5.19.2004

So just to continue my little thang with the New Yorker: I want to tell you how much I love the New Yorker. It's not just the bad things I notice, no ma'am. And I want to tell the New Yorker how much I love them, too, so here goes:

Dear New Yorker,

I am so grateful that you show up so faithfully, so dependably, every week (unless of course you are surprising me and bowling me over with a double issue, you big sweetie). You are a beacon of depth and intelligence in a world increasingly dedicated to plastic surgery, five-hundred-dollar shoes, and reality television. It amazes me how much depth is in one issue, it amazes me that in this world there is still, somehow, a budget that provides for such a thoughtful magazine.

You are such a hero, New Yorker, for going after Rumsfeld. This week I was so inspired by the directness and courage of this opening sentence of Seymour M. Hersh's article "The Gray Zone": "The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq." And the cover, this week, of a soldier in the desert with a target on his or her back, as well as the one a couple weeks ago of oil rigs spewing blood, is so honest and unafraid of political retribution in an ugly political environment. Thank you.

Also--how great is it that you are including new, young writers? I love it when you publish articles by Ben Greenman, and stories by, say, ZZ Packer. Also, I love me some Sasha Frere-Jones. He is a delight. It's so smart of you to start including him in your posse. His article on Nellie McKay this week was fabulous.

You know what would be great? It would be so great if you could include some more work by women. What about in the Shouts & Murmurs column? If you wanna get all rock star in that regard, and I know you love your rock star women as much as I do, what about Tina Fey or Janeane Garofalo? But if you want to really walk the edge and aren't quite sure who else to include, I'd love to suggest a piece by Jen Kirwin or Jami Attenberg. What a cool idea, no? Since it's always women I see reading you on the subway, I'm sure you will relish this little idea of how to make us even happier.

Kisses,

Elizabeth

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