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Guest Russell Lucas

The Ongoing The Atlantic Thread

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The last few issues have been fantastic, by the way. The article about interactive drama in video games was fascinating. In addition the articles that take a look at Aiport Architecture and even Shopping mall spaces were both fun and insightful Good stuff on Do-It-Yourself TV and I'm looking forward to diving into the 100 most influential americans issue. AM is clearly the "Anti-Relevant" (And somehow, that's a complement) as they only chose three people who are still LIVING.

Kudos AM!! You've been looking good lately.

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Hmm. Do I get the impression that The Atlantic stinks? One of their staff interviewed me at length about Philip Pullman for an upcoming piece on The Golden Compass. Should I be concerned?

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Hmm. Do I get the impression that The Atlantic stinks? One of their staff interviewed me at length about Philip Pullman for an upcoming piece on The Golden Compass. Should I be concerned?

Yet another reason I should've extended my subscription. :)

No, don't be concerned. The Atlantic is wildly acclaimed, and has been for decades. It just pushed my buttons as of late. No sooner had I subscribed than the editor died, the approach changed, and I found myself disillusioned with the magazine. Other, more level-headed readers, would probably disagree.

Do you know which issue the Pullman piece is planned for, Tony?

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The amazing Peter Carlson strikes again!

Atlantic Blows Out Candles With Lots of Hot Air

Is this hideous blather, page after page of it, any way to celebrate the 150th birthday of the Atlantic Monthly, one of the best magazines ever published in this great land of ours? Of course not. It's like celebrating van Gogh's birthday with an exhibit of velvet Elvis paintings. What were the editors thinking?

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Good news!

Beginning today, TheAtlantic.com is dropping its subscriber registration requirement and making the site free to all visitors.

Now, in addition to such offerings as blogs, author dispatches, slideshows, interviews, and videos, readers can also browse issues going back to 1995, along with hundreds of articles dating as far back as 1857, the year The Atlantic was founded.

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Link to an excerpt from the current Atlantic. If you're a female, you might be especially interested in the piece. I'd love to hear your feedback in the linked thread.

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Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! The Atlantic has sent me a renewal option of 2 years (20 issues) for ... $20. A dollar an issue. How can I say no to that offer?

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I sincerely can't think of a better choice for the "token conservative" columnist post at the Times than Ross Douthat -- intelligent, persuasive, articulate about why he believes what he believes, willing to step outside of conservative orthodoxy when necessary, outspokenly pro-life, and even a smart commentator on the arts. I had Eugene Volokh in the back of my mind as an ideal choice (partially because I didn't think the Times would pick someone pro-life), but wow, I'd say Douthat is an even better one.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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HA! Murdoch is working his magic. The Gray Lady is feeling the heat from WSJ if you ask me. Liberal columnists and op-ed invites are on the rise at WSJ. And Douthat isn't the token. He replaces Kristol, joining Brooks. This is an interesting choice considering Douthat's youth and perspective. He'll be there for quite a while and this will give "The Next Right" so to speak, a lot of exposure. It'll hopefully take some of the focus off of Frum for the moment too (not quite two peas in a pod, Frum and Douthat).

While I sympathise with Christian, I also like to consider "what sells" and adapt to some extent. Do Douthat and Gingrich get along? Sure would be interesting if they did.

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Sandra Tsing Loh has been one of my favorite Atlantic writers, but her latest piece makes my soul hurt. The embedded video has more of the cutesy, that's-life tone of the written piece.

It's unapologetic, which is the point, I suppose. What should I have expected? That she'd write a full-on confessional about how she weeps and begs forgiveness of her husband? No. But her kids ... those poor kids. I guess she thinks she'll find fulfillment going this route. So sad.

Edited by Christian

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I agree. I couldn't help but wonder whether the flip tone of the article was hiding a lingering unease about the subject.

I did enjoy a couple of the "quick fixes" though. I'm now convinced that the government should create jobs by giving artists money and that I should stop buying things at IKEA.

Sandra Tsing Loh has been one of my favorite Atlantic writers, but her latest piece makes my soul hurt. The embedded video has more of the cutesy, that's-life tone of the written piece.

It's unapologetic, which is the point, I suppose. What should I have expected? That she'd write a full-on confessional about how she weeps and begs forgiveness of her husband? No. But her kids ... those poor kids. I guess she thinks she'll find fulfillment going this route. So sad.

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I enjoyed Garry Wills' piece on William Buckley. What a delightful man Buckley was. I like that he was adventurous. I did read one of his spy novels, which I found to be unspectacular. I expected more.

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This is cool. The magazine's original reviews of classic novels. I've only skimmed the excerpts and am somewhat disappointed to not see any glaring, misguided reviews. I was hoping for at least a few dismissive, negative takes on some of these books that went on to attain "classic" status.

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<!--QuoteBegin-DanBuck+Jun 16 2005, 08:52 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DanBuck @ Jun 16 2005, 08:52 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->I've been disappointed with the recent issues.  The new Tocqueville is rediculous.  Horribly agenda'd writing.  A man looking for what he wants to find to make his points.

And the recent cover story (A look back at the economic crisis of 2009) is just pure speculative fiction. Which is ironic, since they've decided to cut out the fiction from the magazine. (A bad decision)

<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Amen to all this, Dan. And thanks for bringing it up; I was just thinking yesterday that I should post -- <i>again</i> -- about my increasing disenchantment with the magazine, after attempting to read Fallows' latest cover story (I stopped after four pages; I got the point, such as it is, although the 2-page follow-up story on past economic collapses was interesting). Just last night I was asking Sarah <i>why</i> we recently renewed through July/August 2007, and I remembered that we did so to beat the price increase, which took effect a few months ago.

I considered cancelling, but in talking with Sarah, I mentioned how I still enjoy the Books & Arts section, and the early essays, and the letters ... pretty much everything BUT the features. So I guess the subscription is worth hanging on to.

But Sarah and I were both <i>very</i> disappointed that the magazine ditched the short story in each issue. We rarely enjoyed the stories -- they had a certain sameness in tone over the couple of years we've subscribed, with the exception of the wonderful two-part excerpt of Chris Buckley's <i>Florence of Arabia</i>, which was an all-time <i>Atlantic</i> highlight -- but we always found time to read them, and we always held out hope that they'd elevate the content of each issue. So much for that.

Goin' way back to say that the Atlantic has just revived its commitment to fiction by sending all magazine subscribers a fiction-only issue. (I don't believe it's available on newsstands, but I could be wrong.) The only short-story writer's name I recognize is T.C. Boyle; Joyce Carol Oates has an essay, but it's one of three nonfiction pieces (!!) collected in teh "fiction-only" issue.

I guess I shouldn't complain.

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FWIW, I just discovered that the Atlantic online has a regular film/video columnist, Benjamin Mercer. Haven't read anything by him yet, but I plan to comb through the archives.

Goin' way back to say that the Atlantic has just revived its commitment to fiction by sending all magazine subscribers a fiction-only issue. (I don't believe it's available on newsstands, but I could be wrong.) The only short-story writer's name I recognize is T.C. Boyle; Joyce Carol Oates has an essay, but it's one of three nonfiction pieces (!!) collected in teh "fiction-only" issue.

The Oates essay has been posted online.

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Haven't read this cover story yet, but I'm going to start soon.

The End of Men

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.

Hanna Rosin is the writer, BTW.

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