Posts Tagged ‘nick paumgarten’

In this week’s New Yorker

November 21, 2012

Some great stuff:

* Adam Gopnik’s lead editorial, “Military Secrets,” which includes this brilliantly succinct comment: “Benghazi is a tragedy in search of a scandal; the Petraeus affair is a scandal in search of a tragedy”;

* Victor Zapana’s sad, brave “Personal History” story about his mother, who was famously convicted in a notorious/controversial instance of “shaken baby syndrome”;

* Nick Paumgarten (above) totally geeking out, at considerable length, about being a “Deadhead” — since he’s an editor at the best magazine in the world, he gets incredible access to cool stuff, and online he posts a list of his thirteen favorite live recordings available for free streaming or downloading from an amazing website I never knew about,;

* “Queer Eyes, Full Heart,” Emily Nussbaum’s detailed mash note to Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee, Nip/TuckAmerican Horror Story, and other TV shows (who knew Nussbaum could be so gay-savvy?); and

* Jill Lepore “Tax Time,” which takes one of the most boring subjects on earth and gives it her diligent reporter’s all, ending with this eloquent take-home:

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, for modernity, and for prosperity. The wealthy pay more because they have benefited more. Taxes, well laid and well spent, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare. Taxes protect property and the environment; taxes make business possible. Taxes pay for roads and schools and bridges and police and teachers. Taxes pay for doctors and nursing homes and medicine. During an emergency, like an earthquake or a hurricane, taxes pay for rescue workers, shelters, and services. For people whose lives are devastated by other kinds of disaster, like the disaster of poverty, taxes pay, even, for food.

“What’s surprising, given how much money and passion have been spent to defeat a broad-based, progressive income tax over the past century, and how poorly it has been defended, is that it has endured – testimony, perhaps, to American’s abiding sense of fairness. Taxes are a pact. That pact needs renewing.”


In this week’s New Yorker

February 28, 2012

Aside from Roz Chast’s wonderful cover and a handful of funny cartoons (see my favorite, by Emily Flake, below), this issue is noteworthy for William Finnegan’s satisfying report on how Minnesota governor Scott Walker’s anti-union crusade has backfired on him and Nick Paumgarten’s entertaining depiction of the social scene at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In this week’s New Yorker

June 29, 2011

Two interesting long pieces — a profile by Evan Osnos of the young Chinese pop novelist (and race car driver!) Han Han, and a reporting piece by Nick Paumgarten about online dating services, specifically covering OK Cupid,, and eHarmony. The most remarkable fact in Paumgarten’s story is that he has only been on two dates in his entire life — he’s been married for 23 years to the second woman he dated. Also commendable: Lauren Collins’ “Letter from Luton,” about the English Defense League, a product of the anti-Muslim-immigration sentiment in the U.K. The racism of the EDL lads is very disturbing, but so is a sheik’s refusal to shake a female reporter’s hand.

In this week’s New Yorker

November 1, 2010

The high points include appreciations of two artists I love, Ntozake Shange and Elvis Costello.

Like me, Hilton Als had a life-changing experience seeing for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf on Broadway in 1997, and like me he’s dubious about Tyler Perry’s movie of it that’s opening any day now, starring Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg. He delivers a lovely summation of that work and a quick skim of her subsequent 30 years’ worth of writing, along with some details of her personal life that I didn’t know (a string of suicide attempts, a bipolar diagnosis) and some that I did (sadly, she had a stroke six years ago that has left her seriously disabled).

Nick Paumgarten is also a big Elvis Costello nut and spent quite a bit of time hanging out with him and delivers an intriguingly detailed mid-career check-in.

Also: Roz Chast makes her writing debut this week with not one but two prose pieces — a Talk of the Town memorial tribute to her fellow cartoonist Leo Cullum, who died recently, and a Shouts and Murmurs rant on the ickiness of the banana. On the latter subject, Steve Martin and I respectfully disagree — like me, the other Man from Waco believes that the banana is one of nature’s most ingenious packaging triumphs.

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