Posts Tagged: New Yorker

Item In News + Other Item In News = Comedy Traffic Goldmine

This is a very interesting piece on how the New Yorker is thinking about digital and the future. Here is what seems to me like a very true thing: "Readers are more likely to read and finish long stories on their phones than on their computers."

But then also I did a search on this article's page for "Borowitz" and didn't find anything?


“I don’t know how anyone approved of that story”

"Description of a village lottery. The entire town of about 300 people assembles in the village square where the time-honored ritual is observed. First all the heads of families draw slips of paper out of a box. Bill Hutchinson gets a certain slip after which his entire family draws slips. His wife, Tessie gets one with a black mark on it. The villagers surround her and start throwing stones at her, while she screams, 'It isn't fair.'" —Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" was published in the New Yorker on this day in 1948. Jackson biographer Ruth Franklin goes over some of the responses.


Accounts of Heaven Severely Contradictory

Where do you go if you want the traffics and the attention? Straight into the bosom of Jesus! The New Yorker today publishes (subscription-only!) a profile of Lynn Vincent, the best-selling bookwriter that you don't know. She wrote Heaven is Real (oh actually called HEAVEN IS FOR REAL), which has sold more than seven million copies. (And also Sarah Palin's book!) That is eerie, because the cover of Newsweek this week is also headlined "Heaven Is Real." That is some world-class SEO trolling, Tina Brown's Newsweek. But the problem is, the story told in Newsweek by a doctor about going to heaven and coming back does not match up [...]


'Citizens United': "The Purest Kind of Judicial Activism"

"The new majority opinion transformed Citizens United into a vehicle for rewriting decades of constitutional law in a case where the lawyer had not even raised those issues." —Take your time with the Jeffrey Toobin history of Citizens United. Save it for a rainy day! Oh look it's about to rain.


The Far More Perilous Perils of Penelope!

Assigned to profile Graham Greene, Penelope Gilliatt, briefly full-time since Pauline Kael left for an ill-fated stint as a Hollywood producer, turned in a draft that a young fact-checker named Peter Canby flagged for lifting material from previously published work. (Canby now oversees the storied fact-checking department.) Brushing the warnings aside, William Shawn published Gilliatt's piece, which is when Michael Mewshaw realized she'd pilfered more than 800 words of his own Greene profile from The Nation. As he recounted in his 2003 memoir Do I Owe You Something? Mewshaw complained to Shawn, who blamed the plagiarism on Gilliatt's alcohol problem and said public excoriation would drive her to [...]


Let's Say the 'New Yorker' iPad Publication Makes $58K a Week

The data we're allowed to have from places like Conde Nast makes it a little difficult to parse, but this helps: "between its eight magazines with tablet editions, the company has 242,000 digital customers." Good night, nurse! Your revolution is… maybe next year? (That being said, I'd love to see income numbers from that. It's gotta be somewhere from $1.2 million to $2.6 million, I figure? The problem is counting people who get iPad access "bundled" with magazine subscriptions; where people get counted is important!) And language is tricky!

But here's what we can figure out. The New Yorker "served" 89,684 iPad copies for an issue in [...]


Local Magazine Tears People Apart

“Killing them all is the answer?”

“They’re terrorists!” Andrea says.

“They didn’t start out as terrorists!”

“They invented suicide bombing!”

How the New Yorker destroys lives.


No, BuzzFeed Did Not Invent Native Advertising

News curmudgeons relish blaming the internet for things they don’t like, a pastime that is maddening, a little sad, and just ironic. These people who fetishize print media's past are often selective in their memories of it.

For instance, BuzzFeed didn't invent coverage of silly animals, and it certainly didn't invent native advertising—that is, advertising with a narrative structure that mirrors surrounding editorial content. (You might also call this “sponsored content" or “advertorial.")

Much of the recent media chatter about native ads makes it sound as though sponsored content was just invented. But what we now call native advertising has deep roots in print journalism—as do [...]


The Politician Full Of "Hot Air"

This cartoon caption, submitted by Lynn Tudor, of New York, N.Y. and then selected from a pile of hundreds and voted to the top by New Yorker readers, is deft political satire masquerading as daft political satire. The most dangerous sort of critique is that which the Powers That Be do not recognize as subversive, for it appears so facile. And Tudor, with this caption, makes herself nothing less than a modern-day Švejk, as she fights to expose the absurdities of a broken political system by pretending to believe firmly in its toxic conceits.

Tudor’s caption is, prima facie, incredibly (almost painfully) dumb. The expression “full of hot [...]


Ron Burkle Owns a Little Bit of Everything

I was all "oh, groan, why is there a Ron Burkle profile in the New Yorker, what year is it?" But I was incorrect! The year is now! Between his buddying around with Novak Djokovic and Leo DiCaprio and Harvey Weinstein most of all, and his going full-time into Hollywood producer-bundler making-money-out-of-nothing mode, the Burkle is more timely than ever. Also worth it: the full, brutal tale of his divorce. (You can feel Burkle's rage on reading this profile, by the way. Boy oh boy, I bet he regrets participating.) He conducted a major sale the day after she signed the prenup, thereby limiting their community property to a [...]


99 Excellent Easter Drawings

Are you enjoying Blown Covers, the blog for the book of the same name, which presents awesome New Yorker-esque covers and art, hosted by the magazine's art director, but not affiliated with the magazine? Apart from the confusion in mission, I certainly am. Here are 99 Easter cartoons.


John McPhee: "Who Could Tell What Might Happen?"

Why write about anything? In the print edition of today's New Yorker, John McPhee discusses rambling and thrashing his way into profile-writing.


Gay Talese Finally Publishes Story Decades in the Making

It's a nicer kind of day when a man finally gets to write about one of his decades-long obsessions. In this case: Gay Talese and 206 E. 63rd Street (New Yorker, subscription only), the site of at least a dozen failed restaurants, and, for now, at least, the story of the address has an ending. The doomed building is being (inexplicably) purchased by a 77-year-old Buddhist monk, to be used as a monastery. (Presumably the former panhandler turned purveyor of meditation temples has met with fluidity along the way, as the purchase price of the building was $5.6 million.)


It's Science! And Brian Eno!

Brian Eno, "Glitch" (taken from Drums Between The Bells) by Warp Records

There is something that seems impossibly unfair about brilliant scientists who also manage to be wonderful writers. Like, okay, it's not enough that you're a theoretical physicist, you also happen to turn out remarkable Borgesian tales. Grrr! I had the same feeling about David Eagleman, whose Sum was reviewed (accurately) in the New York Times as a "delightful, thought-provoking little collection [which] belongs to that category of strange, unclassifiable books that will haunt the reader long after the last page has been turned." Eagleman is profiled in this week's New Yorker, which discusses [...]


Have You Read This Messed-Up Lionel Shriver Story Yet???

It doesn't look like anyone's really noticed this Lionel Shriver story in this week's New Yorker yet. (I hadn't, until a friend pointed it out to me last night in an email. (Body: "IT IS FUCKED UP."))

It is behind the subscriber-wall, and most people don't get to their "paper" issues till the weekend, after all, and also people tend to talk about fact more than fiction in the New Yorker. But… well, her story is pretty brutal, as you would expect from the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, but and then? Well we must spoil it to talk about it. So. We will give [...]


The Alien Mysteries of Easter Island

The caption above, selected from a pool of hundreds in the New Yorker's caption contest #378, and then voted to the top of the pile by New Yorker readers, is reasonably witty on the surface, insofar as Cadbury Creme Egg commercials are witty. But like the best satire, this caption works on two very different levels. Masquerading as complete and utter pablum—literally fodder for children—it hints at a violent end to Western Civilization as we know it.

It might be hard to understand why this caption won the contest if you only look at its surface features. The losing captions of this contest's three top choices—"I’m rebranding" and "He’s [...]


Eventually Elementary Schools Will Be Replaced by TED Talks

How TED works: de-facted emotional appeals, shot well, crafted into parables of the good life. (In the New Yorker, subscription-only.)


Today's a Good Day to Delete Your Gchat archives

"There was his claim that he hated high school, and there were three files on his computer, written in July and early September, whose contents are unknown but whose file names are Gah.docx, sorry.docx, and Why is everything so painful.docx." —It's hard to come away from today's Tyler Clementi story in the New Yorker and think that his webcam-spying roommate should go to jail for ten or more years. But mostly it will make you want to permanently delete all your IM archives. You really, really do not want the dumb, sarcastic garbage you say to your friends showing up in court.


Peter Kaplan on Jill Abramson

“Jill always had a swagger. It was as if she were in a romantic comedy. She had the same feeling that Rosalind conveys in 'As You Like It.’ In the last act, everything would work out. She wasn’t like the other girls at Harvard. Most of my crowd were either wonks or tough feminists who would chew your balls off. But Jill was the witty cosmopolitan who gave running commentary that was like a voice-over narration from a Billy Wilder movie." —Fairchild fashion group honcho Peter Kaplan assesses New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson in today's New Yorker.


And Now, David Grann on Spanx

My new favorite game! The New Yorker headline/byline shuffle!