Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Tag: the new yorker

The Design of the Quake

George Packer in The Talk of the Town:

The earthquake seemed to follow a malignant design. It struck the metropolitan area where almost a third of Haiti’s nine million people live. It flattened the headquarters of the United Nations mission, which would have taken the lead in coördinating relief, and killed dozens of U.N. employees, including, reportedly, the mission chief, Hédi Annabi. In a country without a building code, it wiped out whole neighborhoods of shoddy concrete structures, took down hospitals, wrecked the port, put the airport’s control tower out of action, damaged key institutions from the Presidential Palace to the National Cathedral, killed the archbishop and senior politicians, cut off power and phone service, and blocked passage through the streets. There was almost no heavy equipment in the capital that could be used to move debris off trapped survivors, or even to dig mass graves. “Everything is going wrong,” Guy LaRoche, a hospital manager, said.

Actual Quote from Newyorker.com

In response to Richard Brody’s “Best of the Decade” column on films:

i agree with Jordanm. to call the Darjeeling Limited one of the ten best films of the decade (!) and to call Anderson the best new director of the last twenty years (!!) beggars the imagination. This list is incoherent and specious, reflecting a gadfly’s sensibility–or is it a curmudgeon’s?

There’s no way to tell if that’s serious (outside of the anti-Anderson rant) or sincere, but let’s not let that get in the way of enjoying it.

For the record, I saw exactly one movie on the 26-film list and didn’t particularly like it. That says something, even if I’m not sure what. Maybe that most of the movies I see aren’t particularly good? I kind of feel that way anyway. Could be true. Step up your game, homey.

Oh David Remnick, You Prankster You

There’s a really tremendous pun in the first paragraph of this week’s The New Yorker.  The article is about Russia’s new president.

Alexander II, before liberating the serfs, liberated the smokers. (To indulge his own habit, he lifted the imperial ban on tobacco.) Alexander III played the French horn. Nicholas II was a photography buff. Catherine the Great was a passionate equestrienne. Maybe it has something to do with the vastness of Russia’s geography or with the bloody absolutism of its history, but it’s always been easier to contemplate a new master of the Kremlin by seizing on homey anecdotes.

If you get it, it’s really fantastic.