Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: the new yorker

Weekend long reads, May

Valerio Millefoglie, Ricordi di una vita in bottiglia, Il sole 24 ore. Bill Buford, Baking bread in Lyon, The New Yorker. Anthony Lane, The enduring pleasure of night ride, The New Yorker. Paul Theroux, Paul Theroux recalls a fear-filled lockdown, The New Yorker.

“In times of crisis we should all be diarists and documentarians. We’re bound to wail and complain, but it’s also useful to record the particularities of our plight … Still writing gives order to the day and helps inform history”.


Weekend long reads, April

Bill Buford, Mastering the art of making a French omelette, The New Yorker. Roberto Beneduce, Storie virali: Le lezioni di una pandemia, Treccani. Charlotte Mendelson, The tonic of gardening in a quarantine, The New Yorker. Liborio Conca, Cosa ricordiamo di Roberto Baggio, Minima et Moralia, Alexander Maksik, My father’s voice from Paris, The New Yorker. Katy Waldman, Dear diary, the world is burning, The New Yorker.

Weekend long reads / Winter 2019

Prospero section, A new documentary explores the underrated art of movie sound, The Economist; Jess McHugh, How to eat alone (and like it), The New York Times; Arthur Krystal, Why can’t we tell the truth about ageing and rebuttal letters, The New Yorker; Isaac Chotiner, From Little Englander to Brexiteers, The New Yorker; Margaret Talbot, Is the Supreme Court in Elena Kagan’s hands?, The New Yorker; Silvia Schirinzi, Tendenza Melania, RivistaStudio.


Swiss Saturdays

The morning farmers’ market: cheese (Gruyer salé, Vacherin, Brebis), bread (baguette aux olives, tresse tessinoise), vegetables (that changes depending on the season).

The New Yorker at l’Aubier in Winter, at L’Univers in Spring.

Lunch at Le Cardinal.

Fip radio, Thomoose’s Spotify playlists, or KEXP Live sessions.

Pipe and scotch.

My blog.

A bloc notes.

Update: here is the fair comment I received from an anonymous reader: ‘I had to laugh a bit about the random intellectual drops you mention (scotch, pipe, reading the New Yorker, writing in your bloc-notes while staring out of the window – I see you). Let me know when the Philip Roth transformation is complete‘.


Weekend long reads: November 2019

Books and Arts section, An expedition reveals the perils of reading Dostoyevsky in Antarctica, The Economist. Christian Jarrett, Acting changes the brain: it’s how actors get lost in a role, Aeon. Dan Hancok, How to feed a protest movement: cooking with Extinction Rebellion, 1843. Dan Piepenbring, The Book of Prince, The New Yorker. Rebecca Mead, The Gay Genealogist, The New Yorker.

Soundtrack: Gradbrothers Live Session during the Into The Great Wide Open festival on the Dutch Island Vlieland, 2017.

To-do list


via The New Yorker

This is the story of Chris

In June 2013, the New Yorker wrote a 14-page story on Chris Kyle, American sniper, war veteran, national hero, killer, and much more. This is, without any doubt, one of the best journalistic pieces I have ever read. As for all the best stories, there is no definite truth and each of us will remember a different bit of. Take the time you need, sit down, print it out and read it through.

Il Post ha recentemente replicato l’articolo in italiano. E’ una storia che va dritta allo stomaco. Leggetela.

Going the distance

In the last few months Obama sat for lengthy interviews with New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, who interviewed the President for hours in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. The result is a  a nearly 17,000-word profile of the president as he begins his sixth year in office. The story is a great, personal, philosophical long-read, and you should get a cup of your favorite hot beverage and sit down with it for an hour.

Was Cheney right?

After Barack Obama was elected to his first term as President but before he took the oath of office, Vice-President Dick Cheney gave an exit interview to Rush Limbaugh. Under George W. Bush, Cheney was the architect, along with his legal counsel, David Addington, of a dramatic expansion of executive authority—a power grab that Obama criticized, fiercely, on the campaign trail, and promised to “reverse.” But when Limbaugh inquired about this criticism Cheney swatted it aside, saying, “My guess is that, once they get here and they’re faced with the same problems we deal with every day, they will appreciate some of the things we’ve put in place.”

What is happening on the other shore of the ocean is intriguing. This post by the New Yorker is just one out of many provocations that will ignite debate on such a broad range of issues. First about Obama’s presidency: is Obama is risking political damage that will get in the way of the rest of his term in office? Is his second term in the office going to be killed stone dead by issues of security and intelligence? thus far, all the major scandals, from Benghazi to the datagate, including the very recent cover-ups of internal investigations, have involved security services and intelligence. Also, I find it somehow fascinating that the political narrative has switched so quickly from security (between 2001 and, say, 2008) to economy (2008-2013) and now it seems we are back with security again as the most important issue on the agenda.

There is, obviously, much more than that. People may blame an administration for wire-taping calls and email, but at times they seem to forget that this is the price you have to pay if you want to fight terrorism. Surveillance and such techniques, although invasive and potentially dangerous, have prevented several terrorism attacks. But are these “modest encroachments on privacy” a fair price to pay? This, I believe, is a fascinating debate which is about terrorism, privacy, and trust in government.

And then there’s the whole discussion about transparency and use of the data. As Juliane Assange, Edward Snowden is a fascinating guy. He definitely has some charisma, doesn’t he? And, of course, he makes a point, which makes me think of Michael Focault’s Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish). As suggested by the New Yorker, surveillance technologies are like a loaded weapon—one that may not have been misused so far, but that could be any day.

Before we laugh at this rudderless state

Italy, for better or worse, has served as an amazing laboratory of political innovation in recent history. Fascism and the mafia were Italian inventions. And the Berlusconi phenomenon—the combining of media power, money, and celebrity, and translating it into political power—was, like it or not, an innovation that found imitators around the world. If Berlusconi represents the political potential of television, Grillo is one of the first political figures to build a major political movement largely through the Internet. And that Grillo, a not particularly funny comedian with a mop of unruly gray hair and a foul mouth, should create a political movement out of nothing and turn it into the largest party in the country in just a few years is not as strange as it might at first appear. Read the rest of the article on The New Yorker.