Saturday, November 27, 2010

good issue of the New Yorker

Every now and then the New Yorker will come out with an issue that is overflowing with great articles. The November 29, 2010 issue is definitely an example:
  • The Fun Stuff: Drumming like Keith Moon. by James Wood - great appreciation of Keith Moon
  • Puppetry by Hendrik Hertzberg - scathing piece that I blogged about a couple of days ago about the latest Glenn Beck foray into demagoguery. Best metaphor simile ever:
    Call us oversensitive, but when our efforts are shanghaied like a nineteenth-century sailor and forced to work as a deckhand aboard a ship of lies, we can’t help getting our hackles up.
  • What Good Is Wall Street? Much of what investment bankers do is socially worthless. by John Cassidy - a very timely examination of the social worth of Wall Street - I already thought this was an important article - but now even more so since I saw Inside Job.
  • Dead Certain - The Presidential memoirs of George W. Bush. by George Packer - incisive review of Bush's memoir.

  • “Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1.” by Adam Gopnik - long and thoughtful piece about the recent release of Mark Twain's autobiography. I especially agree with his comments about "the Evasion" section of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - I've said very much the same thing in the past:
    Which makes the novel's botched last third all the more exasperating - those chapters in which Huck falls back in with Tom Sawyer, who conceives a tedious, romantic plan to "rescue" the already emancipated Jim. One wants to defend the ending... but it's indefensible, callow and dull, and the only explanation is that Twain's show-biz instincts - Tom Sawyer's a hit, everyone likes him, that shtick is gold - got the better of him.
    Although I will note that the bit with Tom and Huck hiding the silverware from Aunt Sally was pretty funny - I laughed out loud the first time I read it. Twain knew funny, even if he didn't know how to end the Great American Novel.