Tuesday, December 31, 2002


I'll take Things That Are New for 500, Alex.

It was 11:30 and we were on our way out the door for breakfast, already in the car with the baby, when Darcie's mother called to ask Virginia if she was still going to be in her 1:00 Dance performance for First Night Brattleboro. Oops. Ginny frantically scraped the ice off her car and took off pretty quick, so we didn't really finalize plans for New Years. Well, we've still got ten hours left of 2002 to decide.

In other news, an afternoon off means time to finally get to the Winter Fiction Issue of The New New New Yorker. Gladwell's Republican dis in the Talk of the Town has been widely reported; less noted have been two fine points from, repectively, a Norman Mailer piece on being a writer and an excellent piece on paranormal investigator Joe Nickell by Burkhard Bilger.

Realism is a species of fantasy that's much more integrated and hard-core than fantasy itself, but if you are ready to come to grips with the inevitable slipperiness of most available facts, you come to recognize that realism is not a direct approach to the truth so much as it is the most concentrated form of fantasy. (Mailer)

Last year, a Gallup poll found that half of all Americans believe in E.S.P., more than forty per cent believe in demonic possession and haunted houses, and about a third believe in astrology, clairvoyance, and ghosts. (Bilger)


Dear god. Superimposed, they say worlds, don't they? Apparently, a large minority of people aren't ready to come to grips with the inevitable slipperiness of reality. Sadly, the good folks at the New Yorker have already moved on to the next issue, but you should read that, too, if you don't already subscribe.

By the way: The word news is understood etymologically as a noun "plural in form but commonly used with a singular verb;" it comes from the Middle English newes, meaning new things. Thus, new news is a redundancy, news item is grammatically inconsistent. And now you know.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:15 PM |

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