Re: Glossy

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I buy magazines from newsstands. If I subscribe, I read them when they come in. If I don't subscribe, I read them when I'm heading into a situation where I'm stuck with nothing to read. It's comparatively extravagant, but it fills a need.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 6:54 PM
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I still find reading print more pleasant than the internet, but I can only afford to subscribe to The New Yorker lately.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 6:59 PM
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Jugs.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:00 PM
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I could have sworn that was properly spelled Juggs. Or are you talking about the moonshiners' trade journal?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:02 PM
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I'd much rather read on my computer

DO NOT WANT.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:03 PM
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1 - Yeah, I mostly subscribe to paper magazines for when I need to kill time in airports or want something to read in a non-computery coffee shop. Anytime else, I'll use my computer.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:03 PM
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New Yorker, American Prospect, Sea Kayaker. Also the Economist, Vanity Fair, and something clothing-oriented, which are primarily my wife's but which I thumb through now and then. Bourgeois R Us.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:04 PM
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We subscribe to Popular Mechanics because otherwise he buys them at airport newsstands when traveling. I never really got into magazines much, except to read at the gym, which always has a selection including Wired.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:04 PM
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What do regular subscribers to glossy magazines find to read in a dentist's waiting room? Don't you run the risk of having already read everything there, just when you most need to be terminally distracted with an article on the proper setting of a dinner table to celebrate a family holiday?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:06 PM
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I find that dentists waiting rooms never have anything there's any chance I've read before. Good Housekeeping, Golf Digest, and SKI are all big.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:07 PM
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Weird Tales.

The Baffler, technically, though these days they only publish once every three years.

I used to subscribe to Harpers, until it became apparent that it was insufferable.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:08 PM
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I don't subscribe to any magazines (other than the gift sub to Cook's Illustrated Magpie's folks give me every year for my birthday), but I regularly buy The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books on the newsstands. Along with a bunch of motorcycle magazines.

And I'm with Sir Kraab; while I end up doing most of my reading online, I find I'm much happier when I take a magazine with me to lunch and hang out somewhere other than my desk.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:08 PM
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9: Optometrist's offices often have wonderful posters showing what various kinds of defective vision are like.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:08 PM
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4: I love you for knowing that, LB.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:10 PM
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American Prospect

I find reading TAP in print a really disconcerting experience. It's like my brain has filed both the writers and the subject matter under "blogs", and it feels somehow off to be holding a physical magazine with the same content.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:10 PM
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I used to subscribe to Harpers, until it became apparent that it was insufferable.

Was it the piece about how modern environmentalism has sold out, and what we really need to do is get in touch with Being?


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:11 PM
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Harper's, the New York Review of Books. I'm on the preferring to read actual paper bandwagon as well. I stare at this screen enough as it is, and a change of locale (like, the couch, an armchair?) is more than welcome.

And something my mom renews for me each year called Natural Health, which winds up as the bathroom reading of choice.

I dropped The Atlantic years ago, and The Nation a year or two ago -- the latter I'll read online if I feel like it, since the articles are short enough.

The New Yorker has always annoyed me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:11 PM
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I was really bored at the prep area last week and so I read my whole medical file.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:14 PM
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15: I kind of know what you mean. I don't actually end up reading the print magazine all that much, but subscribe for the sake of sending them a few bucks and maybe putting some vaguely bloggy goodness where my wife might find it.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:14 PM
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not at first

but eventually, yes


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:14 PM
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Atlantic Monthly, Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The New Yorker.

I subscribed to The Economist for over 10 years, but I let my sub lapse midway through the Bush administration because I couldn't tolerate its descent into suckitude. I have also let Cooks Illustrated lapse. I occasionally pick up Saveur or Bon Appetit at the newsstand while travelling.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:15 PM
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20 was supposed to be a response to 16, but if you prefer you can take it as a sort of free-floating warning of dreadful things to come


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:18 PM
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my grandpa gets some huge handout of free magazine subscriptions somehow. I get GQ, scientific american, the economist, Powder, archtechtural digest. some years i get some others. i usually don't read most of them though. nme isn't on the list but sometimes i get that too.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:19 PM
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I would subscribe to more magazines if it were possible to read online versions for a bit less. I'm not going to pay full price to read online what I can and let the print copies pile up.

I subscribed to the New Yorker for a couple years and let it lapse. I get TAP online. I miss having access to the NYRB through an academic affiliation.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:20 PM
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And now I see that I can read the last few years of the New Yorker online from home for free with my public library card. That's kind of cool.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:25 PM
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Was it the piece about how modern environmentalism has sold out, and what we really need to do is get in touch with Being?

I'm puzzling over which article you mean.

But no matter: Harper's is rad, man! It's irritated, insistent, snarky, pedantic, dismissive. I will fight you over this. (Well, not really.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:32 PM
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Sports Illustrated, Car & Driver, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Smithsonian, Wired and Chicago. Plus various bar association and historical association rags. I think we only pay for SI, C&D and Saveur, however.


Posted by: Observer773 | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:32 PM
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I miss having access to the NYRB through an academic affiliation.

As far as I can tell, new issues are entirely online. I don't know what the "e" means next to some of the articles listed here, but it doesn't mean "subscribers only".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:32 PM
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Highlights!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:34 PM
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Highlights!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:34 PM
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I don't know what the "e" means next to some of the articles listed here

At first glance, I would say it stands for "execrable".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:36 PM
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The Economist and American Heritage Invention and Technology.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:37 PM
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The New Yorker and Harpers are my subscriptions. I regularly purchase from newsstands: New Left Review, Artforum, Monocle, and a random collection of cycling and Mac mags. A friend occasionally mails me her old copies of N+1.


Posted by: Devics | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:37 PM
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I'm puzzling over which article you mean.

I believe it was this one. (I'm no longer a subscriber so I can't check.)

I don't hate Harper's, just the 60% that is written by unreconstructed baby boomers.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:38 PM
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3,4:

Here I thought your were fond of a jug.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:39 PM
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Currently: F&SF, Asimov's, Spin, Rolling Stone, Blender (soon to go, replaced by Paste most likely), Atlantic.

At various times in the past decade: The Nation, NYRB, Wired, Harper's, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, various cooking magazines, Utne Reader, Mother Jones, The Progressive.

I buy Uncut and Mojo on the stand when the free cds appeal (usually one each month, sometimes both).


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:40 PM
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Oh, and MacLife and MacWorld.


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:41 PM
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26: I'm puzzling over which article you mean.

My recollection is that there were dozens of them, every bloody month.

I still like Lapham, though. His new Quarterly thing's quite interesting.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:41 PM
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Felix, I know someone associated with Weird Tales. How is it?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:42 PM
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All at once last summer when I moved into a new place I subscribed to Harper's, The Atlantic, Utne Reader, and Beer Advocate. In today's age a real live brand new magazine subscriber must be very rare, so I got dozens of subscription offers in the mail instantly, for everything from Mother Jones to US News and World Report to The Sun.

Next year I'll replace Utne Reader with In These Times.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:43 PM
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Men's Journal (BR knows the editor, so we get it to support him.), National Geographic, Shambhala Sun, GQ (as a combo with Men's Journal).


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:46 PM
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Oh, and I share a subscription to Food and Wine.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:47 PM
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TV Guide, Guns & Ammo, Soldier of Fortune

OK, last two were jokes. Really.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:49 PM
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Analog (since 1957), Asimov's, Scientific American, Air & Space, Popular Science, various ACM and IEEE professional journals, Washingtonian, Brown Alumni Monthly, Sight and Sound, Home Theater, The Perfect Vision

Boy, that list used to be a lot longer. Whatever happened to KiloByte?


Posted by: Bob Munck | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:49 PM
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I don't know what the "e" means next to some of the articles listed here, but it doesn't mean "subscribers only".

Really? I get a first paragraph and then the option to sign in, subscribe or buy the piece.

NYRB is my only subscription; I don't like reading long-form essays on a screen, and having a print periodical to take somewhere often keeps from from toting around my laptop (and more to the point, my work).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:49 PM
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I don't know what the "e" means next to some of the articles listed here, but it doesn't mean "subscribers only".

As Jesus points out, this is exactly what it means.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:56 PM
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Being at an academic computer gets me access to NYRB?!?!? I had no idea. Doesn't work for The New Republic, or The Atlantic, or The Economist, or Harper's, or London Review of Books. Or, in fact, the archives of NYRB. Just the current issue.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:56 PM
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Also, I've considered subscribing to Raritan, but it's not printed often enough and I don't read enough of the articles to make it worthwhile. (And I see that I can get this online, too, with a public library card.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:58 PM
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Only one I've got is to Sports Illustrated. My grandmother got me a subscription for my 15th birthday and kept renewing it. She died 5 years ago. And it keeps coming. I'm not paying for it, my parents swear they aren't either. And yet every thursday, there it is.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:59 PM
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Or, in fact, the archives of NYRB.

Interesting. When I was affiliated, I could read pretty much everything from every issue.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 7:59 PM
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34.1: The Garret Keizer thing, yeah, I thought so. Big hubbub, him taking on a Lewis Lapham editorial. Lots of people raised eyebrows.

I don't hate Harper's, just the 60% that is written by unreconstructed baby boomers.

You could be more specific. I don't really want to argue about the hating-on-baby-boomers thing, that's been done here, and actually I'll try to read the next Harper's with that in mind, except I'd be struggling to understand what it means in the first place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:01 PM
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I don't think Harper's has any particular stereotypical baby-boomer attributes. Destroyer is probably confusing it with Utne Reader.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:07 PM
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In the order that I read them: New Yorker. Sometimes the writing is really good. And then there are those times that Adam Gopnik has a piece in the book. (Does he read this blog? If so, sorry. Really, I'm sure you're very nice. And I liked your Sarkozy piece. You should write what you know -- and I don't -- more often. Otherwise: please stop.)

Now here are the others: The Nation (out of loyalty), Harpers (though the suckitude has become seriously burdensome), Entertainment Weekly (I think we got five years for $3. Or something like that. Plus, they just reviewed a colleague's book. Which was cool.), and Sports Illustrated (See my discussion of EW, though I think theyme to get SI.

I sort of wish we'd get the NYRB and the TLS. But I think they'd make me pay for those. And I can't have that.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:08 PM
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New Yorker, Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, The Advocate, Cook's Illustrated [tho' I think that one just lapsed]. The Offspring took the Bon Appetit and Saveur subs when he went, along with Rolling Stone. The Biophysicist buys photography mags. Everything else is read at doctors' offices, online or at my fabulous hair-salon-to-the-stars, Fantastic Sam's. [There is a certain nostalgie de la boue that emerges when faced with a stack of Cosmo or The National Enquirer...]


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:09 PM
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theyme sb they pay me


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:09 PM
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53: Not a fan of his review of Drew Gilpin Faust's new book in last week's issue?

That reminds me, I should really resubscribe to the Journal of Modern History. I like the fact that there's an actual scholarly journal that has a reasonable individual subscriber rate.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:14 PM
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what it means in the first place

A failure to discuss or at least account for any of the changes in liberalism since the 60s. The linked article (if it's the one I'm recalling) was the worst example: dismissing market solutions to global warming like cap-and-trade as missing the real problem, capitalism itself; talking unashamedly about "alternatives" to capitalism; throwing around words like 'being'. The quintessential Harper's liberal seems content to do nothing except smugly dismiss all modern, active liberals as fallen and impure.

That contentment is grounded on the other major thing that irritated me: the tendency towards starry-eyed apocalyptic fantasy (I'm thinking of the piece about Detroit). They often seem to write about modern liberalism as simply nearsighted, a movement that overlooks the millennial period that will set in once capitalism collapses on itself.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:15 PM
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39: There's usually at least something that's either good or fun. And it's an institution, you know?

I only subscribed recently, though, and largely because I sort of know someone associated with it.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:16 PM
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Brown Alumni Monthly

A likely story: if you were a real subscriber, Mr. Munck, you'd know that it's been renamed the Brown Alumni Magazine as it now comes every two months or so. (I kid! Hail, Brunonia, and all that.)

We've let most of our magazine subscriptions lapse as a cost-savings measure, but we still get Cooks Illustrated. I wouldn't have even thought to list the BAM, but of course we get that, too. We allowed our Atlantic subscription to expire out of family loyalty, although I miss reading it. I miss the New Yorker, too.

R also gets approximately 1 bushel of knitting magazines and catalogs each month.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:19 PM
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I'll admit that I'm probably projecting here. Harper's may not be an essentially baby-boomer magazine; it might just be the magazine that gives them the most shelter that I came into contact with.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:20 PM
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Cook's Illustrated, which was a gift. I'm glad I have the subscription, though, because it's a magazine I like to keep. I don't like buying magazines that take me only an hour or so to read and then throwing them away. I'd much rather read online.

The boyfriend gets several art and outdoors-type magazines, but the only one that interests me is Adbusters.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:28 PM
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NYRB (a gift I read sometimes), Economist (still okay for international news/politics), Beer Advocate, Cook's Illustrated, MAKE, Zymurgy (part of an AHAmembership), ACM Queue and CACM (professional-membership perks), The American Prospect (because I was feeling liberal-guilty one day), Technology Review (alum perk), The Week (a gift this year - not one I like so far). Also coming in to the house are Consumer Reports and a lot of transit/planning-related journals. I got Men's Journal and FHM for a while as a weird free bonus to subscribing to something else - I declined the option the next time, they weren't even worth the trouble of recycling (and FHM went out of business).



Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:29 PM
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Also, just glossies/monthlies? Does anyone else get a daily newspaper? I still get the NYT on paper; I think I've been away from a daily newspaper for about a month in my entire life.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:30 PM
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I haven't subscribed to any magazines since I was a kid and got things like Nintendo Power.

No, I forgot: I also got a free subscription to Nature for a while for some reason, but that was sort of pointless since I can always read it online or at the library.

I once lived in an apartment where Maxim and FHM were mysteriously delivered in the name of someone who apparently had lived there in the past. One of my roommates would delightedly run off with them and store them in his bathroom. I don't want to know any more than that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:36 PM
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Ode, which is by turns appealingly meandering and irksomely self-satisfied. I have the feeling its topics seem interestingly offbeat only to an American (the company is Dutch). My sister stopped reading it because of typos, which is amusing given her own tendencies.

Orion, which was a gift.* I find it weird that an environmental magazine is printed so expensively and glossily. I like paging through it more than I like reading it.

The Sun, of which I really only read the interviews (sometimes startlingly good, and always interesting picks) and the back page of quotations. I find the rest to be either exhaustingly depressing or self-centered.

I kinda-sorta read National Geographic, although it is so much more lightweight than the 1960s issues of fond memory that it's almost unrecognizable.

People en EspaƱol, which was supposed to help me practice my Spanish but has totally failed. I don't know any of the celebrities, so I can't track the context, and it's extremely slangy.

*Actually, they were all gifts. Huh. I don't think I've bought myself a magazine subscription in at least five or six years.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:36 PM
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MAKE

Oooh, yes! I don't subscribe, but I've given several gift subscriptions. Always a hit.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:38 PM
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57: I like to think that Harper's is going through growing pains, now that Lapham has sort of left it. The Keizer article was a one-off, not outlandish for the readership, but a bit strange.

Now this (collapsing your paragraphs):

The quintessential Harper's liberal seems content to do nothing except smugly dismiss all modern, active liberals as fallen and impure. That contentment is grounded on the other major thing that irritated me: the tendency towards starry-eyed apocalyptic fantasy (I'm thinking of the piece about Detroit). They often seem to write about modern liberalism as simply nearsighted, a movement that overlooks the millennial period that will set in once capitalism collapses on itself.

I'll cut to the chase: you're exaggerating. Harper's does do atmospheric stuff, and publishes long-ass things by slightly older people who think the long view is worth our occasional time. The magazine has literary pretensions of a sort, after all.

I can't speak to the apparent charge that Harper's is, what, socialist?

That said, I do see what some mean in worrying about encroaching suckitude.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:39 PM
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63: Yes, the local rag and the WSJ. I need to cancel the local paper because it's a waste of time and tends to piss me off and make me want to move, a feeling that goes away quickly when I avoid reading it. I sort of need to keep track of some of what's in there for my job, but can do that in 5 minutes a day on line. The WSJ was a gift from my parents and has some good stuff in it, but the execrable editorial page seems to be slowly infiltrating the rest of the paper. It's not something I'd spend my own money on.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:40 PM
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Does anyone else get a daily newspaper?

My five-year-old subscribes to the Wall Street Journal. She is quite proud that she can read her name on the subscription label (though none of the content).

The backstory is that I needed to engineer some activity in her frequent flyer account so that her miles wouldn't expire, so I redeemed miles for a subscription in her name. If nothing else, it has improved the quality of junk mail that she receives.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:40 PM
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Hmm... The Economist, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and The Atlantic Monthly. I really should not renew my FA subscription and instead go back to buying it off the newsstand when I see articles I really want to read. As it is, it just feels too dense and imposing for me to really read it as often as I should.

I also find New Yorker vaguely insufferable, probably because it has pretensions of being a general-interest or national magazine while keeping so much of itself completely NYC-centric.

My parents used to subscribe to Wallpaper* and I occasionally pick up an issue of Adbusters. Both have consistently great design, vaguely unsettling philosophies, and seem like their staff parties would be a blast.

To those who've listed Beer Advocate, how is that as a magazine? What does its focus tend to be?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:43 PM
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56: Actually, I just read that and thought it better than much of what he writes. I just find him very hard to read.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:53 PM
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I think I currently get four magazines in print Fine Cooking, Fine Homebuilding, Family Handyman, Communications of the ACM.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:58 PM
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Wired, National Geographic, Science News, Weatherwise and Old House Journal, plus some "membership" ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:16 PM
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I don't subscribe to any magazines. Blogs have entirely filled the role in my life that they used to occupy. In high school I used to read the New Yorker cover-to-cover, and most or all of National Geographic, Newsweek, and occasionally New Mexico Magazine and other ones that were around the house. These days I only read magazines at doctors' offices. Otherwise it's all books and blogs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:17 PM
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I still sub to the NYer, only.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:20 PM
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I think the only magazines I'm still getting are Entertainment Weekly, Lucky and InStyle. I let Dwell lapse because I never kept up with it, and I had a subscription to Chow which, after they stopped running the print edition, morphed into a succession of obscure food and drink magazines. I keep thinking it's run out, and then an issue of, say, Single Malt Scotch Enthusiast will turn up in the mailbox.

Actual thinky magazines without pretty pretty pictures I buy in print when flying somewhere and read online when I'm not.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:20 PM
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A likely story: if you were a real subscriber, Mr. Munck, you'd know that it's been renamed the Brown Alumni Magazine as it now comes every two months or so.

This one (we get two now that they know where rfts lives; very clever thinking, alumni relations!), and Cabinet. Rfts has a free subscription to Food and Wine And I pick up Dwell pretty regularly at the corner newsstand. The New Yorker is purchased only at Hudson News while waiting for a flight.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:26 PM
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I used to subscribe to Gastronomica, which was quite fun, but I let the subscription lapse.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:27 PM
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I'll cut to the chase: you're exaggerating.

Sure; I tried to acknowledge as much in 60. It's not like Harper's is rotted through with this kind of writing—it's just the last place I can find it.

I can't speak to the apparent charge that Harper's is, what, socialist?

Not that it's socialist, that it sometimes appears to believe that the proper response to capitalism is stay far away until it disappears.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:29 PM
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Not that it's socialist, that it sometimes appears to believe that the proper response to capitalism is stay far away until it disappears.

I think that perspective isn't seen nearly enough these days, in comparison to the Bill Clinton-style liberalism of The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and the Utne Reader's preoccupation with feel-good trivia.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:36 PM
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The Sun, of which I really only read the interviews (sometimes startlingly good, and always interesting picks) and the back page of quotations. I find the rest to be either exhaustingly depressing or self-centered.

That's the point of The Sun! I love that magazine. Life sucks, and The Sun understands.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:37 PM
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Oh, and N+1 is the best magazine in America. One of the few left where you can't find better on the web.

The Atlantic is just sad.

Harpers has that fun section of collected excerpts up front, that's always good. I hope Lapham's exit means we'll no longer have to flip past his monthly comparison of either Washington or Wall Street to the last days of ancient Rome. It was getting tiresome after 20 straight years of jaded world-weariness. It was always the exact same column with the names changed.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:41 PM
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It was getting tiresome after 20 straight years of jaded world-weariness. It was always the exact same column with the names changed.

LOL, I had no idea.

I guess that like Dr. Demento, he had a steadfast audience of people at a certain stage in life who were experiencing him for the first time before moving on to other things. I got the magazine for about a year before he left and it genuinely seemed like he was a once-hopeful person who wanted us all to know that today's harbingers of doom are unprecedented.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:47 PM
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80: I thought we supported the middle ground of bloggy progressivism, believing that capitalism is an immutable social reality, but one that can be managed and contained.

N+1 is the best magazine in America.

I wanted to say this, but I thought it would mark me out as earnest & nineteen; I'll counteract that impression by saying that I despise Kunkel and Gessen.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:48 PM
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The most recent N+1 I read - maybe 9 months ago? - I remember both liking and leading me to not look out for later issues. I read a couple of earlier issues pretty much cover to cover. Still haven't read the Babel piece, because I still feel like I haven't read enough Babel.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:51 PM
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I wouldn't have even thought to list the BAM, but of course we get that, too.

Yeah, I guess I remember they renamed it. I listed it as a subscription because they occasionally send out that begging letter saying you'd be a better person if you subscribed, rather than getting it free. Sometimes I aspire to being a better person.

I'm '67 and my wife is '70, both van Dam/CS schlepps. Are you anywhere close to that?


Posted by: Bob Munck | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:58 PM
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New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, & a lifetime subscription to N+1, which I suspect may last only until 2009, based on the various emails sent by "The Editors" (i.e. Mark Greif). But I hope it lasts forever--or at least until I haven't lost too much money.


Posted by: jetsam | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:06 PM
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We get Science and National Geographic. We've subscribed to Newsweek off and on, but not currently.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:09 PM
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For those of you who love N+1, what do you like about it? I've heard good things about it on occasion, and remember looking into it briefly. The wikipedia page and related links, as well as the magazine's webpage remind a surprising amount of McSweeney's considering that one of their first issues slagged the Eggers publication pretty heartily.

So.. yeah, what's the deal with N+1? And actually, if anyone could explain what is meant by "intellectuals" in magazines, that'd be great. Do they really just mean "literary theorists"? Or possibly "can make lots of jokes about obscure corners of the literary canon"?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:22 PM
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I understand how assholish and snarky 89 sounds, and I don't quite mean it that way (somewhat, but not too much). The use of "intellectual" as a noun has always confounded me somewhat, and I genuinely do want to know if N+1 might be up my alley or not given the people who've recommended it.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:25 PM
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I often have dreams of having lots of scrips to literary quarterlies, because they're poor and they need subscribers and because I like them. The last time I tried it, I got two issues of Topic, and I liked them, but then I never received anything ever again from them. On a similar note, I always think I'll subscribe to VQR or the Sewanee Review, but then I never do. I don't have any scrips now, just lots and lots of browser tabs open to articles I intend to read. (Google Browser Sync is awesome, and obnoxious, for that very reason.)


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:26 PM
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I should use preview.

The last time I tried it, I got received two issues of Topic, and I liked the mag, but then I never received anything ever again from them another issue.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:28 PM
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My roommate gets MAKE, National Geographic and Paste (the first and last of which I'd probably take over if he got hit by a bus). I didn't voluntarily subscribe to any magazines, but Emily just got me a year's subscription to Wizard (awesome) and my Grandfather insists on getting every family member an eternal subscription to Reader's Digest (not as awesome), presumably as a way of making him feel better about excluding us from his will. I subscribed my dad to TAP and the Washington Monthly, but for my own part I read pretty much all of their content online anyway and don't feel that I need one more thing to throw away once a month.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:31 PM
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Mother Jones, The American Prospect, The Advocate, Food & Wine, and Sucks Seed. Also, Vogue started showing up in the mailbox recently but we have no idea why.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:34 PM
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And National Geographic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:35 PM
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Oh yeah! I get GOOD, too, seemingly as punishment for attending the launch party they threw in Reading Terminal Market. It's current.tv in magazine form, except somewhat worse. I did enjoy how hilariously badly designed their "Great Design" special feature was, though.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:36 PM
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my Grandfather insists on getting every family member an eternal subscription to Reader's Digest (not as awesome)

I can confirm the veracity of this claim. Tom's wily sister (my former roommate) wisely neglected to send in a change-of-address form for her subscription to Reader's Digest, so that's currently the only magazine coming to my house regularly. I really should begin forwarding it on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:14 PM
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Anyone have a visual arts mag recommendation? I like Fischl, Inka Essenhigh, Chinese painting up to Ming, European watercolors, Morley. I love InStyle at the grocery store, and really enjoy personality surveys.

SciAm, but since discovering free MIT lecture notes online, I'll probably let it drop. Strang even has video.
Ooh: Sharp on RNAi . Economist, but I don't read the US pages


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:22 PM
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I subscribe to New Scientist.

I also purchase the following regularly enough that I should subscribe:

Guitarist; Guitar Techniques [depending on the monthly 'theme']; Amateur Photographer; and, Black and White Photography.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:47 PM
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Kobe is the only magazine anyone needs.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:52 PM
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I get the New Yorker (for showing NPR love) and Newsweek, which my parents gave me.

I buy the Economist enough that it would be cheaper just to subscribe, but correcting an error with the subscription I bought my Dad was an ordeal of several weeks and I don't want to tempt fate.

I always mean to subscribe to more little magazines so I'm not totally reliant on anthologies to find new authors. The parts of the last N+1 I read were very good, but I was initially and foolishly resistant because of crap I read on gawker.

Also, I inadvertently stole a copy of the New Republic from B&N last week. Suck it, Peretz...err...CanWest...


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:00 AM
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Of course, I always have comfortable chairs and a selection of the latest periodicals at my club.


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:04 AM
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I don't think Diogenes would have liked comfortable chairs in his club.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:12 AM
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re: 103

Fairly lax on the dress-code, too, I imagine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:13 AM
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Though, if you ask me, I bet he'd secretly love to have the latest Entertainment Weekly show up at the rim of his tub.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:13 AM
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I don't think Diogenes would have liked comfortable chairs in his club.

That's a comfortable chair … for me to masturbate on!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:21 AM
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Okay, but nobody ought to be using their bowl as masturbatory aids.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:24 AM
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(and that's in the bylaws) (if only it were so easy to satisfy my prudery by rubbing my stomach, etc.)


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:29 AM
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New Scientist and SciAm. Mrs OFE subs to the BBC Cookery mag and History Today, mainly for commuting purposes. Almost entirely given up newspapers - you can read them on line if you have to and that much waste paper can't be justifiable.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:32 AM
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I have a subscription, by grace of my mom, to the NYer, but I'd rather have one to Cook's Illustrated or MAKE (just because it seems really neat), and one to N+1, whose editors I mostly can't stand (and the front matter is always execrable).

I can read the NYRB free online. Ha!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:39 AM
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Uninhibited, cosmopolitan WM, 2400ish, seeks honest man.

Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:50 AM
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If we count read-every-paper-issue as opposed to pay-annual-subscription-fee, I take Private Eye, Time Out London, the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, Harper's and, um, PC Gamer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:21 AM
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London Review of Books and (for work purposes, so it doesn't really count as I would never read it otherwise) Health Services Journal.


Posted by: heloise | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:54 AM
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So.. yeah, what's the deal with N+1? And actually, if anyone could explain what is meant by "intellectuals" in magazines, that'd be great. Do they really just mean "literary theorists"? Or possibly "can make lots of jokes about obscure corners of the literary canon"?

More like the old Baffler from the 1990s, if you ever read that. Or, to reach further back, the old Partisan Review from the 50s. You know, generalists, interested in ideas, widely read, willing to take big theoretical leaps, interested in both pop and high culture. Nothing impenetrable or obscure, but an occasional arch and judgemental sort of tone, which from this thread seems to rub people the wrong way at times. Although maybe people will always be a little envious of success.

The last issue had a really brilliant essay called "The Face of Sei-hu Jun" (sp?) about the Virginia Tech murders. The greatest commentary I've ever seen on the repressed rage of the "nice guy" who can't get laid.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:14 AM
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the old Baffler from the 1990s

It still exists! I think, up to a point. They mailed me a new issue about a year ago, then went silent again.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:22 AM
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I used to get magazine subscriptions until I realized they send you issues whether you want to read them or not.

I subscribed to WSJ for many years, but let it lapse this year because I got tired of seeing articles on what power brokers went to which restaurants (including charts of favorite tables), and things like how buying cars for dogs is a growing trend.

So, like Teo, I don't subscribed to anything now and spend most of my reading on-line. So environmentally friendly.



Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:25 AM
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New Yorker is the only one I get. I'd like to get MAKE, but really, I spend my money on books.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:27 AM
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Atlantic & Harpers, although it's been a while since I read much of either. Washington Post, because the wife wants to read it in hard copy. (My son fixed up this old Power Book G4 to get her weaned from the paper, but she's resisted, and here I am using it . . .) National Geographic. The Montana Historical Society magazine I read cover to cover. Bar journals: ABA for the jokes, DC for Jake Stein's column, MT nearly all.

The wife gets Der Spiegel, but rarely reads it, and some kayaking mags. The boy gets PC Gamer.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:46 AM
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117 is hilarious.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:49 AM
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Yeah, and alum mags from Cal, MSU, and Catholic. From which less than 1 article per issue gets read.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:50 AM
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I forgot, I also get the NYRB for some reason. I just got one with a scary "LAST ISSUE!" warning, so there you go.

I'm '67 and my wife is '70, both van Dam/CS schlepps. Are you anywhere close to that?

My wife and I are about 30 years younger than your wife and you, respectively.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:52 AM
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The parts of the last N+1 I read were very good, but I was initially and foolishly resistant because of crap I read on gawker.

Here's an N+1 piece on "Gawker". It's actually rather earnest and scholarly:

http://www.nplusonemag.com/gawker.html


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:54 AM
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70: The interesting thing about Beer Advocate is that instead of getting a bunch of beer people and trying to make them write, they got a bunch of writers and gave them crash courses in beer culture. I think this was a smart choice; learning to write well is harder. The magazine always seems a bit short, but it's probably better to be brief than to be chock-full of crap.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 7:50 AM
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I don't subscribe to any magazines because they tend to pile up unread, but I still read the paper editions of NYRB, TLS, Artforum, Sight & Sound, Wire, XL8R, The New Yorker, Harper's, Vanity Fair, Interview, Metropolis, Dwell, Wallpaper, and occasionally, Esquire, GQ, and Vogue. About a third of those I can read at the library; another third I can find lying around the coffee shop. NYRB and Artforum are the only magazines I actually buy with any regularity anymore.

(At home, I still have about half a dozen old issues of The Baffler; along with old issues of Film Threat, Mondo 2000, and the original Boing Boing.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:03 AM
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I think this was a smart choice; learning to write well is harder.

harder than drinking a beer? Well, my own experience definitely backs that up.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:12 AM
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For those considering a MAKE subscription, let me qualify my enthusiasm. It really is a nice magazine -- nicely designed, nicely packaged, each issue is worth consideration for permanent bookshelf residence -- and I always look forward to its arrival. But there is some fluff (aimless essays by Cory Doctorow come to mind), and they've covered a lot of the material that's appropriate for entry-level hobbyists and now have begun to repeat themselves a bit. There's no good reason for this, but there you are. Partly I think it's because the DIY tech community has begun to standardize on a few technology platforms. Partly it's because they're not sure how technical they can get without losing people. Or maybe it's because my interests are more narrow than I realize (I'm really looking for uC stuff at the moment).

In any case, you might be better off buying the issues one by one and following their excellent blog. The only caveat to that is that a subscription gets you access to their digital archives, which are very good.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:26 AM
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126: eh I like it cuz it's pretty and well bound and they occasionally employ my friends.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:41 AM
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123 gets it right. I recommend the magazine. In the beer reviews, generally about 29 out of 30 are unavailable anywhere I might possibly go, but they're still interesting. So far it hasn't repeated itself in 2 years of existence.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:42 AM
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an occasional arch [...] sort of tone

Their fans like a bit of the understatement now and then, too, but that's ok, really it is. All part of life.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:18 AM
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Nothing at the moment: I can get most of everything from The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harpers, the LRB, and various news dailies online.

However, someone on the same floor as my department has recently been recycling issues of The New Yorker from as far back as 1993 to last summer (in mint condition, no less). I've been gathering an armful at a time and reading them before bed, and it's been really enjoyable. Little tiny time-sensitive things are interesting, like the books and movies being reviewed/hyped that I no longer (or just faintly) recognize, the political content emphasized, cultural trends that were supposed to be important but haven't really been, the ads themselves, and then just reading the essays that can stand on their own. I highly recommend doing this if there's a sudden recycler in your locale.


Posted by: fig | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:27 AM
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127: Yeah, I like it, too. They've been really good about encouraging the rebirth of the electronics DIY movement, so I hesitate to tell anyone not to support them. I've just found the last couple of issues to be a little blah.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:31 AM
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This is neither here nor there, but I continue to by mystified by the attraction of The New Yorker.

79:

Sure; I tried to acknowledge as much in 60. It's not like Harper's is rotted through with this kind of writing--it's just the last place I can find it.

You might be able to find it in, say, Mother Jones or Z Magazine (is that still around?) -- though I haven't read them in a while, so I'm not sure -- or in any number of others. Not to press the point overly much, but I think there's a fair amount of it out there, to the extent that I understand what "it" is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:43 AM
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I continue to be mystified by the attraction of The New Yorker

Two words, parsimon: Jane Mayer. That woman is worth the subscription price right there.

(And I get a giggle out of the cartoons, I'll admit.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:05 PM
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Parsimon, do you live in Peoria by any chance?

I more or less agree, from here in Wobegon. There's too much self-congratulatory Smart Set type of stuff, at every level, especially the ads.

On the other hand, it's supposedly the only publication in the US who can pay people like Seymour Hersh enough money to keep them working.

I subscribe to the Nation and (gift) The Progressive. I recommend In These Times and maybe I'll re-up. I've really enjoyed Natural History, The Smithsonian, and The Scientific American in the past, with occasional subscriptions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:09 PM
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A Peoria of the mind, apparently.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:19 PM
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134 pretty much describes my reaction to the New Yorker, although I would put a couple other writers in the Hersh category. The self-congratulatory upper class New York bullshit is awful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:46 PM
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132, 134, 136: Whew. I'm feeling vindicated.

Also, PGD has convinced me to find an issue or two of N+1 somewhere and give it a test run.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 1:32 PM
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I subscribe to TAP, WashMo, Harpers, Mother Jones (tho' I get it electronically, so it half counts), the Atlantic Monthly (probably let that run out), the Wilson Quarterly, ESOPUS, the Studio Potter, and Notices of the American Mathematical Society (which hasn't run an interesting (to me) article in some time).
Occasionally, I'll think about re-subscribing to the New Yorker. 136 neatly summarizes why I think about it and why I haven't done it. I also used to subscribe to Scientific American and the American Scientist. I felt Scientific American was too much fluff, so I let it run out. American Scientist is much more to my taste, but I'm also pretty lazy.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:04 PM
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Scientific American has gotten much dumber? more accessible? since I was a teenager. It used to be that I had a hope in hell of understanding what was going on in maybe one in four of the articles; now, five out of six are aimed at a general audience. I still enjoy it (in fact, more than I used to) but the change worries me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:08 PM
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139: iirc, `new scientist' is more that role now, but I may be mixing up the names (there are a couple simlarly named)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:13 PM
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139: I know, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:17 PM
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139, 140. Both dumbed down to the point of irritation IMO. The Seed scienceblogs are better, really.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:25 PM
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My mom used to get Science paid for by her university when she was a professor, and that was always interesting to read through even if the proper research articles were high enough level to be very inaccessible. A couple years ago, I looked around to find any sort of science magazine that covered advances across a similar variety of fields while assuming a similarly high knowledge level and intellect, but I really couldn't find anything.

Maybe now that she's just picked up a research professorship, I'll see if she can subscribe on the new university's dime.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:31 PM
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142: I haven't been following recently. You're quite right though, that blogs are probably the best source of much of this stuff now.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:33 PM
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I've considered subscribing to various scholarly journals from time to time (especially now that I no longer have JSTOR access), but I've never actually done it. I did belong to the American Oriental Society for one year and as a result have a year's worth of their journal, but that was for other reasons.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:34 PM
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A couple years ago, I looked around to find any sort of science magazine that covered advances across a similar variety of fields while assuming a similarly high knowledge level and intellect, but I really couldn't find anything.

You mean other than Science, right? $142, but look at the benefits!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:36 PM
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Huh. I could even get it for $75 with my current student affiliations. I thought it was a lot more expensive than that... I'm really considering this now, especially since I'll get an American Association for the Advancement of Science mug and qualify for the AAAS Visa card! Foreign Affairs cost something like $44 per year, and I didn't even get a CFR mug.

Oh yeah, and speaking of scholarly journals/newsletters, I also subscribe to NBER Digest, which is completely free and typically an interesting few pages of reading.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:45 PM
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OTOH, I have to admit that New Scientist alerts me to the existence of a published paper called: "Effects of death within 11 years on cognitive performance in old age", and another called "A vowel identification procedure for gerbils". This is probably worth the price of subscription.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:53 PM
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139, 142: I just have a creeping suspicion that science journalism is journalism and, thus, has the same problems regarding, for example, the types of stories covered and the quality of the science contained therein. Plus, I hated the Skeptic in SciAm.

143: Did you look at American Scientist? How do such articles as "The Past and Future of the Periodic Table" and "The Phenotypic Plasticity of Death Valley's Pupfish" sound? Or maybe you'd like a look at the state of thermodynamics in "From Steam Engines to Life?" Exciting.



Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 3:56 PM
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How do such articles as "The Past and Future of the Periodic Table" and "The Phenotypic Plasticity of Death Valley's Pupfish" sound? Or maybe you'd like a look at the state of thermodynamics in "From Steam Engines to Life?" Exciting.

Don't knock it. I sell books like these. It's the wave of the future. Have y'all ever listened to yourselves discuss the mechanics of the current economic could-be-a-meltdown?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 5:39 PM
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Any one of them might be interesting, Feldspar. I don't like the way Science writes, and there's lots of stuff I can't read, but there might be something interesting there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 5:46 PM
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149.2: that sounds nifty; is that one issue?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 5:48 PM
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It's the wave of the future.

In the case of a could-be-meltdown, I want From sour-mash to mug.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:20 PM
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New Scientist is pretty good for a general interest science magazine, but it has a strong tendency for sensationalism in its features. It tends (as the title suggests) to favour theoretical or cutting edge and hence unreplicated research over nuts and bolts science. The news section at the front is good, though. I read it most weeks, but I wouldn't consider it essential given how many good science blogs and podcasts are out there.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 6:28 PM
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n+1 is good, and why hate on the editors? They edit it, after all, and the first Intellectual Situation was awesome. I also just had a drink with one of them last week, so I'm prejudiced. I will grant that they have not always lived up to their stance of Being Opposed To Bad Things, but it's a good project.

New Yorker just ran out; I was thinking I wouldn't reup, but then I read one cover-to-cover on the plane and enjoyed it. And I enjoy the self-congratulatory uppercrust New York bullshit. Admit it. You do too. (I believe parsimon and Emerson don't. The rest of you ... maybe.)

I think the people like Gopnik and Buford really get to the heart of why it's so compelling. They clearly have these bourgeois existences that don't even seem real for this century, but they comprehend them. They have editors and writers who care about stating things well. The writing feels lived in. The essays travel. It gives bourgie a good name.

I also get the Sunday New York Times though I live in L.A. and I read the wedding announcements first. About twice a year I know someone. Someone once called them "the sports pages for ladies."

I too had to give up on Harpers. Every now and then I figure I'll subscribe to the NYRB, but I haven't ever lept.

I had a free subscription to los angeles magazine once, and I liked it enough. Might get it again. Steve Erickson is their film critic, and he's delightfully batty. Sadly, I believe that New York magazine is better. I hate that.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:25 PM
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New Yorker just ran out; I was thinking I wouldn't reup, but then I read one cover-to-cover on the plane and enjoyed it. And I enjoy the self-congratulatory uppercrust New York bullshit. Admit it. You do too. (I believe parsimon and Emerson don't. The rest of you ... maybe.)

The pieces that really gall me are the "my goodness, isn't this inherited billionaire remarkable for spending his wealth on fabulously expensive art? Let's delve into his world, and become bettered!"

I like the long, funky pieces that aren't about rich assholes and their rich asshole hobbies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:27 PM
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like Dr. Demento, he had a steadfast audience of people at a certain stage in life who were experiencing him for the first time before moving on to other things

I have a few columns I wrote for the college paper where I tried to do Lapham. There was one where I went into high dudgeon that the paper was not publishing on Columbus Day, wondering rhetorically if they had decided to observe Indigenous Peoples' Day. So deliciously embarrassing.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:28 PM
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I don't recall any pieces of the 156 ilk, but I wouldn't defend it. But the Talk of the Towns that pretend to be the society pages I find charming and typically sly.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:30 PM
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For the threepeat: while we're talking about science, check out this chimp.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:36 PM
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And I enjoy the self-congratulatory uppercrust New York bullshit. Admit it. You do too. (I believe parsimon and Emerson don't. The rest of you ... maybe.)

God, wrongshore, blogcrush on you ... cancelled.

Babe, the self-congratulatory uppercrust &c. is tedious. I've seen it before. It is boring. The fact that it can't see its boringness makes it utterly uncharming.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 8:47 PM
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They edit it, after all, and the first Intellectual Situation was awesome.

Maybe it was. But all the others have been extremely bad. The tone is incredibly obnoxious. They claim to undercut that by having the editorial "We" do things like ... sit on a park bench and eat a hot dog, and if they think it's working, it's another sign that there's something wrong with them.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:10 PM
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Babe, the self-congratulatory uppercrust &c. is tedious.

Tedious, hell, it's gross. People shouldn't be that rich, and for god's sake, they shouldn't be so fucking proud of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:12 PM
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I like the long, funky pieces that aren't about rich assholes and their rich asshole hobbies.

The pre-Tina Brown New Yorker used to have fantastic, long articles about totally random shit that you never would have thought of. It was only with Brown that it became like the sophisticated version of the society page. But New York has become all about wealth, back in the 70s-80s it was a more delightfully (or dangerously...) random place.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:14 PM
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163 was me.

I wonder if 162 will survive Sifu's inevitable eventual acquisition of great wealth.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:16 PM
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163: I miss the Thurber pieces.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:16 PM
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163: McPhee! McPhee! My kingdom for McPhee!

164: I'll never have that much, and if I do, I'll be sure to avoid crowing about it like those glib fucks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:20 PM
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161:

The "we" thing in the Intellectual Situation is good for one or two iterations, and that's about it. True. Edit those "we" interludes out, though, and I thought the offerings in the most recent issue, the only one I've read, were, mm, alright. Entertaining.

Yes, you're right. I don't see it really working after the first time one encounters it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:20 PM
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Wrongshore's totally right. It does give bourgie a good name, and I for one think that's just fine--not because the entitled rich should get better press, but because we should have standards for what counts as the kind of behavior that's admirable/interesting. Dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:21 PM
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I have to say that pretty much all of Gopnik's pieces that I've read have struck me as incredibly well-written, such that I always get almost all the way to the end before I remember that I get very little out of reading them (aside from summary, every now and then, and sometimes not even that). I do think they made a good decision having J/ll L/pore review history. Why they sometimes give history to people like Updike - I think he did a Depression piece - I have no idea.

There seems to be a New Yorker house rule that if the author went to school with anyone named in an article it must be mentioned.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:23 PM
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There seems to be a New Yorker house rule that if the author went to school with anyone named in an article it must be mentioned.

It's called "full disclosure", eb, you fascist.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:24 PM
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Does it have to be disclosed in such a way as to give the impression that the author and subject enjoy a special station as part of a special class of special people?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:25 PM
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168: Yes, dear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:28 PM
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Oh, fuck the rationalizations. They hire people who can write, is the real thing. Most other magazines don't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:30 PM
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The pre-Tina Brown New Yorker used to have fantastic, long articles about totally random shit that you never would have thought of. It was only with Brown that it became like the sophisticated version of the society page.

Frankly, I don't know where you're getting this idea from. You and several other people.

Let's see, what are the subjects of the long articles in the last five issues of the New Yorker:
- Obama's and Clinton's approaches to executive power
- The funding of medical research by different types of foundations
- Current events in Pakistan
- A painter who everyone hates
- The role of New Hampshire in the election
- That girl in Illinois who was driven to kill herself by online cruelty
- National intelligence policy
- A famous female artist of the 1930s
- Technology companies and their new lobbying power
- Scientology's real estate holdings (this article was written in kind of a smarmy first-person way)
- Scrap metal
- The Giuliani campaign
- People who make a living by doing medical tests
- The tragically pointless efforts of the UN envoy who was killed in Iraq (this one was fascinating)
- The role of immigration in the presidential election
- An old building and the controversy over whether it should be designated a historic landmark
- David Sedaris's wacky adventures
- Smuggling of antiquities
- The death of Malcolm Lowry

In bold are the two of those that are in any way about the carefree antics of rich urbanites.

The New Yorker might have been similar to New York or Vanity Fair for a little while in the 90s, but it isn't anymore. Not even a bit. Only in the annual fashion issue, and in some of the five-paragraph articles in the "Talk of the Town" section. The personal narratives by people like Sedaris and Gopnik show up about once a month at most. You're really off base here.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:33 PM
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173: They hire people who can write

Like I said, I subscribe. This is why, no matter how much of it irritates the crap out of me.

I am just this minute reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, originally published as a short story in the New Yorker: hell of good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:33 PM
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173: Most other magazines don't? What the hell else do you read?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:34 PM
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I actually thought the old building article was really interesting.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:35 PM
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And if this is all about the tone of the art and book criticism, that's common to any magazine you could think of. If people know what they're talking about and are writing five-page-long articles of art and book criticism, they sound pretentious and self-important, no matter who they are or what magazine they're writing for.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:36 PM
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What the hell else do you read?

Unfogged.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:37 PM
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Ned's getting hysterical.

If people know what they're talking about and are writing five-page-long articles of art and book criticism, they sound pretentious and self-important, no matter who they are or what magazine they're writing for.

This is not true.

But fine, I'll go take another look at the recent issue a friend gave me to read on the plane, and which held my interest for all of 20 minutes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:39 PM
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In bold are the two of those that are in any way about the carefree antics of rich urbanites.

Append:
- Smuggling of antiquities
- The death of Malcolm Lowry
- A famous female artist of the 1930s
- A painter who everyone hates
- The funding of medical research by different types of foundations

by my lights, along with every humor piece.

But sure, it's not, like, constant. And "The Ambien Cookbook" was hilarious.

But take e.g. the recent (past 6 months?) extended piece on rare or historical wines: fascinating, especially if you're into collecting expensive wines; the "rich-ass New Yorker" target audience just comes through too clearly for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:40 PM
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Well sure, maybe it doesn't hold your interest. But the Tina Brown era is over. It doesn't deserve to be compared to New York.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:40 PM
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Malcolm Lowry, a rich urbanite?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:43 PM
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182: oh, I agree with that. And I should probably be more clear; the subjects of the articles are only occasionally godawful rich, self-satisfied new yorkers, but the targets of the magazine ever-more-clearly are. What bothers me is the inferred reader's POV.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:46 PM
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By "be more clear" I of course mean "completely change the assertion I'm defending".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:46 PM
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The personal narratives by people like Sedaris and Gopnik show up about once a month at most.

The thing is, some of those Gopnik "personal narratives" are supposed to be book reviews. (I don't know about Sedaris who I haven't read.)

If people know what they're talking about and are writing five-page-long articles of art and book criticism, they sound pretentious and self-important, no matter who they are or what magazine they're writing for.

The New Republic, during the couple years I subscribed - before I subscribed to the New Yorker for a couple years - consistently had better coverage of non-fiction books than the New Yorker. Especially when it came to history (academic version).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:50 PM
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TNR's back of the book, when I was reading it, anyway, was consistently very good.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:51 PM
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I must be missing what's wrong with the New York Review of Books.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:53 PM
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||

It appears that Charlie Nesson is on the Colbert Report right now arguing for online poker. Is anybody else seeing this or am I losing my mind?

|>


Posted by: Observer773 | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:54 PM
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New Yorker writers I like:
John McPhee
Louis Menand
Hertzberg
Hersh
Mayer
S F/J (fuck all of you)
Alex Ross
Sedaris (kind of sometimes)
Patrick Keefe (he's an occasional)
Whoever wrote that global warming series
Whatsisdoctorface

New Yorker writers I don't really like
Whatsisdoctorface
Gladwell
The movie reviewers
McCall and the rest of the Shouts and Murmurs chumps
Reznick
Uh most of the rest of them, really
Updike

So it's kind of a wash.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 9:56 PM
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You can tell the one doctorface from the other one, but you only like one?

I think both contribute a lot.

Anyway, I disagree about the "intended audience" of the things you list in 181. The intended audience is people who are interested in those things. But people interested in those things don't have to be urbanites - there's very little talk about hip neighborhoods or NYC-specific stereotypes - and they don't have to be rich either. It's amazing how little coverage the New Yorker does of the stock market and other aspects of the rich people's economy, compared to the seemingly similar Atlantic Monthly.

Basically, I do feel actually grateful that the New Yorker has gotten better since the nineties instead of getting worse like everything else has in the era of unprincipled laissez-faire and media consolidation.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:01 PM
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Basically, I do feel actually grateful that the New Yorker has gotten better since the nineties instead of getting worse like everything else has in the era of unprincipled laissez-faire and media consolidation.

See, I am not convinced it has; it's like they have this Profile Some Rich Asshole quota they have to fill every month or two; I forget the specific article, but it was a fawning caricature, basically, of the guy who runs that museum that won't let kids in; I just really found it kind of nauseating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:03 PM
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184:
the subjects of the articles are only occasionally [n], but the targets of the magazine ever-more-clearly are. What bothers me is the inferred reader's POV.

This sounds frighteningly close to destroyer's criticism of Harper's. Uh-oh. We have achieved cleavage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:06 PM
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Yeah, the one about the mentally unstable guy who wastes people's money in hedge funds was part of that series. But it was interesting and not very fawning once you realized the actual facts, which were clear.
time for bed, bye


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:06 PM
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||

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao just referenced the fucking Dragonlance books? So, so awesome.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:09 PM
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150: I'm only mocking their titles to make people like me.

For what it's worth, I buy books with titles like "Weil Conjectures, Perverse Sheaves, and l'adic Fourier Transform," "Cohomological Induction and Unitary Representations," and "Zeta Functions of Picard Modular Surfaces." So, am I, like, part of the wave of the future?


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:10 PM
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152: The first two articles were from the current issue, the last article from the pervious.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:11 PM
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I must be missing what's wrong with the New York Review of Books.

They seem to have cut down their fiction reviewing since the late 90s.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:14 PM
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You guys have convinced me to resubscribe to the New Yorker. I find I miss reading it!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:14 PM
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197: yes, but which is the perviest?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:16 PM
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"Cohomological Induction and Unitary Representations"

There you go. I sell books on cohomology, despite the fact that I barely know what it means. You are my future, or rather, present. This is a transitory thing for me, I believe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:17 PM
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Ned's getting hysterical.

Ned's getting hysterical? I'm hyperventilating!

I like The New Yorker. The cartoons, Anthony Lane, SFJ, Gopnik, Hertzberg, Hersh, Mayer, Ross. Overall, it's a win-win, especially since I don't actually pay for any of the issues. (Also, I enjoy the self-congratulatory uppercrust New York bullshit--and enjoying it from 700 miles away is so delightfully middle-brow!)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:18 PM
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They seem to have cut down their fiction reviewing since the late 90s.

I wasn't reading it in the late 90s. These days it seems like, oh, 40% fiction? Maybe 30%, if you discount biographies of fiction (and poetry) writers. My sense may be skewed, because I go for the non-fiction reviews first anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:28 PM
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200: The Phenotypic Plasticity of Death Valley's Pupfish.
Don't show it to small children.

You are my future....This is a transitory thing for me
My romantic life, briefly.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:28 PM
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202: Populuxe, I obviously forgive you.

Anyway, look, we're increasing The New Yorker's subscriber rolls this very evening.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:32 PM
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Well I was!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:35 PM
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206 to 204.1


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:36 PM
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Why they sometimes give history to people like Updike - I think he did a Depression piece - I have no idea.

That's not as bad as National Geographic having him write about dinosaurs. What the fuck was that all about?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:37 PM
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206 to everything


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:38 PM
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206: The past tense of "Well, I'll be!"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:40 PM
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If you've ever looked at some of Updike's collected essays, the guy's written about everything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:41 PM
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You bitches, I totally turned this around for Si. Wrongshore gets a medal! But loses a blogcrush. We will meet again, parsimon.

That girl in Illinois who was driven to kill herself by online cruelty.

I found that this article added very little to what I'd already read in the LA Times, etc. I hold you to a higher standard, New Yorker!

Tweety, do you like Oliver Sacks? I don't know who the other one whatisscienceface is.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:42 PM
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Tweety, do you like Oliver Sacks? I don't know who the other one whatisscienceface is.

Mostly, yeah. I was talking about the doctor guy who writes about doctor-type ethical kind of issue-y kind of things, y'know? Maybe his name is kind of Indian?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:46 PM
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Anil Gupta.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:46 PM
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The very one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:47 PM
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Atul Gawande?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:48 PM
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That's the other one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:49 PM
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Anil Gupta moonlights as a tattoo artist and comedy writer, and teaches management. He looks like a Photoshop amalgam of Yul Brynner and Leonard Cohen.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:52 PM
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The very other one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:52 PM
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I don't know about Sedaris who I haven't read.

Gasp!!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:53 PM
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||

The Brief Wondrous &c drops a Big Blue Marble reference; I love you Juno Diaz!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:55 PM
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I propose Roy Wooten, inventor of the Drumitar. Good, bad, whatever, it was, uh, something.

(And you don't get credit if you knew about his brother but not him.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:58 PM
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Wrong thread, Stan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 10:59 PM
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Perhaps the New Yorker problem isn't that it's bad: it's that it's our best, and our best are not so good.

Sedaris is exemplary here.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:01 PM
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223: D'oh!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:02 PM
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224: Wrongshore, you now suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:10 PM
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Really, Wrongshore, keep digging. But why? The New Yorker is not our best. So cut it out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:13 PM
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220: it really is shocking when one doesn't know when to use "whom", isn't it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:16 PM
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Populuxe, I obviously forgive you.

I knew you'd understand. I knew it.

The thing about Updike is that he's just as charming and nice in person, and just as dull, as he is in print.

(Oh, right. See if he ever invites me to one of his parties again.)

I don't know about Sedaris

In the fall of '01, a friend of mine and I drove to see Sedaris and along the way we tried to think up funny stuff to kill time. One of the lines we came up with was "I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people". Yeah. Northern Sun gave him about 100 bucks for that line. Now it's become fairly popular around the left blogosphere. And now you know the rest of the story.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:27 PM
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My favorite of Sedaris' subjects is not even the house in France or the painter husband, but rather his frequent mentions of having been a giant stoner. Youthful indiscretion as merely that, secured by current success: it's the ultimate upper class self-satisfaction.

Much less amusing when you're there though; the joint ably rolled on a MacBook Pro, the promise of retroactive justification by the wall-to-wall bookshelves and place on the editorial board that will be inherited, and the detachment; it's a little much for a more insecure social climber to bear.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:36 PM
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Mostly, yeah. I was talking about the doctor guy who writes about doctor-type ethical kind of issue-y kind of things, y'know? Maybe his name is kind of Indian?

Aha, there's two of those. One Indian and one not. The aforementiond Gawande, and Jerome Groopman. I find them indistinguishable.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-08 10:31 AM
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