Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Calvin Trillin For Mayor Of Awesome Town

Is there anyone out there who dislikes Calvin Trillin? If so, go fuck yourself, he is a GODDAMN TREASURE. Here he is explaining why you shouldn't get all upset that some punk kid is the managing editor of the New Yorker (aside from the fact that she has a job and you don't). He was also being awesome on the op-ed page of today's Times with this sharp, funny piece about who's really culpable for the financial crisis. Plus, there's this recent Nation poem about Roman Polanski. Calvin Trillin rules. I want him to be my dad!

25 Comments / Post A Comment

Baboleen (#1,430)

Another member of the obnoxiously articulate society.

jfruh (#713)

I remember when I was at my first job and got "promoted" from copy editor to "senior copy editor." This entailed no concrete change in duties or role (I was the only copy editor working there at the time), but did come with a modest raise and a sort of affirmation that that they liked what I was doing and was hoping I would stick around, and would also let me off the leash a little bit. Around the same time, my boss's boss's boss was "promoted" from "editor in chief" to "vice president of editorial," which, it quickly became clear, was a promotion not unlike the one I had received (though I imagine that the raise he received was larger both in relative and absolute terms).

Anyway, that's when I learned that job titles are often a sort of social currency, not an actual explanation of what you do or where you stand on the org chart.

Bittersweet (#765)

Yep, says the 'Senior Manager' who manages no one and lives about 7 levels down from the global CEO…

Bittersweet (#765)

Plus, you are right, Balk, Calvin Trillin is a freakin' national treasure.

iplaudius (#1,066)

The piece he wrote in memory of his wife is remarkable.* If someone asked me what love is, I might give them that text by way of an answer.

(Could we please have the link to the piece described in the third sentence of this post?)

Three cheers for Trillin.

*Calvin Trillin, Personal History, “Alice, Off the Page,” The New Yorker, March 27, 2006, p. 44.

Alex Balk (#4)

It is the video itself. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

iplaudius (#1,066)

Beg your pardon: since I didn't have all the javascript on the page enabled, the video didn't appear.

sunnyciegos (#551)

I went to a reading of this at the Strand. I totally expected some funny poems and got leveled instead. My heart hurt.

amuselouche (#448)

My answer too! I love that piece.

Dave Bry (#422)

Yes. "Alice, Off the Page" is incredible. All the food writing, too. (I often choose a bottle of wine based on Trillin's criteria: examine the picture on the label, look for mountains, "preferably in the middle-distance.") Lately, I've been floored by the criminal reporting he's been doing. "The Color of Blood" in 2008. "At the Train Bridge" earlier this year. He's so very great.

"Alice, Off the Page," broke my heart.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Dear Calvin Trillin,

Bite me.


John Pseudonym
Governor General of Canada

lawyergay (#220)

I'm not a fan of Trillin's Remembering Denny, a memoir of his friendship with a gay Yale undergrad and Rhodes scholar who committed suicide.

The facts were just fine, but Trillin's idiotic point (the book was published in the early 1990's) was that 'this wouldn't happen now.' Except that gay and lesbian and hetero-nonconforming people are wildly more likely to commit suicide than almost any other cohort in society.

Stick to Polanski poetry, Trillin.

Alex Balk (#4)

That is a remarkably, and probably deliberately so, ahistoric read.

hman (#53)

I don't get what he sees/saw in Shopsin's, but he's always steered me right otherwise.

eh (#1,925)

Yeah, he's adorable and all, but does he think the magazine miraculously appears on paper every week without people hounding creative and playing "traffic cop"? I have to imagine saying something like this aggravates numerous people who put in a lot of hours at the New Yorker who DON'T write wry pieces about how good the nachos are in Kansas City. It's not a mimeographed newsletter.

libmas (#231)

Please install a regular doggerel feature here at the Awl. Balk, I'm looking at you.

mike d (#61)

I'm waiting for the "An Intimate Evening with Alex Balk" talk series to finally take off.

Alex Balk (#4)

And I'm living it.

puzzled (#1,929)

Why is this clip of interest? Trillin doesn't seem to know much about the position or anything about its occupant. Its appeal seems limited to people who feel that by comparison with the "punk kid" they themselves are underachieving…

Alex Balk (#4)

That's exactly the point. A lot of people got overheated that someone in her twenties got a job whose responsibilities they did not understand.

..on the op-ed page of today's Times, or, "The Secret Sharer."

Adouble (#1,300)

Also aggravated: the Governor General of Canada.

JaguarPaw (#312)

Regardless of whether he's a dick or not this line is awe-inspiring:

Why make him into some Darth Vader
For sodomizing one eighth grader?

s. (#775)

Ages late to the party, but nearly six years later is still hilarious.

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