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Laure on: Mike White's Confounding Zoo Trip

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The Reeler Blog

Mike White's Confounding Zoo Trip

Clearly, I spoke too soon when I wrote off Ray Kelly's lunchtime DVD viewing as the best idea of the day gone most curiously awry. It was foolish of me to underestimate The New Yorker, which achieves a new kind of misbegotten mediocrity with Nick Paumgarten's mystifying date with Year of the Dog writer/director Mike White -- at the Central Park Zoo:

Eventually, he came upon a pair of snow monkeys -- mother and child, apparently -- sitting on a rock in an enclosure. “Look! Monkeys! Look at those monkeys. Look at their red asses.” He watched them engage in a series of ambiguously violent gestures -- squeeze, swat, bite, slap -- which, to his eyes, indicated maternal and filial affection. “Don’t eat monkey,” he said.

He ducked inside, into the rain-forest exhibit, in search of other monkeys. The heat and humidity were jarring. “I’m surprised there aren’t more homeless people in here,” he said. Passing a coiled boa constrictor, he confirmed that he was a bit of an ophidiophobe: “Last night, I had a dream that there was a snow snake coming down from a snow mountain to kill me. A camouflaged snow snake.”

What the fuck? I loved Year of the Dog and all, but oddly enough, I had a dream that in a wood-paneled room somewhere in heaven, William Shawn is bargaining with God himself for a week back at The New Yorker offices with a red pen and an army of shrieking archangels who feast on fluff and bad judgment, and maybe a locksmith fast enough to shut out David Remnick before Conde Nast security arrives, and possibly a winged judge to referee a gun duel between Paumgarten and The Times's Michael Wilson, the loser of which is condemned to a sweltering eternity of guitar-shopping stories with Kevin Bacon and Woody Harrelson while the winner gets a two-day master class in film profiles with Lillian Ross -- far, far away from the zoo. A modest dream, to be sure, but obviously unreasonable. Alas, back to praying for Radar.

Posted at May 14, 2007 1:14 PM

Comments (1)

Could be worse- and somehow involve the movie ZOO...

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