Archive for the ‘Civil Pleasures’ Category

Editor’s Note:
Civil Pleasures
New Pages

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Three new pages at Civil Pleasures:

¶ This week’s Book Review review, The Ideological Divide.”

¶ Gotham Diary: “Gravity.”

¶ Friday Movie: Inside Job.

A word about Inside Job: I did not see the point in reviewing this powerful documentary as a film. I saw it with a film student, a cousin of Kathleen’s, who came away shrugging: Charles Ferguson has captured a horrible mess, but what can we do about it? I thought I’d write about that instead. What we can do right away is to learn how to think about what kind of failure(s) made the derivatives disaster possible.

But there was one thing about the film qua film that bothered me: all those pretty aerial shots of Manhattan! The stately homes of England are no more kempt than the placid bed of towers that we see from every angle. At one point, the East River is captured in sheet-of-glass mode, between tides. New York neverlooks lovelier than when you can’t see any people!

What was all that about? Was Mr Ferguson suggesting that Manhattan is a garden, sedulously tended by angels in the employ of plutocratic bankers who don’t care how broken the rest of the country is?

Who experiences New York City from the aerial point of view? Not New Yorkers themselves; you can’t get from A to B, even in a Town Car, without a little streetside friction.

Long before the end of Inside Job, the bird’s-eye views were making me wince. New York may well be the capital of the “financial industry” (an oxymoron on steroids), but there is a great deal more to this town than that. If Charles Ferguson wants his viewers to share his animus for Gotham, then he ought to make his request explicit. As it is, Inside Job indulges in urban abuse.

Civil Pleasures:
New Page Note

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Regular readers will have noted, perhaps to their chagrin, that entires at The Daily Blague and The Daily Blague / reader have boiled down to two varieties, the Daily Snip and the Daily Office.

Everything else that we’ve been working on appears at Civil Pleasures. We’re still getting the hang of linking the the Web log to the Web site; we’ve only just begun to see that what’s holding us back is the rudimentary navigation at the site. The menus are paltry, and there’s no way to tell at a glance if there’s something new to read.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of links to recent pages: this week’s Book Review review (reviews have been condensed, with more —and sassier — writing by the Blagueurs and fewer extracts from the reviews, onto monthly pages): the latest Gotham Diary; and a few (more) words about Freedom, which the Editor fancies only he understands.