Posts Tagged: Longreads
13

All the New Yorker Story Roundups You Should Read While the Stories Are Still Unlocked, As Well As All the New Yorker Stories They Link To

Featured Collection: Profiles, New Yorker

"Isadora," January 10, 1927

"Secrets of the Magus," April 5, 1993

"Covering the Cops," February 17, 1986

"Two Heads," February 12, 2007

"The Man Who Walks on Air," April 5, 1999

"Delta Nights," June 5, 2000

Love Stories, by Deborah Treisman, New Yorker

"What Is Remembered," Alice Munro, February 19, 2001

"The Love of My Life," T. C. Boyle, March 6, 2000

"Reverting to a Wild State," Justin Torres, August 1, 2011

"Jon," George Saunders, January 27, 2013

"The Surrogate," Tessa Hadley, September 15, 2003

"Clara," Roberto Bolaño, August 4, [...]

6

Giving An 'F': Rewriting The History Of FSG

My understanding of what it means to be a publisher has been skewed ever since I first heard the word. My mom was reading A Wrinkle in Time to me—I must have been around 8—when she explained that my great-grandfather had published the book. She told me how Madeleine L'Engle had taken the story of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe to publisher after publisher, only to repeatedly be rejected. After being turned down by 26 or so houses, the book came to my mom’s grandfather, who read it and loved it, but "was afraid of it," L'Engle later said. He did say he would buy the book, [...]

18

On Lena, On Rihanna, On Kimye: The Very Necessary Death Of "Vogue"

The idea that there is an appropriate subject for a Vogue cover is a concept that Vogue invented. The years and years of white, able-bodied, skinny and young models and actresses have trained us to instinctively notice what is and isn't Vogue. There is the occasional diversion if the Academy Awards/Grammys/culture demands; but often when Vogue puts aside its insistence that only one kind of beauty exists in order to recognize a different kind of beauty, they do something worse, like the LeBron James cover with Gisele, which was maybe not an overtly racist decision, but certainly an editorial decision that reflected implicitly racist beliefs about the way a [...]

61

Inside The Barista Class

One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked. NYU sophomores, the ones with Jansport backpacks in full makeup at 9 a.m., stuttered their orders and shyly complimented me on my nose ring. I semi-patiently listened to innumerable Wikipedia-style monologues about the music I was playing from men in their twenties trying to render their business attire invisible with cultural know-how. I was given zines, mixtape-party fliers, home-recorded chillwave demos.

I said things like "How’s the app going?" and "Welcome to the neighborhood." I answered questions for new Greenpoint residents—of which there were more each year—about the best place [...]

2

The Extra Woman

One in an irregular series of profiles of fabulous older women.

The first time I met Adele Daniller, she kept offering me food. This was several years ago, at her home in Tarzana, CA, in what Los Angeles people call "the Valley." I’d come to Daniller’s house with her daughter, Lydia Daniller, a photographer friend. After refusing a few rounds of snacks, I got up to go to the bathroom and ended up wandering through the Daniller’s living room. It was a hot afternoon, and the lights were off. The cool, dark room felt soothing. On every wall and in every nook was art: sculptures, framed [...]

9

Your Selfie Realization

Perhaps you are on your way to the gym, listening to some hip-pop anthem to get the blood going. You think: yeah, that sounds good. "We are gonna run this town tonight." "I do want that cake cake cake cake."

There is a slight slippage of ego as you meld with the persona in the song—staring into the mirror to find you are mouthing out a rogue, “Westside!,” or whispering with a little too much conviction: "I am a god." A glittery EDM beat comes in, lifting you up, rollercoaster style, to the bridge of the track, where, adrenaline spiking, you become your true self—which is to say, [...]

3

Who Wants To Be Luke Skywalker?

In the few weeks before the auditions there was a bubbling sense of excitement which reminded me of the beginning of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A huge film enterprise, thus far closed to mere mortals, was to let two chosen people not only appear in the film but also perhaps take on lead roles.

I was working at my receptionist job at a local community center in Edinburgh the morning it was announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were holding open auditions for a ‘Major Hollywood Movie.’

"I’m too old, dammit," said Victoria, of the cafe volunteers, "and also they want beautiful, so that [...]

15

The Trials of 'Entertainment Weekly': One Magazine's 24 Years of Corporate Torture

Jessica Alba on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in March of 2001, summer of 2006, and again this month.

When I was a young and odd child, one of the oddest things I did was collect Entertainment Weekly. Our family, like so many middle class families, had always had a subscription to Time, and one day Entertainment Weekly began arriving with it. In those early days, it was called entertainment weekly, and in many ways, it resembled many of the entertainment websites (The A.V. Club, Grantland, Vulture) that dominate the field today. There were long, industry-oriented cover stories, buttressed by surprisingly non-banal interviews with stars, producers, directors, [...]

0

Fake Hawaii: Your American Jungle

Remember when Alec Baldwin quit public life? While others were dissecting the tone and psyche behind his alleged farewell, I got hung up in the piece’s intro, where he talked about phoning a gay-rights group in Hawaii and learning about their torment at growing up in "traditional Hawaiian families"—"Macho fathers. Religious mothers." Others wouldn't have stumbled there, but I was born and raised in Hawaii, and this is the kind of stuff that I notice.

Not to single out Alec, because nearly everyone makes this mistake, but a Hawaiian is a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the Pacific island chain; generalizing all [...]

1

Robopoetics: The Complete Operator's Manual

Here’s a game: which of these poems was written by a human, and which by a computer?

A wounded deer leaps highest, I've heard the daffodil I've heard the flag to-day I've heard the hunter tell; 'Tis but the ecstasy of death, And then the brake is almost done, And sunrise grows so near sunrise grows so near That we can touch the despair and frenzied hope of all the ages.

vs.

Red flags the reason for pretty flags. And ribbons. Ribbons of flags And wearing material Reason for wearing material. Give pleasure. Can you give me the regions. The regions and the land. The regions and wheels. All [...]
15

Is This Pickup Artist Actually… Helping People?

“Once you go Asian, you can’t go Caucasian. Once you go yellow—hello!” JT Tran told his audience of hopeful men.

This was in a Manhattan conference room on Valentine's Day, and JT was running a weekend-long bootcamp with a simple mission: to help Asian men get some skin in the dating game, and maybe even get laid.

The class's methods and language were taken straight from the pickup artists' world. And yet, the course also resembled a rollicking post-grad symposium on race. Yellow fever. That infamous OKCupid survey that showed Asian women overwhelmingly preferred white men. The culture clash between an Asian upbringing and a Western world that [...]

0

How Far Beretta Will Go To Make You Love Guns

"We checked all the Hollywood crap at the door." —Mark Wahlberg, speaking about the making of Lone Survivor, in USA Today, December 22, 2013.

Even though it just opened on Christmas, Lone Survivor has made more money in the U.S. than Oscar-nominated thriller Captain Phillips, which opened back in October—and also stars Navy SEALs. Lone Survivor also beat big 2013 movies like The Hangover 3, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, and Elysium.

Lone Survivor has already made half as much in the U.S. as 1998's Saving Private Ryan, the epic war film to which critics—and its marketing material—favorably compare it. It's already beaten the war film it [...]

0

When Will The Machines Start Predicting Bestsellers?

In November, Knopf bought a 900-page debut novel by Garth Risk Hallberg for almost $2 million. It’s a tremendous gamble, regardless of the book’s quality, if one that many publishers were happy to make: more than 10 houses bid more than $1 million, according to the Times. Predicting a novel’s fate in the commercial or critical marketplace is a fool’s gambit, as indicated both by works like the first Harry Potter novel, which was repeatedly rejected before becoming, well, Harry Potter, and by expensive flops like Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons. The novelist Curtis Sittenfeld said, "People think publishing is a business, but it’s a casino."

But what if publishers [...]

23

Why Is America Turning To Shit?

Toilet in Uganda, by Sustainable Sanitation.

1. THIS SHIT IS REAL

My hand stayed on the bathroom door handle, unwilling to twist the knob that would let me in. Behind me was the hum and chatter of an art opening—this was at a now sadly departed radical Chicago cultural center called Mess Hall. On a table nearby were offerings of hummus and home-made brownies. Nearly everyone else was chatting and oblivious to my plight, but I could sense at least one other person impatiently waiting behind me. Then I went in, and, inside, next to a perfectly serviceable modern flush toilet seat, was a five-gallon bucket of [...]

6

How "Adventure Time" Came To Be

Adventure Time is a smash hit cartoon aimed primarily at kids age six to eleven. It’s also a deeply serious work of moral philosophy, a rip-roaring comic masterpiece, and a meditation on gender politics and love in the modern world. It is rich with moments of tenderness and confusion, and real terror and grief even; moments sometimes more resonant and elementally powerful than you experience in a good novel, though much of Adventure Time’s emotional force is visually evoked—conveyed through a language of seeing and feeling rather than words.

The heroes of Adventure Time—a boy in a white helmet named Finn, and his shape-shifting mutant dog/adopted brother, Jake—spend their [...]

37

How Should We Deal With The Worst Of The Internet?

"We’re bombarded with poorly written and braindead pieces of content that are engineered to go viral for the sake of virality, not to educate and improve the individual or society," wrote "Roosh V" on his blog the other day:

The internet has become a machine to fill gaps in your ego and self-esteem so that you receive the emotional benefits of validation…. The content you read now has moved from being primarily intellectual from the time of the Gutenberg press to primarily emotional. In the past, it was just too expensive to publish something with the intent to piss someone off or to gather lulz. Like with the first [...]

12

"Showgirls" Is A Good Movie

Maybe you're sick of discussing awful male directors. Or maybe you think there are male directors who are awful, but still need a defense based on the strength of their work, or even that they are misunderstood geniuses and not awful at all. You've seen the films and yes, you recognize the misogyny, the excessive violence, the homophobia, but you can recognize that without throwing away the gorgeous cinematography, the artful cadence of the dialogue, the contributions he's made to the field of filmmaking. And so to heck with society's puritanical standards of good taste, you're just going to keep watching those Woody Allen movies and you don't care who [...]

9

Showtime, Synergy

It was an acquaintance and former editor of one of those gay lifestyle magazines who advised twenty-year-old me to tone it down if I ever wanted to find a boyfriend. This coming from a man obsessed with anything Disney-related; the walls of his West Hollywood condo adorned with carefully framed Snow White and Fantasia animation cels. "You don't need to tell them how much you love Belinda Carlisle on your first date," he said. "But I do love Belinda Carlisle! That quavering vibrato!" I whined. "Well," he said, "they'll find out eventually, and by that point they will love you, Belinda and all." While I hate(d) him for saying [...]

6

The Writer Who Beat The System: How One Woman Resurrected Her Sexy Vampire Brothers

J.K. Rowling recently told Wonderland magazine that Hermione and Harry would have made a better couple than Ron and Hermione. It shouldn’t have mattered. Apart from the fact that we’re talking about the romantic lives of make-believe wizards, not only would Roland Barthes yawn at the author’s opinion about her own work, but the fans had already paired off Harry and Hermione themselves—nine years ago.

But the opinions of authors can’t help but feel more canonical than the things we internet denizens dream up ourselves—particularly when you take into account the connotations that the term "fan fiction" carries for most people.

L.J. Smith’s newest book, [...]

2

The Future Of Biohacking In The Age Of Patent Trolls

The Bottlenose, a prototype by Grindhouse Wetware, receives sonar, UV, wi-fi and thermal information and translates it to a magnetic field.

We stand at a strange moment in human history, when lawyers and corporations wage war amongst each other over one question: who owns your body? Off to the side, biohackers—the freaks, geeks, rebels, and punks who do biotechnology experiments in garages and basements—must decide whether to abide by the outcomes.

Maybe you’ve heard about this argument in the context of the Myriad Genetics Supreme Court case; that corporation had patented a part of the natural human genome, the “breast cancer gene.” Some versions of the [...]