Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 1111253 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2770 on: May 30, 2021, 06:16:30 pm »
That story about the Cerne Abbas Giant was fascinating to me. The methods of dating it, the mysteries surrounding it and the ties to Cromwell and Charles I. I have a theory or two about how such a giant thing could be constructed. Maybe since the ancient peoples looked at the night sky and imagined large constellations, they had the ability to think spatially in a way that we have lost. Also, perhaps they put down rocks or sticks first, checking them by going over to the other hill, before they started digging and filling in with limestone chalk.

I've started watching BBC's Farm series on YouTube and it is amazing how many ways the people used the limestone. The episode on the Edwardian Farm has three people living for a year and working a farm of that period using the ways of the times. Creating the quicklime to treat the acidic soil was backbreaking and dangerous work.

A pastoral note in the Cerne article was about Virginia and Vivien Vale, a couple who wrote a book about the parish and a brewery at the foot of a pasture that produces an amber beer infused with watercress grown by monks of the abbey and a darker beer called Mrs. Vale's Ale. I want to go there on my next visit to the isles!

Surprise! In that same issue (May 24) there is a poem called "limestone". I often find themes that repeat in an issue like that.

There was also an interesting article about Francis Bacon, the British painter of grotesque figures and body parts, not the 16th century Lord Chancellor of England and philosopher. Bacon said he wanted his paintings to strike the viewer's nervous system, to "unlock the valves of feeling," to pierce them and make them bleed. Strange that he was so successful with work that you'd never hang on your wall, unless you lived in Transylvania.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2771 on: May 30, 2021, 06:34:46 pm »
I've started watching BBC's Farm series on YouTube and it is amazing how many ways the people used the limestone. The episode on the Edwardian Farm has three people living for a year and working a farm of that period using the ways of the times. Creating the quicklime to treat the acidic soil was backbreaking and dangerous work.

Many years ago our own PBS did something similar. They called the series "[Something} House," and I remember they did several different "houses." The only one I watched was "Colonial House." I felt the production values were very high; the staff from Plimoth Plantation, the reproduction Pilgrim settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts, created a small 17th-century community for the series. However, I found it disappointing because it seemed to deal more with the relationships among the people involved and less with them learning to live in a 17th-century colony.
"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 #2772 on: June 05, 2021, 07:00:30 pm »
I read a funny "Shouts & Murmurs"! It was in the April 19 issue: "The FIrst Chapter of My Proposed Novel" by Jack Handey. In several places, particularly near the end, I laughed out loud!

There were several other good articles in that issue, particularly, as Jeff pointed out, "Band of Brothers." For some reason, the article on emotional intelligence didn't appeal to me. I guess I decided, along with the author Merve Emre, that it was mostly a fad of the late 1990s.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2773 on: June 07, 2021, 11:46:43 am »
I read a funny "Shouts & Murmurs"! It was in the April 19 issue: "The FIrst Chapter of My Proposed Novel" by Jack Handey. In several places, particularly near the end, I laughed out loud!

Among their regulars, Jack Handey is one of the few who's reliably funny.

I haven't seen the IE piece yet, but I'll take a look. I didn't realize it was considered a fad. My son was arguing just last week that it wasn't a real thing. Maybe he was right!  :o :laugh:


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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2774 on: June 07, 2021, 01:24:12 pm »
I haven't seen the IE piece yet, but I'll take a look. I didn't realize it was considered a fad. My son was arguing just last week that it wasn't a real thing. Maybe he was right!  :o :laugh:

That seems to be the opinion of the author, too.

I'm going through spring New Yorkers and purging them. This was a good article in the March 8 issue on the global fish industry:
The Smell of Money
It was shocking to me that thousands of tons of fish in Africa are made into a fish meal that is exported all over to feed farmed fish, including to China where it is fed to tilapia that are exported all over. And the tilapia are herbivores!

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2776 on: June 20, 2021, 06:38:37 pm »
I'm hearing that working people are up in arms and saying "I quit!" a lot. In the past I've been supportive but now the shoe is on the other foot.

In the latest issue (June 21) I was reading about Peter Hessler's time in China watching them get ready for the Winter Olympics. It started out diaristically (spell check, that's a word; I looked it up) with many anecdotes about his inexperience in sports, especially skiing, and his time in Colorado with his family. The piling on of inconsequential details started irritating me and I looked ahead to see that the article went on for three more pages! But then Hessler made an abrupt turn into political matters and the article grew more interesting. You never know what you're going to get. I wish an editor had cut most of the beginning.

"The Coast of New Zealand" interested me because of our friend brian. But the story takes place in New York and Stamford, CT. It was interesting nevertheless, and one of those fiction pieces about the amorphous dissatisfaction women feel. Elizabeth Kolbert's article on ocean floor life was very good.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2777 on: June 23, 2021, 09:18:56 pm »
I thought Adam Gopnik's article on New York reopening was a little strange. It started off promising, but then it went a little flat for me (comedy clubs, cabarets--except for noting the performer who treats Phil Collins and Foreigner songs as if they were written by the Gershwins or Jerome Kern). but the whole thing was redeemed for me by the observation that a discarded mask resembles a dead rat.  :laugh:
"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 #2778 on: June 24, 2021, 11:49:08 am »
I skipped that one because I don't really like "New York is the most wonderful special city in the country" fetishizing.

I mean, I can see how people could think it is. And, to be fair, as the biggest and densest city and epicenter of a bunch of industries -- publishing, finance, theater, etc. -- it is exceptional. If this ran in a local publication, even the NYT, I'm sure it would seem charming. But despite the title and entertainment notices, the New Yorker is a national magazine.

Many residents of lots of cities think they live in the most wonderful special city in the country. San Francisco, Seattle, Boston ... I know firsthand that many residents feel that way about Minneapolis, Chicago and New Orleans. Especially New Orleans. I'm sure they do in Denver and Philadelphia. But if you don't live in those places, gets tiresome.

I'm sure there are people who think Omaha is the most wonderful special city in the country (well, maybe!).

Gopnik's article reminded me of the famous Saul Steinberg cartoon.



 

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2779 on: June 24, 2021, 12:36:35 pm »
I have that framed and hanging on my wall!

TNY is an international magazine, but really, we have to expect a lot of articles about New York in a magazine called The New Yorker, don't we?