For a brilliant example of how a story turns multifaceted, poignant, and often dark when the gaze stays steady for a few moments, as the morphing of the Uzbekistan story above from furless funless cartoon into a sad post-Soviet disaster, see this current masterpiece by the Washington Post's Gene Weinberger. As Lileks says, the piece shoud be taught in journalism school, or whatever succeeds journalism school.
The title is a bad pun based on Macedonian, a language whose comprehensibility to this American improved considerably after several glasses of wine...Alcohol as telepathic aid, a subject for another post, one hopes never.
Some kinds of offense are fine,
depending on who’s being offended. I don’t care if the lingerie ads
offend the burqua demographic, or whether a picture of a mixed-race
couple in the homes section makes bigots knit their brows and hum a few
bars of the "Horst Wessel Song" until they reach a centered place
has a new page scheme featuring old newspaper photos, context and detail that promises poetry. This is Sunday on Fifth Avenue in 1943, city buses absent because of wartime fuel shortage.
We resolved, partly because there is little happiness anywhere associated with the subject, not to pile on poor, clueless, gratitude-impaired Joel Stein. But one of our more excitable correspondents discovered "The Voice of the Neuter is Heard Throughout the Land,"Vandeurleun's essay on Stein's performance while being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt in the wake of Stein's "I don't support our troops" LA Times venture. Then he followed it with a comment of his own:
What do these books and stories have in common? They are good news. They suggest that virtue, well-being, nobility, happiness, and meaning are all within the realm of human possibility, and that life is not just unmitigated tragedy, violence, and meaninglessness. And they are based on solid, painstaking science ... But no review.
Sometimes, even an optimist has to call a spade a spade, and hypothesize about the holes it is digging.
If you wonder why our young people are in the midst of an epidemic of depression and meaninglessness in the presence of unprecedented wealth, education, and opportunity, you might start with what they read in the New York Times.