My New Year’s Resolution: to guest-blog at TNR.com @tnr #thenewrepublic
Before I ever held in my hands a copy of The New Republic, I liked the idea of The New Republic. As a young leftie with centrist leanings in mid-to-late eighties’ New Zealand, the notion of a magazine solely dedicated to points of view with which I could almost always agree seemed impossibly exciting. In my patchy recollection, NZ only had the Listener back then and, by dint of its status as the country’s solitary news magazine, it was obliged to cover every point on the ideological spectrum, as if trying to illuminate a dense forest with a dim torch.
At around 17, I discovered a bookstore in Wellington that featured an extensive collection of magazines that weren’t called the Listener, including — to my great delight, as if I had found a stash of porn in my Uncle’s unsupervised shed — The New Republic. Whenever opportunity allowed, I would make my way to Unity Books on Willis Street and furtively glance through the latest edition, although they were never very recent. To give you an idea: it was 1987, but I remember reading something about Geraldine Ferraro. I never purchased The New Republic because the cost of freight inflated the price well beyond my meagre means, especially after I had typically blown whatever cash I had at McDonalds on Lambton Quay on the way from the station.
It should come as no surprise, then, that, upon moving to the States in 2009 to pursue my dream of accessing cheaper subscriptions for magazines like The New Republic, I subscribed to The New Republic. (In fact, it’s fair to say that I engaged in something of a subscription binge, which explains the arrival each month of Condé-Nast Traveller, an event that never fails to startle me).
Perhaps Unity Books nostalgia clouds my view, but I maintain that TNR is a great magazine. Even if it warrants some of the criticism it seems so prone to attracting, the magazine (and, increasingly, the website) almost never fails to hold my interest. As I have written before, Jonathan Chait is my favorite writer on US politics — and his colleague, Jonathan Cohn, is indispensable as well, especially on heath reform. (Bernstein is one Jonathan too far, if you ask me, but this post is designed to suck up to TNR so I will keep a diplomatic lid on it.)
So there it is: my New Year’s Resolution is to, some way or how, secure a guest-blogging spot at The New Republic.
P.S. I will change my name to Jonathan if necessary.
P.P.S. While it makes for clunky prose, the repetition throughout this post of the magazine’s name in both full and shortened forms — The New Republic, The New Republic, TNR, TNR, TNR — is my attempt to attract their cyber-attention.