Updates from March, 2006 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 1:16 am on March 10, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    “Kindbrenner” and The Atlantic 

    AtlanticOoph, I just read Jack Shafer’s withering assessment of all the recent developments at The Atlantic Monthly. I’m not sure if it’s sour grapes, considering that Shafer was a potential EIC candidate, or what, but he doesn’t hesitate to dismantle Atlantic owner David Bradley as only someone who’s quite familiar with the man and his vanity magainze empire can.

    Having met Bradley as an Atlantic intern, Shafer’s assessment — from the Bradley pledge “not to be the guy who moves the Atlantic to Washington” to the man’s whisper-level voice to the “tendentious wonkery” of the State of the Union issue I worked on — is spot on. Thankfully, he has kind words for the writers, editors, and new Editor-in-Chief (James Bennet, a NY Times transplant), as well he should. But the brutal comparison of Bradley to the Yankees tyrant George Steinbrenner is anything but kind.

    Ever since the magazine announced its decision to stop printing fiction (horay for the online publishing cop out!), I’ve had a sinking feeling about the Atlantic. I still have a soft spot in my heart for it, and I do my best to wade through the 150-page stapled monsters when they arrive each month, but as the magazine becomes more of policy-wonk mental masturbation, I find myself reading less and less. And with Bradley’s decision to move the whole operation to D.C. — and hence lose Cullen Murphy, Michael Curtis, and most of the other true editorial talent — I think that sinking feeling has just about reached the pavement.

    NB: Looking at my most recent Atlantic, I just noticed that the name has changed. It’s no longer “The Atlantic Monthy,” now it’s just “The Atlantic.” I guess this is due mostly to the publisher’s decision to cut back to 10 issues a year instead of 12. Which begs another important question: In the age of weeklies, dailies, and blogs, what the heck kind of role does a “tweener” magazine have? Sure, bimonthly issues work for wedding mags and Rachel Ray, but for a newsy, intellectual pub? Even think-tank wonkery gets dated aweful fast these days.

    • Matt 12:33 pm on March 19, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Did you read the cover story this month? Awesome, riveting article about British infiltration in the IRA.

  • Ted Mann 10:22 pm on March 6, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Word of the Day: Caterwauling 

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to call Fuzzy’s incessant, excruciatingly annoying yowling. Meowing just sounds too tame? But it’s not exactly craying if he’s not really sad, right?

    This article pointed me to the proper term: caterwauling. Of course, the helpful advice — i.e. not to give into whatever your cat is whining for — is all fine and good, but when you’ve got that incessant whining going on every morning when you wake up, every evening when you sit on the couch, when you hit the hay at night, and just about every period inbetween … well, easier said than done.

    I prefer to go with the old, caterwaul right back at ’em strategy.

    • Gwynne 5:27 pm on March 9, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      My favorite is caterwauling accompanied by a sandpaper tongue to the eyelid or a freezing wet nose to the lips.

  • Ted Mann 9:51 pm on March 1, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Why, Meg, Why? 

    Meg Ryan

    An open letter to Meg Ryan:

    Dear Meg,
    You were my first movie star crush. You were my ideal woman for almost all of my childhood. But today, my love, all that changed with your appearance on Oprah. Or, to be more specific, the appearance of your lips. Why, of why, would you brutalize your mouth so much. First, there was the collagen injections and lip plumping a few years back. But now it appears that that the beestung flesh has been lanced off, leaving you with lips that even a facial burn victim would be disappointed with. I can forgive changing your kids names willy-nilly and going all Angelina Jolie on the third world. But it was nearly impossible to watch your interview without staring and staring at that mangled upper lip (trust me, the picture doesn’t do it justice — or injustice, as it were). And to think, the rest of your face is still so pretty.

    What did Dennis Quaid and Russell Crow do to you? You were soooo cute. Not fair.

    PS: I forgive you.
    Just lay off the eyelifts, OK?

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