I love the New Yorker. The latest issues has some great things. One of the personal favorites is Adam Gopnik spinning completely out of control trying to write about the Shakers --starts as a regular fascinating essay/criticism/history, and turns into some kind of over-reaching pedantry concerning the spiritual in art and commerce. Crash and burn time. Like him a lot, and you have to admire the dare-devilry. But don't they have, like, editors? If you can find it, you should read an article from a few years ago about his daughter making up an imaginary friend, who, in New York style, becomes too busy to take her calls. She ends up talking to his assistant. You can't make that up. There's also a great article about Alberto Vilar, who gave millions to the Met and Opera companies all over the world, but went completely bankrupt and was arrested for money laundering. Quite a personality.
But the real reason for this post is the funny conversation written by Zev Borow under the heading "Very Bad People", in response to the Bush Administration supposedly only eavesdropping on very bad people. For some reason, it just makes me laugh. Bit of an excerpt below (as I think you can't copy whole things without getting into copyright problems, so you'll just have to suck it up and click on the link yourself):
This is not about monitoring phone calls to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a pot-luck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people.”
—Trent Duffy, a spokesman for the White House, on reports about the government’s eavesdropping, quoted in the Times.
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
PHONE TAP TRANSCRIPT
January 13, 2006, 1:22 P.M.
Male Voice 1: Yellow!
Male Voice 2: Chad?
Male Voice 1: You guessed it!
Male Voice 2: It’s Rex.
Male Voice 1: What do you want?
[SOUNDS OF FOOD BEING CHEWED]
Male Voice 2: Jesus, what are you eating?
Male Voice 1: Foie gras.
Male Voice 2: You know they force-feed geese until their livers are distended so you can eat that?
Male Voice 1: I know.
Male Voice 2: Pretty cool.
Male Voice 1: Yep. So what do you want?
Male Voice 2: Well, a souped-up monster truck driven by an illegal Mexican chauffeur, with a trunk full of fen-phen and a horn that blows “Who Let the Dogs Out?” would be nice. Especially in teal.
Male Voice 1: No, you can’t borrow my truck again. But I will lend you my forged handicapped-parking pass.
Male Voice 2: So what are you bringing to the potluck?
Male Voice 1: Only thing I got here is an old jar of beets and some crystal meth. The beets are really old. What color are new beets?
Male Voice 2: I was gonna bring Styrofoam plates, and maybe some bootlegged CDs. Hope it rains.