Gina Duclayan's Facebook album of behind-the-scenes Spy magazine staff photos shows the soft, human side of the carefully-calibrated snark book of the late 1980s and early 1990s. As such it's both a supplement and antidote to "Spy: The Funny Years," 2006's "lush, coffee-table format book" launched at an insidery party that reminded everyone how important (and establishment) the magazine's staff had since become. Somehow seeing the power clique in dorky 1980s duds and chairless apartments is much more comforting. At left, Kurt Andersen, a very young Daniel Radosh and Duclayan (clockwise from left). One more shot after the jump.
Click to viewIn journalist/blogger Daniel Radosh's upcoming Rapture Ready, he investigates the parallel universe of Christian Pop Culture. It's kinda like regular pop culture, except holier and with slightly worse production values. He says the music's not as bad as you think, but from the looks of this EXCLUSIVE VIDEO, the TV is sublimely ridiculous, if a bit, uh, totally offensive. It's from a TV show called Bibleman, which airs on Trinity Broadcasting Network. In this installment, Bibleman takes on a smarmy talk show host named Sammy Davey, who happens to be an embarrassingly exaggerated Jewish stereotype. Sammy Davey—played by a man in a ridiculous Jewfro wig doing an impression of Martin Short doing an impression of Jerry Lewis—totally ambushes Bibleman, the Christian superhero who apparently doesn't fight evil so much as appear on talk shows to explain why bad things happen to good people. (Hint: because New Yorkers are Jews who don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.) The whole thing is basically Randy Newman's "Rednecks" come to life, with Bibleman in the Lester Maddox role. Click through to read an explanatory excerpt from Rapture Ready and to watch the the astounding clip.
In a stunning display of craftsmanship, Observer writers Samuel Jacobs and Jonathan Liu today provide an anatomy of the trend piece, "a journalistic form in crisis." Jacobs and Liu do such a thorough job that we're not going to bother to restate any of their findings here; you must read the entire article. (We will offer a warning to the two intrepid Observerites: Be careful who you offend. Daniel Radosh wrote a brave and honest takedown of the trend piece years ago; now he's the blogger who does those caption contests.) In any event, as amplification to the article, we've provided a quick chart that graphs the decline in the fortunes of the trend piece. You can find it below.
• The latest magland roman a clef is by Jane Pratt's former assistant. But this time this boss is the heroine — and her boss is the bad guy. What an interesting twist. [NYP]
• Maureen Dowd says the Times is over the Judy Miller fiasco and now "everything's fantastic." She also says the Iraq insurgency is in its last throes, and that U.S. forces have turned the corner there. [Texas Monthly]
• It's not just Maxim; Housewife Nicollette Sheridan will appear on any magazine that'll have her. [Folio: (second item)]
• Blogger book deals continue apace: Dan Radosh's Rapture Ready! TK in 2008. (Yeah, we know he does a lot more than only blog, but why let facts get in the way of a good generalization?) [Radosh.net]