Posts Tagged ‘alexis okeowo’

In this week’s New Yorker

October 23, 2020

This week’s New Yorker is an especially good issue.

On the hard news front, there are two excellent reporting pieces. In “Safety Last,” Eyal Press writes about how Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia (yes, son of the late Supreme Court Justice) has gone about weakening worker protections during the pandemic. It would be more shocking if it isn’t all too depressingly consistently with this Administration, which has routinely hired cabinet members whose values and experience are antithetical to the realms they’re now overseeing. And Rachel Monroe’s “Stolen Valor” investigates the world of military impostors — elected officials, candidates, and others — and the outraged veterans who have made it their mission to expose them.

Then there are a bunch of profiles of smart, fascinating people whose names are new to me:

  • Moxie Marlinspike (almost certainly not the name on his birth certificate) is the creator and CEO of Signal, the end-to-end encrypted messaging service, interviewed by Anna Wiener for “Privacy Settings.” Among other things, before Signal, Marlinspike created a browser extension for Firefox called GoogleSharing, which “pooled users’ activity on Google services and anonymized personal information, scrambling individual activity and assigning it to generic proxy identities. This prevented Google from building user profiles, and from collecting information from services that did not require a log-in. Marlinspike no longer maintains the software, but it is still available to download, for free, on GitHub, and has a successor, DuckDuckGo, a search engine that strips queries of identifying data.”
  • Saidiya Hartman, a writer and academic whose scholarly work on untold stories about Black life (especially Black women, especially the legacy of slavery) earned her a MacArthur Fellow and who has also appeared in a Jay-Z video (“4:44”). Alexis Okeowo wrote the story (“Secret Histories”).
  • Rita Indiana, an amazing 43-year-old 6’3″ lesbian musician and novelist in the Dominican Republic, a superstar in her country where she is known as the Monster (La Montra, in the local dialect). Daniel Alarcón tells her story in “Songs for the Apocalypse,” which mentions a bunch of songs and videos you’ll want to look up online {“After School,” “El Juidero,” “El Blue del Ping Pong,” and my favorite “La Hora de Volvé”).
  • Jennifer Walshe, a queer Irish composer about whom music critic Alex Ross writes an essay called “Sublime Chaos,” describing her work as “mystical Irish Dadaism.”



In this week’s New Yorker

December 22, 2012

I found myself surprisingly lukewarm about the series of articles on the issue’s theme of World Changers, though I appreciated “Out in Africa,” Alexis Okeowo’s illuminating article about Frank Mugisha and other courageous gay activists in Uganda, as well as Elif Batuman’s long article about an amazing all-female theater troupe in rural Turkey. I got drawn into Bill Wyman’s review of Randall Sullivan’s Michael Jackson biography Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson, which includes this remarkable assertion: “It’s an open question whether Jackson ever had sex with anyone — man, woman, or child. Sullivan believes the singer died a virgin.” Speaking of weird and self-destructive R&B singers, Sasha Frere-Jones writes an unusually unsparing essay about Rihanna and her relationship with Chris Brown, whom he describes as “an agile dancer, a better-than-average rapper, and a passable singer…also, by all appearances, a vile human being. ” A bunch of kinda great cartoons, though:

low level person abominable snowmom had work done

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