The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 86, No. 1, 2010

And the Oscar Goes To
The Academy Award nominations were announced last week, and two movies came out on top: "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker," with nine nods apiece. At the box office, however, the score is not tied. "The Hurt Locker" has taken in a little more than sixteen...
A Thousand Days
While cooking lunch one day a year ago, Reid Stowe, a not-quite-discovered artist who had a place on the West Side but always travelled a lot, was unexpectedly interrupted. One moment he was serenely simmering rice and lentils atop a gas stove, and the...
Drinking Games
In 1956, Dwight Heath, a graduate student in anthropology at Yale University, was preparing to do field work for his dissertation. He was interested in land reform and social change, and his first choice as a study site was Tibet. But six months before...
Fatal Consequences
"This is the North--we do what we want." These defiantly jocular words are spoken by a policeman as he throws a young reporter out the back of a van. The scene takes place in "Red Riding: 1974," the first in a series of films, "The Red Riding Trilogy,"...
Irony 101
Three minutes into watching his alma mater's new recruiting video, "That's Why I Chose Yale," Christopher Buckley, Class of '75, son of the late William F., Class of '50, paused to pour himself a "stiff one" and dashed off an e-mail to another alumnus:...
Mission Creep
The members of the British trio Massive Attack first came together in the Wild Bunch, a d.j. collective that sprang up in Bristol in the mid-eighties. The crew included the future Bjork producer Nellee Hooper, the vocalist Tricky, and the d.j.s Milo...
Reality Bites
There's a crisis of naturalism in the contemporary cinema, resulting from the presumptively objective, quasi-documentary style with which politically engaged filmmakers have been getting their messages out. The Chinese director Jia Zhangke--as seen in...
Riding High
The things they carry are Band-Aids, bullets, and cardboard cases of Meals Ready to Eat; also, sand for making concrete, Stinger missiles for making holes in airplane fuselages, rucksacks, machine guns, body armor, Kevlar helmets, blankets, boots. In...
Taking Names
Suzanne Vega went to see her dentist the other day, in Greenwich Village, and afterward she had a late lunch by the window at the Cornelia Street Cafe, an old Village haunt where she first got noticed as a singer-songwriter, in the early eighties. "Apparently,...
The Breslin
After the Spotted Pig debuted, in the West Village, with its crowded bar scene, ambitious menu, and coveted burger, a fever for its formula seemed to infect restaurateurs. Every neighborhood suddenly needed a gastropub, and every gastropub was chockablock...
The Guam Caper
Writing in the June 9, 1945, issue of The New Yorker, St. Clair McKelway devotes several paragraphs to a night rainstorm falling on Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. It is early December of the previous year, in wartime, and McKelway is standing in the...
The Populism Problem
It's been the political equivalent of an intervention: in recent weeks, Democrats have been bombarded with advice about how they should reinvent their economic agenda. The electorate, we hear, wants Barack Obama to be more of an economic populist but...
The Promise
A few weeks before his Inauguration, Barack Obama called the Reverend Joseph Lowery, Martin Luther King, Jr.,'s ally in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who was now eighty-seven years old. Obama left a message and asked him to call on his...
The Trial
On December 5th, several hundred people gathered in Foley Square, in lower Manhattan, and withstood a drenching rainstorm for two hours in order to send a message to Attorney General Eric Holder. A JumboTron, set up by the protesters, played clips of...
The Very Rich Hours
In his 1844 manuscripts, Karl Marx writes about money as an agent of inversion. Once I have money, Marx says, I am no longer bound by my individuality: "I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the...
The Way of Her Flesh
New York's theatre district is playing host, just now, to two female performers of great distinction: Laura Linney and Karen Finley. As artists, Linney and Finley couldn't be more different, and the productions they're appearing in--Finley conceived...
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