Yet Another NYMDb

Ms. (Katherine) Milkman (Princeton ’04), who has a minor in American studies, read 442 stories printed in The New Yorker from Oct. 5, 1992, to Sept. 17, 2001, and built a substantial database. She then constructed a series of rococo mathematical tests to discern, among other things, whether certain fiction editors at the magazine had a specific impact on the type of fiction that was published, the sex of authors and the race of characters…
Among Ms. Milkman’s least shocking findings was that characters in New Yorker fiction tend to live in the same places New Yorker readers do, not the United States as a whole…
Ms. Milkman is by all accounts, including her own, a normal college student.

– David Carr, reporting on Ms Milkman’s senior thesis in the NY Times

Geezers, Screenwriters & Directors

It’s my guess that we cling to the harsher bits of the past not just as a warning system to remind us that the next Indian raid or suddenly veering, tower-bound 757 is always waiting but as a passport to connect us to the rest of the world, whose horrors are available each morning and evening on television or in the Times. And the cold moment that returns to mind and sticks there, unbidden, may be preferable to the alternative and much longer blank spaces, whole months and years wiped clear of color or conversation. Like it or not, we geezers are not the curators of this unstable repository of trifling or tragic days but only the screenwriters and directors of the latest revival.

-Roger Angell, “Life in rerun, now playing near you.” >The New Yorker, Issue of 2004-06-07

Four New Yorker Writers Online

In addition to Susan Orlean (whose website includes a weblog by Jason Kottke for the film Adaptation) Rebecca Mead, Malcolm Gladwell, and Michael Specter all provide archives of their writing for the New Yorker on their personal websites:
Rebecca Mead breaks out articles, Talk of the Town pieces, and reviews into three pages.
Malcolm Gladwell lists his articles and Talk of the Town pieces on one giant archive page.
Michael Specter does the same thing: one long archive page.
The nearly identical approach to alt tags, the ubiquity of PDF links, and the very similar feel of these three sites, I’d bet they share a single designer. [Or maybe it’s just some Adobe GoLive site wizard. Not my department.]

2004-03-29, This Week in The New Yorker

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2004-03-29
Posted 2004-03-22
COMMENT/ AFTER MADRID/ David Remnick on what the train bombings in Spain and the election that followed mean for the world.
ON THE CLOCK/ JAM OFF/ Nick Paumgarten on the backstage scene at the jam-band awards.
POSTCARD FROM BAGHDAD/ STREET CRIME/ Jon Lee Anderson on how the city is now a much more dangerous place.
THE WIRED WORLD/ THE REAL ORKUT/ Jesse Lichtenstein on the eponymous member of a new networking Web site.
ON THE ROOF/ PEPSI GENERATION/ Blake Eskin on making art out of an East River soda sign.
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Bruce McCall/ Liberal Radio Network Employment Application
LIFE & LETTERS/ David Remnick/ Reporting It All/ A hundred years of A. J. Liebling.
A LETTER FROM SOUTH TEXAS/ Katherine Boo/ The Churn/ When the jobs go abroad, what happens to the people who are left behind?
FICTION/ Jim Harrison/ “Father Daughter”
BOOKS/ Folk Hero/ David Hajdu/ A new biography of Woody Guthrie.
POP MUSIC/ Slow Burn/ Sasha Frere-Jones/ Norah Jones’s eternal afternoon.
THE THEATRE/ Stuck/ Hilton Als/ “Frozen” and “Embedded.”
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ The Quick and the Dead/ David Denby/ “Bon Voyage” and “Dogville.”
A REPORTER AT LARGE/ Ahab and Nemesis/A. J. Liebling/ A classic Liebling boxing piece, Issue of 1951-10-08

2004-02-02, This Week in The New Yorker

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2004-02-02
Posted 2004-01-26
The Talk of The Town
COMMENT/ UNSTEADY STATE/ Hendrik Hertzberg parses the President?s State of the Union address.
RELOCATION DEPT./ NET LOSS/ Ben McGrath on the Brooklyn Nets? new arena, possibly.
LONDON POSTCARD/ DARK MATERIAL/ Louis Menand on Britain?s latest pop-mythology production.
THE PICTURES/ AGAINST TYPE/ Hilton Als catches up with Charlize Theron.
CAMPAIGN JOURNAL/ OUT OF IOWA/ Philip Gourevitch on Teresa Heinz Kerry, the Iowa caucuses, and democracy.

/ Patricia Marx/ Boswell?s Life of Jackson
ONWARD & UPWARD WITH THE ARTS/ Peter Schjeldahl/ Dealership/ What Marian Goodman sees in the new. [This is not online. Go read it at B&N, or just shell out the dough for a subscription already.]
A REPORTER AT LARGE/ Michael Specter/ Miracle in a Bottle/ Our national appetite for untested remedies.
FICTION/ John Updike/ “Delicate Wives”
ON TELEVISION/ Nancy Franklin/ L.A. LOVE/ “The L Word” brings lesbian life to the small screen.
A CRITIC AT LARGE/ Joshua Micah Marshall/ Power Rangers/ Did the Bush Administration create a new American empire?or weaken the old one? [The magazine’s first blogger turns in a veritable The New Yorker Review of Books piece. Nice.]
THE THEATRE/ John Lahr/ Innocence Abroad/ Adam Guettel’s Italian romance.
MUSICAL EVENTS/ Alex Ross/ Murder Will Out/ Colin Davis revisits the mystery of “Peter Grimes.”
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Anthony Lane/ Three?s a Crowd/ “On the Run,” “An Amazing Couple,” and “After Life”

2004-01-26, This Week in The New Yorker

In the magazine header, image:
Issue of 2004-01-26
Posted 2004-01-19
The Talk of The Town
COMMENT/ TAXING/ John Cassidy on Paul O?Neill?s deficit message.
HAUNTS/ ECTOPLASM!/ Ben McGrath on a ghost, perhaps, at the Maritime Hotel.
HEY, PAL DEPT./ OLD HACK/ David Owen hails a taxi historian.
GOOD WORKS/ BARELY SHAVERS/ Field Maloney on a group that?s growing mustaches for charity.
THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ BIG SPACE/ James Surowiecki on the billions behind Bush?s space program.
ANNALS OF MEDICINE/ Jerome Groopman/ The Grief Industry/ Does crisis counselling really work?
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Frank Gannon/ Aristotle on Relationships
FICTION/ Antonya Nelson/ “Eminent Domain”
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ David Denby/ Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, Monster
THE THEATRE/ Hilton Als/ King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe!
BOOKS/ John Updike/ MIND/BODY PROBLEMS/ New novels by Andrew Sean Greer and Hanif Kureishi.
THE BACK PAGE/ “And the Winner Is . . .”

2004-01-12, This Week in The New Yorker

In the magazine header, image:
Issue: 2004-01-12
Posted: 2004-01-05
The Talk of The Town
COMMENT/BEST OF THE “BEST”/ Louis Menand on the art of the Top Ten.
COLLECTORS/ SQUISHED/ Ben McGrath on the dangers of hoarding. [no, you didn’t read this story yet. You read the Times‘ story on the dangers of hoarding. Collect’em all!]
FOSSIL DEPT./ HERE TODAY/ Nick Paumgarten on a department departing the Museum of Natural History.
INK/ STILL HAPPENING/ Adam Green meets the last of the great press agents.
THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ ARMY INC./ James Surowiecki on privatizing the military.
SHOUTS & MURMURS/ David Owen/ 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Ex-Wife
PROFILES/ Mark Singer/ Running on Instinct/ How far can Howard Dean go?
FICTION/ Chang-rae Lee/ “Daisy”
DANCING/ Joan Acocella/ Taking Steps/ Savion Glover at the Joyce Theatre.
A CRITIC AT LARGE/ Daniel Mendelsohn/ Why the battles over ancient Athens still rage.
THE CURRENT CINEMA/ David Denby/ Living in America/ “House of Sand and Fog” and “The Cooler.”
by David Denby

2003-10-27, Talk of The Town

COMMENT/ RUSH IN REHAB/ Hendrik Hertzberg on pill-popper Rush Limbaugh’s hypocrisy.
S.I. DISPATCH/ THE WRECK/ Ben McGrath on the reaction to the Staten Island Ferry disaster.
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY/ NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION/ Boris Fishman witnesses a major kissing of Mikhail Gorbachev at The Pierre.
DEPT. OF SIGNAGE/THE MAN AND THE HAND/ Nick Paumgarten talks about the walking man disappearing from the “don’t walk” signs.
DEPT. OF REMEMBERING/ TWO FROM BERLIN/ Jane Kramer talks September 11th memorials with Berlin conceptual artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock.

New Yorker on the WTC memorial and rebuilding

I’m a Paul Goldberger fan, and mad praise for his dogged reporting, following Daniel Libeskind around the country, but I’m not getting anything new from the profile in this week’s New Yorker. When I schmoozed him last spring, Goldberger talked with great relish about digging in and laying out the powerful forces shaping the WTC rebuilding process. But this article comes too late to illuminate Libeskind’s POV on the Silverstein-Childs hubbub, and too early to capture his reaction to the alterations and “fixes” that the Memorial finalists will inevitably introduce.
Contrast that with Louis Menand’s excellent profile on Maya Lin from last July, which the New Yorker just put online. Menand interprets some of Lin’s sensibilities a bit broadly, but re-reading this article shows him to be very prescient about (and possibly influential on) her quietly authoritative role in the WTC memorial process.
[Related: Get Maya Lin’s book, Boundaries, where she revisits her own work and inspirations.]

On the Under-heralded Designer of The WTC Memorial Site

Part Two of a Washington Post series on the rebuilding of the WTC features George Tamaro, one of the original engineers of the slurry wall which is the centerpiece of Libeskind’s memorial site design.

Lochnagar Crater, image: Hellfire Corner,

The more I think about it, the more similarities I find between this aspect of the Libeskind proposal and Lochnagar Crater, the powerful, preserved, accidental memorial to WWI’s Battle of the Somme. [This crater was central to my first short film, Souvenir November 2001, where a New Yorker came upon the crater while searching for a much larger, much more “designed” memorial at the nearby town of Thiepval.]
BBC history tour information on Lochnagar Crater and the Thiepval Memorial
Tales from shooting SN01 at these memorials (Feb. 02)
1972 New Yorker article by Edith Iglauer on building The Bathtub

Maybe it was the way Rory flaunted his expense account by overpaying for pizza. Maybe it was the promise of more back issues of the New Yorker, (Anthony Lane’s X2 review gets a specific mention. Whose yer publicist, Tony? Day-amn!)
Whatever, it worked. The Guardian‘s Rory McCarthy meets, profiles, and signs Salam Pax to write Baghdad Blog for the paper. It’ll be what Britons call a “fortnightly” gig. [putting that in cross-Atlantic perspective: less than Tina Brown, Columnist but far more than Tina Brown, Talk Show Host.]
My question, of course, if they’re calling Salam’s column Baghdad Blog, does that mean I can keep I think so. I think it’s what’s best for the Iraqi people. And besides, what kind of American would I be if my pre-war Iraq-related assurances and assertions didn’t turn out to be hollow and wildly discredited?

Something about this iLoo thing still stinks

iTunes, iPod, iMovie, iCal, iLife, I know what company all these brands come from. And I know what company immediately came to mind when I heard Microsoft was calling their “so stupid it must be a mistake, a hoax, or an Onion story” toilet an iLoo.
What I don’t get is why, when Microsoft sidles up Apple’s brand, lets loose with this iLoo story, then walks away making a dumb face, trying to pretend they didn’t cut the cheese, no one calls them on it. Not even a “Dude!”
It’s like Bush’s people planting a silent-but-deadly one about John Kerry, saying “He looks French.”

In Washington Monthly, Joshua Micah Marshall (his stellar weblog: Talking Points Memo) has a sobering look at the neocon view of Baghdad-as-beta for “rolling the table,” i.e., regime changing the entire Middle East. Slate‘s Kaus realizes that this explains Rumsfeld’s hubris and micromanaging (cf. Sy Hersh) a small military footprint–so Baghdad’s fall puts Teheran, Damascus, and Riyadh (!?!) on notice.
One conclusion of Marshall’s article: this neocon war strategy is self-fulfilling prophecy; the more they pursue it, the more “painfully necessary” constant war becomes. “The White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn’t even tried. Instead, it’s focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind.”
Which puts me in a coining mood (Hey, why should Jarvis have all the fun?). The war to begin all wars.