Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the May 2013 issue

MTV.com

The sad breakup of a truly promising rock ensemble occasioned because some idiot forgot to flush the toilet is remembered in the imperishable prose of Mr. James Montgomery, rock critic and skateboard aficionado:

My Chemical Romance broke up Friday night, ending a career that spanned a dozen years and produced some of the most visceral, dramatic rock and roll in recent memory.

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the April 2013 issue

Huffington Post

The solitary vice as practiced by an anonymous source in bed but fully clothed and dwelling on The Immensities:

I settle back in bed, fully clothed, under the sheets, and get ready for what I love most in the world: writing. When I’m writing, I have the impression of being nothing and everything, a man and a woman, a boy and a girl, young and old, gay and straight, totally free. A form of freedom. When I write, I feel like an “address unknown,” like I have no fixed identity anymore. It’s a feeling of happiness.

François calls. I’m in the middle of a sentence that is giving me trouble, so I don’t answer. He leaves a message asking if I plan on attending the sit-in to protest homophobia at 2 p.m. in front of the National Assembly. I tell him I’m not sure, that I hadn’t heard about it, that I’m not really an activist, that I’m working, etc. His texts are insistent. It’s important, he says.

(February 21, 2013)

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the March 2013 issue

NewYorker.com

Young David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, while in the solitude of the quiet car on an Acela Express returning to New York from the Coronation rite, tries his hand at fashion notes or is it anatomical notes:

The Obamas are so preposterously good-looking, so put together, that you watch them come out of a morning church service and you notice the President of the United States fourth. Whoever thought to give Michelle Obama purple gloves so that they echoed her daughters’ outfits—well, are there prizes for that?
January 21, 2013

Los Angeles Times

Actress Jodie Foster, midst an elegant rant at the Golden Globe Awards, descants on the hygiene and the Art of Hollywood:

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the February 2013 issue

Time

Time magazine gives its invaluable Person of the Year award to the man who will lead America for the next four years from the White House’s official John Deere D140 48-inch 22 HP Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower, complete with utility cart:

Obama says he long ago decided that he should not compare himself to Lincoln. But he nonetheless begins his second term with a better sense of what is possible in his job as well as what is not, something Lincoln struggled with as well. “You do understand that as president of the United States, the amount of power you have is overstated in some ways,” Obama says. “But what you do have the capacity to do is to set a direction.” He has earned the right to set that direction and has learned from experience how to move the country. After four of the most challenging years in the nation’s history, his chance to leave office as a great president who was able to face crises and build a new majority coalition remains within reach.

December 31, 2012/January 7, 2013

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the December 2012 - January 2013 issue

FoxNews.com

Fox News captures Chris Matthews explicating the conservative mind in a rare moment of diabolical infestation:

I think they hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy Al Qaeda. Their No. 1 enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred, hatred for Obama. And we can go into that about the white working class in the South and looking at these numbers we’re getting the last couple days about racial hatred in many cases…this isn’t about being a better president, they want to get rid of this president….

(October 31, 2012)


New York Times Book Review

Columbia University’s professor Mark Lilla, midst a tendentious review of Charles Kesler’s perfectly sensible I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism, spies a mouse, hoists up his skirts, and lets out a horrible shriek:

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the November 2012 issue

The Great Books Series

A highly promising scientific study of the male armpit undoubtedly funded by the National Science Foundation is brought to hopeless foozle by Miss Naomi Wolf’s horny excogitations in Vagina: A New Biography. When will she get serious?

Chen and her team asked 20 heterosexual men to stop wearing deodorant and other scented grooming products for several days. The researchers then put pads under the men’s armpits, and wired the men to electrodes, as the men watched pornographic videos. The researchers analyzed the “aroused” male sweat and also analyzed pads collected from under the arms of the same men when they are not sexually aroused.

Then, 19 heterosexual women smelled the men’s “aroused” and “unaroused” sweat pads, while they themselves underwent brain scans. The women’s brains reacted very differently in response to the “aroused” male sweat.

The “sexual sweat” activated the women’s right orbitofrontal cortex and the right fusiform cortex, but the “unaroused” sweat did nothing for them.…

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the October 2012 issue

GQ

An arcane communiqué written in the autobiographical mode, pursuant to some esoteric aspiration, by an obvious idiot:

Today, I am one week sober.

Visiting family in Kentucky recently, I consumed my last meal at Chick-Fil-A: one chicken sandwich, no pickle; eight nuggets of tender white meat; and an order of salt-crusted waffle fries that were so perfectly crisp, no dipping sauce was needed.

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the September 2012 issue

Parade

An intellectual review that is the Bible of the faculty at Harvard State University asks President George H. W. Bush to slander a great American and, alas, he takes the bait:

Thoughts on the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist.

PARADE: During your presidency you gave in on your “no new taxes” pledge. You’ve been vindicated in many respects for that decision. I wonder how you view the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist that seems to be requisite for GOP political candidates.

GB: The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?

(July 13, 2012)


Newsoxy

On the Web’s equivalent to the New York Times, evidence that in Canada the brain drain continues:

Canadian model Shera Bechard, the ex-girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and creator of “Frisky Friday,” was granted a special genius visa the U.S. government gives to “individuals with extraordinary ability.”

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the July - Aug 2012 issue

The Herald-Mail

(Hagerstown, Maryland)

A typical Obama administration policy wonk defends his health care handiwork from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he is in therapy:

This call is concerning all the people who keep calling in complaining about Obamacare. I hope they never have a catastrophic illness where they need help…. The same conservatives that say we have all these great lower taxes than other countries, but these other countries do provide health care. But yet they don’t want it here in America…. The caller who says your kids aren’t kids when they’re 26, a lot of kids go to college, and they still need health care…. A lot of people have to have master’s degrees and become doctors and other things, and they need health care.

(April 18, 2012)


San Francisco Chronicle

Fashion note gleaned from a famous old underground publication from the City by the Bay:

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Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the June 2012 issue

New York Times Magazine

In the Letters section of a famous old organ of contemporary belles-lettres a potential homicidal maniac manifests the first stirrings of what could be real trouble:

I lived in the Fairbanks, Alaska area for almost 14 years and spent a great deal of time in the bush. I appreciated the silence there, psychologically depended on it. I spent many hours just sitting in places where quiet filled my ears, but there were also many times that the sounds of nature were almost deafening (the mosquitoes!). I always found that nature’s “silence,” that is, what remains when the din of human presence is subtracted, far superior as an affirmation of being. Only there can I really become aware of the effect of my presence. Here in the New York-Boston corridor, noise is everywhere, almost impossible to bear. I can’t separate my presence from the noise. I miss the silence and my absence within it.

Patrick Atwood
Warwick, R.I.

(April 1, 2012)

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