This Week's New Yorker

[New Yorker Cover]

True confessions: I recently became a subscriber to The New Yorker. They gave me a subscription offer I found difficult to refuse. Don't worry, I haven't gone over to the Dark Side. Similar to what they say about Playboy: I only read it for the cartoons.

And, yes, it's like a print version of National Public Radio. For example, notice the image of this week's cover I have stolen borrowed. Helpful tip for fellow members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: bookmark the permalink for this post, so the next time your local liberal bemoans that conservatives "demonize" figures on the left, you can pull it up, point to the graphic, and simply raise one eyebrow in the sophisticated manner us New Yorker readers have cultivated. If you want, you can murmur "tu quoque," but be careful not to mispronounce it, lest you be taken for a yahoo.

The cartoons are still pretty good though, and there's even one on page 37 this week from Mick Stevens that will irritate environmental alarmists and make everyone else smile. Don Boudreaux has it here. (I'd reproduce it too, but I'm probably pushing my copyright infringement luck with the cover.)

But what I really wanted to mention is: Steve Martin has a memoir coming out titled Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, and there's a hefty excerpt in the magazine. As even the excerpt makes clear, he's had an interesting life, and he writes about it well. This sentence leaped out at me:

Through the years, I have learned that there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.
Good advice? Maybe more so for comedians than sysadmins. But I liked it anyway, so if you see any obvious delusions here, you'll know what happened. I just hope I hit on the "valid inspiration" bit someday.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 2:18 PM EDT

You Kill Me

[Amazon Link] [1.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I think professional movie critics must have a weak spot in their hearts for professional killers. How else to explain the 77% Tomatometer rating for this movie? Despite the generally good reviews, it went more or less directly to DVD.

Ben Kingsley plays a member of the Polish mob (headed by Philip Baker Hall) in Buffalo, NY. But he's a drunk and a screwup, so he's sent away to San Francisco. He meets Téa Leoni, and they develop a relationship. He goes to AA meetings, and meets colorful people there, including Luke Wilson and Bill Pullman. But the rival Irish mob, headed by Dennis Farina, is stirring up trouble back in Buffalo, so (eventually) Kingsley needs to return.

All these people are very talented, but they one-note their performances here. The most interesting thing is Ben Kingsley's accent, which must be Polish. The whole thing never got very interesting for me at all.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 2:10 PM EDT

Drew Cline on NH Political Demographics

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Drew Cline reports to Wall Street Journal readers on why New Hampshire is trending toward the Democrats. Contrary to popular supposition, it's not Massachusetts refugees who can't shake their habit of reflexive voting for anyone with a (D) after their name.

Transplants into the state are changing the political landscape, but they're not from Massachusetts. They're highly educated professionals and come mostly from mid-Atlantic states. These newcomers have college degrees, many advanced, and work in high-tech, academia and other specialized fields throughout the state. They are affluent and very liberal.
A very sobering article. Guess that whole Free State Project isn't working out quite as planned.