Jump to content
Wilfrid1

The New Yorker

Recommended Posts

Well he did make the point somewhere that the advent of coffee changed the nature of discourse from pubs because coffee is a stimulant rather than a soporific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, although the piece addressed the social effects of cafés broadly, its taking off point was Jews in cafés.  And Jews historically didn't go to bars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(a) Science aside, I have not noticed alcohol consumption making people shut up (except beyond a certain point). :D

(b) Yes, that's fair, and why not write a book about cafes and their Jewish clientele?  The review made it sound like cafes were the only locus of public, social discourse. Or maybe I just read it that way,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A simple but seldom mentioned component is that cafes;coffee houses have offered "living rooms" for a large population living in very cramped quarters, rooms, bed-sits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And they still do, although people sit there for hours in isolated contemplation of their laptops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And they still do, although people sit there for hours in isolated contemplation of their laptops.

 

Do you suppose Hemingway et cie, staring at their blank pages, were perceived similarly?    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The piece on Rammstein by Amanda Petrusich is a curiosity. Amanda is not a kid, but it’s as if she recently found out about the history of rock music by watching a short documentary.

 

Her description of Kraftwerk is rigorously accurate and will help readers of an article on Rammstein who have never heard of Kraftwerk.

 

Then we learn that many rock bands have incorporated theatricality into their performances. In 1974, for example, Iggy Pop cut himself. And then there’s Kiss and Alice Cooper. And did you hear about Jim Morrison?

 

Stylistically, the band combines “Krautrock, industrial music, heavy metal, and...almost Jacques Brel.” Good to know the rather useless K word is still politically correct; do they assimilate Popol Vuh or Can? (Amanda won’t know.)

 

And apparently they are so loud you need ear plugs. I suspect her 30 min rock history documentary didn’t include Einsturzende, the obvious (not to Amanda) band to discuss alongside Rammstein, musically, theatrically, and politically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her general ignorance never ceases to piss me off.

 

But you have to give her this:  she knows more about pop music than Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ELLEN WILLIS was once the pop music critic of the New Yorker.

 

SASHA FRERE-JONES was once the pop music critic of the New Yorker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then, as I turn the pages, it sits next to a fully informed and angelically written review of a Sam Shepherd play by Hilton Als, which suggests (surprise) that their editors can’t see or don’t care about the chasm in quality between these pieces.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don’t get “Sam Shepherd claimed to be indebted to Samuel Beckett, an Irish playwright who wrote experimental, stylized, minimalist plays (often in French).”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's weird.  It must be the only place that still treats pop music the same way many publications still treat food:  as something that anybody can write about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, and one can only assume the upper editorial echelons can’t tell good from bad. It would hardly be difficult to find a good writer to cover pop.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...