Re: Free New Yorker!

1

No need free New Yorker. New Yorker sufficiently liberated already, thanks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:32 PM
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Whiskey, Sexy, and cryptic cartoons.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:34 PM
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My method of subscribing to the new yorker is, I believe, overpriced and totally suboptimal, but does not hit the threshold of being annoying enough that I actually try to solve it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:47 PM
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With every click get 1 lb New Yorker.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 1:21 PM
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No need free New Yorker. New Yorker sufficiently liberated already, thanks.

Maybe to you immigrants from the heartland. A native would probably disagree.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 1:37 PM
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I think we've officially hit peak bougie on the blog.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 1:56 PM
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Also, fuck Apple and the absurd Newsstand app. What purpose does it possibly serve?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 1:58 PM
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We were given a gift subscription last year & I felt oppressed by its relentlessness. Both schedule and voice. Was very relieved when subscription lapsed.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:07 PM
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absurd Newsstand app. What purpose does it possibly serve?

So right. Oh, you're in Newsstand? That's why I forget to read you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:19 PM
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I was given a gift subscription. A friend came over, noticed it and said "You'll have to quit your job to keep up." A year later I was much behind and relieved when the subscription ended.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:21 PM
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At least my subscription isn't paper. That's the worst.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:35 PM
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The subscription on clay tablets has made a dusty, cluttered mess of our living room.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:39 PM
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For some reason they never revoked my access to the online NYer (including the full archive, which is great) after I dropped my subscription 5-6 years ago. Wonder if that'll dry up when they implement the new paywall in the fall.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:46 PM
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I like the paper magazine. The covers are colorful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:52 PM
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I've vowed to read every issue (though am allowed to skip articles, according to my self-inflicted rules) this year. I've probably said that for the last five or six years, but for the first time ever, I'm actually managing it and it doesn't feel oppressive.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:53 PM
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I don't even know who you people are. My completion percentage is somewhere between 90 and 95%.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:56 PM
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No wonder you all are so smart.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:59 PM
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I think most years I'm at something like 40-50%. But since I am completionist, once I get behind the weight of catching up feels oppressive and I can't just do the sensible thing and start from the latest issue.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:04 PM
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I do not read the fiction, generally. I read the first three paragraphs of a lot of the fiction, and then I develop a nagging itch someplace, or notice that the stove isn't clean, or that the plants have wilted. Better people than I am read the fiction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:05 PM
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Oh yeah, fuck the fiction. A) I don't care for most literary fiction. B) If I do care, I'll read the damn book they're excerpting without acknowledgement when it comes out.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:07 PM
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I'm LB.

(Occasionally I do manage to read the books that come after the stories, but I really don't get on very well with short stories.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:07 PM
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11: I don't know what you're talking about. I always get a good workout hauling a year's worth of back issues down to the recycling.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:09 PM
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I think the New Yorker is the only paper subscription I've had as an adult. Two years, heavily discounted - I thought, how could it go wrong? - glad to see it stop, formed a substantial amount of the weight of paper I got rid of about a year later.

The New Republic remains the magazine I should not have subscribed to at all, though. At the time, I signed up for the book review stuff, not really knowing what I was getting into.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:58 PM
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Even when I "read" a New Yorker issue instead of just putting it on the unread pile, I probably rarely read more than 20-30%. Maybe I'd read an article or two and a book review.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:06 PM
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The New Yorker, like The Economist, seems like a good shape to read over the handlebars of a stroller.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:07 PM
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Why avoid reading piled up issues of the New Yorker when I can do the same with my piled up issues of the New York Review of Books


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:16 PM
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I got mother Jones at one point which was so goddamn depressing that I could not handle it. Online it's fine, an article here and there. But not cover to cover.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:16 PM
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And 1 has had me chuckling for the past few hours.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:16 PM
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I still love The New Yorker because I don't think of it as this thing I have to read all of all the time; just a thing that shows up and usually has something interesting in it. Often lately I read half of Talk of the Town, one of the main articles and possibly the reviews, though I mostly don't like the current reviewing staff. It's not like the issue explodes and kills you if you don't read everything in it. The only real danger of reading is that I'll look at the cultural listings and get sad.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:22 PM
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It's not like the issue explodes and kills you if you don't read everything in it.

It does, and it gets guilt all over you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:24 PM
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2: Speaking of whiskey, TIL that while bourbon on an empty stomach and a sleep deficit while watching a chess match in a conference room after work isn't exactly a terrible idea, it does make me pretty useless afterwards.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:25 PM
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Also during.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:26 PM
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London Review much shorter and digestible than NYRB, most importantly they publish Jenny Diski. But appalling position refusing to publish more women, so all not roses.

The best thing I ever tea in the NYer was a short story by Nicholson Baker, possibly one of the most wildly romantic tales I have ever read, here: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1997/02/03/china-pattern

It's short, too.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:27 PM
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read not tea but in context not too awful I suppose.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:28 PM
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Sadly my friend lost 3 of four games, and could have won the other on time but offered a "kindness draw". On the plus side, now I'm not that guy who never shows up to watch sports anymore.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:29 PM
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||

That would be in the cloud, Bob.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:52 PM
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LRB is funnier than the NYRB. Hadn't heard about refusing to publish more women though? Seems out if character.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:02 PM
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I prefer *RB criticism.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:06 PM
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http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/feb/25/london-review-books-women-reviewers-gender-inequality

It's been an ugly situation for years.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:07 PM
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37, 33.1 Yeah that is strange. And wrong. Also, LRB is the shorter pile next to my NYRB. And now I'm reminded how much I miss reading Tony Judt.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:18 PM
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Hmm not really fair to say, as I did, they "refuse" to publish more women, but they my they do stand out for mulishness on the issue.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:21 PM
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I eventually get through most of most NYer issues, excluding fiction, fawning celebrity profiles, Denby, and the briefly noted stuff. But it is a tremendous relief not to have back issues staring balefully at me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:37 PM
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I can't just do the sensible thing and start from the latest issue.

The Kindle is so helpful with this. Oh look, there's the new issue, right up at the top of the list. Do I really want to go back and read that article from last week now? Nah.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:55 PM
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I love, love, love reading magazines on kindle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:59 PM
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45

OP, 1: Street cred impressive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:32 PM
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New Yorker fiction is the damnedest thing. When I was getting my MFA it was understood to be the capstone of the pyramid, immediately above Harper's and The Atlantic, and when someone we knew landed a story there, the accepted reaction was to vomit with envy. At the same time, Big Anecdata makes clear that no one reads the stories, or novel excerpts awkwardly presented as stories. Half the time, not even we breathless aspirants could be bothered to finish them.

This is the kind of thing that makes young writers pen manifestos on rifts in the culture, which they alone are equipped to mend; but the manifestos are also dull reading and only n+1 will publish them.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:44 PM
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The only magazine I've been reading regularly is The Nation, which I'm usually managing to read cover-to-cover although mostly in bursts of three or four issues at a time every few weeks. (I'm also on track to read slightly more than one book per week on average this year, plus I've been writing more papers than usual. Maybe my blog participation is down?)

The several years when I was getting free copies of Nature and Science delivered every week were the worst for massive piles of paper accumulating that I would read only a tiny fraction of.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:04 PM
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48

The Atlantic publishes fiction?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:05 PM
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They did at least up to the early oughts and might still. Their fiction editor was famous for sending back personalized rejections indicating he'd actually read your story, which got everyone's hopes up unreasonably. They also famously published one of the less stupid "what's wrong with modern fiction" diatribes, by B.R. Myers.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:09 PM
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I guess it quit. I remember it used to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:10 PM
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Aughts?


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:10 PM
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Otts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:10 PM
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53

The naughty nought.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:11 PM
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I do remember that diatribe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:12 PM
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55

Speaking of modern fiction, you know what's not a good book? Steven Moore's The Novel: An Alternative History.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:13 PM
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I think the only New Yorker fiction I've read were a Stephen King story and "Miss Winters and the Wind". There's probably more that I just never knew were New Yorker stories. I assume they published Thurber.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:13 PM
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It's funny that no one even feels the need to comment on not reading the poetry in the New Yorker.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:14 PM
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I feel confident in the assessment in 55 even though I've read very, very little of the book.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:17 PM
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P-o-e-t-r-y?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:17 PM
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It ain't got no alibi!


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:19 PM
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I read both the poetry and the short stories, which is one reason I don't subscribe.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:19 PM
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I only ever read the cartoons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:20 PM
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I have read none of the book assessed in 55 but find the assessment prima facie credible. I don't think it's even original revisionism; didn't Margaret Anne Doody try to do the same thing a couple of decades ago?


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:20 PM
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Someone gave me The New Yorker Book of Poems. I didn't read that either.

I feel pretty good about my keeping up with the magazine, but my two-year experiment with the NYRB was a dismal failure.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:22 PM
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It was shortly after Paul Muldoon took on the poetry editorship of the New Yorker that he came by our English department. At the reception he asked me what I worked on, I said Joyce.

"Ah, Jim!" he said. "There's no one like him, is there? But tell me," conspiratorially, "do you think Finnegans Wake was a mistake?"


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:23 PM
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I have the same question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:28 PM
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No!


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:31 PM
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Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:36 PM
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I read the poems in the LRB! Probably doesn't count tho, just like how the UU get kicked out of the tent the MORMONS are invited into despite you know the space aliens & weird underwear.

Not that I'm bitter or anything...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:52 PM
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46: Honestly I only read the fiction every four years when there's a new Lorrie Moore. I feel like I am now saying "I love the New Yorker except for everything in it" but I swear
I'm not. It's just...the fiction is not of interest any time I check back in with it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:53 PM
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60 wins the thread.

I of course
do not

Read the

poetry

Because I do
not generally understand what

the fuck

Poetry is shooting for.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:58 PM
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I liked when the LRB published this one; there was spacing that doesn't come through on the web.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:58 PM
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Based on a careful reading of portions of the Wikipedia page, I don't think I'll be reading Finnegans Wake but I will remember that there is no apostrophe in the title.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:00 PM
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71: I understand the one about having never seen a moor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:02 PM
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I want to like Finnegans Wake, but mostly because I used to drink in a bar named for James Joyce. Maybe I'll try Ulysses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:09 PM
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I used to read the NYer cover-to-cover in high school, including the fiction and occasionally even the poetry, but I stopped during college when I began reading blogs, which pretty much entirely replaced magazines as my main non-book reading. Then blogs began to stagnate and now I just read Unfogged comments.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:15 PM
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Anyway, I haven't read the NYer consistently in years and don't particularly miss it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:18 PM
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I learned to read upside-down as a little girl so I could read The New Yorker across the table from my mother. But then my parents switched to only getting National Review and even at preschool age I could tell the cartoons weren't as good.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:21 PM
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With Joyce, people often start with Dubliners and go forward till it gets to be too much. I think it's one of those strong-cheese tastes that can be acquired, but predisposition helps.

Finnegans Wake is best read in a group, with alcohol... and I'll go ahead and admit that the local Wake group is one of my very few social activities that has survived parenthood.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:26 PM
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Oh, and there's a dirty picture on page 293.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:29 PM
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The very idea of a magazine having a short story stuck in the middle of all their non-fiction articles seems like a strange anachronism to me. I generally enjoy the entirety of every issue of The New Yorker, and similarly The Atlantic except for the nonsense by Gregg Easterbrook, David Brooks, Caitlin Flanagan and Sandra Tsing Loh, and similarly Harper's except for the obligatory personal memoir from a now-intellectual who grew up in brutish working-class surroundings and spent his/her 20s wandering the globe in search of truth. Except the fiction. If I accidentally start reading the fiction, no later than the second sentence I react as if I'd started eating olives under the misconception that they were grapes. The only things more out of place are those 3,000-word rants against fat-shaming that used to show up every month or so at the Lawyers, Guns And Money blog.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:29 PM
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I do remember reading a couple pieces of New Yorker fiction in the early to mid 1990s, as makeshift pornography. The excerpt from "Sabbath's Theater" was particularly exciting.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:32 PM
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Wait, what's wrong with olives? Olives are great!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:32 PM
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Olives are great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:33 PM
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What he said.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:33 PM
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But if you're expecting one thing and get another, you recoil. Fiction is great, but totally out of place in The New Yorker. Harper's use of visual art is way better.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:41 PM
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I dunno, I mean, AFAIK the New Yorker has always published fiction throughout its 90-year existence. Given that I find it hard to see how it's out of place.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:42 PM
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We have our grapes salted and stuffed with pimento.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:45 PM
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No french fries on top, Moby? I'm disappointed!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:47 PM
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I wondered for a while about the flood of Silicon Valley reporting in the New Yorker, and then I looked again at the ads and figured it was just a sincere effort to attract the eyeballs of the target market. (No, not the target market of people seeking inpatient treatment at McLean, because indeed creative literature has fallen out of the prestige system.)

neb, did you ever get to Pavel's book? (I say "ever" because I tried several times to read it in French before the translation.) I should probably start it, like, tonight.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:52 PM
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lk!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:03 PM
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I'm glad for the explanation of that "ever" because at first it reminded me of the time—just last week!—when a man who started talking to me on bart because he saw I was reading Strait is the Gate ("Have you read The Immoralist?" was his opening gambit, repeated on the bart ride home by a different person that very day, I don't mind telling you) eventually asked me "have you read Proust yet?". No, not yet!

Anyway, the answer is "no", but I believe it's come up and seemed interesting to me before.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:56 PM
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Fiction is great, but totally out of place in The New Yorker.

This is wrong, but the olives/grapes thing makes a certain amount of sense. If I sit down with a New Yorker, I can read the fiction, or I can read the rest of the magazine. Has to be separate sittings.

I've started enjoying short fiction again by making more of an effort to read the stories in the NYer. Rebecca Curtis: two for two. Last week's Wagner in the Desert felt uncannily like it was a more exciting/depressing version of my life taking place inside my head.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:00 PM
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My sister not only reads but actually enjoys the fiction and poetry in the New Yorker. I suppose this is why she's a successful literary agent and I am not.

My mother reads the entire New Yorker and has a full time job, but she's usually anywhere from 6 months to a year behind. The newer issues just lie in stacks around the house.*

My sister's ex works for the NYRB, and according to her he wrote a review where he made some oblique reference to their love life. This effectively prevented me from going anywhere near the magazine. Not that I expect this would actually be an issue, but I wouldn't want to read through the magazine with heightened sensitivity to double entendres or oblique sex references and then have to wonder if they were about my sister.

*They should offer a heavily discounted subscription where they send you issues on a several month delay. So, like, you pay 30% normal subscription fee but the issues you get are all 4-5 months behind.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:18 PM
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I thought the Heller article on San Francisco wasn't very good. I can't remember the Packer stuff in much detail but it seemed better.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:23 PM
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It's almost as if a magazine called The New Yorker isn't particularly good at in-depth coverage of other parts of the country.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:28 PM
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OT!

A few days ago, I get a call from the vice director of foreign student affairs at the university who's sponsored my residence permit, asking if I'm around because the police would like to have a chat with me. I start immediately freaking out, and ask her if something is wrong. In a totally calm and pleasant tone, she says that nothing is wrong at all and there's no reason they want to talk, and that when I have some free time I should let her know. I tell her I'll be free in a few days time and she says great. Then this morning, I call her to let her know I can go to the police station at any time. After talking to the police, she gets back to me and tells me to be at this restaurant at a particular time. Then I get a call from an unknown number, and it's this police officer who apologizes that something came up, and can he call me tomorrow morning to reschedule?

At this point I am sensing that they maybe want to ask a favor of me, but I have absolutely no idea what it would be or what is going on.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:35 PM
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!!!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:41 PM
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Whoa, that is disconcerting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:43 PM
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In a totally calm and pleasant tone, she says that nothing is wrong at all and there's no reason they want to talk

Exactly, we just like to take people out to lunch at random. Oh, wait, no we don't! OMG WHAT DID YOU DO? FLEE TO A COUNTRY WITH NO EXTRADITION TREATY RIGHT NOW.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:59 PM
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I'm just joking. It'll be interesting to have someone commenting from inside Guantanamo.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 12:01 AM
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It seems like if they wanted to arrest her for something they would have just done it by now, so there's probably some other reason they want to talk to her. Not that that's likely to be very comforting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 12:02 AM
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My understanding is that Buttercup is currently in China, where police procedures may be a bit different from the US.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 12:04 AM
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The Kindle is so helpful with this. Oh look, there's the new issue, right up at the top of the list. Do I really want to go back and read that article from last week now? Nah.

This may be the difference this year - I do still read old ones but it's made easier by the Kindle.

I read most of the poetry, especially when it's by someone I like like W.S. Merwin (in this issue, haven't gotten to it yet), but so much of it is just not to my taste.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 12:25 AM
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I already read the Economist and the New Scientist every week - the New Scientist in seven equal-sized servings with breakfast, the Economist in one large perspiration-soaked lump in the gym. I don't think I'd have time to read the New Yorker as well.

It's not like the issue explodes and kills you if you don't read everything in it.

"This copy of the New York Times will flood your house with toxic gas if the crossword is not finished in ink by the end of the day."

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12191.html#1461113


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 1:55 AM
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103 actually makes 97 somewhat less disturbing, because I assume they are angling for a bribe of some sort.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 1:56 AM
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I find there's usually only one "must read" article in the New Yorker, and it's not enough to justify buying it every time. I do subscribe to the NYRB and Harper's (as much for the Readings as for the long-form articles), and I have an LRB subscription though I don't read it all that much any more. I don't technically subscribe to it, but I read every issue of Private Eye. And that's about it these days as far as traditional magazines go these days. I used to get half a dozen titles or more.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 2:19 AM
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We have our grapes salted and stuffed with pimento.

Damn! Why didn't I think of that?


Posted by: Opinionated Ferran AdriĆ  | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 3:21 AM
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105.1 is me too, s/Economist/LRB/, but I am currently three issues adrift with NS and six with LRB. The reasons are clear: Thomas Piketty and Christopher Clark, plus I'm already suffering from acute deferred gratification syndrome because I've promised myself I won't start the new Laundry novel until I've done with Piketty, Ch.12. So the magazines are not realistically going to get a look in for quite a while.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 3:32 AM
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57: I like the poetry in the New Yorker! Donald Hall anyway. And there was one about a linguistics professor I knew in college that was kind of interesting.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 3:41 AM
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I enjoy the New Yorker. The profiles generally interest me. I try to like Harper's, but I generally find that it's too much.

At one point I got my Dad a subscription to the NYRB, and he seemed to enjoy it a lot.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 3:49 AM
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112

Did Buttercup used to comment under another pseud? Relatively recently?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:22 AM
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(Because if so, LB probably sent the police to disappear her.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:23 AM
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112: possibly a pseud related to Gillian Jacobs? Yes, I was wondering that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:52 AM
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I had to look up Gillian Jacobs -- because I don't even own a tv (of less than 52") -- but yes, that's what I was wondering.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:58 AM
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I wondered the same thing. Britta has commented since Buttercup showed up, but that might have just been a slip.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:23 AM
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I'm still waiting for Den E. Crumb to come back. He was great and you all chased him away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:26 AM
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117 Not to mention Ray Cyst. In fact, please don't mention Ray Cyst ever again.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:32 AM
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I wondered the same thing. Britta has commented since Buttercup showed up, but that might have just been a slip.

So, she Britta'd it?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:32 AM
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I sometimes read the fiction. Usually it doesn't grab me when I glance at it. There was a recent story about a Soviet dissident artist that I thought was very good. The Fugitive by Lyudmila Ulitskaya.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 1:45 PM
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It'll be interesting to have someone commenting from inside Guantanamo.

Meetup with CharleyCarp!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 2:49 PM
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I actually had a pretty reliable method of dealing with the NYer (sit on the front hall bench the day it arrived, leaf through reading cartoons, discarding subscription cards, sometimes reading reviews, and noting articles for future reading (which I would often get to)). But what actually broke my back was realizing that at least every other issue featured not only the worthless fiction*, but also an article that was thousands of words too long. I'd be happily reading along about whatever idiosyncratic corner of the world, flip the fourth page, and realize I wasn't even halfway. Fuck that shit. I told my sister to skip the annual gift subscription.

*for the record, our best couple friends both read the fiction; I don't know if it's cheating that one of them was a published magazine writer and the other is an actual New Yorker


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 2:55 PM
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Atul Gawande is pretty good. Some of the archived articles can be saved as pdf (via an enabled print function) but others can't.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 2:57 PM
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an article that was thousands of words too long

Not like in the glory days of things like E.J. Kahn's five-part series on grains, though.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 4:52 PM
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Making room for monster articles like the Snowden one is what earned the LRB its pile of undeservingly unread copies in my house. Only print sub I have atm after regretfully cancelling Arts of Asia.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 4:59 PM
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E.J. Kahn's five-part series on grains

Didn't Silent Spring originally appear as essays in the New Yorker?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:13 PM
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And she got so famous that she has a bridge named after her.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:20 PM
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Mallory Ortberg:

I used to have a subscription to The New Yorker, because my grandmother got it for me, but I think it ran out.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 9:48 PM
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So that was interesting. As of now not arrested. Three police took me out to coffee and interviewed me for two hours on pretty much everything about me--my educational background, family background, current research, future plans for publication etc. Interspersed with this they asked me general questions about America, how I enjoyed living in the city, and my opinions on China and its government. Everything I said they wrote down in a little notebook. Now the Chinese govt. has an written record of my siblings' careers, the fact I enjoy Chinese food, and that I've climbed the local mountain several times, among other things. They were both relentless and thorough, but also exceedingly friendly. They ended the interview by saying that if I had any problems they would help me solve them, and then suggested I move permanently to the city. I understand that disarming friendliness can be a good interview technique, so I tried not to relax too much. I tried to be completely honest on anything they could verify with outside information, innocuous enough in any description of my project, and chatty enough on non-sensitive things that they wouldn't think I was being guarded. I guess I'll see if I got the balance right. There are probably things I was too forthright on, but I'm hoping nothing too serious. Two hours is a long time to talk about yourself.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:30 PM
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China's political climate is pretty unstable and everyone is on edge right now, so it's almost impossible to get a read on the situation. People are on high alert, but it's hard to know how the various factors in my situation are playing out. Having a foreign researcher from what is considered one of the top US universities could be a point of prestige, or it could be a major threat. Last time the local govt. here thought thought I was a spy treatment was radically different, so I'm guessing they're flattered but wary.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:36 PM
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Glad to hear it seems to have gone okay.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:56 PM
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Strange. Did they pay for the lunch?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 5:36 AM
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I used to get magazines and worse yet, those that compiled book reviews because they made me desperately unhappy that I'd never get to read all the words--magazines, reviews, the reviewed books, everything.

Now I take comfort in my ignorance of my ignorance (which threads like this don't help).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 5:53 AM
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132

Yeah, they paid for everything.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:05 AM
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Last time the local govt. here thought thought I was a spy treatment was radically different

What did they do that time?

Also, did they ask you any questions about "an eclectic web magazine?"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:16 AM
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Are you sure it wasn't a date?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:21 AM
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136: Yeah, the guy was probably wondering, "When is she ever going to ask about me?"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:23 AM
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"Self-centered Westerners."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:30 AM
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128: Happy to read about her Chris Kimball obsession. I'm not similarly obsessed, but I can totally see where she would be.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:34 AM
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136

Hahaha.

There were three of them, and older man (early 40s, maybe?) and a man and woman that looked to be in their 20s. The guy in his 40s did all the asking, and he had some sort of extensive list he would hold under the table and occasionally flip through. The younger man wrote everything down in the notebook, and I think the woman was brought along in case I needed a translator. The younger cops would also explain my answers if the older guy was confused.

It's possible they're in a polyamorous relationship and scouting out a fourth. I know the one dude is a cop because he showed me his badge at the beginning of the conversation. I didn't get verification from the other two.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:35 AM
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Occam's razor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:37 AM
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136: TPYRCL.

The police you reprobates call lunchies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:43 AM
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135

When they thought I was a spy, they ended up eventually putting me under informal house arrest. I had a 24-7 minder who had to report my daily activities to the police and all that.* It sounds more scary than it was, more like the keystone cops trying to be the KGB than actually the KGB. The real issue wasn't so much that they were convinced I was a spy that that they were worried, should I turn out to be a spy, they would all be royally screwed and probably end up a labor camp or something.

When that happened they ended up intimidating anyone I spoke to rather than me directly, and no one would tell me what the problem was. If I asked they told me "it's nothing, " when clearly something was really wrong. At one point they did come by the house to scrutinize all my papers and ask lots of questions about my research. They weren't all that friendly and there was definitely no coffee involved.

*It was a little awkward because the minder had a full time government job at the village HQ, so she couldn't watch me 24-7 and work if I sat at home. A compromise was she was allowed to take me to work, so long as I sat in an empty room. I would sit in the room surfing the internet all day and visitors to the HQ would pop their heads in to gawk at the foreigner. She was actually a very nice woman who felt terrible about the whole thing, and I felt terrible about all the problems she had to deal with (like, dealing with the police all day long). One night she snuck me out for dinner with friends and group line dancing.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:45 AM
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I no longer feel bad about all the Chinese people here complaining about dealing with visa bureaucracy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:52 AM
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143 sounds a lot like Havel's play Audience. Congratulations on not being threatened.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:55 AM
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It was a little awkward because the minder had a full time government job at the village HQ, so she couldn't watch me 24-7 and work if I sat at home. A compromise was she was allowed to take me to work, so long as I sat in an empty room. I would sit in the room surfing the internet all day and visitors to the HQ would pop their heads in to gawk at the foreigner

Are you sure it was you who was under quasi-house arrest and not her?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:57 AM
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This sort of thing wouldn't happen in Beijing. There they either leave you alone or you're in serious trouble. Here in the sticks everyone is worried about accidentally messing things up and getting in trouble with the higher ups, so things tend to be a little more, uh, fun. My spy incident ended with finding a person high enough up politically who understood was social science research was, and the whole thing was resolved in about 5 minutes.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 6:58 AM
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If you're still in touch with that person, could you see if he'll call Senator Coburn?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 7:02 AM
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146

Oh yeah, it was definitely me. I mean, she was kind of in trouble too,* but she was free to whatever she felt if she arranged appropriate back up care for me.

*It's a somewhat complicated story, where a delicate situation in which wasn't handled well got set off by an innocent action of hers, so she felt she'd brought it on me, and I felt bad she'd been put in the situation, since she'd been following orders from her boss.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 7:06 AM
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143

Yeah. One of my advisors did her work in Cold War Eastern Europe, and she was shocked I'd experience something so similar to what she went through. My other advisor works in China and was completely flabbergasted by the whole thing. I'm the only person I know of who's has an experience like this in China and isn't actually breaking the law and/or researching Uyghur transgender separatists with AIDS who sleep with wealthy govt. officials and practice Falun Gong, or whatever.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 7:11 AM
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150.last: pppft, so you're a conformist.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 7:28 AM
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I heard of a couple cases like this happening in seventies/eighties EE. They almost all seemed to involve wanting the westerner to become an informer/spy. In one case the dude agreed, then a few years later the files were opened and his advisor found out. So much for any recs. The only exception to this was with an anthro researcher, where they just plain found her activities extremely suspicious - she was spending lots of time asking people detailed questions about their lives.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 7:52 AM
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They ended the interview by saying that if I had any problems they would help me solve them, and then suggested I move permanently to the city.

Is this to be read that they are uncomfortable with all the hassle your presence makes for them given all the weird higher-level stuff going on, and wish you were out of their hair and in another jurisdiction that's more used to foreigners?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 11:46 AM
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China... breaking the law ... Uyghur ... separatists ... Falun Gong

You're connected through a VPN, I take it.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:00 PM
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154: technically it's a SIPRnet covert channel appliance that then auto-reposts from a domestic host connected to the civilian internet, but same basic deal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:06 PM
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Unfogged has become my New Yorker in that I've gotten so far behind that I feel like I can't catch up. It's rare that I get to a thread while it's still live.

The New Yorker is also still my New Yorker.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:36 PM
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156: Sir Kraab! You can bring any thread you want back to life just by commenting!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:41 PM
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Are you ever still near this area?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:55 PM
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That wasn't a very good sentence.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 12:55 PM
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157: I forgot that I have the opposite effect on threads.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 1:22 PM
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peep, you are super sweet.

Moby, no, I'm back at my regular gig.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 8:12 PM
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154

Usually, but not right now. This website, you will all be devastated to learn, manages to fly under the radar of the censors.

153

Sorry I was a little unclear. By city I mean the place I'm currently in, which is technically a city though considered by most of its inhabitants to be rural because it's a tiny-for-China unindustrialized city in an unindustrialized part of China. Also, wherever you are in the city you're usually no more than a 5-10 minute scooter ride away from the countryside. So I use 'rural' and 'the city' somewhat interchangeably, since the whole area is rural, broadly speaking.


Posted by: anon for right now | Link to this comment | 07-24-14 9:28 PM
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