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n+1, Number One: Negation by n+1

n+1, Number One: Negation

by n+1

Series: n 1 (1)

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MARTIN MAD AT MAGAZINES, part 1: I re-ordered this old copy of n+1 because of this one essay about aestheticism and perfectionism that I really wanted to read and it wasn't there after all and other than that this was fine I suppose, the same as before but a little more stale. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Jul 2, 2017 |
Hmmm, this is worthy, and you can see that they wanted to be starting something at what was probaby the grimmest American cultural juncture since McCarthyism or so, with its USA PATRIOT act and its radio no-playlists and its monstrous wars supported by cunning lies. And the best moments in this first issue of n+1 are indeed related to political developments--envisioning GW Bush as a cheerleader, an enthusiastic saluter at Nuremberg, a six-year-old ringbearer trying desperately to remember his practice run. Or the one on how 21st century American warfare, with its small strikeforces, superheroic in their power and weaponry, supported by gods above in the form of medevac and air strikes, are much more like Homeric heroes than anything the 20th century would have recognized as soldiers, and how when they lay waste to enemy combatants as incapable of harming them as the innocents that have been declared offlimits, it changes war, makes the purpose of going in not, foremost, achieving the mission but getting out again with your men's lives--a quixotic and sisyphean practice, where smashing apartment blocks full of people to get the one guy shooting at you ineffectually seems like sound logic, where the wars don't begin until after victory is declared and the civilian contractors and drivers and UN personnel move in.

That was super interesting, although there were also misfires in the early-2000s geopolitical realm, like the oh-so-precious article on making Palestine the 51st state. Other than that, there was some great fiction (Vladimir Sorokin, Sam Lipsyte, both of these I will read in a flash if I see them), and indeed, I think one of the main advantages to having n+1 in my life (I got a subscription) will be that they like good books. Some of the other articles have aged poorly (one on the effects of early internet fandom on Dave Eggers that reads like antiquarianism or stating the obvs; one observing that the gym rules us instead of us ruling ourselves, these are no longer new ideas), some are simply lesser. But it is a beginning with cultivation, rage, and promise. "'One must have been in exile in the wilds to appreciate a new periodical,' said Alexander Herzen. Perhaps you live in the city or the town, and in the safety of your own country. But you have known exile, and are acquainted with the wilds." ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Jul 2, 2013 |
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