October 2011 New Yorker

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October 2011 New Yorker

Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.

lokakuu 1, 2011, 10:08 pm

New month, new thread. My plan is all of August and at least midway through September. I haven't yet started.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 4, 2011, 11:40 am

Thanks for starting the thread! I knocked off the first August on the first leg of my plane flight. Before anything else, you mentioned on my thread that since you don't read every word, you don't count them...... I don't either and I do count them. Four New Yorkers take me anywhere from 4-6 hours to read, about the time I'd put into a shortish novel, and since the NYer is much more dense..... well..... that's my logic.

On to the issue itself. There is a waste bin three feet from where I am sitting in the Charlotte airport and as soon as I finish this issue, in it goes. No recycling here, too bad. Read, with no pity, about Rupert Murdoch. I am sick of Rupert Murdoch, really, and I guess so is everyone else it sounds like. There was a great quote by Henry James, of all people, about a fictional journalist named Robert Flack: "That's bout played out, any way, the idea of sticking up a sign of 'private' and thinking you can keep the place to yourself. You can't do it-you can't keep out the light of the Press. Now what I'm going to do is to set up the biggest lamp yet made and to make it shine all over the place. We'll see who's private then!"

The most interesting piece was on an asylum seeker and the need they feel to tell dramatic and moving stories in order to get their green cards. Depressing. The person in question does in fact come from a family that is persecuted and she would be in danger in her homeland, but that's not good enough, so she has to make up a story of rape and torture.

I struggled through the story about Egypt's independence chances -- I can't say I read it attentively, too long, too much information I knew I not only wouldn't remember, but felt no need to remember. These stories are almost more interesting to me when I read them 6 mos. late to see what 'really' happened......

The story and poems were ok -- story better than the poems, an oddly moving little piece about a gay couple breaking up.

Last a piece on the British role (or lack thereof) and its ramifications in the Civil War. A 1000 page tome! It sounds like a very very good book, but I am going to stay away from it I think.

lokakuu 4, 2011, 1:20 pm

I still haven't started NYers this month. Though I did read a couple of the shorter SciAm articles yesterday. I will be interested in British role in the Civil War, but only for the length of an article, not for 1000 pages, so as is often the case I am grateful for the informative book reviews. (I'm currently reading Confederates in the Attic, and I can see it blossoming into a book agenda...)

Yeah, I think I'd be OK w/ 1 month of NYers = 1 book. But then I'm not sure about SciAm; maybe again 1 month = 1 book? It's certainly more dense, and requires not only slowing down to think but also switching gears between topics. And then, there is The Atlantic, which needs to be brought into the mix somehow, but I don't dare try this year, want to get caught up with the others. Gist is that including any magazine in the book count opens a can o' worms.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 4, 2011, 8:10 pm

I LOVED Confederates in the Attic Horwitz does a superb job at finding his own angle into great subject matter! Well -- a whole day as a captive in airplanes and airports does give one an advantage NYer wise! I did finish the August 8 issue which included a great piece on Lucretius and the electrifying effect of the rediscovery of his De Rerum Naturae in the 1400's, the piece on 'Getting Bin Laden' which seemed adequately reportorial and a charming piece by Adam Gopnik about succumbing to the charms of Dogdom. The story was decent although a bit forced. The poem 'The Greeks' is sublime-- really great. And I was interested in the piece on Wilde, how he changed Dorian Gray, etc. One incredibly interesting tidbit was that Doyle and Wilde met and admired each other and it is thought that Doyle might have given Holmes a little bit of Wilde's 'dash' and that Wilde used a somewhat 'procedural inquiry' tone thanks to Holmes (possibly) in Dorian. All speculation I suppose, but interesting.

THEN I picked up the NEXT issue on my last leg of the flight and skipped everything to read the article by E. Kolbert on our rather intimate relationship to the Neanderthal. I've been following that story since I was a teenager, what happened to them etc. So I was RIVETED and not disappointed. I won't spoil it for you, Q, but it is a great piece and I'll be ripping it out and saving it and reading it again.

Now you can rest assured I won't be touching a NYer for days and days!!!!!

lokakuu 5, 2011, 10:33 am

I want to scream stoooooop! but really I'm not toooo worried about falling behind again; I plan to get current by the end of the year, and you cannot read into the future.

Ooh, Neanderthals, I'll be riveted too. I got partially through August 1 yesterday, read the short stuff (which includes a bit by Oliver Sacks about horsetails; I read Oaxaca Journal a couple years ago, a sweet book more about fern people than ferns), flagged longer articles.

lokakuu 7, 2011, 9:26 am

August 1 done. Talk of the Town: Oliver Sacks and horsetails; skimmed others. James Surowiecki / Finance: The debt ceiling was established in 1917 when Congress had little control over the budget, but now it's retained for political drama and is counterproductive. Anthony Lane: Rupert Murdoch and tabloids are despicable but people pay for this stuff. Suketu Mehta: Asylum seekers sometimes exaggerate and lie, and it's effective; I'm of two minds: disturbed by the distortion of facts, but want people to get in. Wendell Steavenson: Egypt is in a state of confusion; so was I, so I merely skimmed. Hendrik Hertzberg re A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman: "The Lincoln Administration's tactical reticence on the central question in the war's first years baffled the British anti-slavery activists even more than it did their American counterparts." Briefly Noted: nothing of interest. Skipped fiction, music, TV, cinema.

lokakuu 7, 2011, 1:05 pm

Tactical does seem to be the operative word there.

Man have we ever got horsetails here -- along with wild leeks and some other interesting items -- there is a sizeable 'wetland' between the upper field on our property (where our house is) and the lower field that is just above the river level (got half-flooded in Irene) -- It is the area where, when I take a botanically minded walk, I find the most interesting stuff.

I am so far behind on my read with Roni that there is no way I'll be touching a NYer, so you are safe!

lokakuu 11, 2011, 9:44 am

August 8 done. Talk of the Town: debt ceiling and 14th amendment, Leslie Vosshall research on why mosquitoes like some people more than others (a few days later I was sitting on a porch with my brother and sister-in-law while he was under constant attack and we were getting nothing), Thoreau on Mt. Greylock. Patricia Mann re men and shopping: $2500 suits? yikes; I feel kinship with the artist who "shops once every couple of years, usually because his clothes have disintegrated", and the men who "have an odd notion of how clothes should fit" and test a shirt by "flailing their arms around, as if they need an outfit to fly in." Stephen Greenblatt re Lucretius and De Rerum Natura: did not strike a chord with me, but could see how it entangled with the author's mother's fear of death, of ceasing to be, and noted the bit about atomism vs Christianity. Nicholas Schmidle re killing Osama bin Laden: I kinda spot-read this, recall discussion on labwriter's thread about fact checking. Adam Gopnik re dogs: Havanese was new to me, a sweet story about his daughter's campaign to convince the parents, she'll be quite a force in the future, seems that Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz is the book to read for dogs as they are, to the extent we can know. Alex Ross re Oscar Wilde: two biographies with "almost comically contradictory portraits" and one by Richard Ellmann that "still commands the field". Briefly Noted: Ataturk by M. Sukru Hanioglu is of interest, also The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam which several LTers have recommended. Skipped fiction, art, cinema.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 6:58 am

I missed about the mosquitoes. So why do they like some folks more than others? What I have absorbed from the aether, who knows how, is ph levels???? The below-mentioned SU is convinced that if he drinks vinegar (watered) every day in the summer he won't get bit. (Apparently that lowers your ph).

Great roundup of the men and clothes piece. My spousal unit is one of those flailers. He does keep knee bends too.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 8:25 am

He does keep knee bends too. Yup. Can't have clothes restricting movement.
So why do they like some folks more than others? Dunno. Apparently the various ideas floating about in the ether aren't the answer. No grand theory was offered in this article.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 1:20 pm

I was just over on kidzdoc's thread, where he lists National Book Award finalists, one of which is The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, the book version of the NYer article about Lucretius.

lokakuu 14, 2011, 9:23 pm

August 15 & 22 done. Talk of the Town: the debt ceiling (sigh), restoration of American Museum of Natural History dioramas by James Perry Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt memorial designed by Louis Kahn. James Surowiecki: more debt ceiling. Dana Goodyear re bugs as food: the word is entomophagy; bug protein is complete while grain protein is not, and bugs are more ecologically efficient than meat, but processing is labor intensive; people who are allergic to seafood may be allergic to bugs also because of the close relationship. Tom Bissel re video game voiceover: a lotta skill goes into this. Ryan Lizza re Michelle Bachman: representative of a subculture that resonates with more people than I'd wish. Elizabeth Kolbert re Svante Pääbo: he is reconstructing the Neanderthal genome to compare it to ours; turns out that along with some specific differences, e.g. in FOXP2 which is associated with language, there's also intermingling with Europeans and Asians, but not Africans; cool. James Wood re secularism: a review and summary of The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now edited by George Levine; I'm not troubled by a universe without ultimate purpose, but I am interested in issues of religion in the modern world, and averse to explanations in which awesome complexity is reduced to "only" its components. Briefly Noted: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson and The Ripple Effect by Alex Prud'homme (grrr, touchstone problem) seem worth a look. Skipped fiction, theater, music, cinema.

lokakuu 17, 2011, 8:49 am

You know, I just found a NYer from August that I didn't read -- so we are exactly together -- Aug 29!

lokakuu 17, 2011, 8:50 am

No wait a minute, I haven't finished the double issue yet so you are AHEAD of me!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!

lokakuu 17, 2011, 8:55 am

Ooh, and I'm only one (long) article away from finishing August 29. Had hoped to finish yesterday, but I spent the weekend in a rare burst of domesticity, and didn't read much of anything.

lokakuu 18, 2011, 2:41 pm

August 29, and thus August, done. Talk of the Town: Rick Perry, 40th anniversary of the end of the gold standard, tarot card art, Wikipedia Vision, the SP-1 accelerated class inspired by Sputnik 1: "I guess the basic notion is a sociological one -- whether you can track folks and put them on a path and get what you want. And the answer, of course, is no." Wendell Steavenson re Syria: "protests usually occur around mosques because that is the only place where people can gather"; Damascus has no central square. Susan Orlean re Rin Tin Tin: the rise to fame and fortune of a dog born on a battlefield. Jeffrey Toobin re Clarence and Virginia Thomas: "originalism" isn't a simple matter. Jill Lepore re Dickens camp: "Her family thinks she's nuts. 'My sister-in-law said: 'A week of English class? Blech.'"; my sentiments exactly, but it looks enjoyable for those who enjoy such things; also, there's a biography of his wife: The Other Dickens by Lillian Nayder. Briefly Noted: The Golden Empire by Hugh Thomas is of interest. Skipped Arthur Rimbaud, fiction, music, theater, cinema.

lokakuu 18, 2011, 9:10 pm

Now you are wayyyyyy ahead of me! I can hardly see you --

lokakuu 18, 2011, 9:52 pm

But I'm wayyyyyy behind in book reading, so I gotta focus...

lokakuu 19, 2011, 4:33 pm

I am at least carrying my NYer around with me -- that is about as far as I've gotten. It's open to the page about the bugs as food.... oh dear.

lokakuu 19, 2011, 5:50 pm

You can feel grateful that you're in Vermont where winter prevents the bugs from growing too large.

lokakuu 19, 2011, 10:18 pm

Yes, I do appreciate that, believe me!

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 20, 2011, 8:48 am

I was insufficiently appreciative of dreary northeast winters until I spent a year in Arizona.

lokakuu 30, 2011, 10:56 am

September 5 done. Talk of the Town: Libya and US foreign policy, Libya and author Hisham Matar's father who was kidnapped and disappeared, surfing on Long Island. James Suroweicki: the European Central Bank should not have raised interest rates. Rebecca Mead re Timothy Ferriss: "He prescribes a kind of hyperkinetic entrepreneurialism of the body and soul, with every man his own life coach, angel investor, web master, personal trainer, and pharmaceutical test subject." Lost me at hyperkinetic. Why did I read this? Tad Friend re Costa Mesa CA: Centered on a city maintenance worker who committed suicide after the city decided to outsource instead. His boss: "We used to outsource all this stuff, like building new walls in people's offices, doing their electric work, and that's why I hired him, because he could do so much that he saved us money." Larissa MacFarquhar re Derek Parfit: A philosopher who really really really super duper wants everything to fit together in one grand scheme. IMO, it's barely possible to approach this ideal if you ignore almost everything. Ian Frazier re Theo Jansen's strandbeests: More fun to watch. Louis Menand re Dwight Macdonald: A critic of "midcult". "He was not in the business of blaming people for enjoying what they enjoyed or admiring what they admired. His business was getting people to realize that they were often not actually enjoying or benefiting from the cultural goods they had been persuaded to patronize." Oh jeez. One reason I run screaming from literature. Briefly Noted: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller is of interest. Skipped James Woods re Denis Johnson, fiction (Haruki Murakami; I tried... It would help to have a summary blurb for these stories.) and music. Read cinema! Planet of the Apes and digitized acting.

lokakuu 30, 2011, 11:43 am

September 12 done. Talk of the Town: All about 9/11. Adam Gopnik re decline: He is skeptical. Entertainingly. Christopher Anderson: Photographs of 9/11. George Packer re post-9/11: We are fractured. He is not optimistic. Paul Goldberger re 9/11 memorial: The master plan is a sensible sensitive compromise between extremes of complete memorial vs complete return to business as usual, but the buildings are meh. "While politicians, developers, bankers, architects, and almost everyone else quarreled over the future of Ground Zero, the rest of lower Manhattan, as well as most of the rest of the city, quietly pulled itself together." Briefly Noted: 1493 by Charles Mann is of interest, but I already knew this. Skipped re novel about baseball. Skimmed re novel about England and its "social ills". Skipped fiction, TV, cinema.

And this'll be it for October, goal achieved.

marraskuu 1, 2011, 12:45 pm

I am in awe of your determined diligence -- my NYers are festering in my bookbag (as in getting all wrinkled up as I shove other stuff around them!). The lonnnggggg book I'm reading with Roni is taking up all the oxygen in the room. And life too, too much is going on at home.

marraskuu 1, 2011, 1:24 pm

Maybe they will get too wrinkled to read. :-)
At the beginning of October I though how luxurious to have 5 weekends for catchup, but every weekend there was something. And of course October has 5 NYers.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 1, 2011, 8:17 pm

And .... I just realized it is time to start the November thread, just to keep things tidy!

The link is.... HERE

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 3, 2011, 4:07 pm

Oct. 31, 2011 New Yorker.

I was just perusing some of the ads in this magazine, and I was thinking to myself--I have nothing in common with the implied audience of this magazine. Nothing.

An ad for a Prada purse the size of a suitcase and undoubtedly costing 2 months of a rather normal mortgage payment. The model is 15 dressed as if shes 30.
An ad for Rolex watches--*Live for Greatness*
An ad for Land Rover Evoque--starting at $44,000 although the ad wont tell you that.
An ad for Lean Forward MSNBC with Ed Schultz, a nauseating performer masquerading as a news anchor.

Im just guessing here, but the closer we get to Christmas Winter Holiday, the worse these ads are all going to get.

marraskuu 3, 2011, 8:13 pm

Purse from Target, several years ago for a job interview (fashion expectations of computer programmers are not high).
Watch the cheapest available from a sports store, used mostly as a stopwatch for running.
Car a 1996 Honda bought used in 1999.

I don't generally peruse the ads. :-)