give him attention like that.

I halfway bought his arguments that he wasn't doing that much harm to nature, that ski resorts do more (though arguably for better reasons). Mainly he seems like a guy who needs constant attention, thinks obnoxiousness is cool, and fools stupid people into thinking he IS cool. ... Wait, like Jeff said, who does that remind me of??

It is peculiar that assholes like that get profiled in the New Yorker, though. If all it takes to get published in the New Yorker is to profile some asshole I am already composing an email to David Remnick because I can think of plenty of assholes.

I wonder if there's something sexist about it. The writer is also a man (albeit a longtime staff member). There's an organization called VIDA that every year counts bylines for men vs. women in major magazines like TNY. When they started the imbalances were really extreme but they've gotten better, perhaps partly influenced by VIDA itself.

For example, in 2019 (the most recent count) TNY had 430 women's bylines and 524 men's -- 45.03% to 54.87%.  Not perfect, but it's the closest they've been since the count started. In 2010, there were 163 women's bylines and 449 men's.

What they can't really count is the content of the articles. If a woman writer pitched the David Lesh story would they still buy it? Maybe. But what if a woman pitched a story about a really obnoxious woman who wasn't particularly well known even in her own state, wasn't respected outside of a small population of idiots and did really stupid things?



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2717 on: April 12, 2021, 11:22:15 am »
I wonder if there's something sexist about it. The writer is also a man (albeit a longtime staff member).

If you're referring to the Lesh article in particular, If I remember correctly from the article how he regards and treats women, I don't think a woman writer could have done the article.
"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 #2718 on: April 12, 2021, 11:24:06 am »
Are you saying Ralston is an asshole like this Lesh guy? James Franco made him seem nice. Reckless for not telling anyone where he was going, though.

He certainly seems like somebody who has a very high opinion of himself (not necessarily warranted, I'd say, considering the situation he got himself into).
"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 #2719 on: April 12, 2021, 01:30:37 pm »
Where in the movie was he portrayed as a sympathetic character? I can't recall a spot. Maybe when he was further along in his ordeal and he was repenting all his sins.