The New Yorker: August 2016
For awhile now, I have wanted a subscription to Thew New Yorker. I’ve read books from the regular contributors, often find these articles I like from the Best American Travel Writing series, and love New York. I like a couple of periodicals and wish I could find the time and money to read them. When I passed my PMP in August, I rewarded myself with a trial subscription of $12 for 12 weeks of the magazine so I will have this subscription until November 7, 2016.
I read about 75% each magazine; it varies because sometimes I will have at long articles which I don’t even want to skim read for whatever reason. I skip all the local New York arts news and what’s happening. I thoroughly read or skim-read most of the long features. I skim read most of the pop culture reviews depending on the subject matter.
Considering this magazine is low on advertisements, it’s a lot of reading. Each magazine is basically a small non-fiction book in length and breadth. One of the things that I like about The New Yorker is how high brow it is both in vocabulary, topics, and its comics allusions. I love when I see something in this magazine then have to really think about the meaning of a cartoon. I also really appreciate high diction in the media.
August 22, 2016: This was my first magazine with my new subscription for some reason, it got lost in the mail so it came with the August 29, 2016 edition. In this edition, I particularly liked the following pieces:
- “Family First” by Lizzie Widdiscombe – Ivanka Trump and her husband: this felt a bit like a society profile, but I was mildly interested in Ivanka when I saw her on “The Apprentice” and “Born Rich” more than a decade ago. She’s an interesting one being very devoted to her father, but she also seems reasonable, charismatic, and intelligent in a way he and other people in the Trump family are not.
- “The Chase” by Siddhartha Mukherjee” – Zika Vaccine: As a public health major at one point, enjoyable and interesting.
- “Justice Delayed” by Jeffrey Tobin – Profile on the death row lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his tireless work in Alabama; as well as the history and connection between lynching and state executions
- Letter from London “Total Recall” by Patrick Radden Keefe – an an elite squad of police super-recognizers. Very interesting concept and article since it talks a bit about face blindness and the opposite of it.
August 29, 2016: Started almost immediately after finishing the last one.
- “The Talk of the Town”: Hodgepodge of news on Obama’s ceasefire of war on the drugs; global rap, and poetry for politics
- “Melania’s Diary” by Paul Rudnik: I have no fascination with Trump, but have been mildly interested by the women in his life who love him. This satirical article about her diary did make me smirk.
- “The Moscow Laundromat” by Ed Caesar: Deutsche Bank and Russian capital flight. My attention wandered a lot on this article because banking and financial services are not that exciting to read about. I know this as someone who has taken econonomics courses. Sometimes, it’s enough to be mildly interesting, but to me, not exciting. Still a good piece to know about Deustche Bank and Russia
- “The Country Restaurant” by Nick Paumgarten: A feature about Damon Baehrel and his NY restaurant Native Harvest. This article was really interesting. It starts as a piece detailing this hermetic, solo “self-taught” chef in the woods with a long waiting list. Then it proceeds to analyze the myth and question it leaving you the reader to wonder what is really going on. Like the author, I am skeptical of Baehrel he presents and the whole pretentious culture of fine dining. I believe that Baehrel is an amazing chef as they say, but there are definitely holes to the myth. Is he BSing everyone about things? Does he do everything himself? What’s his agenda? As I get older, I think people are both as simpler and as complex as they can be. Maybe Baehrel believes his own myth and is denial about the other stuff. His paranoid about conspiracies is probably unfounded. Who knows. It was interesting to think about since he’s feeding a subculture of dining that revels in it and seems to enjoy the attention in his way.
- “Lost” by Art Spiegelmann: A comic strip by a great graphic novelist. I loved Maus mostly in large part to how it captured the feeling of Auschwitz and hearing stories from Holocaust survivors. I will always remember how darkly visceral. His style is distinct, and this comic has various meanings. It does feel dark and subversive.
- “Gender Studies” by Curtis Sittenfeld: Fiction which I read because I could not get into the profile before this article at all. Not a bad piece. I also listened to it on the The Author’s Voice podcast.
There were probably more articles but it was lost in the great blog move of 2016.