UMagazinology inbox

Some recently published well-wrought pieces deserve your attention. Melanie Wang, a senior at Harvard, penned “Learning Space,” for Harvard Magazine‘s recurring column “The Undergraduate.” She begins in promising fashion:

I maintain that the foremost reward for returning to Harvard as a senior is to walk through campus knowing where the trashcans are. Forget theses and job searches and the social petri dish. It’s the small victories that are strongest. Being able to absentmindedly deposit an apple core or a muffin wrapper during the half-jog to morning lecture—this is a peculiar, important kind of wisdom.

 Then she follows through with a wry, seasoned essay that is unflaggingly charming. I have flipped it into the UMag flipmag.

warholAnother nicely turned personal essay arrived in Monmouth University Magazine. It’s by Jon Warhol and yes, he’s one of those Warhols—Andy’s great-nephew. Young Jon has a bemused take on his famous relation and what it means to have him in the family tree.

“Are you really related?” Yes. “Have you ever met him?” No. He died in 1987; I was born in 1991.

“Do you have any of his paintings?” No.

“You kinda look like him.” If you say so.

“That’s cool that you are related.” I guess.

My name is Jon Warhol, and the American pop art icon Andy Warhol is my great-uncle. For most of my life I didn’t have an understanding of Andy’s importance, or the origins of the Warhol family. It wasn’t until recently when I sat down with my father John and my uncle Mark that I felt an appreciation for the family name and history. To better understand Andy, and Warhols in general, you must first know the name’s origin and where our people come from.

“Warhols are unnatural. We’re not a natural thing,” my father John says.

My uncle Mark explains, “Warhol is a catch-all phrase meaning an argumentative quarrelsome person.”

wpicover-2If you’ve been following the Kickstarter funding and development of Neil Young’s Pono digital music player—ah c’mon, I can’t be the only one here who’s in mourning over Apple discontinuing the iPod classic—you will want to read Kate Silver’s “Righteous Fidelity” in the summer issue of WPI Journal from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. [The link takes you to the epub edition of the magazine. One of the drawbacks of alumni magazines posted online this way is I can't place the stories in the flipmag.]

Speaking of that Flipboard publication, there are a few more new pieces:

— “Streams and Echoes,” Tim Page’s nice profile of composer Chou Wen-chung in the fall issue of Columbia Magazine.

— “Inside the Monkey Cage,” pertaining to political scientist John Sides, in GW Magazine from George Washington University.

— Finally, from the University of Texas’ Alcalde, there’s “Through the Unthinkable.”

And with that, ladies and gentleman, it’s past 5 pm on a Friday evening and there’s a gimlet out there with my name on it. I’ll be back soon with a post about the merits of deliberate mistakes and the value of antagonism. I know something about the latter.


Flipboard Update

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 9.32.38 AM copyGood news for those of you who have not embraced what I have learned to call “mobile platforms”—I’m looking at you, John Rosenberg—but would like access to the new UMagazinology Flipboard magazine. An exclusive UMagazinology investigation has revealed that by going here, you can read what all the cool kids are reading.

Authorities are hopeful this will cut down on the number of people flipping through the magazine while driving.

A Bit of an Announcement


What you’re looking at above is my university magazine bookcase. The neatly boxed magazines on the lower shelf represent half the titles I receive from all of you, alphabetized by school. That upper shelf? That’s all the magazines that have landed in my mailbox but have not received any attention from me. Yeah, I’ve got some catching up to do, and some posts to write.

But…but…I have not been idle as Editorus Maximus of UMagazinology. In all that spare time we editors have, I’ve created a UMagazinology Flipboard magazine.

IMG_0199If you don’t know Flipboard, first go here. Flipboard is a mobile app for iOS and Android that facilitates the easy aggregation of web content into “magazines.” I can’t possibly write about every notable story I come across in our periodicals, but I can, without too much trouble, “flip” them into the UMag flipmag.

To read any of them, you need to download and install the app on your smartphone or tablet. Once you’ve done so, open the app, then do a quick search for “umagazinology.” Tap the button to follow it, and Bob’s your uncle, you’re now a UMagazinology reader. I’ve made an initial posting of a dozen or so stories, with more to come day by day.

A well-spent six minutes

Brian Doyle plinked this into my inbox yesterday, from Ursula K. Le Guin’s brief address at the National Book Awards:

I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings. … Power can be resisted and changed by human beings; resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.

If you are in need of inspiration and a spine-stiffener, view the entirety of her remarks:


Editors Live, Maybe Even Lively

Advancement-Live-2UMagazinology should be coming back to life later this week or next, as Blogmaster D gets an issue of the magazine out the door. Meanwhile, grant me a bit of self-aggrandizement in announcing a webcast tomorrow at 1 pm EST, “What Makes a Great Print Edition Alumni Magazine?” Host Ryan Peter Catherwood will be leading a discussion with David Brittan, editor of Tufts Magazine, Matt Dewald, majordomo at University of Richmond Magazine, and me. I’m advised that we’ll be talking for an hour, one hopes in a cogent, sprightly fashion.

Here is a link for further information:

And (I hope I’m right with this) the link to the webcast (actually a Google hangout):

Please tune in!