The News From America
The Type We Do Here Is for Self-Defense
Continuing our series of randomly calling people around the U.S. to find out what’s going on in their towns, this time we focus on the Olympics—how do folks who come from the same communities as America’s Olympians feel about their star athletes?
There is a brand of humor with an inherent meaning so dark that, even though we may wish we hadn’t laughed, we’re programmed to think it’s funny. An explanation of a joke about a pedophile.
Where’ve You Been, Biblioracle?
From 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET today, tell the Biblioracle the last five books you’ve read, and he’ll recommend your next favorite novel.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Before the internet, before Facebook, before Twitter, a group of British documentary filmmakers launched what has become the grand-daddy of reality television. What can Seven Up! tell us about our own experiences in the (self-induced) spotlight?
The Business Desk
Arts and Crafts and Money
When “small batch” equals big dollars and one-person companies are supported by corporate-size websites, is “hand-made” what we think it is? A report from North America’s largest consumer craft fair, where the competition for puppet dollars is intense.
Letters From Beirut
Jonestown, Naipaul, and Me
A boy asking for money. An editor yelling at him to go away. An author, a rising star, dying young from a heart attack. A group of followers ending their lives at the wish of a single man.
America, America, Burning Bright
Deplorable, Lousy, Godawful, and Required
People complain that politics are worse than ever. It happens to be true. But history contains as many examples of the contentious, weird, and wacky as the present—and those absurdities are actually vital to our democracy.
Where We Should Live
Athens of the Now
Twenty years ago—or even 10—Nashville was falling to the bottom of any list of top U.S. destinations. Music City’s recent resurgence is a reminder of what Americans really value.
A Coalition of Dunces
Last week, the Pulitzer Prize board refused to give its prestigious award to any novel published in 2011. Something is clearly broken. We roused our commentators from the Tournament of Books, Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, for their remarks.
Letters From Tel Aviv
Smells Like War
Israel and Iran are swaying on the brink, if you listen to the international media. A peek inside the Israeli capital finds people acting blasé, but not making summer vacation plans just yet.
The Masculine Mystique
Come as You Are
To be a male clothing wearer in the early 21st century, you must do what men do, and wear trousers, whether or not the style fits you. Lessons in breaking through fashion anxiety to find yourself—in a pair of Comme des Garçons drop-crotch pants.
The Sound of the Internet