Monday, July 24, 2006

the food is awful, and such small portions.

Well, I finally got another issue of the New Yorker, July 24, 2006. And it is short and contains a lot of nonsense.

Preclampsia - Not going to read it. The New Yorker on children and pregnancy has, for my money, a very bad record. Totally Victorian. Benj's mom has already read this essay and called us about it. I kid you not. Shame on the New Yorker, throwing the older generation into a fate-of-childbearing tizzy.

Rudnick's Shouts and Murmurs "'American Idol' World Court" - Wrote it in his sleep.

Ken Auletta "Hollywood Ending" - Maybe.

Alec Wilkinson "The Tenth Planet" - This has real promise. I wasn't go to read it but then it was sitting open and I saw the following:

"'The concept of a planet is also part of the mental geography of the world around us. Pluto doesn't fit as a piece of science, but it does culturally. Initially, I thoguht, We can't have it this way, we can't have culture determine such questions. Then I thought, There are places where science reigns, and others where culture does. Science doesn't have to win this one.'" (58)

And it gets better from there. That's not the author speaking, it's an interview subject, which is cool too. So I haven't read the whole thing, but I think I will.

None of the reviews appeal to me, not even Ross on Mozart.

Out of sense of exhausted duty, I read Anthony Lane on The Pirates of the Caribbean. You've heard it all before, except maybe this:

"'Life is cruel,' Davy Jones points out, adding, 'Why should the afterlife be any different?' The blasphemous splendor of that questions resounds through the movie, spawning a mass of morbid detail and thus bolstering one's conviction that computer-generated images, while constitutionally unfit for certain textures - all seas look fake, as do all healthy humans - grow ever more attuned to the monsterous, the decaying, the deceased.[...] Domestic drma has nothing to gain from the new technology; horror has nothing to lose."

That kind of makes me think of Siegfried Kracauer. Whom I love. Both in its morbidity and its attention to/invention of the precise limits and possibilities of film technology.

Also, I thought the morbidity was an interesting element of the film that no one really "saw" because they were so busy looking at everything else.

Patricia Marx's "You Shouldn't Have." I don't care for this kind of thing and the New Yorker does a really bad job of it. And even though she herself doesn't like scented candles, she still encourages people to buy candles as gifts, which implies that other people might like them, and I think this is wrong. Like the time Benj's mother sent me a candle that realistically resembled and smelled like a rather generic looking apple pie and I heated it in the oven and tried to eat it. Shame on the New Yorker, encouraging the older generation to buy scented candles!!

But I laughed in a sustained way at William Haefeli's cartoon:

You know what was good this week? The New York Review of Books. I'll post on that later.

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Blogger mzn said...

I too am midway through this issue. I began the preeclampsia article and it didn't hook me after three pages. But I liked the stillbirth article of a few months back, by which I mean that it had its intended emotional effect. I concur on Rudnick and Marx. I'm halfway through Auletta and I like it; it may be the first thing I have read about the Pellicano affair that makes it seem intriguing rather than just sordid. It contains some bonus little details about food/restaurants that I liked. Also very fond of the Scritti Politti review, though in general I avoid pop music criticism (and not just in the NYer).

Re parsley (this belongs on your farm basket post, but I'm lazy): the curly kind is as good and it's just foodie snobbery that makes people spend twice as much for flat leaf. I get so mad!

12:07 AM  
Blogger zp said...

Any comments that may be missing from this post were *respectfully* deleted at the request of their author.

As for "the intended emotional effect" of the stilbirth article - if they intended to scare me off with that opening femininity and pottery metaphor it worked.

12:38 AM  

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