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I meant to make a laudatory post last week to the effect that, where other than The New Yorker might you find a smart, funny, informative article on a literary figure as obscure as Alfred Lord Dunsany

I took that test when we applied to adopt! Picture was from the 30's: any idiot could tell that you were supposed to translate the stallion and the shirtless man in the picture into something sexual.

Mitchell is right on this precise point, though: as a classical music fan, I find its use in classical venues to be an outrage.

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(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,

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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.

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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.

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