Sunday, February 26, 2006

feb 21, 1925 some things never change, part 2 of 4

Unfortunately, my tendency was to read the very first issue and put things into two, rather lame, piles: Some Things Never Change and Are they Still Famous? To begin,

Some Things Never Change:

Attitude Towards Science, as a gentlemanly pursuit: On William Beebe's "expedition" to the Sargasso Sea, " 'Dr. Beebe's great boast is that no member of his staff has any excuse for not doing good scientific work. Which brings us to the chef.' "

Snappy One-liners: I liked the short little theater reviews best, and I’m glad this style has had a lasting influence, in the best of Kael's short film reviews: "The Good Bad Woman. At the Comedy. One of those plays that calls a spade a dirty lousy spade." I don't know exactly what that means, but their readers probably did.

Other keepers from the theater reviews, "Come and bring Aunt Fannie" and "In tribute to the author, we bashfully admit that we wept, and lavishly: on the other hand, it is but fair to confess that we are that way." Actually, you can see the influence of this kind of writing on lots of magazine-type writing, and myself, to this day. And probably it predates the New Yorker, but felt very them and then.

Jokes about the president: In this case, Coolidge jokes.

A love/hate relationship to Hollywood cinema: On The Lost World, "Through camera trickery, dinosauri and other beasts of the prehistoric past live again. Interesting because it proves the camera is a liar." Also sounds a lot like the review of the spirit photo exhibit by Aletti this summer.

Also, a list of promises for the film A Thief in Paradise "1. The whirlwind dance in an artist's studio. 2. Undersea dance. 3. Polo match - blondes vs. brunettes in one-piece bathing suits. 4. Airplane honeymoon. 5. Electric love thrills." Too bad we don’t have these particular thrills at the movies anymore, but the New Yorker paying attention to them, in a backhanded, condescending way seems familiar. This was when a one-piece bathing suit was sexier than a two-piece suit. But you knew that, right? Like in (sequel to the book Cheaper by the Dozen) Belles on Their Toes? Clearly, some things DO change, but I'll discuss that later.

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