Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ever so slightly funnier than usual

The Jan 15 issue.

Paul Rudnick's "Shouts and Murmers, First Love" on the literal mindedness of the Bush girls was a little funnier than usual. And, in the dialog, The President and Mrs. Bush really did sound like the clueless parents of two trashy and privileged darlings.

Strangely enough, my thoughts on Sarah's perfect cashew brittle - "Light and crisp and full of tiny bubbles but so rich it tastes like bacon, if you know what I mean." - at Food and Paper inspired her to, quite literally, make Peanut Bacon Brittle! With bacon in it, if you know what I mean. Sarah, however is nothing like the Bush girls; she is, rather, wickedly elegant and thoughtful.

I also read Katherine Boo on Manual High School, who, I thought, managed to be quite critical by showing not telling (or rather, by dropping hints now and then and letting the reader put it all together) - a very light touch, but meticulous. The New Yorker is following Denver's Hickenlooper administration rather closely?

Shalom Auslander had lovely comic timing in "Playoffs."

Rebecca Mead, with the help of Ronald Lauder, managed to construct a latter day overpriced Viennese-Freudian Disneyland. Now that I think of it, is there any other kind? This too was a kind of follow-up . . . I think, even earlier, Dana Goodyear covered the paintings travels from Austria to LA.

Oh, and "The Starting Game" on the Democratic Party front-runners was tidy.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous mzn said...

I enjoyed "Playoffs" too, but my enthusiasm diminished as the piece progressed. At first I was giddy with excitement but by the end it was starting to seem more and more like shtick, especially the stuff about God giving a shit about the hockey playoffs. It started to seem a bit precious. But I would certainly read more from Auslander.

2:15 PM  
Blogger zp said...

But, "Then snacks, and a fitful nap." That kills me.

3:36 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

Are you kidding? I thought it's the nest humor peice the magazine has had in a while; hopeful, thoughtful, consistent, and hiLARious story of a man struggling with his team and his faith- old story written in a new way. The magazine's needed some new funny voices since Ian Frazier has decided not to be funny anymore.

Also, does anyone know why this week's issue hasn't come yet?

9:24 AM  
Blogger zp said...

Frazier has fallen off the funny bandwagon, that's for sure, rock ninja.

This week's issue has not arrived here, either. Maybe it is double issue season?

11:35 PM  
Blogger juniper pearl said...

peanut butter and bacon sandwiches were a favorite snack of mine in junior high. it has to be a highly processed peanut butter with a high sugar content, though, to get the proper contrast with the crispy saltiness of the bacon, and ideally you'd make it on wonder bread. i imagine a lot of the textural joy would vanish with a brittle, but maybe something different but just as good would result.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where to find Auslander's article online?

10:00 AM  
Blogger zp said...

I don't know where to find it, but everyone seems to be looking for it; you might check regularly at Emdashes.

1:34 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

http://www.shalomauslander.com/

9:51 AM  
Blogger zp said...

Did you find "Playoffs" there? I found a kind of conversation about the playoffs story via This American Life aka the radio show that everyone but me listens to.

1:12 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

I like Auslander lots, but I too grew weary of "Playoffs;" maybe you need to understand hockey.

Even if you don't usually hear "This American Life," you gotta listen to the episode with
the blessing bee
This story is amazing, and includes some rare and worthwhile insights into Jewish understandings of food and eating.

3:31 PM  

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