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Comedy

Being in touch with the absurdity of life got to lead to the absurdity of form. Dave Eggers discusses the Monty Pythons’ brand of comedy.
posted by semmi on Dec 23, 2004 - 22 comments

Sociology

A hundred years of “The Protestant Ethic.” Elizabeth Kolbert on Max Weber in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi on Dec 9, 2004 - 13 comments

Whodunnit?

The Deadly Necklace. The current issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating story about Richard Lancelyn Green, a preeminent Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes scholar who died under mysterious circumstances in March. At the time of his death, Green had been looking into the provinence of an archive of Conan Doyle’s papers [reprint of a NYTimes article], which he believed (perhaps wrongly) had been stolen, and he'd hinted that there had been threats to his life. Soon afterward, he was found garroted by a shoelace in his room. The magazine does not provide the article online, but does offer this Q&A with the author. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but to get you started while you're still at work, here's some more about Green's death from a Holmes message board; a discussion of the curse of Conan Doyle, which holds that Holmes scholars can meet an untimely end; and info on Doyle's belief in the supernatural.
posted by owenville on Dec 9, 2004 - 13 comments

Flooding the Zone

The Iraq problem solved. George Saunders has got it all figured out. (from the New Yorker natch.)
posted by lilboo on Nov 30, 2004 - 34 comments

Avedon's Last Collection

Democracy 2004 - Earlier this year, Richard Avedon decided that he would try to capture a sense of the country in the midst of a crucial Presidential election campaign. These are the (unfinished, but wonderful) results.
posted by amandaudoff on Nov 3, 2004 - 16 comments

How to think about prescription drugs.

How to think about prescription drugs. Malcolm Gladwell's latest piece in The New Yorker
The emphasis of the prescription-drug debate is all wrong. We've been focussed on the drug manufacturers. But decisions about prevalence, therapeutic mix, and intensity aren't made by the producers of drugs. They’re made by the consumers of drugs.

posted by trharlan on Oct 31, 2004 - 20 comments

Philosophy

The eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment.
posted by semmi on Oct 7, 2004 - 5 comments

Verbal, if not literate.

Sure, it's just more Bush-bashing, but it's gussied up durn pretty. Philip Gourevitch on Bushspeak.
He is grossly underestimated as an orator by those who presume that good grammar, rigorous logic, and a solid command of the facts are the essential ingredients of political persuasion, and that the absence of these skills indicates a lack of intelligence. Although Bush is no intellectual, and proud of it, he is quick and clever, and, for all his notorious malapropisms, abuses of syntax, and manglings or reinventions of vocabulary, his intelligence is—if not especially literate—acutely verbal.

posted by grrarrgh00 on Sep 10, 2004 - 87 comments

A mystery wrapped inside an enigma

Joe Gould's secret made the brilliant New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell a legend, and the subject of a movie; but Greenwich Village icon Gould's Oral History of the World in Our Time wasn't as mythical as Mitchell presumed, even if it wasn't the masterwork Gould envisioned. Mitchell, after his lengthy exposé of Gould's imaginary 9-million-word opus in 1964's Joe Gould's Secret, spent years at work in his New Yorker office on a nebulous project and never published again; he died in 1996.
posted by IshmaelGraves on Sep 6, 2004 - 5 comments

Fiction

The Shore, a short-story by Richard Ford.
posted by semmi on Aug 6, 2004 - 4 comments

Cheney and Leahy throw down

Most of the rhymes kicked therein cannot be quoted in a family publication, but observers gave Mr. Cheney credit for his deceptively laid-back flow. Mr. Leahy was applauded for managing to rhyme the phrases "unethical for certain," "crude oil spurtin'," and "like Halliburton."
posted by xmutex on Jul 20, 2004 - 15 comments

well, they were a big hit at Plato's Laugh Shack

A man, just back from a trip abroad, went to an incompetent fortune-teller. He asked about his family, and the fortune-teller replied: "Everyone is fine, especially your father." When the man objected that his father had been dead for ten years, the reply came: "You have no clue who your real father is."--that's one of the jokes from The Laughter Lover (Philogelos), an ancient Greek joke book published in the 4th or 5th century AD. The New Yorker commented on it, and other old jokes here, stating about one of the possible authors: ... there is some scholarly speculation that the Hierocles in question was a fifth-century Alexandrian philosopher of that name who was once publicly flogged in Constantinople for paganism, which, as one classicist has observed, “might have given him a taste for mordant wit.”
posted by amberglow on Jul 10, 2004 - 12 comments

The rest is noise

The Rest is Noise : New Yorker music critic Alex Ross' blog.
Also: A C Douglas. Jessica Duchen. Greg Sandow. Michael Brooke. The Rambler.
posted by cbrody on Jul 5, 2004 - 8 comments

Mass Intelligence

The wisdom of crowds and the miracle of aggregation, arguably, are the reasons why markets and democracy work as well as they do. As New Yorker James Surowiecki explains in his new book, "consider the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. When a contestant on the show is stumped by a question, he has a couple of choices in asking for help: the audience or someone he's designated as an expert. The experts do a reasonable job: They get the answer right 65% of the time. But the audience is close to perfect: It gets the answer right 91% of the time, even though it's made up of people who have nothing better to do than sit in a TV studio and watch Regis Philbin." The new, new tipping point?
posted by kliuless on May 25, 2004 - 25 comments

Abu Ghraib: Same Service, Under New Management

Rumsfeld knew. More revelations from Seymour Hersch at The New Yorker.
posted by digaman on May 17, 2004 - 119 comments

The Passion of the Christ

"One of the cruellest movies in the history of the cinema." David Denby reviews The Passion of the Christ in this week's New Yorker.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Feb 23, 2004 - 432 comments

Classical Music and Pop

Is Alex Ross Trying Too Hard To Be Eclectic? It's a great article but, imho, a few false notes are struck here and there. Can you love classical and popular music at the same time? Classical types always like the same popular stuff (Dylan and Pink Floyd, of course) and popular types always like the same classical stuff (Wagner, Puccini, Mahler) but somehow the suspicion remains that one's heart can't be in two places at once. There's something ingratiating and icky about attempts to pretend "it's all music". It isn't, is it? Also, God forgive me, 20 is way too late to start listening to Pop.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 20, 2004 - 50 comments

American Empire?

POWER RANGERS: Did the Bush Administration create a new American empire—or weaken the old one? The left's favorite blogger, Talking Points Memo's Joshua Michah Marshall has been published in this week's New Yorker.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 26, 2004 - 29 comments

old NYer goodness

I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado... An 1994 New Yorker story chock full of presumably sensical words that look wacky without their negating prefixes. A Smackeral from the great beebo.org
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Oct 22, 2003 - 24 comments

“There is no W.M.D.”

But this doesn’t mean all W.M.D.? “How can you be certain?” His answer was clear: “I know all the scientists involved, and they chat. There is no W.M.D.” - Jafar Dhia Jafar in the new Seymour Hersh New Yorker article on pre-war intelligence. [ via dangerousmeta.com ].\
posted by specialk420 on Oct 20, 2003 - 44 comments

The Brief History of the Dead

The Brief History of the Dead (printable) imagines the afterlife as a thriving city, where the poor choices of the living affect everyone, including the dead. A New Yorker short story by Kevin Brockmeier.
posted by waxpancake on Sep 6, 2003 - 7 comments

'The Search For Osama'

'The Search For Osama'. A long, well-researched article in the 'New Yorker' about the ongoing global manhunt for the leader of al Qaeda and the architect of the September 11 attacks.
posted by eyebeam on Jul 30, 2003 - 5 comments

Hellen Keller The Fraud?

Helen Keller: A Living Lie? A fascinating New Yorker piece by Cynthia Ozick that explores Helen Keller's writing career and all the questions of authenticity it raises. She was charged with being a "fraud, a puppet, a plagiarist" and she was defended by the likes of Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell. Ozick ultimately asks the question: "Do we know only what we see, or do we see what we somehow already know?"
posted by adrober on Jun 17, 2003 - 14 comments

New Yorker Cartoons

The New Yorker Book Of Martini Cartoons, as such, doesn't exist. Nor Does The New Yorker Book of Internet Cartoons. But since nobody knows you're a dog, much less an editor, on the Internet, it very well could. Here are a few of my favourite Martini cartoons to start you off.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jun 16, 2003 - 6 comments

Gertrude Stein

The Unforgettable Gertrude Stein: A charming miscellany of first encounters with the fascinating writer and personality, compiled by Dana Cook. [From The New Yorker's excellent web guide to Gertrude Stein .]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 28, 2003 - 4 comments

"General Rumsfeld"

"General Rumsfeld" “This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.”
posted by skallas on Apr 1, 2003 - 11 comments

Naom Chomsky

MIT Liguist Naom Chomsky The New Yorker has a good collection of links to his articles and speeches online
posted by nish01 on Mar 30, 2003 - 35 comments

The things you miss without the internet

Unless you take long breaks from your busy internet-trolling schedule to read print media, you did not see this chilling litany of stupidity from Elsa Walsh's 3/24 New Yorker profile of Bandar bin Sul "The meeting was scheduled to last twenty minutes, but Bush and Abdullah talked for two hours. At one point, the Crown Prince handed Bush the photographs of the dead Palestinian children. Do you think it's right? he asked. Bush appeared surprised by the photographs and his eyes seemed to well up. One person familiar with the conversation summarized Bush's comments: "I want peace. I don't want to see any people killed on both sides. I think God loves me. I think God loves the Palestinians. I think God loves the Israelis. We cannot allow this to continue." At one point, Bush told Abdullah that he believed Muslims and Israelis were all God's children and that God didn't want to see children from either side die." (Link via Atrios)
posted by crasspastor on Mar 27, 2003 - 22 comments

Wanna bet?

Wanna bet we'll win the war? No, seriously: you can. Check it out yourself: Go here and click on "World Events" to see the odds for "The US Embassy in Pakistan Being Blown Up By A Nuclear Weapon" or "Date Line In Which Osama Bin Laden Will Be Consigned (Dead or Alive) To US Authorities." Ah, America.
posted by adrober on Mar 21, 2003 - 4 comments

maybe this thread will make it in there

"Listening Post," on now at the Whitney Museum, gathers conversational snippets from thousands of chat rooms and bulletin boards, structures them according to word counts, common phrases and other criteria and then displays them on a grid of more than 200 small rectangular electronic screens. Last week's New Yorker admired the resulting "found poems": "Duct tape and plastic for the White House duct tape, and water in the bathtub, eheh hmmm...."
posted by capiscum on Mar 11, 2003 - 3 comments

who is this richard perle guy anyway?

who is this richard perle guy anyway?

is anyone else a little concerned with some of his views and associations being one of the top advisors to our current administration?
posted by specialk420 on Mar 10, 2003 - 33 comments

Brainteasers' Aftermaths

So What Happened After The Wise Man Discovered He Was Wearing The Red Hat? Don Steinberg's hilarious brainteaser aftermaths inevitably makes one wonder what happens after fairy-tale endings or the punchlines in jokes.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 31, 2003 - 20 comments

New Yorker fiction

Back in the time of which I am speaking, due to our Coordinators had mandated us, we had all seen that educational video of "It's Yours to Do With What You Like!" in which teens like ourselfs speak on the healthy benefits of getting off by oneself and doing what one feels like in terms of self-touching, which what we learned from that video was, there is nothing wrong with self-touching, because love is a mystery but the mechanics of love need not be, so go off alone, see what is up, with you and your relation to your own gonads, and the main thing is, just have fun, feeling no shame!"
posted by semmi on Jan 22, 2003 - 21 comments

Václav Havel

The course of power ultimately changes only if there are forces present to oppose it.
posted by semmi on Jan 4, 2003 - 9 comments

Och, It's Wee Jonnie Updike

Och, It's Wee Jonnie Updike. A verging-on-the-Brigadoonish rewrite of Scottish national bard Robert Burns (you'll be singing his "Auld Lang Syne" in about 24 hours), by the scrofulous old Joyce of the 'burbs himself. The original verse is "To a Mouse", rewritten after the news that geneticists find a lot in common between the DNA of mice and men.

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
Braw science says that at the leastie
We share full ninety-nine per cent
O' genes, where'er the odd ane went.

'At the leastie'!? Jings, crivens, help ma boab, I think he's jeopardised his joab.
posted by theplayethic on Dec 30, 2002 - 4 comments

hundo

"Feith and Luti see everybody not one hundred per cent with them as one hundred per cent against them—it's a very Manichaean world," a defense consultant said. the "Office of Special Plans"???? i thought the new homeland security bill was going to get people to start working together?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 26, 2002 - 1 comment

Captionistas Wanted:

Captionistas Wanted: This year's New Yorker cartoon competition, slightly more challenging than last year's is now online, awaiting witty captions until November 20.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 4, 2002 - 48 comments

"There was only one giant golden spruce in the world, and, until a man named Grant Hadwin took a chainsaw to it,

"There was only one giant golden spruce in the world, and, until a man named Grant Hadwin took a chainsaw to it, in 1997, it had stood for more than three hundred years in a steadily shrinking patch of old-growth forest in Port Clements, on the banks of the Yakoun River, in the Queen Charlotte Islands." A fascinating read, from this week's New Yorker.
posted by GriffX on Oct 31, 2002 - 24 comments

Our Way: The trouble with being the world's only superpower,

Our Way: The trouble with being the world's only superpower, by Fareed Zakaria, discusses the U.S.'s role as the world's sole superpower, and gives a historyof the U.S.'s relationships with global institutions. Great reading.
posted by Ty Webb on Oct 18, 2002 - 15 comments

The "merger" of the Egyptian Zawahiri's Islamic Jihad and the Saudi Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda in 2001, based on the foundation of Qutb's book "Milestones", provide outlet for those who have no other way of expressing their objections to the authoritarian regimes of the countries they live in, and the reach of American power in the Middle East.
posted by semmi on Sep 17, 2002 - 19 comments

"Absence

"Absence is the most natural of phenomena, in that every presence begets an absence. It's just the way things work. Yet absence is at the root of all of the hardest things we have to face deaths, breakups, any kind of separation."
posted by semmi on Sep 8, 2002 - 5 comments

"Nothing so sharply distinguishes philosophers and Kabbalists as their attitude toward the problem of evil and the demonic."

"Nothing so sharply distinguishes philosophers and Kabbalists as their attitude toward the problem of evil and the demonic." A widely informative study of the historical background and on the mythic passions of the great Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholen by a writer I much enjoy, Cynthia Ozick. (zip up Miguel, my uncle Zen sent this as a contribution to your Sacks)
posted by semmi on Aug 30, 2002 - 17 comments

Ah, inspiring food and good writing. Recounting "first taste" experiences of Sea Urchin, Hearts of Artichokes à la Isman Bavaldy, and Cock in Wine, the perfect Pastrami sandwich, the sweet memory of honey and green mangoes, and about the late-onset cook, THE DOMESTIC MALE.
posted by semmi on Aug 18, 2002 - 11 comments

"Babe Ruth and I were teammates on the Yankees—and lovers, too. It was no big deal back then. After Sunday games were over, lots of players and writers would come by our little flat in the Morrisania section of the Bronx for one of Babe's famous bean dinners. I also remember the evening when Babe, wearing his familiar pink housecoat, turned out a nice catfish stew for Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Everyone in baseball knew how it was with me and Babe. After the company had gone home and we'd done the dishes, he would lie in my arms and I'd whisper, 'You are my bambino.'"
posted by semmi on Jun 30, 2002 - 9 comments

How about some Mark Leyner to brighten your day?

How about some Mark Leyner to brighten your day? So, how do you mistreat your Grandmother?
posted by lilboo on Jun 12, 2002 - 9 comments

Man and Bear

"When a male polar bear and a human are face to face, there occurs a brief kind of magic: an intense, visceral connection between man and beast whose poignancy and import cannot be expressed in mere words. Then he rips your arms off."
It's rare for someone to pull off morbid and hilarious at the same time. Here's an example.
posted by Su on May 16, 2002 - 22 comments

"The title of my talk tonight is How to Conquer Stupidity, which is actually a pretty stupid thing to attempt. For me, anyway. One, it's not possible. Two, maybe it's not even desirable. That's probably the premise of all of my work, that I embrace my stupidity wholeheartedly and celebrate it, as often as I can." And you can too, here.
posted by semmi on May 9, 2002 - 6 comments

There is no far-right Vichyite renaissance in France, no Pieds Noirs uprising, nor, really, is there any antiSemitic rampage (Le Pen is spasmodically anti-Semitic but systematically anti-immigrant; i.e., anti-Arab.), but it's a safe bet that Jean-Marie Le Pen can never peacefully become President of the French Republic. It used to be said that for evil to triumph it was necessary only for good men to do nothing; in France, historically, for evil to enter it is necessary for good men to tell other good men that nothing is the best thing a good man can do. As the French are now being reminded, it is better to muddle through with your pants around your ankles than to die lucidly with your nose in the air. How relevent these words and events are here in the US?
posted by semmi on May 5, 2002 - 32 comments

Will the Swedes save Rock 'n' Roll?

Will the Swedes save Rock 'n' Roll? This New Yorker article takes a look at the recent popularity of rock acts like the Strokes (boo!) and the White Stripes (yay!), and ponders whether the return of true rock is at hand. The author seems ultimately to decide that rock's redeemers will be the Hives, a fun bunch from Sweden. (Link remorselessly lifted from Overstated.net)
posted by MonkeyMeat on Apr 17, 2002 - 37 comments

Malcom Gladwell's got a new one in the New Yorker about a guy whose investment strategy positions him to profit from unlikely and scary random catastrophes like 9/11. Its' not on newyorker.com, but the story's subject was kind enough to scan it and post it.
posted by luser on Apr 16, 2002 - 8 comments

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