Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


I Love New York in May: At the Y, Trillin, Remnick, Coll, and Borowitz, and Y Not?

Filed under: On the Spot   Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s curious—or a sign that we’re all getting out more and thinking about things—that we have so many On the Spot and Looked Into items lately, but we’ll get around to the other stuff in good time. I happen to know Benjamin is plotting a new Katharine Wheel column as we speak, although he has plenty else going on; he’s a busy man.

Not to say that he’s “exhausted”—I’m adding “exhausted” to my crotchety list of Banned Words and Phrases. You’ve just given birth, you work in a coal mine, you edited your first feature film in the nick of time: You’re probably exhausted. Otherwise, the thesaurus, Shakespeare, Damon Runyon, Rabelais, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mary Worth, etc., are full of apt phrases for whatever it is you are. Next time you find your mouth about to form the word “exhausted” after a long day of protein shakes and Scrabulous, see if you can come up with something a little more apropos. But on to the events! These are both at the 92nd Street Y, a reliable source of stuff worth the Emdashes seal of approval:

Thu, May 15, 8:15 pm, $26


As Steve Coll explains in The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (Penguin Press, 2008), Osama bin Laden is one of 54 children born to Mohamed bin Laden, who started as an illiterate bricklayer and became a wealthy and powerful businessman. Learn about the extensive bin Laden family, their international and American connections, their ties to the royal house of Saud and how all these factors affected Osama. Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden. He talks with New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick.

Speaking of Remnick, he and a few other editors recently answered the Observer’s question “Where Will Magazines Be Ten Years From Now?” Quick excerpt: “‘I don’t pretend to be alone in the world in running long pieces, which are things that require long periods of reporting and very considered writing,’ said Mr. Remnick. ‘As long as I’ll be here, and long after that, it’ll be central to our understanding of ourselves. That’s a promise.’”

Speaking of Andy Borowitz, who’ll appear in the following event, last night I finally went to see The Moth, and what took me so long? I loved it. A friend from the lindy scene, birdwatching soothsayer Tom Weiser (whom I’ve lost track of, so I’m counting on your having a live Google Alert, Tom!), told stories there for years and is probably still telling them, and when he’d invite me I always had other things to do (because I was so exhausted), and years later, here I am. So thanks, Jeff Simmermon, for helping make it happen at long last.

On to Andy and Trillin’s evening:

Wed, May 13, 8 pm, $26


If you missed Andy Borowitz’s sold-out event at the 92nd Street Y last fall, dry your tears; he’s coming back to the Y with his wry, absurd perspective on this year’s wild political scene. Borowitz is an award-winning satirist who writes for The New Yorker and on his blog, The Borowitz Report. Joining him are the acid-tongued and hilarious Susie Essman, incisive Newsweek columnist and Huffington Post blogger Jonathan Alter and Calvin Trillin, who mixes earnest concern for American politics and liberties with a strong sense of the absurd – see his Obliviously on He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme. Take a break from the intensity of the presidential campaign and remind yourself that there’s humor to be found everywhere in the political landscape.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree