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On 2015 Summer Movie Forecast: Desert Explosions With a Chance of Good

@barnhouse : It does have a very specific "painterly" look to the colors and textures, and I'm not sure I'm 100% good with that.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm 0

On 2015 Summer Movie Forecast: Desert Explosions With a Chance of Good

@BadUncle : The existence of a film as wonderfully mad as "Dead End Drive-In" more than makes up for the fact that its oeuvre acquired such an unfortunate moniker.

Alternate take : Also, possibly, "Razorback."

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm 0

On Symmetry Cruel

Wake me when they find health benefits from being unfulfilled and irritable.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm 2

On 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

@Mr. B : AMEN. Seriously, it's an incredible bargain.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm 0

On Question Hrmm

... the name is a portmanteau derived from date and catch ..."

Apparently all the totally-non-gay VC capital in the world can't produce a name that doesn't suck.

Alternate take : I would have gone with "Flannl," but that's just me.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 9:59 am 0

On Man Vs. Word

Also, since I have a lot to say about the process of reading :

I prefer to think of reading ... as a conversation, and what a conversation requires is the absolute opposite of speed.

I've found this particularly applies to two types of reading material not generally lumped together : really good literature and hard-science textbooks. In both cases, the words are not particularly information-dense, but do require a level of engagement that straight-narrative reading doesn't.

The experience of working through a math textbook, for example, is very similar to what you describe above. One doesn't just read what's on the page ("oh, an equation and a bit of explanation, if I'm lucky") but one must also tease out all the implications of why that particular equation is there now, as well as what came before and what this association implies. The author of a good math text, like the literary author, attempts to build a structure of understanding in the reader's mind, and it's done not by exhibiting it fully-built, but rather by supplying the bricks and the plan and engaging the reader to carry out the construction.

It's easy enough to speed-read the prefab stuff, so to speak, but I agree that this sort of "conversational" reading is impossible (and pretty unpleasant) at speed.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm 1

On Man Vs. Word

@Gef the Talking Mongoose : Oh, also, Maria! I read your piece in the May edition of Harper's! It was quite good, and also DAMN, HARPER'S, GOOD SCORE THERE.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm 0

On Man Vs. Word

I can’t situate my thoughts in the topography of a big book the same way when I'm ... unable to feel with my hands whether I'm a third or a tenth of the way through ...

I had a really remarkable experience a couple of months back, reading a book which I thought contained a single novel. As it turned out, it contained a novel followed by a 20-some-page novella. It was only when I got to the end of the actual novel and was jerked to a psychic halt that I realized I'd been anticipating the amount of plot left to go tactually rather than intellectually. So, where I was anticipating a last-minute twist or exposition to fill up those last 20 pages ... nothing. It was very discomforting.@Gef the Talking Mongoose : Oh, also, Maria! I read your piece in the May edition of Harper's! It was quite good, and also DAMN, HARPER'S, GOOD SCORE THERE.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm 2

On To Karl Ove Knausgård, Re: Your Tortured Feelings for the Gays

@MatthewGallaway : Well, who doesn't enjoy a pleasant conversation about KOK?

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm 3

On Introducing... Shirterate

@Rodger Psczny : UNCLEAN UNCLEAN UNNNNNNCLEEEAAAAAN.

Alternate take : Prepare the Wicker Man.

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm 0