Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Before it moved to The New Yorker:
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Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


Stay Away From Bad Cheese

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But that doesn’t mean David Remnick’s not a good writer fella. Jon Friedman went to a panel on Bob Dylan’s “Modern Times” at KGB and found that Remnick (who was there too) was a sport and a brick and a peach and all kinds of other incongruous nouns, none of which he actually uses. Friedman also asked Remnick about his Bill Clinton Profile: “When I asked Remnick if he came away liking his subject, he said bluntly: ‘It’s not a date. It’s not my job as a reporter to like or dislike somebody.’ Clinton, he concluded, ‘is a force of nature.’ ”

I wonder if he felt that supernatural glow everyone I’ve ever met who’s met Clinton or even been in the same room as him has reported? A former colleague at PEN told me she didn’t know they were at the same event, and suddenly became conscious of an intense heat radiating toward her back. She turned around: Bill, as she lived and breathed. I once met Jesse Jackson, and had the same sense of a twinkly nimbus around a powerful, magnetic personality. Maybe Clinton is more twinkle than nimbus. I’m not sure.

By the way, doesn’t it bother you slightly that a “New York Times executive” told Friedman that reading the Clinton Profiile was “the single biggest commitment I made to ANYTHING since I married my husband”? That’s worrisome in anyone, much less a senior member of a newpaper staff, don’t you think? Even if she’s joking, it’s too weird.

Meanwhile, I just returned from the Art Directors Club dinner honoring various inductees into their hall of fame, including Art Spiegelman. I wrote down some things he said and will transcribe them, but meanwhile I must report that Francoise Mouly looked like a million Euros, and that’s even more than dollars, and didn’t the cute young Canadian advertising hotshots at my table gawp admiringly! Mouly was also funny and impressive and all, but holy brioches, that pale satin dress was the hornet’s coronet.

Finally, the martyred Spencer Morgan and associates at the Observer (which I can’t type without hearing young John from Michael Apted’s 7 Up: “I read the Observer AND the Times”) record memories from still more New Yorker Festival events, involving Robin Williams, Zadie Smith, Sasha Frere-Jones, and one of the original inspirations for Emdashes, the majestic Donald Antrim.


I shook Clinton’s hand at an NYU event he’d spoken at, and must admit, it was a very warm hand. I was completely charmed, and had planned on not being charmed at all.

As for La Mouly, she always looks like a star! I glimpsed her across the room at a TNY party once and, not knowing who she was, had one of those rare, “Who IS that incredible woman?” moments.

A friend of mine, who works in non-profit advocacy orgs in DC, was at a speech he gave while he was still pres. She was in the front row, and said she was absolutely bowled over by how magnetic—and yes, attractive—he was. My friend is lesbian, and he STILL had that effect on her.

his charisma expands to fill the size of any room he enters. i saw him speak in an auditorium at georgetown once four years ago and this was certainly the case then.

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree