Category Archives: The Arts

Know Your Enemy: Joan Didion, Conservative, with Sam Tanenhaus

When Joan Didion died in December at the age of eighty-seven, her early conservatism figured into a number of obituaries and commentaries but was rarely discussed in detail. Matt and Sam turned to Sam Tanenhaus, William F. Buckley Jr.’s biographer and knower of all things National Review, to discuss Didion’s early writing for the magazine, her roots in California conservatism, and how her politics changed—and didn’t—over the course of her long career. Along the way, they talk about why she loved Barry Goldwater and hated Ronald Reagan, why she finally stopped writing for National Review, and how she compares to other writers from that era—from Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe to Gore Vidal and Garry Wills.

Sources and further reading:

Joan Didion, On Self-Respect, Vogue (1961)

I want to go ahead and do it, New York Times (1979)

The Lion King, NYRB (1997)

New York: Sentimental Journeys, NYRB (1991)

John Wayne: A Love Song, Saturday Evening Post (1965)

Writing in the National Review

Ross Douthat, Try Canceling Joan Didion, New York Times

Parul Sehgal, The Case Against the Trauma Plot, New York Times

Louis Menand, Out of Bethlehem, New Yorker

Stephen Schryer, Writers for Goldwater, Post45

Haley Mlotek, It’s All in the Angles, The Nation

Caitlin Flanagan, The Autumn of Joan Didion, The Atlantic

Jacob Bacharach, Joan Didion Cast Off the Fictions of American Politics, The New Republic

Source: Know Your Enemy: Joan Didion, Conservative, with Sam Tanenhaus – Dissent Magazine

Giovanni Pennacchietti: Artifacts from the Future, Part 1

I go over an archive of Wired Magazine’s back page series from the early 2000s entitled “Found: Artifacts from the future”. I also read on article on the Wired mag writers guide for the Digital Age from the mid-90s. I talk about design, recent futurism, Y2K aesthetic, and much more as I go through this often hilarious archive of potential future products and possibilities.

EconTalk: Frank Rose on Internet Narratives

Once it was The Shadow radio show; now it’s the podcast Serial. Is every old storytelling medium new again? Frank Rose, author of The Sea We Swim In, concedes that some things remain sacred–from the power of a great hook to the hope that great stories never end. But he also thinks the Internet has led to new kinds of stories, ones that are not just entertaining, but immersive, and whose worlds are more richly imaginative than ever–even as they leave increasingly little to our imagination.

Source: Frank Rose on Internet Narratives – Econlib