The Seductions of MTV

By Helen Dudar The Wall Street Journal September 26, 1983 Most of my friends can be seduced by a tedium of journalists gnawing over the week’s news or by the exquisite boredom of Brideshead Revisited, but my television tastes run to junk. Family Feud, Entertainment...

Ex Drops In

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry San Francisco It is probable that Frederick Exley was the best-known unknown novelist working in America during the seventies. Ever since the publication in the late sixties of A Fan’s Notes he has symbolized the enigmatic position...

And Yet We Got On

By Ernie Pyle Scripps-Howard Wire Service June 12, 1944 NORMANDY BEACHHEAD—(by wireless)—Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By...

Farewell to a Gamer

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader 2019 Bill Buckner came to the big leagues as a headstrong kid who could outrun everything except self-doubt and hobbled out of the game under the longest shadow a simple ground ball ever cast. But it was between the poles of his...

Asparagus Tops

By Joyce Wadler Harper’s July 1973 I am on the phone with Robert Kushner, a 23-year-old conceptual artist who makes clothes out of food, and we are having a discussion about what he will design for me. “I’d love to make you something in asparagus,” he says. “I could...

The Listeners

By Joyce Wadler Harper’s February 1974 More than one person has suggested that if, in these times of troubled Presidential credibility and general bad faith, anyone wanted to get to the bottom of the Watergate affair really fast, he could just ask the telephone...

Hitching

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry 1970s Anywhere, U.S.A. Hitchhiking, thumb up on some dusty road with the diesels honking and the curious kids in the back of the station wagons blinking their eyes, was the only way to go. By Friday, after a week of sneaking beer...

Death of a Racehorse

By W.C. Heinz The New York Sun July 29, 1949 They were going to the post for the sixth race at Jamaica, two year olds, some making their first starts, to go five and a half furlongs for a purse of four thousand dollars. They were moving slowly down the backstretch...

Blame It on the VCRs

By Eve Babitz Smart, No. 9 When I was a madwoman in the 1960s, everyone I knew was getting laid like crazy. Everyone was wild for sex: they heard the phrase free love and ran amok across the land. Married men, married women, squares, hippies—everyone was on the prowl,...

Sober Virgins of the ’80s

By Eve Babitz Smart Fall 1988 < Not that I like the eighties, but the sixties, if you ask me, weren’t that great, either. I mean, in the fifties, for men to get girls into bed, they had to be good lovers, to persist, to be sensual and seductive and inevitable and...

Ronstadt for President

By Eve Babitz Smart May/ June 1989 [From Eve’s front of the book column titled “Love & Science”] I have been thinking that Linda Ronstadt is more politically effective than Jane Fonda. Linda has made the world safe for Mexican music. I mean, all Jane’s done is to...

The Wonderful One-Pitch Mo

By Kevin Baker Bronx Banter May 5, 2012 With apologies to “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Have you heard of the Mar-i-ano, Who such a wonderful pitch did throw He ran up six hundred saves and then some, And then of a sudden it — ah, but...