Back in July, the website Brokelyn threw a party at Williamsburg’s Crown Victoria that it dubbed “Salute Your Jorts.” The theme of the evening was summer camp. A “bug juice cocktail” was just $4. In addition to Ping-Pong and bocce, the planned activities included spin the bottle and making friendship bracelets and macaroni art. Attendees were told, “don’t forget clean undies, just in case they get strung up the flagpole.” It sounded horrible, the low-water mark of a trend in recent years of turning bars into amusement parks for adults. Read More
Brian Thomas Gallagher
No Country for This Old Man: The New Novel by Martin Amis Is About Anything But the ‘State of England’
By Brian Thomas Gallagher 8/17/12 12:21pm
A mediocre book by Martin Amis is better than most books by anyone else, but unfortunately, a bad book by Martin Amis is just as bad as any other bad book. And Lionel Asbo (Knopf, 255 pp. $25.95) is a bad book.
The mention on the cover of Mr. Amis’s previous masterworks—Money and London Fields—does Lionel Asbo no favors by calling to mind its better-realized predecessors. As in those books, the protagonist is a morally bankrupt, misogynistic menace to society—which for Mr. Amis is a promising start. Unfortunately, Asbo reads like a first draft of an Amis novel, before the linguistic pyrotechnics, trenchant wit and cosmopolitan insight have made it in. Read More
By Brian Thomas Gallagher 4/25/12 12:17pm
On May 25, 1979—the first day his mother allowed him to walk to the bus stop alone—6-year-old Etan Patz went missing just blocks from his parents’ Soho loft. The case roused the fears of the nation and changed the way parents raised their children. In the days and months after, the full force of the New York press was trained on the family. The case became as much of a media phenomenon as a police investigation.
Despite thousands of man hours on the part of law enforcement, and the identification of at least one suspect in 1990—a convicted child molester named José Ramos, currently in prison in Pennsylvania on other charges—no arrests have been made in the Patz case. Last week, the FBI and NYPD excavated a basement on Prince Street, just one block from the Patzes’ apartment, and once again the media descended on the family. Law enforcement officials are analyzing a stain they found, but so far they have “nothing conclusive.”
On the slim chance that Etan would find his way home, the Patzes have never moved or changed their telephone number, and each time a possible development arises, a new onslaught of reporters arrives at their door. In the 33 years since the disappearance, the Patzes have lived with the media as a fact of their life. We talked to reporters and editors who covered the case in its first year. Read More
By Brian Thomas Gallagher 6/07/11 11:44pm
FROM THE WALLS OF RAY’S PIZZA to the offices of various investment banking titans, carefully arranged photographs of the owner with a celebrity convey one singular truth: I, the owner, was once within a few feet of someone who has been projected onto millions of screens in homes and in movie theaters.
The fame wall isn’t new, if course, nor is what it represents. But now it’s more ubiquitous because it’s finally gone digital. Read More