The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 88, No. 1, 2012

A Rooting Interest
The older I get, the more I'm convinced that a fiction writer's oeuvre is a mirror of the writer's character. It may well be a defect of my own character that my literary tastes are so deeply intertwined with my responses, as a person, to the person...
A Talent to Abuse
John Osborne's rowdy, shocking anger--first broadcast in his play "Look Back in Anger," which is now in revival at the Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels--was his trademark, his gift, and his epitaph. "When the bell rings, I not only come out. I'm...
Attack Dog
Mitt Romney, in his struggle to wrap up the 2012 Republican nomination for the Presidency, has presented himself as an outsider. During an exchange with Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, at a recent Republican debate, Romney declared that...
Ay-Yi-Yi-Yi
Traffic stopped along Seventh Avenue, the other day, so that a small parade of dogs could cross in front of Madison Square Garden. To judge by the horde of jostling photographers and videographers, you might have thought there'd been a Brangelina sighting,...
Blackberry Season
Five years ago, Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, was one of the most acclaimed technology companies in the world. The BlackBerry dominated the smartphone market, was a staple of the business world, and had helped make texting a mainstream...
Ciano
If some locations seem cursed for new restaurants, can others be lucky? The Tuscan-style Beppe was a hit for nine years, before closing in 2010. Within months, another upscale down-home establishment sprang up in its place, helmed by the rising star...
Fright Nights
The name of Montague Rhodes James is not widely recognized in America, and there will be little fellow-feeling for the world he chose to inhabit. Indeed, it seems as remote as a cold, unvisitable planet, viewed from afar. James was born in southeast...
It's Good Enough for Me
When children's television comes up in conversation, everyone knows the drill. Begin with the sinister idiom "screen time." To show you're no prig, make a warm remark about "Sesame Street." Name your favorite Muppet. (I suggest Beaker or the Swedish...
Number Nine
Philip Glass's place in musical history is secure. His sprawling, churning, monumentally obsessive works of the nineteen-seventies--"Music with Changing Parts," "Music in Twelve Parts," "Einstein on the Beach," "Satyagraha"--have fascinated several generations...
Powers of Evil
"Chronicle" is a mildly experimental commercial film, and, for the most part, it's loose-limbed fun. The picture takes off from "The Blair Witch Project" and other movies that use point-of-view techniques: we see footage shot by a character's digital...
Shoestring
Last Tuesday, while Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida, Buddy Roemer walked toward Zuccotti Park. He carried a briefcase and wore a navy suit, a red tie, and loafers. The park had reverted to its pre-Occupy state--construction workers...
The Debate Debate
"We've got to stop the debates! Enough with the debates!" That was John McCain's plea on "Meet the Press" the Sunday before his favored candidate (Mitt Romney) pulped his unfavored one (Newt Gingrich) like an overripe orange in the Florida Republican...
The Plagiarist's Tale
&Spy novels embrace cliches--the double agent, the bomb-rigged briefcase--and "Assassin of Secrets," published last fall, made a virtue of this tendency, piling one trope onto another to create a story that rang with wry knowingness. The book is...
The Sound of Success
A central motif in contemporary hip-hop is rapping about drug dealing by artists who may not actually sell narcotics. Among others, Jay-Z, Clipse, and Young Jeezy have rhymed about a past or present involvement in the trade on the street. It's typically...
To Baldly Go
Sinead O'Connor has always had a talent for distracting people from her talent. In 1992, she famously tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on "Saturday Night Live," and, slightly less famously, was booed offstage at a Bob Dylan tribute weeks later....
Transfiguration
God took Dallas Wiens's face from him on a clear November morning four years ago. If you ask Wiens, he will say that it was neither an accident nor a punishment; it was simply what had to happen. At the time, he was trying to paint the roof of the Ridglea...
Troubadour
JD Souther, who is sixty-six, lives on a farm outside Nashville, and is most widely known for his part in writing sombre, elegiac songs that the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt made famous, such as "New Kid in Town," "Heartache Tonight," and "Faithless Love."...
What's Fair
HBO has two new documentaries, each dramatizing a miscarriage of justice. In January, the cable channel began airing Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," which was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary. It's the capper...
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