Winter 2014–2015

Kiosk / Winter 2014–2015

In the nooks and crannies


Every issue of a magazine has a secret double, a shadow version comprised of promised articles that never materialized, projects that the editors decided not to include for one reason or another, images that didn’t appear because of limited space, and so on. For instance, take Matthea Harvey’s “Colors” column in this issue, which discusses the surprising changes in coloration undergone by her cat Meucci because of the presence of the so-called Himalayan or TYR gene. For reasons that we can no longer defend, beautiful Meucci’s photo was not included in the article. But this is one decision we can undo. And so we ask Meucci, or rather the JPEG of Meucci filed in this issue’s “Unused Images” folder, to move to the “Used” folder and make a bow in the published, public version of this issue.

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Speaking of cats, a very large and dangerous mouse is on the loose in our neighborhood, one that a culturally sophisticated feline like Meucci would have no chance in hell of scaring away. We had been wondering why so many boutique hotels are popping up in our area, but the following post on our local listserv about said oversized mouse gives us a clue:

Subject: ISO: exterminator

I’m looking for someone EFFECTIVE! I have a mouse and sleeping in a hotel tonight. Please help.

• • •

From mouse to cricket. While researching the history of cricket matches between the West Indies and England, we came across several interesting songs inspired by the Caribbean side’s rivalry with England. One of them was written in 1976, when the West Indies team visited England to play a “test” series, the five multi-day contests that are at the heart of international cricket competitions. Shortly before the series began, England’s South African–born captain Tony Greig told a journalist that “the West Indians, these guys, if they get on top, they are magnificent cricketers, but if they are down, they grovel, and I intend to make them grovel.” The unmistakably colonial tone of Greig’s comments was noted by the West Indian community, among them the Jamaican-born British reggae singer Ezeke, who recorded the song “Who’s Grovelling Now?” in response. Based on the 1950s pop song “Who’s Sorry Now?,” its opening lyrics were:

Who’s grovelling now?

Who’s grovelling now?

Greig, you’re a loser somehow,

If you had your way, you would never let us play,

So tell me, who’s grovelling now?

After drawing in the first two tests, West Indies crushed 
England 3–0.

• • •

Speaking of crushing defeats, it’s time for a confession. Leland de la Durantaye’s excellent essay on Federer was edited by Cabinet’s editor-in-chief and senior editor with deep respect and admiration. But this was no mean feat. The magazine’s editor-in-chief is a devoted fan of Rafael Nadal, and the senior editor and other staff members had to hold him down at times to prevent him from rewriting large portions of the essay. To complicate matters even more, the magazine’s art director is also crazy about Rafa and at one point the layout consisted of twelve astonishing images of Nadal and one of Federer watching a ball whiz past him. However, we collectively managed to pull ourselves together and remind ourselves of our editorial responsibilities, and so it was that the many Nadal images were moved to the “Unused Images” folder and out came the suppressed Federer photos. You can imagine our thrill then when we found the photo of Federer crying after losing the 2009 Australian Open to Nadal (his third loss in a row to Nadal in Grand Slam finals). It was a photo of the Swiss player, but the visually absent Spaniard dominated the scene. We could have our cake and eat it too—we wrote a sober caption for it, and moved on. But in the past hour, someone in the office opened the InDesign file and amended the caption to include a slight dig at Federer. We have tried to restore the caption to its sober original, but the culprit has placed a password on the file and we can do naught about it. Forgive us, Rogelio!

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Alas, things fall apart, and Nadal is no exception. His game, built on torque and power, has taken its toll, and, like Federer, he is in decline. If only a magic potion could restore him to his 2008–2010, or even 2013, magnificence so that he could win three more Grand Slam titles and tie Federer for the record! But of course such magic potions don’t exist. Or do they? During the last World Cup, Ghana’s most celebrated witch doctor, Nana Kwaku Bonsam, claimed that he was responsible for the knee injury that had plagued Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and threatened to rule him out of the game against Ghana. What did Bonsam’s spell consist of? We don’t know, but we do know that dogs were involved: “I went around looking for four dogs and I got them to be used in manufacturing a special spirit called Kahwiri Kapam,” Bonsam told Angel FM radio. This concoction was then apparently placed around an image of Ronaldo. This sounds drastic, and unsporting, to boot. No Nadal fan would like to see Djokovic, Federer, and Murray come down with knee injuries (Hmmm), but a “positive” potion to cure Nadal’s many physical ailments (wrist, back, knees)? We say yes to that. Anyone who can help with a recipe for such a potion can email it to The most promising recipe will be published in the next edition of Kiosk.

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