Talk of the Town:
Comment: Obama vs. Netenyahoo. Hendrick Hertzberg finds Bibi annoying, Obama uncommitted, situation ripe with black despair. I might be editorializing a little bit on that last part.
Lost and Found: A Brooklyn restaurateur’s long-lost father turns out to be Ted Nugent. Amusement ensues.
Going Forth Dept.: Backstage with the honorary degree honorees of this year’s New School class. Yawn. Also, Frank Rich is heterosexual? Who knew? His wife, do you think?
The Pictures: Lunch with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. If those names mean anything to you, possibly amusing, though not as amusing as you’d hope. If not, skip.
Old Spot: They tore down a mansion on Long Island which may have been an inspiration for The Great Gatsby; Ian Frazier attempts to riff on same in the manner of F. Scott. He doesn’t do it well.
No Financial Page this week.
Annals of National Security: Seymour Hersh on Iran and the bomb. I’m sorry, it makes a bad person, but I haven’t read it yet.
Shouts and Murmurs: Ian Frazier again. Mildly amusing on the subject of colleges and the degree to which they blow their donors.
The Political Scene: Ryan Lizza on Mitt Romney. I kind of hate Ryan Lizza and Mitt Romney was my actual governor for several years, and so I rather dread reading this précis of how he now has to run from his own health care bill. Thinking about Romney makes me think of his ridiculous game show hair, which makes me think of how Molly Ivins used to call the governor of Texas Gov. Good Hair, which makes me think of this video, which I offer up instead.
Letter from Italy: On Silvio and his scandals. The piece starts out fierce with a description of one of his campaign videos, and I was all set for a classic corrupt pol side-splitter, but for me it just got kind of despairful and skin-crawly half-way through, when it talks about how thoroughly Berlusconi’s TV channels have taken over the airwaves and how completely they embody the spirit of the man. (“In fact there are usually two women on ‘Striscia la Notizia,’ a popular program whose name translates as ‘The News Slithers.’ The women — called veline, which means ‘slips of paper’ — spend the program posed on top of a counter, while male anchors sit behind it discussing current events. Sometimes the veline crawl around on the floor wearing G-strings.”) Uck, Jesus. 50 years gone by, and if this article’s anything to go by it’s worse.
A Reporter at Large: The Invisible Army. On the conditions faced by contract workers at American Army bases in war zones. Haven’t read yet; pictures and tag line suffused me with sense of dread and futility.
Fiction: Clever Girl, haven’t read it yet.
Critic at Large: Louie Menard discusses two books which critique the American university system. Crisp and precise as usual when discussing the flaws of the books themselves; to my mind a little tentative and gun shy when discussing the larger implications of the books’ arguments and attempting to counter them. But then, I think the American university system is irretrievably fucked. Menard’s always worth reading though, because he’s a good boiler-downer.
Music: Alex Ross on a Carnegie Hall classics series. Skipped, ain’t going back, ‘fraid don’t care.
Music: Sasha Frere-Jones on Kate Bush. Personally, am terribly afraid I am beginning to like Kate Bush. I can still recognize that she is the inexhaustible fount of that same twee, ethereal bullshit of which Tori Amos is a lesser practitioner, and which I mostly loathe; still find I get Running Up That Hill stuck in my head after listening to it once a couple weeks ago during an idle perusal of an A.V. Club gateway. Review half-convinced me to give her new album a try; fear result.
Movies: David Denby on the Hangover Part II, Submarine. Read an interview with the director that actually made me want to watch Submarine; this review did not.
Christ, this was a bummer of an issue. Hard to recommend something when I didn’t read half the stuff for fear it’d depress me, and of the stuff I did read half succeeded in that mission.
Worth Anyone’s Time: Menard, I guess. The Nuge piece in Talk of the Town. Berlusconi.
If You Like That Sort of Thing: Everything else?