I have a love-hate relationship with The Atlantic. Recently it has been disappointing what with adding Sullivan and Yglesias as bloggers while dropping Mark Steyn. Just when i wonder why i subscribe, a new issue shows up with an outstanding article or review.
Mark Bowden's journalism never disappoints. Last issue he wrote a review of The Wire that i found interesting and entertaining even though i never watched the show.
This issue has a completely fascinating piece on the paparazzi. There is also a long essay by Russ Douthat on Hollywood's nostalgia for the 1970s.
Douthat notes that part of the appeal of that decade is its public "mood"-- a "mix of paranoia and pessimism and ambivalence about America itself". Hollywood has always loved those attitudes, but the public usually won't play along. Now, directors and actors hope that Iraq, 9/11, and the economy will give them and audience for the kind of movies they want to make.
Odd, isn't it-- movie people are happiest when the country is in the worst shape.
Douthat makes another point that cannot be repeated too often:
More big budget movies featuring Islamist villains were released in the 1990s than in the seven years since 9/11.See also: