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Best of the 12.01.08 Issue: Banana-Fana Fo Fernanke

Filed under: Pick of the Issue   Tagged: , , , ,

In the pragmatic, can-do spirit of the incoming Obama administration, Emdashes has made a collective decision to put aside “the failed policies of the past”…and revive the useful “Pick of the Issue” feature instead!

Our goal is utilitarian. Consider: You are being pursued by a highly funktastic lizard and thus cannot follow through on your oath to read with care every page of this week’s issue. You’ve only got about thirty minutes to dedicate to the issue. To which feature should you allot your circumscribed time?

This week, districts reporting so far (Jonathan Taylor and I) thought John Cassidy’s Reporter at Large story about Ben Bernanke and the reaction to our still-unfolding economic crisis, “Anatomy of a Meltdown” (here’s the link at the Digital Edition), took the cake. Jonathan found it “the most detailed thing I’ve read about what Bernanke was up to earlier.” The article also features an amusing/disturbing anecdote about Bush’s undue interest in socks (the footwear, not the Clinton cat). Jonathan also enjoyed Peter Mueller’s daft take on televised talent shows in his cartoon on page 68.

Emily notes that this feature has always benefited from the contributions of keen Emdashes readers, who are, after all, New Yorker subscribers who read large chunks of the issue every week. I heartily agree! If you have a strong positive reaction to any article in the current issue, by all means write us and tell us why! You might even make our weekly “Pick of the Issue” writeup. And, of course, if there’s something you didn’t like, feel free to tell us about that, too.


I’m a little bit behind in my reading. Sometimes it takes an extra week for the magazine to reach me here on Baffin Island. (An email subscription is the obvious solution, but I worry that what I’d gain in delivery speed, I would lose in reading pleasure. I really enjoy holding the physical magazine in my hands, folding it, marking it, turning the corners down in it, and generally making it a reflection of my own quirky interests.) My POTI pick of this particular issue has nothing to do with either Ben Bernanke (ugh!) or V. S. Naipaul (double ugh!). I enjoyed the simpler stuff, e.g., the lovely Waterfront Greenway bike hike, and the visit to the Met to view Vaux’s oculi. The Met piece is the first I’ve read by Macy Halford. I was impressed. I look forward to reading more of Halford’s work in future issues.

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