Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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It's Not TMI When Somebody Asks For It

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From my Gmail inbox (which, mainly because of Emdashes-related alerts and correspondence, contains more messages than you can probably absorb without an abacus):
Dear New Yorker Compass Member,

The New Yorker Compass wants to learn more about your personal relationship with the magazine. We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey. In thanks for your participation, your name will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a copy of The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw and Never Will See in The New Yorker. The book, edited by New Yorker contributor Matthew Diffee, is a hilarious look at the lost gems that have never seen the light of day. Thirty winners will be chosen at random and notified a few weeks after the survey has been completed.
One of the questions: “How interested would you be in receiving a digital edition of The New Yorker magazine? This would be a digital version that looks exactly like your printed issue, but you could access it online.” A mind-blowing concept. I know some Californians and Canadians (not to mention Austrians) who will find this especially appealing! But will they sacrifice their print copy? And: “How much would you be willing to pay on top of the regular subscription price for full access to The Complete New Yorker?” Now this is going to sell.

I’ve filled out these surveys before (they combine two of my favorite things, questionnaires and The New Yorker), but so far have never won any prizes. That’s all right, because I already own The Rejection Collection. But did you know there’s a second book of rejected cartoons coming out this fall? Yes: The Rejection Collection Vol. II: The Cream of the Crap. I’ve seen an early portion of the book, and it’s ripe, all right! It has all the satisfying offensiveness of the previous edition, with even more amusingly ridiculous cartoonist questionnaires, plus the incomparable Roz Chast, who refuses to answer many of the questions. This is a series I can live with.

Meanwhile, unrelated: I liked Leon Wieseltier’s column on the Times’ giddy “glorification of the grotesquely rich” and the latter-day Walter Benjamins of commerce, who so treasure their book collections that they even bring them on vacation: “Another CEO ‘has stocked his cabin in the woods with the collected works of Aristotle,’ which is very nice for Aristotle, especially in the summer.” Shades of Woody Allen’s zingiest prose. Best bit:
No doubt this latest bath of pluto-porn at the Times will be partly justified as an interest in the philanthropic consequences of the new fortunes; and while it is true that the generosity of some of the new rich is extraordinary, it is also true that charity is not economic justice. (It is the absence of economic justice that makes charity necessary.)


A few years ago I signed up to be part of the thousands of Compass survey panelists. Now we have changed our e-mail address - and I don’t seem to be able to inform the Compass of the change.

Could you please change their records for me?

Carolyn Hooker

Carolyn HookerAugust 14, 2007

I’ll see if I can find someone to address this!

Hi Carolyn—it looks like you can re-sign up right here.

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