Slake: Excerpts

by Ruby on July 15, 2010

At the beginning of this month, an exciting new publication hit the shelves: Slake Magazine. To celebrate its launch, Vroman’s and one of Slake’s editors and co-founders, Joseph Donnelly, put together a blog series to help you all get a taste of this incredible new magazine. Yesterday, an interview with Joseph; today and tomorrow, excerpts from the first edition. Be prepared: these are not your average, tame paragraphs.

The first comes from Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer prize-winning food journalist with the LA Weekly. He has also written a book: Counter Intelligence. Check it out next time you want to eat in or around LA.

Fruits are pure sex, the naked reproductive organs of a tree: juicy, plump with fertility, cleft with alluring, syrup-crusted fissures. When we look at Chardin’s cherries or a Cezanne peach, what we see is possibility. What we see when we look at Zurbarán’s citrus may be the opposite of that – this is among the chastest damned fruit in existence; unviolated ornamental fruit meant to be admired rather than eaten. There are no crumbs. Not a bite is missing. The lemons are actually citrons, whose rind is fragrant but whose flesh is all but inedible; the oranges, like most in Seville at the time, are almost certainly bitter. These will never be eaten.

—Jonathan Gold, “Fallen Fruit”

The second is by John Powers, a contributing editor at Vogue and critic at large for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He is the author of the political commentary Sore Winners (and the Rest of Us) in George Bush’s America.

Of course, next to the Manson Family, these West Valley clothes-robbers seem so silly that it’s hard not to think of Marx’s old line about how history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Not that this is such a bad thing. Manson burned with hatred for the privileged—he wanted to kill them. The Bling Ring just wants to be them. Although I’m old enough to grumble about how shallow our culture has become, it’s hard to imagine anyone being nostalgic for the good old days of Helter-Skelter: “Back in the sixties, m’boy, giants ruled the Earth. Our crooks were visionaries. They murdered pregnant women to start a race war. They wrote ‘Pig’ with their victims’ blood on the front door. Now, those were criminals. Your young crooks today—they just steal purses.”

–John Powers, “Out Stealing Purses”