The New Yorker Blows Off the Navy

tny 9.29.08 cvr.inddI grew up in a family that read, we were not television watchers. Books were currency and for years after I left home, I had to catch snippets of television shows that I knew very little about to educate myself on them. (Still, don’t ask me about Spenser for Hire or Jake and the Fatman. I know nossssssthing.) I am not in any way complaining, it was an interesting upbringing.

When young – when with books – I had very little discernment as to content; if it had words, I would read it. I still have little arcane pockets of knowledge, much smoothed out by the ravages of time. I was, for many years, the local Sammy Davis Jr. expert for my neighborhood. My school library got rid of abuncha books on ol’ Sam-may and I got at least acoupla of ’em. This is not to say I finished every book I got my grubby paws on. I seem to remember one called Brian’s Song or Someone’s Song. I recall it being very sad and I didn’t particularly do midnight dreary in my planting / fertilizing / watering / growing years. I still don’t. 

One obscure (for a tyke) journal I did cherish was the New Yorker magazine. I musta read a hundred issues. If you are thinking of dropping this blogpost over your nose-wrinkling disgust of the rag, don’t. As an adult, I hardly agree with much in the magazine. I do, however, find it well-written, albeit slanted. And although the New Yorker bills its content as a signature mix of politics, culture, and the arts, it hardly is. Let’s do a little test, shall we, to test my hypothesis? I am gonna put in NAVY into the New Yawkah search-engine. And I get back:

-“The Master,” by Paul Thomas Anderson. The writer describes the film as a “fretful, elegant movie,” and notes that, for the first time, “for extra glory and precision,” the director is shooting in 65mm. Navy serviceman Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix. . .

-Everyone wants to know more about SEAL Team Six, the super-élite naval strike force credited with killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. (Steve Coll has more on bin Laden’s final days.) The story of…

-In my Profile of Paul Haggis, I look into questions about the military record of L. Ron Hubbard, who served in the Navy during the Second World War. Hubbard wrote that he had been injured…

-To know: The Navy fired the captain who oversaw and starred in a number of profane videos for showing “profound lack of good judgment and professionalism.” The 112th Congress begins at noon today. And…

tny 9.29.08 cvr.indd

-Talk story about Barack Obama’s election victory and the writer’s memory of an act of discrimination against a black Harvard classmate named Lucien Victor Alexis, Jr. During the writer’s junior year at Harvard, Lucien Victor Alexis, Jr., a classmate, had been briefly in the news, when the Navy lacrosse coach…

And that is taking the search all the way back through September of 2008!

Now, I understand that the Big Apple mag can’t be all Sailor all the time, but shirley they could go out on a limb and give us a little more of that gristled Navy blue-steak every now and then?

23 thoughts on “The New Yorker Blows Off the Navy”

  1. I bet you are good at Trivial Pursuit. Television reception was not so good in Northern NM, so my kids grew up with books, too. But I did love watching “Jake and the Fat Man.”

  2. I read a lot as a child myself…I don’t know exactly how it started; but at thirteen, I used to go to the library for entertainment and out of boredom picked up my first historical fiction novel by Kenneth Roberts…. Arundel, Northwest Passage among others he penned..absolutely fascinating…and I’ve never stopped …in my twenties I started to read fantasy & science fiction with the same determination…imagination…I admire it when I see it in an author…I hope it never ends….k

  3. My cousin raised her kids without television. I remember always feeling slightly sorry for them because of that. Years later you can see how it paid off because her kids grew up to be very successful; one is a teacher, another is an architect, and two are West Point graduates. Pretty cool.

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