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.

2 comments:

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?