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Comments: Week of November 22, 2021

1.

“Climate Reparations,” ­November 8–21

Photo: New York Magazine

For New York’s latest cover story, ­David Wallace-Wells wrote about the moral imperative the world’s rich have to remove the carbon that threatens the global South. The AP’s Nick ­Riccardi said ­Wallace-Wells “reframes the issue as to whether the 1st world is going to try to clean up the mess it’s made in the developing one.” Breakthrough Institute analyst Seaver Wang called the essay, which was published as world leaders gathered in Glasgow for a U.N. climate-change summit, “required reading” for anyone who has “ever thought about climate justice, historical culpability for current + future climate impacts, and CO2 removal.” Daniel Ketyer wrote, “In business and ­academia we debate the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of CO2 removal. @dwallacewells ­unpacks the moral case for ‘why.’ ” And the environmentalist Bill McKibben commented, “Truly important … to be read and thought about by anyone interested in climate justice. (And it does not remove for a second the imperative of driving emissions down now.)”

2.

“The New York Street Is a Mess …,” November 8–21)

Photo: New York Magazine

Justin Davidson, along with a team of designers led by the architecture firm WXY, offered a reimagined city block. Run for Something co-founder Amanda Litman wrote, “Silly ­architectural mock-ups of what city streets could be made me stunningly emotional. Let’s choose this!!,” while Slate’s Henry Grabar said, “This is so beautiful and so feasible it hurts to behold.” Former NYC Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan wrote, “Plan a city like you mean it. Here’s what it could look like if we put the design, safety, mobility, climate, utility and economic pieces together. Perfecting the city street isn’t impossible; it merely awaits those who dare.” Benjamin Kabak of the transit blog Second Ave. Sagas appreciated how the article, “by inference, makes the opposition sound as selfishly absurd as it is.” And 8 80 Cities founder Guillermo ­Penalosa said, “Safe & enjoyable streets for all is not a technical issue, or financial, it’s ­political. We must demand this from elected officials, everywhere.” Readers in Athens, Auckland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Des Moines, Hong Kong, L.A., ­Manila, Miami, Riga, San Juan, Sydney, Washington, D.C., Zurich, and other cities agreed and pointed to ways the story’s suggestions could improve their own streetscapes.

3.

“Simon Rex Doesn’t Want to Be That Guy Anymore,” November 8–21

Nate Jones traveled to Joshua Tree to unpack how an early-aughts himbo became a leading man. TripSavvy editor Astrid Taran commented that the profile “says a lot of really interesting things about how, yes, life is easier if you’re conventionally beautiful, but ultimately success in many industries is mostly based on weird luck.” Writer and comedian Selena Coppock added, “This is a really beautiful piece that exposes the humanity of a man who, I’ll admit, I always thought of as a sorta ­hottie joke. Thank you for drawing him out so wonderfully and giving him a chance here.” Book editor Jay Blotcher said, “When someone writes an article so well-crafted that you read it, even if you care zero about the subject, that’s great writing.” Film ­writer Caspar Salmon wrote that he loved the actor’s “performance in Red Rocket, but profile writing has gone too far when people are getting commissioned to do six thousand words on Simon Rex.” Meanwhile, @Fleegull asked, “We are never ­going to run out of white guys extolling the virtues of Joshua Tree, are we?”

4.

“The Divo,” ­November 8–21

Shawn McCreesh appraised the uncertain future of the Metropolitan ­Opera through the eyes of its general manager, Peter Gelb. “God i missed gossipy inside baseball nyc reporting,” wrote The New Yorker’s Rachel Syme. “Such great writing and access,” added self-proclaimed “opera fanatic” Bruce ­MacDonald. But ­Opera Twitter responded poorly to the ­notion that Gelb has sought to “refresh” the Met’s repertoire. “Bro, do you opera? Guessing not,” @operainnovation tweeted at ­McCreesh. “Yeah, those yearly productions of La ­Bohème have been really refreshing,” said composer ­Corey Cunningham, and Brandon Combs added, “This is so tone deaf it reads like satire. Blackface was used less than 10 years ago at the Met.” @­rossiniconpollo noted, “This would be a real tear-jerker if they hadn’t blatantly ignored global opera trends and accusations of sexual violence for decades.” And @JLewSings wrote, “All of Peter Gelb’s big problems are problems he caused himself and could fix in like
12 seconds if he wanted to.”

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Comments: Week of November 22, 2021