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About as funny as it ever is

After 107 submissions, Roger Ebert wins The New Yorker cartoon caption contest. Ebert's earlier blog about captioning. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 26, 2011 - 103 comments

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean's short essays for The New Yorker have an air of effortlessness to them, as if they were something she just tossed off while taking a break from her more important subjects, but their brevity reveals a true mastery of form, and at their best, they are brimful of surprisingly elegant sentences, self-deprecating wit and a kind of warmly feminine, disarmingly sly charm: On Adopting a Stray Cat :: The Difficulties of E-mail :: The Joys of Snooping :: Books That Changed Her World :: World War I :: Heat Wave :: Fear of Flying :: Chickens
posted by puny human on Apr 12, 2011 - 21 comments

HOLLYWOOD SHADOWS

A cure for blocked screenwriters "Michels also told the writer to get an egg timer. Following Michels’s instructions, every day he set it for one minute, knelt in front of his computer in a posture of prayer, and begged the universe to help him write the worst sentence ever written. When the timer dinged, he would start typing. He told Michels that the exercise was stupid, pointless, and embarrassing, and it didn’t work. Michels told him to keep doing it."
posted by puny human on Apr 1, 2011 - 43 comments

A Murder Foretold

"My name is Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano and, alas, if you are hearing or seeing this message it means that I’ve been murdered by President Álvaro Colom, with the help of Gustavo Alejos." Rosenberg went on, "The reason I'm dead, and you're therefore watching this message, is only and exclusively because during my final moments I was the lawyer to Mr. Khalil Musa and his daughter Marjorie Musa, who, in cowardly fashion, were assassinated by President Álvaro Colom, with the consent of his wife, Sandra de Colom, and with the help of . . . Gustavo Alejos."
posted by vidur on Mar 28, 2011 - 48 comments

Bike Lane Backlash, Backlash'd

"When the city introduces a bike lane on a given street, it removes dozens of parking places." John Cassidy, staff writer on economics at The New Yorker, blogs his feelings about bike lanes in New York City. [more inside]
posted by everichon on Mar 10, 2011 - 162 comments

This one particular boy’s goal was to be able to press his lips to every square inch of his own body.

Backbone, by David Foster Wallace. (SLNYorker)
posted by HumanComplex on Mar 1, 2011 - 36 comments

The Tripping Point

Generate the next Malcolm Gladwell book. Perhaps soothing if one is annoyed at Gladwell's piece in the New Yorker last week regarding the nonimportance of twitter in Egypt's turmoil.
posted by angrycat on Feb 8, 2011 - 46 comments

"I Make Monster Porn"

Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jan 31, 2011 - 42 comments

Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?

The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Wiliam Finnegan

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan (The New Yorker, 1992, long) is probably the best article on surfing ever written.
posted by puny human on Jan 28, 2011 - 5 comments

"Don't you know the house, the Love God's marketplace of passions, the dusk where the dark clears and yet is not clear?" - Annamayya

Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back, using the internet to disseminate their views.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 22, 2011 - 14 comments

I’m pregnant in a tree.

The Monkeys You Ordered : Literally titled New Yorker cartoons.
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 7, 2011 - 75 comments

The New Yorker profiles Shigeru Miyamoto

There are generally two approaches to thinking about games: narratology and ludology. The first emphasizes story, the second play. The next time I played Super Mario, on the Wii (you can order all the vintage games), I found myself in a narratological mode. Mario reminded me of K. and his pursuit of the barmaid Frieda, in Kafka’s “The Castle,” and of the kind of lost-loved-one dreams that “The Castle” both mimics and instigates.

The New Yorker profiles the father of modern video games, Shigeru Miyamoto. (via Kotaku)
posted by incomple on Dec 13, 2010 - 37 comments

Science is hollow, and he's got a pin

Has something gone wrong with the scientific method? That's the big question Jonah Lehrer (pr-e-vi-ous-ly) raises in his new New Yorker piece on the Decline Effect. (Sub required; check the summary here, or pdf here.) Dave Bry at The Awl uses Lehrer's revelations to start and extended riff on how much science one really needs; Lehrer himself goes into more detail about why he wrote the article in a lengthy blog post at Wired, and as for me --- well, I think I'm just going to spend a few days being a little less certain that we can prove very much about how a few extra X chromosomes affect corporate bottom lines, whether you can tell dick about the nature of liberalism or conservatism by where and how people glance at things, or even what the hell is going on with that damn burger.
posted by Diablevert on Dec 10, 2010 - 51 comments

At the party, the mix worked like a charm.

This year, as the holiday season approached, we were in a celebratory mood, and I decided to create a playlist* for our holiday party composed of one song from every year of the magazine’s existence. [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Dec 10, 2010 - 16 comments

Well, he was smilin’ like a vulture as he rolled up the horticulture

Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

What a surprise to read that couplet on "The New Yorker's" website, in an article about Jay-Z's new book. It also discusses Adam Bradley's "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," an academic study that respects rap lyrics as serious poetry. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 4, 2010 - 82 comments

We'll need to declaw that cat.

Airport-security cartoons from The New Yorker’s archives (1938 - present).
posted by gman on Nov 23, 2010 - 28 comments

I've got my pipe because we’re going to speak about schoolish kind of things

In 2007, Beck, then the host of “Glenn Beck,” on CNN’s Headline News, brought to his show a John Birch Society spokesman named Sam Antonio, who warned of a government plot to abolish U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, “and eventually all throughout the Americas.” Beck told Antonio, “When I was growing up, the John Birch Society—I thought they were a bunch of nuts.” But now, he said, “you guys are starting to make more and more sense to me.”
A secret history of Glenn Beck, by way of Robert Welch, Willard Cleon Skousen and the John Birch Society. From the New Yorker.
posted by gerryblog on Oct 15, 2010 - 41 comments

"He has fun when people say horrible things about him."

Eustace Tilley lifts up his monocle to peer curiously at Nick Denton and the Gawker Media empire.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 11, 2010 - 23 comments

Knight of the Round Table

Are you feeling blue? Suffer from insomnia? Need career advice? Have dietary concerns? Want to know more about sex? Wonder how the market is doing and your finances? Never fear, Sweet Old Bob is here
posted by timsteil on Oct 10, 2010 - 15 comments

Calvin Trillin's food writing

Calvin Trillin has attempted to compile a short history of the buffalo wing, stalked the barbecued mutton, and reported on crawfish eating contests in Louisiana.   [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 3, 2010 - 45 comments

The Dungeon Master short-story

"The Dungeon Master", a short-story about Dungeons and Dragons by Sam Lipsyte in this weeks New Yorker.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 27, 2010 - 69 comments

The Face of Facebook

“A lot of people who are worried about privacy and those kinds of issues will take any minor misstep that we make and turn it into as big a deal as possible,” he said. “We realize that people will probably criticize us for this for a long time, but we just believe that this is the right thing to do.” With David Fincher's scathing film The Social Network set to hit theaters on October 1st, reticent Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is interviewed by Jose Antonio Vargas of The New Yorker.
posted by cmgonzalez on Sep 12, 2010 - 67 comments

Behind that Curtain

"He leaped from one rooftop to the next, like a “human fly.” When he reached for his whip, thugs scattered and miscreants wept. He once arrested forty gamblers in their lair, single-handed. He was a master of disguises..."
Chang Apana, the real Charlie Chan.
posted by griphus on Aug 8, 2010 - 7 comments

Heat Waves in a Swamp

Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield. "Burchfield’s primary subject was landscape, often focusing on his immediate surroundings: his garden, the views from his windows, snow turning to slush, the sounds of insects and bells and vibrating telephone lines, deep ravines, sudden atmospheric changes, the experience of entering a forest at dusk, to name but a few. He often imbued these subjects with highly expressionistic light, creating at times a clear-eyed depiction of the world and, at other times, a unique mystical and visionary experience of nature." I recommend the slide show in the first link as the best introduction. More audio slide shows from Peter Schjeldahl here.
posted by puny human on Aug 5, 2010 - 8 comments

Spot The Differance

Kanye West's entertaining Twitter feed re-imagined as a series of New Yorker Cartoons
posted by The Whelk on Aug 3, 2010 - 46 comments

Pauline Kael

CityLights interview with Pauline Kael -- 1::2::3::4 (approx. 40 mins, NSI, 1982) Topics include Cecil B. Demille, Robert Preston, John Boorman’s Zardoz, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, James Bond films, and Lorenzo Semple Jr. More interviews from the National Screen Institute and Brian Linehan here, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Christopher Plummer, and Ian McKellen
posted by puny human on Jul 8, 2010 - 13 comments

The Man From Galilee

What Did Jesus Do? - Adam Gopnik takes a look at the man, and the myth that was Jesus Christ. A Q&A follows.
posted by timsteil on May 20, 2010 - 62 comments

Just Walken around Queens

A short trip with Christopher Walken to his old neighborhood. I thought it was pleasant, plus it's fun to imagine him saying such ordinary things.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 3, 2010 - 33 comments

The Debenedetti inventions

Judith Thurman chronicles the fabricated literary interviews penned by Tommaso Debenedetti, an Italian freelance journalist. His subjects include Philip Roth, John Grisham, Gore Vidal, Günter Grass, Toni Morrison, and other famous authors. [more inside]
posted by The Mouthchew on Apr 4, 2010 - 6 comments

Did American conservationists in Africa go too far?

A fascinating piece by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker investigates the anti-poaching activities of Mark and Delia Owens in Zambia's North Luangwa National Park. Goldberg's essay focuses on the uncertain circumstances surrounding the killing of an alleged poacher by an unidentified member of Mark Owens' team of park scouts that was broadcast on national television in 1996. [more inside]
posted by jckll on Apr 1, 2010 - 15 comments

"My friend from Michigan says if you pushed all the Great Lakes together they'd be as big as the Mediterranean. I say, why bother?"

Scans of all three issues of Army Man Magazine, the legendary late 80s humor zine put together by future Simpsons' writer George Meyer (an excellent New Yorker profile of Meyer) which also included material from Jack Handey, John Swartzwelder, Bob Odenkirk, among many others. Another contributor, Ian Frazier, talks about Army Man in a Believer Interview. Sadly the scans are small (but the jokes are still big) and of poor quality. For a non-eyestraining introduction, Maud Newton transcribed a good bit of material and posted it at the end of an appreciation of Army Man on her blog.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 17, 2010 - 25 comments

Frank O'Hara

Frank O'Hara was a New York poet, even though he lived less than half of his 40 years in the city. He grew up in Grafton, MA, was a sonarman in WWII and roomed with Edward Gorey at Harvard before moving to the city he would forever be associated with. Naturally, there was am article on him in The New Yorker a couple of years ago. We're lucky enough to have a number of videos of O'Hara, including a reading of the lovely "Having a Coke with You. There's also quite a bit of audio of him, and I can't but recommend this mp3 of John Ashbery, Alfred Leslie, Bill Berkson and Michelle Elligott reminiscing about O'Hara at the MOMA, where he worked. And there are quite a few of his poems available online, as well as five of the poem-paintings he did with Norman Bluhm. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 15, 2010 - 16 comments

I Was Born This Way

Fans know him as Tonéx. His eccentric style and vertiginous high notes helped make him one of the most acclaimed praise singers of the past decade, and, for a time, one of the most successful. ... This past September, the television host known as Lexi broadcast an interview [Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3] with Tonéx on the Word Network, a gospel channel, in which he made his clearest public statements about his sexual orientation. He is, within the church world, the first high-profile gospel singer in history to come out of the closet. Within hours, he started to realize what he had done. His relationship with the mainstream gospel industry was effectively over.
From a fascinating article in the most recent New Yorker [abstract only]. This podcast [freely accessible] with the author of the article, Kelefah Sanneh, delves into the rarely discussed "secret" in the black church that many gospel musicians have been and are gay. Sanneh touches on the stories of both James Cleveland, the creator of the modern gospel sound who died of AIDS in 1991, and one of his backup singers, Carl Bean, who became famous for the 70s disco hit "I Was Born This Way." One contemporary preacher and gospel singer that Sanneh discusses in relation to Tonéx is Donnie McClurkin, a man made infamous during the Obama campaign for railing against homosexuals in Southern Black churches. McClurkin has admitted to engaging in homosexual acts for 20 years but does not identify as gay and believes a strong Christian faith can deliver a person from the "sin" of homosexuality. He recently delivered a sermon directed at young black homosexuals in the church, specifically calling out Tonéx. [McClurkin sermon Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Feb 2, 2010 - 44 comments

"A Little While"

Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat writes a devastatingly personal account of the Haiti earthquake and its victims. From The New Yorker.
posted by deticxe on Jan 29, 2010 - 19 comments

“I love you anyway too.”

The Defiant Ones. In today’s picture books, the kids are in charge.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker on Dec 12, 2009 - 46 comments

Ha Jin

The House Behind A Weeping Cherry by Ha Jin
posted by vronsky on Dec 8, 2009 - 12 comments

the toy cement mixer and its “magic”

All That: "new" fiction from David Foster Wallace.
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 7, 2009 - 56 comments

Undercover, uh, food, lover.

Michelin inspectors have been anonymous as CIA spooks. Until now. And now. The New Yorker has a rare interview with one.
posted by converge on Nov 18, 2009 - 33 comments

Gladwell for Dummies

Such are the contradictions that seem to riddle not just Gladwell's thinking but the thinking on Gladwell's thinking, and perhaps even the thinking on thinking on that, and it is precisely these slippery but substantive contradictions that have allowed Gladwell to tout his revolutionary "big ideas" without couching them in anything so mundane as a logical, well-supported or otherwise sound argument. Gladwell for Dummies.
posted by defenestration on Nov 5, 2009 - 102 comments

Inside Gaza

"Every opportunity for peace in the Middle East has been led to slaughter" Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker writes about the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip nearly eleven months ago, talking to Palestinians, Israelis and aid workers. Political context combined with incredibly saddening everyday civilian life.
posted by smoke on Nov 4, 2009 - 45 comments

Noble and magnificent creatures of the animal kingdom... humiliated again for our amusement. Yay!

The New Yorker's "Critterati" contest invites you to "take a picture of your pet—dog, cat, ferret, iguana, or any other nonhuman member of the animal kingdom—dressed as a character from literature, and upload it to newyorker.com by October 25th." Gallery | About | Rules | Enter. [more inside]
posted by taz on Oct 22, 2009 - 42 comments

The "boy-killing, man-mutilating, money-making, education-prostituting, gladiatorial sport."

Does american football unavoidably lead to brain damage over time? Does a culture favoring perseverance at the expense of well being begin in high school?
posted by phrontist on Oct 13, 2009 - 96 comments

John McPhee

John McPhee writes about basketball, headmasters, oranges, tennis, hybrid airships, nuclear weapons, bark canoes, Alaska, the Swiss Army, the merchant marines, dissident Soviet artists, shad, long-distance trucking, and - Pulitzer Prize-winningly - geology (282kb PDF). He discusses his work here. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 30, 2009 - 32 comments

“Randi Weingarten would protect a dead body in the classroom. That’s her job.”

The Rubber Room: The Battle Over New York City’s Worst Teachers.
posted by Oxydude on Aug 27, 2009 - 81 comments

Folsomism vs. Activism

Atticus Finch and the limits of Southern liberalism. An essay in the latest The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell. "Atticus Finch is faced with jurors who have one set of standards for white people like the Ewells and another set for black folk like Tom Robinson. His response is to adopt one set of standards for respectable whites like Boo Radley and another for white trash like Bob Ewell. A book that we thought instructed us about the world tells us, instead, about the limitations of Jim Crow liberalism in Maycomb, Alabama."
posted by billysumday on Aug 10, 2009 - 188 comments

The Sensitive Bigot

Michael Savage unplugged. Behind the scenes. "This year, Savage is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of his radio career. On the air one day, he marked the occasion in typically perverse fashion: by thinking of all the listeners who stuck around, and all the ones who didn’t. “Some were fifteen, they’re now thirty,” he said. “Some were five, they’re now twenty. They grew up on me. Their fathers are dead; the guys who had it playing in the car are gone. They’re still here, they can’t believe it. I’m their voice of freedom. I’m the last hope. I’m the beacon. I’m the Statue of Liberty. I’m Michael Savage. I’ll be back."”
posted by Xurando on Jul 30, 2009 - 94 comments

I'm good at that, I must be good at this too....

The Psychology of Overconfidence
posted by anotherpanacea on Jul 27, 2009 - 82 comments

All You Can Hold For Five Bucks

The New York steak dinner, or beefsteak, is a form of gluttony as stylized and regional as the riverbank fish fry, the hot-rock clambake, or the Texas barbecue. Some old chefs believe it had its origin sixty or seventy years ago, when butchers from the slaughterhouses on the East River would sneak choice loin cuts into the kitchens of nearby saloons, grill them over charcoal, and feast on them during their Saturday-night sprees. - Joseph Mitchell, 1939. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 14, 2009 - 39 comments

My voice is a flower. A weird, ugly flower.

Louis Menand in The New Yorker surveys American creative writing education, past and present, and asks whether it should still be taught. (via) [more inside]
posted by shadytrees on Jun 4, 2009 - 17 comments

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