02 May 2007

Go tell it on the mountain

Not sure why I chose that title: the song brings to mind my sister's squinted-up face at a Christmas party somewhere in East Vancouver, singing because the adults asked her to. It just came to me.

Good news: I've shifted the pile of schoolbooks on my floor—the ones I had to triple-jump through to get to bed. Twenty-one of them have to go back to the UBC library by June 15, and I can only find 18. The cleanup has excavated several magazines, most of them New Yorkers, all bent open to random pages.

Apparently, I dropped:
  • a Walrus in the middle of an article about an overcoat made of aluminum window screening;
  • a New Yorker in the middle of Denby's review of "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," a film I'd never heard of;
  • a New Yorker at the outset of one of those high-spirited Patricia Marx pieces ("Emotional Baggage") in which she prices everything;
  • and a New Yorker just at the end of that profile of Gordon Ramsay, the English chef who's sublimated his raised-on-a-council-estate class fury into truffle and morel preparations. (This one I remember; it's taken me three pre-sleep reads to this point.) What the hell is a morel?
I did read Adam Gopnik's gun-control screed this week, and, fan though I am, I did a thick swallow after his last line—something about how oh, the cell phones of the dead Virginia Tech students are ringing still. Brrr.

Also, Malcolm Gladwell on The Colbert Report: I wanted to listen to one man or the other, not both. Malcolm was a touch earnest, and Stephen kept cutting him off with ersatz jokes like "What, you need a degree for that? A piece of paper?" although he did get in a good bit about honorary degrees. I give it a six point seven.


zp said...

Your list of things dropped is pretty 'cute.

In their infinite wisdom, the gods of New Yorker distribution didn't send me an April 30 New Yorker and I didn't have to read that Gopnik. Did your swallow and your "brrr" indicate some discomfort with the tone?

And "high-spirited" to describe Marx's shopping pieces is pretty funny too. Has that hyphenated description ever not been used as a euphemism? I used to think I didn't care for Marx, but I read something funny by her (linked from Emdashes Valentine's day celebration) so I think it's form of the shopping pieces I don't love.

Or am I reading a lot more spleen than you mean into your brief update?

JJB said...

I don't usually feel the structure of a TOTT piece like I did for that one of Gopnik's: a long, purple opening about cell phones that you could feel him pulling around to at the end.

And usually when they're making a statement -- as Kolbert did this week in a TOTT on congestion pricing, saying, "Who, after all, wants to drive into a city that's under water? -- it doesn't come across as so clunky and sententious.

Funny about Marx and that word: I didn't mean it as full spleen; just a quarter twist, as much as you'd put on a Caesar salad. I feel a latent resentment at her giddiness at finding the perfect hi-gloss toothbrush holder, in lily-pad green (Schlepko's, 45 E. 76th, 432-6543), but, having just read the luggage piece, I grudgingly like her, too.

What's the non-shopping piece?