The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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March 3, 2014 8:57 am
wnyc:

What’s your formula for when you get to call yourself a New Yorker? We asked, here are some of our favorite responses. Keep ‘em coming…
-Jody, BL Show-

Perfect.

wnyc:

What’s your formula for when you get to call yourself a New Yorker? We asked, here are some of our favorite responses. Keep ‘em coming…

-Jody, BL Show-

Perfect.

December 12, 2013 9:45 am

Anorexia, the Impossible Subject

newyorker:

Alice Gregory looks at the complexities of writing about anorexia: http://nyr.kr/1fnkJF2

“Any writing about anorexia makes it more interesting than it really is—even a book that sets out to condemn the very act.”

Illustration by Emi Ueoka.

A lovely review of a friend’s book in the New Yorker.

September 16, 2013 6:19 pm
newyorker:

Lizzie Widdicombe gets an inside look at Bustle.com, the controversial new women’s Web site: http://nyr.kr/17DFrgh
Photograph by Pari Dukovic.

A friend profiles a pseudo acquaintance. Small media world.

newyorker:

Lizzie Widdicombe gets an inside look at Bustle.com, the controversial new women’s Web site: http://nyr.kr/17DFrgh

Photograph by Pari Dukovic.

A friend profiles a pseudo acquaintance. Small media world.

May 30, 2013 3:29 pm

Emerald City

newyorker:

Lizzie Widdicombe visit’s Google headquarters with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, stars of The Internship: http://nyr.kr/19pkfM9

image

Always good to see your friends on the byline ;)

February 6, 2013 11:00 am
"Surely there were other questions to ask as the minutes ticked by: Why did the N.F.L. fail, throughout the entire interruption, to provide an informed spokesman to explain the problem and the plan to fix it? Who was responsible for the stadium’s operations? What did the local utility, Entergy, have to say? Could the mayor of New Orleans, who was surely in the stadium, be summoned on camera?"

The questions that should have been asked in the interminable Super Bowl blackout.  Steve Coll notes: “CBS acted as if it possessed no news division.”  And indeed…the whole reason why it happened has been more or less forgotten.  Maybe it didn’t matter, maybe no one cares, or maybe it’s just that CBS failed to do its job.

(Source: newyorker.com)

January 17, 2013 11:44 am
"The fact that Obama has given so few truly great Presidential speeches didn’t turn out to be politically fatal, but it’s not irrelevant. It’s made him more vulnerable, put him more on the defensive than he should have been. He’s never given himself a phrase or sentence to wield in the crunch, conveying an idea that’s simple and yet profound enough to embed itself in the public’s mind, and that truly defines his political vision. Obama is too complex, too nuanced, too elusive, and too careful, for words that stick."

This got me thinking about what I’d want to hear from my President as he gets sworn in for a second term this weekend.  I want to hear Obama stand up and say that we can do better.  That we need to stop accepting mediocrity and defeat because of gridlock and bullshit.  We are better than that.  We are capable of more, we want more, and we can achieve more.  Gun control is possible.  Tax reform is possible.  Immigration reform is possible.  Fiscal constraint is possible.  And these are not things we can live without.  We will be better because we must be better.  There is no choice.  And frankly, I don’t want to live in a country willing to accept anything less.

(Source: newyorker.com)

January 3, 2013 10:00 am
thenoobyorker:




newyorker:








It seems almost pedantic to point out that slavery was nothing like this…




Jelani Cobb on Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of slavery in “Django Unchained”: http://nyr.kr/VjguPH




“The primary sin of “Django Unchained” is not the desire to create an alternative history. It’s in the idea that an enslaved black man willing to kill in order to protect those he loves could constitute one.”
h/t: Bill




People being all outraged about this movie are so tiresome.  Can’t everyone see that this is clearly Inglorious Basterds for black people?  It’s pure wish fulfillment, not alternate history.  Americans had no trouble sitting back and soaking in the pure joy of imagining a world in which a band of rogue Jewish soldiers got to blow up Hitler and torment SS officers.  That was not a real portrayal of war, or some version of history, it was just fast, loose, bodacious and bloody.  No one was arguing then that to write such a story was to imply that there weren’t Jews fighting and dying in WWII, or resisting their tormentors in the death camps.  But dammit if they didn’t wish they could be as badass as Aldo Raine and the boys.So why can’t we sit back and enjoy a world in which a rogue bounty hunter contracts an ex-slave to knock off a fiendish slave-owner?  This isn’t a serious rethinking of the antebellum South; it isn’t a serious anything.  And are we really going to quibble about use of the n word in a film about slaves?  Writing a fictional character like Django doesn’t make an argument that there weren’t slaves out there fighting, resisting, running and dying.  And writing a character like Stephen, an Uncle Tom is ever there was one, just reminds us how absurd and limited our stories surrounding slavery are.   Django allows us all to have some fun in a world where he does exist, and gets to do all the things we wish every ex-slave could have had a chance at.  Well maybe not everyone feels that way, but that’s for another day.If Quentin Tarantino has been consistent about anything at all, it is that the only thing he treats seriously is his commitment to being outrageous, freewheeling and not at all deep (why do you think all the big secrets in his movies are never revealed — because there is no secret!). It’s not that his stories aren’t compelling or thoughtful, but what you see is what you get. Motivations are worn on characters’ sleeves.  Aesthetics rule.  Surprise, offense, and pure enjoyment always trump metaphor.

thenoobyorker:

newyorker:

It seems almost pedantic to point out that slavery was nothing like this…

Jelani Cobb on Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of slavery in “Django Unchained”: http://nyr.kr/VjguPH

“The primary sin of “Django Unchained” is not the desire to create an alternative history. It’s in the idea that an enslaved black man willing to kill in order to protect those he loves could constitute one.”

h/t: Bill

People being all outraged about this movie are so tiresome.  Can’t everyone see that this is clearly Inglorious Basterds for black people?  It’s pure wish fulfillment, not alternate history.  Americans had no trouble sitting back and soaking in the pure joy of imagining a world in which a band of rogue Jewish soldiers got to blow up Hitler and torment SS officers.  That was not a real portrayal of war, or some version of history, it was just fast, loose, bodacious and bloody.  No one was arguing then that to write such a story was to imply that there weren’t Jews fighting and dying in WWII, or resisting their tormentors in the death camps.  But dammit if they didn’t wish they could be as badass as Aldo Raine and the boys.

So why can’t we sit back and enjoy a world in which a rogue bounty hunter contracts an ex-slave to knock off a fiendish slave-owner?  This isn’t a serious rethinking of the antebellum South; it isn’t a serious anything.  And are we really going to quibble about use of the n word in a film about slaves?  Writing a fictional character like Django doesn’t make an argument that there weren’t slaves out there fighting, resisting, running and dying.  And writing a character like Stephen, an Uncle Tom is ever there was one, just reminds us how absurd and limited our stories surrounding slavery are.   Django allows us all to have some fun in a world where he does exist, and gets to do all the things we wish every ex-slave could have had a chance at.  Well maybe not everyone feels that way, but that’s for another day.

If Quentin Tarantino has been consistent about anything at all, it is that the only thing he treats seriously is his commitment to being outrageous, freewheeling and not at all deep (why do you think all the big secrets in his movies are never revealed — because there is no secret!). It’s not that his stories aren’t compelling or thoughtful, but what you see is what you get. Motivations are worn on characters’ sleeves.  Aesthetics rule.  Surprise, offense, and pure enjoyment always trump metaphor.

(via genericlatino)

December 21, 2012 11:00 am
"Inouye, an American of Japanese descent, had volunteered in 1943, as a teen-ager, to fight in the U.S. Army in an all-Japanese-American military unit. He suffered grievous wounds in combat—continuing to press on and take an enemy position on a ridge in Italy even after he’d been shot more than once and his arm had been severed—and eventually received the Medal of Honor, the highest medal for valor. He’d been shocked, and very hurt, he told me, as he told others, to face anti-Japanese racism and hatred of ‘Nips” after the war. All of this, he made clear to me, made his subsequent political success in Hawaii and election to the House, and then the Senate, all the more dear and important to him."

Seymour Hersh’s fantastic little piece about the late Senator Daniel Inouye.  When you read obituaries like his, you get the distinct sense of a changing of the guard…in the Senate, in America.  They don’t make em like they used to.

(Source: newyorker.com)

December 20, 2012 11:00 am
"Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along."
November 16, 2012 4:32 pm
"I started to think about what kind of songs have a quality that allows others to inhabit them and to make them their own. What is it about a song that lets you sing it around a campfire, or play it at a wedding? Is it the simplicity of the sentiment? A memorable melody? What makes certain songs able to persist through any era, and adapt themselves?…Fifty-four million homes singing “Sweet Leilani” in 1937 would have felt like some weird convergence. That time is long gone, but the idea of it makes one wonder where that impulse went. As for these songs, they’re here to be brought to life—or at least to remind us that, not so long ago, a song was only a piece of paper until it was played by someone. Anyone. Even you."

Beck discusses his latest endeavor, Song Reader, and the motivations behind it.  Beautiful idea.

(Source: newyorker.com)

September 2, 2012 10:25 am
"I had long wanted to see “true” indigo, and thought that drugs might be the way to do this. So one sunny Saturday in 1964 I developed a pharmalogic launchpad consisting of a base of ampthetamine (for general arousal), LSD (for hallucinogenic intensity), and a touch of cannabis (for a little added delirium). About twenty minutes after taking this, I faced a white wall and exclaimed, “I want to see indigo now—now!”"

Oliver Sacks describes his escapades with hallucinogens after becoming a neurology resident in the 1960s.  There’s something truly charming about imagining a mild mannered, British, neurologist experimenting with drugs to better understand his field.

(Source: newyorker.com)

July 3, 2012 4:25 pm

Things Fall Apartby Sarah Sze. 

(Source: newyorker.com)

June 27, 2012 10:16 pm
"In February, 1803, when the Marshall Court finally met, it did something really interesting. In Marbury v. Madison, a suit against Jefferson’s Secretary of State, James Madison, Marshall granted to the Supreme Court a power it had not been explicitly granted in the Constitution: the right to decide whether laws passed by Congress are constitutional. This was such an astonishing thing to do that the Court didn’t declare another federal law unconstitutional for fifty-four years."

The story of the Supreme Court’s evolution from powerless to almighty. Utterly fascinating and terrifying.

(Source: newyorker.com)

10:00 pm
"Several White House officials I talked to made it clear that if a deal, or at least the framework for a deal, is not reached before December 31st Obama would allow all the Bush tax cuts to expire—a tactic that would achieve huge deficit reduction, but in a particularly painful and ill-conceived fashion. The Administration is preparing for that outcome, and Republicans may not be willing to budge without the threat of this cataclysm…
Republicans won’t coöperate with Obama simply because he’s won, just as Bush’s 2004 reëlection did nothing to move Democrats. But if the 2012 results reveal that the G.O.P.’s weakness among minority voters, especially Hispanics, is dire, political opportunities that seem unlikely today could quickly become conventional wisdom after November…A rule that holds up quite well in American politics is that the longer a party remains out of power the more moderate it becomes."

Interesting breakdown from Ryan Lizza on what a second Obama term might look like. He makes the argument that only Obama can achieve substantial deficit reduction because he’s willing to let the tax cuts expire if the GOP refuses to compromise. And the GOP will only accept equivalent spending reduction as a bargaining chip from the liberals. Romney would renew the tax cuts, have no leverage to get the Dems to agree to spending cuts and it’s Bush all over again.

It’s an interesting perspective, egged on by the fact that the GOP is totally rudderless right now, has no real platform and lacks any kind of moderating force. But it’s an intellectual argument, and I’m still nervous about November.

(Source: newyorker.com)

April 30, 2012 9:02 am
"

During the past thirty years, he says, we’ve adopted the view that politics and markets were actually allied: freedom in one realm meant freedom in the other. The result of this idea, along with the increasing influence of business within both political parties, was a series of policies that deregulated national currencies and banking systems and enabled the globalized economy of the Superclass.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of people still live in specific places and depend on local and national governments for social benefits, beginning with items as basic as stable currencies. Globalization, in its present form, strengthens a cadre of very large businesses that Rothkopf calls “supercitizens,” and diminishes government, which is becoming, in his nice phrase, “too small to succeed.” The result is that “there has been a decoupling of the interests of supercitizens and those of the ordinary people around them, between those who represent the views of people who must necessarily live within borders and those for whom borders no longer have meaning, between those who require jobs and capital flows and those who view people, villages, cities, and states as economic options, part of a constantly changing calculus in which efficiencies and profits rule.”

"

Thomas Friedman already wrote this book ten years ago, but it rings more true today. 

(Source: newyorker.com)