July 02, 2010

Clippings: June 26 to July 2

My family is a family of clippers.  Not coupon clippers.  Article clippers.

We come by it honestly: my great-uncle John was a newspaper man, and his siters (my grandmother and my aunt) lived on opposite sides of the country, while he was in the middle (KS).  My great-grandmother would send recipes, John would send article, and my grandmother would likewise send them information about a play she was putting on or some news about my dad's school in San Francisco.  I've never gotten a letter from Dad, but a couple times a year I'll get an article from the Chronicle--a reprinted Herb Caen piece, or a neat aticle about the A's, with an explanitory post-it note.

My mother, too, is a clipper.  Her desk has always been littered with tear sheets from magazines: recipes, bags, patterns, color combos, crafts, clothes, stylish rooms and sumptuous linens, all preserved forever in glossy pages, in a messy pile.  Anna and I caught the tear-sheet bug pretty early on, and our bedrooms were plastered with photos from fashion magazines and the newspaper.  Thomas seems to be the only one who grew up unscathed.

Why have I given you this piece of Perry Family History?  (Other than that it seems to be the week for it.)  Well, I've long wanted to compile a weekly list of articles I find interesting, and I've finally decided to start doing it on Friday afternoons, following my Friday recipe/food post.  (I've done this sporadically in the past, looses assembled under the tag "elsewhere".)  And this weekend I had the I-can't-believe-I-haven't-thought-of-this-before idea of calling this feature "Clippings".

There are just a few pieces this week:
+ I actually did send this to Dad: Terry Teachout had a great article in his twice monthly Sightings column for the weekend WSJ about accessibility and modern art:
Modern art comes in many varieties, and countless works once thought to be unintelligible now strike most of us as clear. But I have yet to notice a collective change of heart when it comes to such exercises in hermetic modernism as Joyce's "Finnegans Wake," which contains thousands of sentences like this: "It is the circumconversioning of antelithual paganelles by a huggerknut cramwell energuman, or the caecodedition of an absquelitteris puttagonnianne to the herreraism of a cabotinesque exploser?"

Are certain kinds of modern art too complex for anybody to understand?
+ Also in the WSJ was a fascinating article by the VP of a community bank, which made me both wish I had an account at a community bank, and think twice about getting one with these new regulations immanent: The End of Community Banking by Sarah Wallace

Three words: grilled french toast (Dags, are you listening?) in Sunset Magazine

+ I finally got around to reading Mary Eberstadt's piece on pornography, "The Weight of Smut", from the June/July issue of First Things.  It is essential reading, and really fascinating. I'm hoping we'll have a discussion about it on The Magdalene Sisters.
And because no newspaper experience goes without advertising, I am sharing with you possibly the greatest commercial for a male grooming product ever (HT: The Anchoress):

I'm taking monday off.  See you tuesday.  Have a happy Fourth of July!  (photo about by Andre Kertesz)

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