Tina Fey excerpt from Bossypants – the best bit really by far – "things Lorne Michaels taught me about management" (how to deal with emotional people).
~so impressed by this I bought her book and read enough that I decided it wasn't worth continuing~
Back to the issue:
Funny true humor piece by Anthony Lane! Jill Lepore on the turn of the century compatriot of William James Et al that invented the idea of being alive while old; massive piece in the Gulf BP spill that concludes indifferently after pointing out that the ecological damage was essentially nothing and that rednecks are good at whiney politics.
The critics were the payoff in this issue:
John Lahr on "That championship season" that I wish I saw. Denby letter of admiration to Abbas Kiarostami — wow! I have to see some more of these. Columbia alumnus Wild Bill Donovan the founder of the OSS (became CIA) and FDR man in a lovely piece by Louis Menand. Alex Ross on some modern academic pop I don't care about. Aaaand holy crap Schjeldajl on Kazimir Malevich who just rules – invented the modern did you say? Plus more Denby on crappy recent movies.
Tim Ferriss profile by Rebecca Mead. I think they could have found a more worthy Twitter celebrity to profile. Ashton maybe? Puhleaze. But he mentioned Seneca so many times I bought some Epictetus. The four minute mind: Paul Rudnick's totally hilarious shouts piece; Tad Friend profiles the evil right wing airheads in charge of Orange County–this is what happens when bubble-real-estate tycoon get to buy elections;
Hold on a second! A big meaty profile of Derek Parfit old-fashioned ethics professor! Not exactly riveting even to a professionally trained philosopher but I am stunned to see the piece here. Did they ever profile John Rawls? Ludwig Wittgenstein or Bertie Russell? This is an anthology I want to see- the NYer Philosopher Profiles;
Back to it: a lame bit on the artist Theo Jansen's beach art which I guess Ian Frazier is impressed with; shout out to the Maira Kalman and I skipped even Haruki Murakami's fiction.
And now critics: Louis Menand's awesome illuminating profile of Dwight McDonald who founded Partisan Review if I recall, launched Clem Greenberg's career, focused relentlessly on the middle-brow bourgeoisie's low-brownness and laid out the terrain where I think we find ourselves today — craft of the old world is dead, kitsch rules the day, avant-garde has fallen off the cliff of esoterica back in the 1990s and only the heroic middlebrow Portlandian crafty entrepreneurial creative type can save us. And some forgettable reviews by Alex Ross (his music writing is too avant-garde), Denby (they make him review real movies, which is a shame), an James Wood whose book How To Read is awesome but here was found reviewing something I don't like (recent fiction).
And also a shout out to a WS Merwin poem in here (didn't read it – but the star power in this Table of Content is incredible).
Finally, November 21 the food issue
John Seabrook on the new SweeTango apple
Eric Idle not funny on Shakespeare authorship mysteries
Lauren Collins on a hot British history chick who studies what kings ate and performs it. Food Network knockoff tbd?
Calvin Trillin his usual drift re cooking in Newfie
Jane Kramer on Redzepi the gatherer chef in Copenhagen
Keleman Sanneh on coffee in the era of sour, "fruity", single origin, light roasts (ie unmanly crap)
Some pretty good little vignettes by famous writers on ingredients of choice
Anand the critics…
An ok review on Mauricio Cattelan, inscrutable inside-baseball thing on historical fake fiction, and some really god damned valuable criticism of DeLillo's career and every recent short story by the great Martin Amis. Gotta read some of his stuff.
Ok phew. Got another couple to add to that already but will post later.