Tagged: New Yorker

What I’m reading.

(Photo by Dan Winters.)

From Colson Whitehead’s essay “A Psychotronic Childhood,” about growing up with B-movies in the New Yorker‘s sci-fi issue:

In keeping with my family’s affection for doomed product lines and hexed formats, we purchased a Betamax. The year before, we’d bought a TRS-80 instead of an Apple II, and in due course we’d unbox Mattel’s Intellivision, instead of Atari’s legendary gizmo. This was good training for a writer, for the sooner you accept the fact that you are a deluded idiot who is always out of step with reality the better off you will be.

The annals of television: Morning show edition.

television garbage
Wishful, by Kevin Steele. From a set called tv garbage.

Last week, in a not terribly outdated issue of the New Yorker, I happened to read a remarkable essay by Charles Van Doren about his role in the 1950s quiz show scandals. While learning about Van Doren’s personal history was fascinating, more fascinating was this bit I found mid-way through the piece. In it, he talks about being a contributor to NBC’s Today Show in the late ’50s:

. . . before long Dave [Garroway, the first host of the show] gave me a daily five-minute spot at the top of the hour in which to report on cultural and literary events; I read a great poem or two every Friday morning and talked about its author.

Flash forward half a century. Here is the type of cultural and literary coverage the Today Show is doing these days. And thank goodness. Because nothing will prepare Americans for their new place in the world like being able to say “beach volleyball” in Chinese.

Posted by C-Monster.