Indexing: Annalemma, NYRB, Birdsong

Posted by Jason Diamond

Birdsong #13

Birdsong is maybe my favorite photocopied art/lit zine right now.  They’re cool people, and each issue seems to be lovingly put together.

In this particular issue, I was glad to learn that according to Max Steele, “At Gay bars if you’re a DJ you’re allowed to do whatever you want.”  As somebody who has been DJing establishments that were predominantly hetero, I gotta say that the gay bars do it right.  Let the DJ do whatever they want; stop pestering them with horrible requests for more hip hop or “80’s.”

Also of note: Best bio of the month belongs to Zan Amparan who “is a Ronnie Spector-worshipping unicorn enthusiast.”

Annalemma #7

I’m convinced that every issue of Annalemma that comes across my desk will end up being a good read, as well as something I can show to my friends and say, “look at this pretty journal.  Isn’t it pretty?  Don’t you wish you had such a pretty journal?”

One of the highlights of the “Endurance”  issue is the story, “This is how the century is born,” by Salvatore Pane.  Maybe it’s because I’m a nostalgic bastard, and this story makes me think of my own lonley life in the early part of this new century,  but it’s really a sweet little piece that made me admit that the good old days weren’t always good, they were actually kinda sad.

Also, the “centerpiece” of this issue (centerpiece being used in the press release) is the photo essay ZORA! by Ted Hollins.  It’s a series of lively snapshots of the African American community of Eatonville, Florida.

New York Review of Books, November issue.

Things I noticed while reading  the latest issues of NYRB:

  • I wonder how George Soros decided to tell NYRB that he wants to publish an article on how Obama botched the bailout?  Does he call up and say “hey, this is the billionare George Soros,” or does he buy a ton of subscriptions and say “okay, now that I’ve done this, I want to write something.”?
  • The “Living Ghosts” article, a review of Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain, made my head and eyes hurt.
  • “The Myth of Charter Schools” makes me hope that I make enough money to send my kids to private schools.
  • I already thought that A Visit from the Goon Squad was Jennifer Egan’s best book, but that’s because it’s the only Jennifer Egan book I’ve ever read.  Cathleen Schine backs up my thought.
  • The “All Programs Considered” article on public radio is great.  My favorite part had to be the footnote that reads “as the author of thirteen books, I’ve appeared on many of the shows described here: that indeed they’ve been the intellectual oases amid the desert that is a book tour.”