June New Yorkers 2012
Liity LibraryThingin jäseneksi, niin voit kirjoittaa viestin.
Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.
Jane Mayer on Bryan Fischer, a former preacher who now runs the American Family Association, which is vehemently against homosexuality, wants to criminalize all abortions, make contraception only available to married couples, and wants schools to teach "intelligent design," just for starters. His radio program reaches 1 million listeners. Scary scary scary!
Jill Lepore on the history of the Supreme Court. I love Jill Lepore and it was interesting to see the swings back and forth between liberal and conservative courts (our current one is the most conservative ever), and the earlier debates over the importance of the court. But it didn't make me feel any better about the court we have now.
Ryan Lizza on what Obama might do in his second term. Skimmed this. Talked about how presidents look at their second term and what they can realistically accomplish given both their own interests, their desire for a legacy, and the realities of politics. Interestingly, suggests immigration reform might be an issue that the two parties could actually reach agreement on. Also scary about "Taxmaggedon,} the drastic budget cuts and tax increases that will happen on December 31 as mandated by the failure of the Congress to reach a deficit-reduction experience.
Fiction by Ben Lerner. Boring and pointless.
Still haven't read the article on the Arab Summer or the other critics.
* Anthony Burgess re himself: I slogged through a few paragraphs, began to skim, got to the origin of "clockwork orange", decided that I had dutifully learned something cultural and could skip the rest.
* Colson Whitehead re his childhood: Not a familiar author, but I was completely smitten by this, and his family: "We enjoyed beheadings, disembowlings, sexual assaults - all sorts of flickering R-rated depravity - the way others might take in a Grand Canyon vista: as a family."
* Laura Miller re fictional aliens: Cool.
* Briefly Noted: Nothing of interest.
A bunch of brief essays:
* Ray Bradbury: Sweet.
* Ursula K. Le Guin: Meh.
* China Mieville: Irritating. Read the first paragraph then noticed this bit: Enid Blyton wrote science fiction? Huh.
* Margaret Atwood: "When did I know that sci-fi was of a different order than, say, 'Oliver Twist'?"
* Karen Russell: So I enjoy reminiscences of oddly obsessed children.
* William Gibson: Dull.
And I read fiction! Because I was trapped in a queue waiting for a delayed train, and in danger of losing my precious chair if I went over to my bag to switch magazines.
* Jonathan Lethem "My Internet": Um. Well. What to say. One of you literary types will have a succinct description of Meaning.
* Junot Diaz "Monstro": I maybe would've preferred more disease.
Skipped other fiction, television, theater, music, cinema.
* Peter Hessler re Egypt: Pre-election. So now we know, and I guess we'll see.
* Claire Hoffman re Seth MacFarlane: Skipped.
* Ryan Lizza re Obama's hypothetical second term: Change is slow.
* Jane Mayer re Bryan Fischer: Some families are less valuable than others and should be purged from existence.
* Jill Lepore re Supreme Court: Maybe it's best to take the long, really long, term view.
* Briefly Noted: Nothing of interest.
Skipped fiction, music, cinema.
* Ezra Klein re health insurance mandate: We tend toward agreeing with people we trust, and partisanship helps with decisions about complex issues. "But parties, though based on a set of principles, aren't disinterested teachers in search of truth. They're organized groups looking to increase their power."
* Ken Auletta re book wars: The wholesale model (publishers sell to retailers at a set price, retailers mark up the price as they please) vs the agency model (publishers set the retail price, retailers get a commission).
* Tad Friend re Ben Stiller: Skipped.
* James Wood re Sheila Heti: Skipped.
* Jill Lepore re Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss: We could do worse.
Briefly Noted: Nothing of interest.
Skipped fiction, music, art, television, dance, cinema.
The first July issue landed in my mailbox yesterday and I thought, what is the matter with me, I haven't touched a NYer in a MONTH. Maybe this will help me get going.
Sam Lipsyte story. This was the one that finally put me to sleep. I read the first two pages.
Anthony Burgess. Mildly interesting but not so new or profound.
Jennifer Egan. I love her, and I had read about her experimental approach to this story on the New Yorker blog so I was interested to read it. It didn't wow me, but I continue to be intrigued by Egan.
Enjoyed the brief pieces by Le Guin Mieville, Atwood and Russell.
Couldn't get into or skipped completely: Letherm, Whitehead, Diaz (WAY too creepy, as was the Laura Miller article about first encounters with aliens in fiction.
I would hazard that the average NYer reader, and I am blindly making a generalization, doesn't read SF and looks down on it as a rather silly genre for teenaged boys and weird girls with stringy hair..... (um, that would be me)..... I have this ghastly feeling that SF is becoming more 'cool' and so the NYer is 'taking it up' as another 'cool thing' that 'cool people' know something about..... I didn't read anything that I didn't already know, is all, and constantly felt that pressure of condescension, even though they were trying not to be condescending, just the fact they have that in mind, trying was trying. Jennifer Egan isn't an sf writer, any more than Junot Diaz or Jonathan Lethem...... so there were no stories by actual, recognized sf writers, only memoir-y things about how they came to write sf. And that is just beyond annoying. LeGuin, being the sharp old boot she is didn't let it go without a kick at them though, though I doubt they got it. Snide humor being a huge part of sf, since really those who like it are victims of arrested development, we sniff it out everywhere ..... you see where I'm going with this...... I'll leave this as is, sans editing, because I enjoyed the rant. Don't take it too seriously, I do love the sound of my own voice sometimes......
More specifics on the two 'big' articles were OK - a reprint of something Anthony Burgess must have written long ago (at least it felt like that, a couple of seemingly very dated references to 'contemporary' things) about how he came to write A Clockwork Orange that was very good, actually, but not exactly sf - more dystopic? - and also a very good piece by Colson Whitehead about horror movies, again so NOT sf, not really, so why? That proves how muddled and ignorant the NYer people are. But that's just what people who don't know anything about sf like to think it is -- creepy stuff for awkward teens with no social lives (which was what Whitehead admits he was) UH, stereotype..... oh still ranting.... get me away from the mike.....
I wouldn't've thought of non-SF writers as being at the peak of normalcy in high school either.
* Retreating to the stack of Scientific Americans... *
-skipped "Arab Summer"
-Shouts and Murmurs, worse than usual
-skipped Seth McF
-Obama's Second Term - interesting what waiting awhile does to political articles, but this time, little seems changed in nearly three months. It's going to be a squeaker and Obama has to pick one thing focus on after (if).
-skimmed the article about the evangelist who intimidated Romney into dropping a gay fellow he'd hired for some reason or other.
-Story "The Golden Vanity" Ben Lerner - not bad. A bit New Yorky and post-modern (like, it's up to you to decide how the pieces go together) but hey, it is the New Yorker.
-skimmed Supreme Court - well, it's a loaded and political court and likely to stay that way for the time being.
-skimmed politicians changing their minds. This is news? They rarely change them for the right reasons. That would be a more interesting angle.
- skipped basketball
-"Paper Trail" Death of publishing industry...... is this sort of like how it was when I was a kid? All those 'Is God Dead?' pieces. Movies, books, etc. none of them are going to 'die' or go bad - what is going to happen is CHANGE. What it will be is surprising somehow, what it's like, say 25 years from now.
-sort of read the piece on Ben Stiller. I adore his parents - had a record they made that I loved listening to as a kid - I adore Ben. But ultimately the piece droned on and on. Point is - he's acting in and directing 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' - probably the make or break transition movie of his career - he'd like to move toward directing.
-Story "Means of Suppressing Demonstrations" - set in Israel at a checkpoint. Palestinians and bored soldiers collude in making an 'incident' that will get in the papers. I found this fascinating, not so much the story but the premise.
-skipped the rest. I have read a lot about Obama, so don't feel the need to read more. Heti just sounds like a flash-in-the-pan.
-Poems OK - "Lear's Wife' esp good.