Skip to content

Posts from the ‘The New Yorker’ Category

25
Sep
Clive James - Pembroke, Cambridge 2013 banner

On Human Transience and Mortality: Clive James’ JAPANESE MAPLE

Have been playing catch up with a few New Yorker back issues in the last couple of days – like buses, you get none, and then suddenly several arrive in the post in a pile. So I was stopped in my tracks by Japanese Maple, a new poem by Clive James. He’s a remarkable writer and commentator – his is a sizzling combination of high intelligence, unsnobbish cultural magpie-ism (if that’s not a thing, it jolly well should be) and laugh-out-loud-wit.

But he now has terminal cancer. As a result he knows he’ll never make it back to his native Australia before he dies. (Here is an interview he gave back in 2013) He is confined to Cambridge and the UK. So here he writes of the tree planted by his daughter in their garden. Read more »

6
Sep
MJHM U2 at Wembley

Why getting popcultured is no bad thing: thoughts on Steve Turner’s latest

Regular Q readers will know that matters pop-cultural are regularly considered here. And one of my favourite books of recent years on any subject is the brilliant Popologetics by my friend Ted Turnau. But regulars will also know that I am a fan of Steve Turner’s books, not least because he has a great way with words (I only wish he’d apply that to poetry again!) and has unrivalled experience in writing about the world of popular culture from a deeply theological perspective. So I was very excited by the arrival of his latest: Popcultured. Read more »

6
Jun
NewYorker June 3 2013 - socializing with nutters

Friday Fun 42: Beware the narrowing of the circles in which you move and have your being

My mind is steeped in the mad and self-referential world of conspiracy theories at the moment, as I try to make a way through to something coherent. So this great cartoon from last week’s New Yorker nailed it for me.

Read more »

22
Feb
NewYorker 11 Feb 13 - Blogger therapy Sutton

Friday Fun 36: Bloggers in Therapy

Every blogger needs to feel the love. But it’s a dangerous pursuit. And sometimes, we need help to get over our hangups.

The cartoon department at The New Yorker is an ever-present help in such troubles – so for your joy, delectation and general therapy, here are some important pointers… Read more »

10
Oct
Baxter & Whitaker Campaigns Inc

The Lie Factory and the destructive power of political ‘narrative’

The presenting issue behind the article was the hysteria whipped up against Obama’s healthcare proposals in the US – something which those of us with ‘socialised’, crypto-communist medicine in the UK find hard to understand. I do realise that many on the US right are no fools, that the British NHS is far from perfect,  and that there may well be many good grounds for the position(s) they took. But that’s not my point here. My main concern is how politics (left and right) throughout the West now (has to) operates. This was the object of Jill Lepore’s New Yorker investigation a couple of weeks ago, The Lie Factory. Read more »

8
Oct
Dan Tague Dollar art - 14_-trust-no-one-11

The subversive messages of a dollar bill

I’d been vaguely aware of these from a while back, but had never looked carefully at them. It wasn’t until they were used as running gags in last week’s New Yorker money edition that I sat up and noticed. Dan Tague has created a series of prints in 2008 of dollar bills folded in such a way as to reveal all kinds of subversions of American capitalism and western materialism. There is something rather delicious about making a dollar spell out ‘American Idol’ or an American revolution battle cry, or the best advice of the contemporary conspiracy theorist.

Ingenious Read more »

5
Oct
Qs-Friday-Fun

Friday Fun 26: US Election Season cartoons

The last New Yorker of September was the annual cartoon edition – with some genuine chuckle-worthy moments.

Many of them pick up on the rigours and absurdities of US politics, what with the Presidential debates and elections next month, n’ all. Read more »

21
Sep
NYorker 10Sept12 - John O'Brien - Killer Paisley

Friday Fun 24: More perils of modern relationships

Reliable as ever, The New Yorker Cartoon production line has produced a few corkers recently.

Couldn’t resist these. Especially the killer paisley. I’m now on high alert for this hitherto unforeseen strain. Read more »

31
Jul
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Context is king: the perils of dislocated sentences

Not quite sure what got me hooked on this New Yorker article (sadly the full article is behind a paywall), but I was gripped. Using linguistics to help solve crimes seems pretty counter-intuitive – but the Unabomber was caught by analysing his manifesto – as was Joyce Meyer security chief Chris Coleman who was found guilty of killing his family. Read more »

23
Mar
Qs-Friday-Fun

Friday Fun 18: Some Essential Relationships Advice from the New Yorker

Oops – I’ve not done a Friday Fun for a couple of months. Terribly sorry, dear reader. Anyway, here are a couple of perfectly formed little numbers from recent New Yorkers – including this very week’s edition – how up to date is that?!

Anyway, I’m sure we all need a bit of help with our relationships. Here’s a little nudge in the right direction for the cause of improved male-female communication…

Read more »

15
Feb
attackad - larry_mccarthy

The bleak brazenness of “Pejorative Truth”

Just read a spine-chiller in the latest New Yorker about PACs, SuperPACs and the growth industry that is behind political attack ads. Jane Mayer’s  Attack Dog – The creator of the Willie Horton ad is going all out for Mitt Romney is depressing stuff. For the uninitiated, and unless you follow US politics closely, there’s no reason at all why you should be initiated, PACs are Political Action Committees. Read more »

24
Nov
thanksgiving meal

Happy Thanksgiving from the New Yorker

To all my American Friends:

Happy Thanksgiving

Thought you might enjoy this from the current edition of the New Yorker.

Have a good day!

Read more »

4
Nov
Newyorker 2011 - Religion trainseat

Friday Fun 15: Some New Yorker gems

I don’t just read the New Yorker for the cartoons… honest.

Well… they are a big part of its joy… So here are a few recent gems… I especially liked the guy who always manages to get a train-seat. I’d only add that if you want a whole carriage to yourself (even during rush hour on the London underground) just wear a dog-collar.

That’ll get them fleeing for their lives. Read more »

7
Oct
NewYorker 5Sept11 - 600 intruders pm

Friday Fun 13: Beware men with Guns and Megaphones

The US cop show has immersed us all into the clichés of American gun culture. It is one aspect of American life which most of us find hardest to comprehend (especially when it gets defended theologically by the Christian right – though if this is where you are coming from, please help us out here – I do want to understand how it can still be justified other than on purely pragmatic grounds). After all, in contrast to most police forces in the world (including across Europe), the British police do not carry guns while on normal duties. And I would argue that we are all much safer as a result. Read more »

4
Aug
reflections-on-the-thames,-westminster,-1880

“Our Flag is a union of Black and Blue” – Daljit Nagra’s Black History

Any walk along the Thames Embankment or the South Bank is bound to conjure up memories and evocations. This ancient river is observed/guarded/ignored by countless buildings created at different moments in British history: the proceeds of empire and the fates of peoples are all reflected in their facades. I came across this wonderful poem by Daljit Nagra in the last New Yorker of July. And it captures it all perfectly, far more articulately than we non-poetically-gifted mortals could manage.

Read more »

14
Jun
Smits & Obama

Barack Obama 2: The Media’s Red Carpet

It is a truism to say that the media is influential in politics. But there is no doubting that its power to mesmerize and acclimatize contributed to Obama’s election. Having focused yesterday on the way in which Obama both innately and deliberately sought to build bridges across community divides and with historical landmarks (as described in David Remnick’s remarkable book The Bridge), I want to pick up on how he was able to surf the media’s wave all the way into Pennsylvania Avenue. Read more »

13
Jun
Obama

Barack Obama 1: The Bridge from Selma to Pennsylvania Avenue

If there is a point to Barack Obama becoming US President – and let’s face it, how can we ever reduce anyone’s life to having ‘a point’ – it is not his politics but his race. Race is what made his election seem so unthinkable, and yet, conversely, once he was the Democrat candidate, such a difficult opponent to beat in the 2008 election. And it is what will give him his enduring legacy (politics and 2nd term aside). Read more »

3
Jun
NYer 4Apr11 - All random

Fun Friday 4: If it’s all random…

The fatal flaw in the claims to a random universe…? Read more »

25
May
larry mullen

Drummers have different brains, and Larry Mullen proves it

Travelling somewhere always gives time for catching up on one of my favourite pastimes, New Yorker reading. A month ago there was a fascinating article about the neuroscientist, David Eagleman by Burkhard Bilger. Eagleman is the author Sum, one of most weirdly compelling books I’ve ever read. Read more »

9
May
NYer - April 18 11 - military advertising

Signs of the times: you’re just so, like, totally conquered, man…

Here’s a couple of great, revealing, and on-the-ball cartoons from a recent New Yorker (18th April 2011). Fantastic, as ever. This time the genii responsible are Tom Cheney and Bruce Eric Kaplan. Read more »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,941 other followers