Posts Tagged ‘john colapinto’

In this week’s New Yorker

June 27, 2014

The single most noteworthy sentence in this week’s issue comes early in Jeffrey Toobin’s long, must-read profile of loathsome Texas senator Ted Cruz, who has spent an insane amount of time attempting (sometimes singlehandedly) to repeal “every blessed word” of the Affordable Care Act: “Cruz gets his own health-care coverage from Goldman Sachs, where his wife is a vice-president.” Could anything make this smug bastard more despicable?

ted cruz

Another remarkable sentence flies quickly by in John Colapinto’s profile (“Shy and Mighty” — great headline) of the xx, the British quietcore trio whose songs are written and sung by Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim (below, center and right), whose aural and onstage intimacy suggests that of current or former lovers: “Another defining aspect of the xx’s music — the tamped-down eroticism of the singers’ entwined voices — was also unintended, since both are gay.” Huh. I didn’t see that coming. Makes me love them all the more.

the xx
Aside from those pieces, Nathan Heller’s long profile of filmmaker Richard Linklater is worth reading, along with the always entertaining David Sedaris’s essay, “Stepping Out,” about his obsession with Fitbit.

robot pet cartoon

The New Yorker has had some stellar issues lately. Last week’s, for instance (July 23, 2014), had four very different, all fantastic feature stories:

* Jill Lepore’s “The Disruption Machine,” a meticulous takedown of of the current valorization of disruption as a business ideal, based on her close reading of the book that preached the gospel of innovation, Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma;

* Nick Paumgarten’s hilarious and intimate profile — “Id Girls” (another great headline) — of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the creators of the Comedy Central hit series Broad City, for which Paumgarten got an astonishing amount of reportorial access, a quality his article shares with…

* the great Janet Malcolm’s “The Book Refuge,” a family portrait of the women who run the Argosy Bookstore, the antiquarian bookseller on 57th Street; and

* Sarah Stillman’s long, sad, infuriating article “Get Out of Jail, Inc.,” about how the so-called “alternatives to incarceration” industry preys on the poorest Americans, exorting vast sums of money for offenses like driving with expired license plates or an unpaid parking ticket.

gift bag cartoon

The issue before that, the Summer Fiction: Love Stories double-issue (June 9 & 16), was noteworthy for me primarily for Margaret Talbot’s “The Teen Whisperer,” a superb profile of young-adult novelist John Green, completely unknown to me but now strangely prominent on my radar, to the point where I’m actually curious to see the movie based on his big hit, The Fault in Our Stars (which, weirdly, shows up fleetingly in season 2 of Orange Is the New Black).

kept awake

In this week’s New Yorker

March 5, 2013

new yorker pope coverThe best thing about this week’s New Yorker is Barry Blitt’s cover, titled “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi,” though I also read with interest Jeffrey Toobin’s profile of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Larissa MacFarquhar’s post-mortem on the troubled, enigmatic Aaron Swartz. (One of the many benefits of subscribing to The New Yorker Out Loud podcast via iTunes is that I now know how to pronounce Larissa MacFarquhar.)

While I’m at it, let me mention the highlights of last week’s issue, starting with the great Roz Chast cover, “Ad Infinitum”  (below):
rox chast ad infinitum cover
Then there’s “Hands Across America,” David Owen’s piece on the rise of Purell hand sanitizer, a detailed description of how one small company has managed to get rich capitalizing on the weird germ-phobia that has taken over America;

also Ryan Lizza’s piece on Eric Cantor, one of the Republicans most in charge of obstructing any political progress in Washington;

and John Colapinto’s fascinating article, “Giving Voice,” on the surgeon who repaired Adele’s vocal cords (and those of many other famous pop singers).

And the odd cartoon or two….
internet and get scared

In this week’s New Yorker

September 9, 2012

Before the moment passes, I’d like to put in a good word about several absorbing articles in the Style Issue, cover-dated September 10:

* John Seabrook on Federico Marchetti, the business nerd who dragged fashion kicking and screaming into e-commerce with Yoox.com;

* John Colapinto on Will Guidara and Daniel Humm, who bought out and took over Danny Meyer’s  Eleven Madison Park and elevated it to a ridiculously world-renowned restaurant;

* Aleksandar Hemon’s profile of Lana and Andy Wachowski, the filmmaking siblings who made The Matrix and its spin-offs and whose most recent work is the forthcoming adaptation of David Mitchell’s mind-bending novel Cloud Atlas (I enjoyed Tom Hanks’ quote — “I work for free. I get paid for waiting.” — and was touched by this remark by Steve Skroce, who has storyboarded for the filmmakers since The Matrix: “After the success of the first Matrix, they were able to get point son the box-office, video games, etc. They had a dinner at this great Italian restaurant in Santa Monica and all their key collaborators were invited. At each place setting was a golden envelope with a check inside. I’m not sure who got what, but I know what I received was far beyond what I could ever have guessed or hoped for.”); and

* Ian Parker on Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect who has made himself a brand name at 37.

Then there’s Thomas McGuane’s short, pungent story “The Casserole” and Ariel Levy’s supercilious review of Naomi Wolf’s book Vagina: A New Biography, which made me laugh out loud. Key passage: “Wolf claims that vaginal slander — referring to the vagina by its ‘awful’ feline moniker, for instance — ‘apparently affects the very tissue of the vagina.’ She bases this conclusion on a study of female rats whose vaginal tissue showed signs of change after periods of stress. The experiment did not, however, entail researching yelling ‘Rat pussy!’ at the animals; stress was manufactured physically. Wolf’s interpretation of the science is, as usual, rather free.”

And who doesn’t love a cover by Ian Falconer?

 

In this week’s New Yorker

May 28, 2011

Yes, it’s farmer’s market season again — yay! And hooray for the clever New Yorker cover with that reminder.

Two excellent pieces in the magazine this week: John Colapinto’s “Strange Fruit,” telling you everything you want to know about the harvesting of acai and the marketing of its (possibly overhyped) medicinal properties; and Rachel Aviv’s “God Knows Where I Am,” the sad tale of a patient who refuses to accept a diagnosis of mental illness and how that plays out in her life. Key quote from the latter: “Today, there are three times as many mentally ill people in jails as in hospitals.”

I was mildly interested in Andrea K. Scott’s profile of Cory Arcangel, whose show at the Whitney I’m mildly interested in seeing. John Lahr is one of those theater critics who so falls in love with artists that he profiles for the New Yorker that I find his always-glowing opinions of their subsequent work to be suspect — cf. his review of Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss in Chicago. But I’ve yet to be grabbed by any of Ruhl’s work. If I had time to read Adam Kirsch’s piece on Rabindranath Tagore, I’ll bet I’d glean stuff that would interest me. And I hope to get around to reading Kate Walbert’s short story “M&M World.”

In this week’s New Yorker, and the week before, and…

February 6, 2011

OK, so I got a little behind digesting my favorite magazine and passing along links. I had a busy January. I’ve been a little cranky about all the snarky commentary about Spiderman — Turn Off the Dark, but I have to say I did find the cover of the January 17 issue pretty funny, and everything Joan Rivers said to Julie Taymor, as reported by Patrick Healy in today’s Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times. A lot of people, including rumblings from the esteemed Times, have been acting like it’s some heinous crime against humanity for STOTD to be playing weeks, even months of previews without getting reviewed. But I don’t get what the BFD is. Theatergoers who bought tickets thinking the show would be finished and have been reviewed already can always ask for their money back. Meanwhile, because of all the publicity, anybody who sees the show nowadays has tremendous bragging rights, especially if the show has to stop to fix some technical glitch or if somebody gets hurt. (Dancers get hurt every day of the week, but nobody ever gets self-righteous about how dangerous New York City Ballet is for its performers.) Maybe the show is crappy. But I’d rather wait til the artists making it say it’s done before judging it. Then the gloves are off.

Going back a few weeks: the New Yorker has been providing great fodder for all kinds of geeks and obsessives lately. Daniel Mendelsohn’s story on the Vatican Library gives bibliophiles and scholars a satisfying peek at that inner sanctum. I’ve never heard of the designer Tomas Maier but enjoyed reading John Colapinto’s profile of this hunky guy. I just noticed that the striking photo that ran with the story is by famed painter/artist Robert Longo. (I’m also struck by how thorough matter-of-fact both the New Yorker and the Times are these days in writing about subjects who are gay and their domestic partnerships.) In the same issue, Jeffrey Toobin wrote a thorough and sad story about a young prosecutor whose participation in the case against Alaska congressman Ted Stevens ended tragically. And David Denby wrote a lively piece about Joan Crawford.

The following week, another juicy issue with Mike Peed’s fascinating reported article on bananas, how they’re bred, and the disease that is threatening the world supply of this beloved fruit (well, beloved by me and everyone else except Roz Chast), Ian Buruma on how Belgium threatens to implode, Evan Osnos on psychoanalysis in China, and Joan Acocella — hilarious as ever — on the strange saga of best-selling mediocre author Stieg Larsson, who died before even his first novel came out.

Last week forced me again to spend several hours reading absorbing articles on subjects I didn’t know interested me: the evolution of theories about preventing food allergies in children (by Jerome Groopman), the science of crowd control (John Seabrook, who details the weird and distressing story of how a 6’5″, 485-pound stockroom employee was trampled to death at a Wal-Mart on Long Island on Black Friday, 2008), and the monster-making imagination of Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth and other arty horror films (profiled by Daniel Zalewski, whose article provides the only glimpse we will ever see of what would have been del Toro’s take on Tolkein’s The Hobbit). And then there’s Joan Acocella again, writing another hilarious and trenchant essay about another excellent, underappreciated writer and one of my faves, J. R. Ackerley — note again the astonishing bounty of details about his (rather pitiful) homo sex life.

Plus, the cartoons.

and

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