"Rain and Fire" by Hendrik Hertzberg: An all-too-real film examines the nuclear threat.
THE TALK OF THE TOWN
"The Round-Trip Detective" by Eric Konigsberg: Peter Falk makes a triumphant return to his home town.
LETTER FROM LOUISIANA
"High Water" by David Remnick: Two hurricanes - 40 years apart - bring different politics but similar conspiracy theories.
SHOUTS & MURMURS
"May We Tell You Our Specials This Evening?" by Larry Doyle: A rather esoteric menu.
ONWARD AND UPWARD WITH THE ARTS
"Countdown" by Alex Ross: Peter Sellars and John Adams create an opera about the dawn of the nuclear age.
Also, listen to audio from The New Yorker Festival readings and panel discussions, recorded live in New York City.
If you love the New Yorker don't read this article.
The 1st article, RAIN AND FIRE, is on the danger of nuclear destruction from terrorist or terrorist nations. The article dangerously misrepresents the truth. The article is so far from the truth it gave me the impression the author would almost wish a nuclear strike on an American city just to make Bush look bad.
The 2nd article, THE TALK OF THE TOWN, on Peter Falk seemed to have no purpose other than to allow the author to quote Falk using Jesus Christ as a profanity.
The 3rd article, LETTER FROM LOUISIANA, is about Hurricanes Betsy (1965) and Katrina so you should be able to guess what to expect, e.g., 'Bush was on extended vacation while New Orleans drown', i.e., Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Well, Nero could not have fiddled because the violin had not been invented and Bush did not remain on vacation. 'Black lives aren't valued'? This magazine needs a truth-detector. The article does have a lucid discussion of poor black folks gullibility with regard to rumors and the article is well written, but I'm getting tired of liberals using Katrina to further their cause.
The 4th article, SHOUTS & MURMURS, is high-brow humor. Esoteric is an appropriate description. I didn't get it.
The 5th article, ONWARD AND UPWARD WITH THE ARTS, is about an opera named, 'Doctor Atomic', about the dawn of the nuclear age written by a UCLA activist. The article is boring and much too long, but this review does give me the opportunity to put in my 2 cents worth of opinion: Hurricanes contain energy equivalent to scores of hydrogen bombs per hour for days. We might loose New York or Dallas someday but we wouldn't be able to destroy our world with nuclear weapons if we tried and civilization will continue. We'll have to come up with something much more powerful to destroy the world. Harry Truman made the right decision. If you feel sorry for WWII Japan you should read The Great Raid on Cabanatuan.
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