A review of several books on Rupert Murdoch first criticizes the authors for not grasping the many sides of their subject, then offers a thesis of its own. He’s “not so much a man, or a cultural force, as a portrait of the modern world.”
Wednesday, November 10
A “fanatical Lynch fan from way back,” David Foster Wallace visits the set of Lost Highway, never actually talks to the director, and writes a profile.
Tuesday, November 9
For the last two decades, the varied personalities behind the Vidocq Society—retired cops, sketch artists, FBI agents—have gathered in Philadelphia to tackled cold-case homicides over lunch. They claim to have solved more than half.
New technology has historically been a friend to the porn industry, first VHS, then online DVD sales. But free streaming sites like YouPorn have sent the establishment into a tailspin, and due to anonymous domain registration, they don’t even know who their competition is. Will the internet kill porn?
America, China, and the case for coal as a vital weapon in the war against climate change.
Monday, November 8
Adapting from his book The Gun, Chivers traces how the design and proliferation of small arms, originating from both the Pentagon and the Russian army, rerouted the 20th century.
Notes on a summer spent aboard an industrial fishing boat off the Alaskan coast.
What happens when a decades old video, featuring the artist Larry Rivers’ prepubescent daughters bare-chested, is claimed both as child pornography and as an important part of the archive of a major American painter.
“You can treat a lot of people, and India has,’’ says an epidemiologist working on TB. “But if you have tests that cause misdiagnosis on a massive scale you are going to have a serious problem. And they do.”
Sunday, November 7
Friday, November 5
The macabre, ultra-violent plays put on at the Grand Guignol defined an era in Paris, attracting foreign tourists, aristocrats, and celebrities. Goering and Patton saw plays there in the same year. But the carnage of WWII ultimately undermined the shock of Guignol’s brutality, and audiences disappeared.