The New Yorker's current issue proves again that we boomers refuse to go gently into that good night.
Longtime Editor David Remnick unshelves his writing skills in a long profile of Paul McCartney, who at 79 seeks to reframe the Beatles legacy and his subsequent career.
The issue also offers a vintage short story by 82-year-old Thomas McGuane. "Not Here You Don't" examines the environmental deterioration and declining ethos of freedom in Montana, McGuane's longtime home.
Those who experienced 1960s pop culture first-hand can also relish film critic Anthony Lane's typically insightful review of Daniel Craig's last James Bond film, "No Time to Die." Recent film-goers will mourn Craig's farewell as earlier Bond fans did the exit of Sean Connery.
Remnick's revealing piece on McCartney arrives at a big moment for the pop superstar. A remix of his latest album, "McCartney" III," is topping the charts, and he's publishing a collection of his lyrics dating back to his teen years. Poet Paul Muldoon wrote essays for "The Lyrics: 1956 Through the Present."
The biggest event is the long-delayed arrival of a re-edited version of the 1969 film "Get Back," which takes a lighter view of the Beatles' breakup than the original movie. Peter Jackson's film, taken from 56 hours of material, will be streamed on Disney Plus at Thanksgiving.
I saw the original Beatles film years ago, transported by the band giving an impromptu concert on a London rooftop as office workers and passers-by on the street watched in wonder.
In pushing the film, McCartney looks back on his tortured relationship with John Lennon. McCartney says Lennon caused the Beatles breakup, for which McCartney was blamed at the time. He also says he remained friends with Lennon despite Lennon's harsh public insults, and admired Yoko Ono, whose marriage to Lennon was seen as breaking the band apart.
McCartney in an amusing aside punctures the Rolling Stones, calling the Beatles' major rivals a blues cover band.
Younger generations will likely wonder what all the fuss was about. Yet watching the Beatles perform their songs will make them understand why their moms and dads, and grand-moms and grand-dads, loved the band's music so intensely.
I'm always happy to see in the New Yorker stories by McGuane and a few other remaining writers of his generation. Contemporary short stories often don't engage me, as was the case in the current special issue of Oxford American showcasing new Southern writing.
The emerging generation of writers formed in college creative writing programs display a similarity of techniques and banality of characters and situations.
In contrast, McGuane makes the reader wonder how he achieves such power from his deceptively simple language. He ties his stories to broader social and environmental changes. As he discusses in a separate interview, McGuane uses the short story to illuminate the West's environmental and political crises.
Like McCartney, McGuane is a master storyteller who remains relevant for younger generations as well as we aging boomers.