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  • Film Review: ‘QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight’ October 19, 2019
    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma […]
    Owen Gleiberman
  • Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators’ Inaugural C2 Summit October 19, 2019
    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application p […]
    Lorraine W.
  • SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year October 18, 2019
    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ October 18, 2019
    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of […] […]
  • Marcus Buckingham Lists Sunset Strip Villa October 18, 2019
    English bestselling author and motivational speaker Marcus Buckingham is writing himself out of his Hollywood Hills crash pad. Barely two years after he bought the property for $3.3 million, the divorced father is moving on, having attached a $3.75 million pricetag to his charming 1920s home. Set just above the iconic Sunset Strip and a […]
  • Live+3 Ratings for Week of Oct. 7: ‘Batwoman’ Doubles, ‘This Is Us’ Tops Scripted October 18, 2019
    After swooping in with a solid debut in Live+3, the CW’s “Batwoman” doubled in week 2 after three days of delayed viewing to a 0.6 rating from a 0.3. That figures is still down a 0.1 ratings point on the tally from its premiere. “This Is Us” finished as the top scripted show in Live+3, […]
    Will Thorne
  • John Cho Injured on Set of Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ Production Halted for 7-9 Months October 18, 2019
    “Cowboy Bebop” star John Cho sustained a knee injury on the set of the live-action Netflix series while filming in New Zealand in October, Variety has learned, leading to a 7-9 month break in production. While the nature of the incident that led to the injury is not altogether clear, it occurred during a rehearsed […]
  • The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now October 18, 2019
    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home […]
    Nate Nickolai
  • TV News Roundup: NBC Announces ‘Making It’ Season 2 Premiere Date October 18, 2019
    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show […]
  • ‘Stranger Things’ Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in ‘Without Remorse’ October 18, 2019
    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who […] […]
    Justin Kroll

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  • ‘I Can’t Just Stand on the Sidelines’: An Interview with Naomi Oreskes
    Claudia Dreifus: I heard that you grew up in a political family. True? Naomi Oreskes: I did. And for a long time, I didn’t want to be political. My parents were very involved in the civil rights movement. I always tell people, “When I grew up, the mall was a place you went to protest, not to shop.” As a child, I was proud of my parents, but there was something about their lives that was exhausting. Part of me just wanted the have the right to just play the piano or read poetry, and not to feel as though I was personally responsible for saving the world all the time. Do you know the novel Burger’s Daughter, by Nadine Gordimer? It was about the doubts of the child of two activists during the apartheid era in South Africa. I really related to the central character.
  • William Barr, Trump’s New Roy Cohn
    Before William Barr became attorney general, Trump liked to ask “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”—referring to Trump’s early mentor, who had once been a chief counsel for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist witch-hunt and was later a lawyer and political fixer in New York whose clients included mob bosses—as well as the real-estate developer who is now America’s president. Now, said Stephen Gillers, an NYU law professor and an expert on legal ethics, “He’s got his Roy Cohn—only a much more polished, presentable, and establishment version.”
  • Query
    To the Editors: For a biography of the novelist E.L. Doctorow (1931–2015) to be published by Scribner, I would be glad and grateful to hear from any of his former students, publishing colleagues or friends, or anyone with reminiscences or with whom he corresponded.
  • The First and Last of Her Kind
    Sandra Day O’Connor’s name isn’t heard often these days—certainly not at the Supreme Court, which she dominated for years from her seat at its ideological center, but where her distinctive brand of center-right pragmatism quickly lost its purchase after her retirement. Her replacement in January 2006 by the hard-right Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by President George W. Bush, has proved to be one of the most consequential seat swaps in modern Supreme Court history. During a panel discussion a decade ago, O’Connor observed with characteristic bluntness that her legacy at the Court was being “dismantled.” How did she feel about that, her interviewer asked. “What would you feel?” O’Connor countered. “I’d be a little bit disappointed. If you think you’ve been helpful, and then it’s dismantled, you think, ‘Oh, dear.’ But life goes on. It’s not always positive.”
  • The First Concentration Camps
    To the Editors: In her interesting review of Daniel Okrent’s The Guarded Gate, Sarah Churchwell writes that “the term ‘concentration camps’ was also used as early as 1897 by the American press to describe the internment camps, with their ‘concentration of misery,’ forcibly established in Cuba in the run-up to the Spanish-American War for civilians labeled reconcentrados.” Those reconcentrados were in fact interned or “concentrated” in camps, to which they gave their name, created by the Spanish Army in Cuba while suppressing the patriotic rebellion of 1895.
  • Singing the Back Streets
    Nelson Algren was a writer out of the Depression who felt that America should be judged by how it treated its poorest citizens. As an artist, he had a special vision and a singular prose, and he used them to see behind the billboards and the newsreels, beyond the lipstick, beyond the fear, into the lives of people left stranded by the American dream. He offers a lesson in what it means to be a writer in a society that believes commerce is virtue. More than Walt Whitman or John Steinbeck, more than F. Scott Fitzgerald or Dorothy Parker, he reveals the essential loneliness of the serious writer, never fooling himself with baubles and status, but staying with his subjects, the forgotten in society and his own alien self.
  • ‘Sovereignty Doesn’t Exist in a Globalized World’: An Interview with Guy Verhofstadt
    Michał Matlak: If there’s Brexit, and there are negotiations on the future relationship, what kind of relationship would you favor? Guy Verhofstadt: An association agreement—and it should be as deep as possible. Membership is the best option, but if it’s not possible, let’s cooperate in as many domains as possible. Michał Matlak: What about other member states—are they ready to renounce their sovereignty in a Federal Europe? Guy Verhofstadt: Well, their sovereignty doesn’t exist in a globalized world. Sovereignty means that you can decide your own path. European states on their own are not able to do that. There’s only European sovereignty, if any. Only then can we decide on the European way of life.
  • ‘His Mind Was Itself a Library’: Harold Bloom, 1930–2019
    Bloom inscribed for us one of his latest volumes, an entry in his four-part series on “Shakespeare’s Personalities.” As his shaking hand struggled to sign his name, I thought of the line from As You Like It describing extreme old age: “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Yet Bloom, at eighty-nine, still had his teeth and vision, and his taste—his appreciation of great verse, especially—seemed only to grow with the passage of time. His life did not end in “second childishness and mere oblivion,” the fate of senility forecast in that play, but in clarity, knowledge, and grace.
  • The Great Biomass Boondoggle
    The urgency of the climate crisis is inspiring some extreme and unproven ideas. Arguably one of the most reckless ideas is already well underway: burning “forest biomass”—that is, trees—in power plants as a replacement for coal. The problem with this so-called green energy source is that instead of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, it increases the amount of CO2 coming out of the smokestack compared to fossil fuels, and the climate “benefit” is claimed by simply not counting the emissions.  
  • The Eastern Jesus
    In Jesus in Asia, R.S. Sugirtharajah shows how Jesus has been promoted, despised, and utilized in Asia. He begins in China around the seventh century and ends in twentieth-century South Korea and Japan, but is mainly concerned with thinkers from the Indian subcontinent. He introduces us to intellectuals—some believers, many not—who grappled with Jesus as a historical figure and a person with a place in Asian religions.
  • What Cars Can Teach Us About New Policing Technologies
    The mass production of the automobile transformed twentieth-century America in unexpected and important ways. Foremost, and little-known, it revolutionized policing, spurring the development of police surveillance and increasing individual officers’ discretionary authority. Although this expansion of the state’s power didn’t begin with discriminatory motives, the history of policing drivers makes clear that law enforcement’s surveillance practices don’t invade people’s privacy equally, but have historically reinforced existing inequalities. This is important to remember as contemporary concerns in the face of new technologies abound.
  • Crisis in the Amazon
    To the Editors: As Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stood before the United Nations in late September downplaying media reports of increasing forest fires under his administration and denouncing world-renowned indigenous leaders such as Raoni Metuktire and Sônia Guajajara, who he claimed were being manipulated by foreign interests, the Brazilian Amazon continued to burn. Enormous fires have broken out in different parts of it as deforestation has reached levels not seen for more than a decade, with an area of forest the size of Hong Kong cut down in the month of August alone.
  • My Adventures in Psychedelia
    To try psychedelics was something I’d secretly hankered after doing ever since I was a teenager, but I was always too cautious and risk-averse. As I got older, the moment seemed to pass. Today I am a middle-aged journalist working in London, the finance editor of The Economist, a wife, mother, and, to all appearances, a person totally devoid of countercultural tendencies. And yet… on impulse, I arranged to go. Only after I booked did I tell my husband. He was bemused, but said it was fine by him, as long as I didn’t decide while I was under the influence that I didn’t love him anymore. My eighteen-year-old son thought the whole thing was hilarious (it turns out that your mother tripping is a good way to make drugs seem less cool).  
  • Curation as Creation
    A restaurant near my apartment sells “curated salads”; a home goods store sells “carefully curated sheets”; a babysitting agency offers “curated care”; my inbox bulges with curated newsletters, curated dating apps, curated wine programs. Kanye West, the Trumpist rapper, calls himself a curator, as do Chris Anderson, who runs TED Talks, and Josh Ostrovsky, who under the name the Fat Jew spews plagiarized jokes and alcohol advertising to millions of followers on social media. It’s been well over a decade now since the figure of the curator—a once auxiliary player in the world of art—became vulgarized and generalized in consumer society, and still its demented currency endures.
  • Resisting English
    No one could read Minae Mizumura for long without realizing that her lament over her “unhappy” fate as a Japanese writer is at most half-serious. She may feel indignant on behalf of the Japanese language—and other national languages that she fears are being eclipsed by English—but she was never tempted to become a writer in English herself. On the contrary: in her polemical nonfiction work The Fall of Language in the Age of English, a best seller in Japan when it appeared in 2008, she writes that even though she lived in the US for twenty years, “I never felt comfortable with either American life or the English language.”
  • What Happened to the West Village?
    Greenwich Village was once a locus for a succession of twentieth-century progressive movements fighting for workers’, women’s, civil, and gay rights. Its history is also that of longtime residents’ determined efforts to save it from the designs of new, wealthy neighbors and powerful landlords. Among the first New York neighborhoods to gentrify, the West Village has seen that change unfold more slowly but long predating the gentrification that is rapidly transforming parts of Brooklyn and northern Manhattan. “It’s difficult to say exactly when Greenwich Village gentrified. It didn’t happen in one fell swoop as it did for [other] parts of town,” Jeremiah Moss writes in his 2017 book, Vanishing New York. (Greenwich Village is an older name and larger category, understood to include parts of the Village east of Sixth Avenue.) And yet, the neighborhood has come to be seen as a harbinger of the city’s future.
  • Ukraine Continued: How a Crucial Witness Escaped
    A classified State Department assessment concluded in 2018 that Ukraine’s former Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko—who is at the center of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump—had allowed a vital potential witness for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Konstantin Kilimnik, to escape from Ukraine to Russia, beyond the reach of the United States, after a federal grand jury in the US charged Kilimnik with obstruction of justice. When Lutsenko arranged for Kilimnik to slip across the border, he eliminated the last likely possibility for the American people to learn the truth.
  • Proofreading the President
    The flurry of responses to Trump’s ham-fisted tweet had the pathetic aspect of a bullied child trying to get even by waving his report card in his tormentor’s face. I share the impulse: his ludicrous Page Six-style nicknaming conventions are spiteful and stupid, and there is some bitter satisfaction in being spiteful and smart right back at him. But mocking the president’s twisting circumlocutions is cold consolation—ask anyone who bought a “Bushisms” calendar the January before the United States invaded Iraq.
  • Justin Trudeau, Liberal Let-Down
    It was no wonder that Trudeau became a darling of Davos, idolized by a global liberal establishment that felt increasingly besieged by surging challenges from the left and right. The self-awareness about his role was apparent in a moment of unscripted candor, when he told The Guardian, in 2016: “We’re actually able to approve pipelines at a time when everyone wants protection of the environment. We’re being able to show that we get people’s fears and there are constructive ways of allaying them—and not just ways to lash out and give a big kick to the system.” Getting gains for the fossil-fuel industry while hoodwinking popular anger at a hoarding elite: Trudeau had never stated so baldly that his goal was not to transform the status quo, but to smoothly defend it.
  • Time for a New Liberation?
    On the tenth anniversary of 1989, at the brink of the millennium, we could celebrate both the original triumph of the velvet revolutions and great subsequent progress. By the twentieth anniversary, in 2009, the countries of Central Europe had become members of both NATO and the EU, while political scientists described Hungary as a “consolidated democracy.” On this thirtieth anniversary, by contrast, the question that forces itself onto dismayed lips is “What went wrong?”
  • A Black Actor’s Unrequited Love for Shakespeare
    One of the pleasures of American Moor is its portrayal of how an actor builds a character, and we come to see that a character is not only himself but also an anthology of all his relationships. To play the black warrior Othello, you have to also be able to play Desdemona, to imagine what it would be to see yourself through the adamant, principled tenderness that makes her the counterpart of Iago, as implacable in love as he is in hatred. Keith Hamilton Cobb shows us both. The audition that is the action of the play evolves into a struggle between the Actor and the Director for the soul of Othello, Shakespeare’s tragedy being played out within the audition, a lived reality: “And you think you’re not in this play?” the Actor, played by Cobb, says to the Director, as their collision becomes a matter of life and death for him.
  • Closing Rikers: Competing Visions for the Future of New York City’s Jails
    At this moment in the country’s history, an unusual alignment has taken shape—of investment in and activism around criminal justice reform; widespread recognition of the failure of systems currently in place; political will from all levels of government; and an abundance of successful programs for change backed by policy research. Yet the de Blasio administration is still hiding behind logistics and bureaucracy, repeating past mistakes and reluctant to do more to address its role in the perpetuation of an unjust system. The debates about the closure of Rikers have revealed how the city, circumscribed by what it feels it can get away with politically, is unwilling to look beyond what seems acceptable to what might be possible.
  • Catalonian Complexities
    To the Editors: According to Neal Ascherson, confronted with the challenge of the Catalan separatists’ referendum on independence, which was in violation of the Spanish constitution and declared illegal by the Constitutional Tribunal, “the right-wing premier Mariano Rajoy panicked and behaved as if he were an eighteenth-century king facing armed rebellion.” This shows to what extent Ascherson has adopted the opinions of the separatists.
  • Early Sci-Fi: You Could Look it Up
    To the Editors: In her review of Lisa Yaszek’s The Future Is Female!, Nicole Rudick claims that I missed “the forest for the trees” in my book Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926–1965. She is referring to my criticism of second-wave feminist SF scholars of the Seventies for their ignorance of female science fiction writers in the early SF magazines. Rudick excuses this ignorance by saying, “But how readily available were copies of SF magazines from the Forties and Fifties to women in the Seventies?” The answer is that they were just as available to women in the Seventies as they were to men such as myself.
  • How Varian Fry Helped My Family Escape the Nazis
    During the year he spent in Marseille, from 1940 to 1941, the American journalist Varian Fry and his colleagues created a rescue network that saved at least 2,000 people from the Nazis—including Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Arthur Koestler, Max Ophüls, Anna Seghers, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and scores of other writers, artists, and philosophers. Fry was tenacious and creative in his means of getting people visas and onto boats in a desperate rush against time. Because of his extra-legal methods, Fry was shunned by the US Consul in Marseille. But the refugee rescue organization that Fry and his helpers built has been credited with saving from annihilation a crucial piece of European culture.
  • Morris Ernst, Bennett Cerf, and ‘Ulysses’
    To the Editors: I read with interest Michael Chabon’s fine piece “‘Ulysses’ on Trial.” While the story was well told, I was profoundly disappointed by its lionization of Morris Ernst. Mr. Ernst was, unfortunately, far more than a clever lawyer who played crafty legal games on behalf of liberal ideals. In the 1950s, while national counsel of the ACLU, he repeatedly offered his services to the FBI to spy upon potential clients and report on the doings of that organization.
  • The Real Texas
    What is Texas? Should we even think about so large and diverse a place as having an essence that can be distilled?
  • Capturing the Ephemeral Beauty of Improvisation
    The drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey has a lovely phrase to describe the practice of improvisation: “the adornment of time.” It’s the title of his gorgeous new album with the pianist Marilyn Crispell, recorded live in the fall of 2018 during Sorey’s residency at The Kitchen, a performance space in Chelsea. The music begins in near silence, punctuated at first by what sounds like knocking, or maybe hammering. It’s followed by thudding noises, strokes of a piano’s strings, a drum roll so subtle it might be an aural illusion, a crash of cymbals, the tapping of a glockenspiel, the pattering of piano keys. Over the next hour—there’s only one track—the collaboration’s architecture comes into radiant focus, gradually acquiring such physical power that you feel a kind of shock, and even sorrow, when it ends.
  • Stopping in Vilna: Encountering Stendhal on the Holocaust Trail
    I was traveling a great deal throughout Central and Eastern Europe—Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus—researching a book that had to do with the Holocaust. My visits to local and regional archives, my tours of mass graves and abandoned shtetls would, I hoped, shed light on the lives and fates of certain relatives of mine: my mother’s uncle and aunt and cousins, Jews living in eastern Poland who had perished during the war. In Vilna, after three years of traveling in search of my family’s story, three years of interviewing people about the worst imaginable things, I couldn’t take it any more. Two things broke me.
  • Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction
    I have closed novels and stared at their back covers for a long moment and felt known in a way I cannot honestly say I have felt known by many real-life interactions with human beings, or even by myself. For though the other may not know us perfectly or even well, the hard truth is we do not always know ourselves perfectly or well. Indeed, there are things to which subjectivity is blind and which only those on the outside can see.
  • The Ghosts of Elaine, Arkansas, 1919
    Given the magnitude of the Elaine Massacre, its absence from standard narratives in American history is striking. But it is important that we remember the Elaine Massacre today, for it encapsulates two fundamental and often interconnected problems that still plague America today: the vast disparities in wealth and power between black and white, and the enormous and growing inequalities between employer and worker. Far from being relics of a distant past, the two forces at the heart of the Elaine Massacre—white supremacy and a huge asymmetry in power between employers and workers—are very much alive.
  • The War Stories of Evacuated Children
    Eighty years ago, in September 1939, Operation Pied Piper—a World War II effort to evacuate Britain's most vulnerable citizens from areas deemed most vulnerable to German attack—was put into effect. In the first three days alone, 1.5 million people, most of them children, left their homes. As trains roared out of the station every day, every nine minutes, for nine hours, parents said their goodbyes, wondering if it would be the last time that they saw their children. The loss of a parent or separation from family is a trope in children's literature, but in the decade following the war, several children's writers drew particular inspiration from their wartime experiences.
  • Snowden in the Labyrinth
    Edward Snowden might seem forever defined by a single act—his decision to leak highly classified information copied from the NSA—and a single moment in time. Having gazed through the windows of the panopticon, he experienced that rarity, a moment of vision: The world must be told these things I know. Against absurd odds, he delivered his knowledge to us. Now, in Permanent Record, he proposes to explain to you, by first explaining to himself, how he became (both how he was formed, and why he chose to become) the person playing this watershed walk-on part on the recent historical stage.
  • ‘Sex’ at the Supreme Court
    Is firing someone for being gay or transgender illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating “because of...race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”? The Supreme Court will take up that question in October. At issue is whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have a right to be treated equally in the workplace, since discriminating against them is inextricably “because of sex.” The question has divided lower courts, often along unpredictable lines.
  • When Fathers Die: Remembering Robert Frank
    In 1967, I was part of a “happening” with the Park Place Artists in Judson Memorial Church at Washington Square in New York. Standing up in the balcony with the sculptor Mark di Suvero, we looked down at a crowd of people milling about the lobby as the event ended. In the middle was a short man with dark curly hair and a taller, good-looking woman. “That’s Robert Frank and Mary Frank,” said Mark, pointing down at them. “Would you like to meet him?” In early 1969, I moved into Robert and Mary’s apartment on West 86th Street.
  • Jimmy Hoffa and ‘The Irishman’: A True Crime Story?
    Martin Scorsese’s new movie, The Irishman, purports to do what the FBI and others seem unable to do: tell us who killed Jimmy Hoffa, and how. The film is based on a 2004 book whose central claim is that Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran murdered Hoffa in 1975. I have a personal stake in the veracity of Sheeran’s confession to being the hitman. Sheeran also repeats the public conventional wisdom that a man named Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien drove the car that picked up Hoffa from the suburban parking lot in Detroit and delivered him to his killers. O’Brien was Hoffa’s closest aide for decades. He is also my stepfather.
  • Trump, Giuliani, and Manafort: The Ukraine Scheme
    The allegations that President Trump improperly pressured the head of state of a foreign government to improperly investigate the son of his potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential race, and even withheld $250 million in military aid to that country, have become grounds for an impeachment inquiry. The new disclosures in this story underscore how this scheme originated in the long-running coordination between Trump, Giuliani, and Manafort to frustrate the Mueller investigation. This began with an earlier endeavor to obtain information that might provide a pretext and political cover for the president to pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. 
  • Beyond Afghanistan’s ‘Graveyard for the Living’
    It was Afghanistan’s well-heeled foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, the son of a famous jihadist leader, who first used the V-word with me. “I’ve been reading accounts of the Paris Peace talks, and the secret deal that was made by Kissinger with North Vietnam,” he said. “Kissinger said that they should wait a ‘decent interval’ before taking the South.” The unpopularity of the war and political challenges at home exerted pressure to conclude a weak agreement. Was the US negotiating strategy with the Taliban really just to secure a “decent interval” between the withdrawal and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban?
  • Washington’s Legacy for American Jews: ‘To Bigotry No Sanction’
    Warden Seixas’s letter immediately brought forth from Washington the now-famous response, undated but sent on August 21, 1790. As a number of commentators have remarked, it has sometimes been overlooked how good a politician George Washington could sometimes be. Picking right up on Seixas’s theme, and using some of Seixas’s own language, he noted that in the United States “[a]ll possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship,” and that the government of the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” These are the words for which the letter remains famous.
  • Springsteen at Seventy
    Whatever showmanship, whatever little bits of business Bruce Springsteen employs to bolster this illusion—the illusion that we are all together, in a small place, where we might be spattered with the performer’s sweat, where one might be able to get from one side of the room to the other by sliding—are in the service of a much greater illusion: that rock and roll still matters, that it can take you away from your dull daily cares, that it can transport you.
  • What the Apps That Bring Food to Your Door Mean for Delivery Workers
    Food delivery in New York City is nothing new: it’s been possible to have pizza or Chinese takeout brought to your door since the 1950s. Yet in the newer online delivery industry, startups, flush with venture capital, have both altered and entrenched this historically exploitative low-wage work. The higher profile and PR consciousness of the new app firms curb some of the job’s worst abuses and offer the potential for better wages, but they also formalize its precariousness: like most gig workers, couriers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Online delivery work offers a particularly clear example of the contractor model’s pitfalls when it is applied to a physical and hazardous job. 
  • Inside the Deportation Courts
    President Trump’s transformation of immigration law is being executed at sixty-odd courts around the country dedicated to processing migrants. The administration has taken legislation passed quietly over the years and used it to drive through large-scale changes to immigrant rights. Unlike the judges in federal or state courts, immigration judges don’t have judicial independence. They are part of the executive branch rather than the judicial branch. They can be fired or reassigned by the attorney general, and they face sanctions if they don’t process cases rapidly. The Trump administration has hired nearly two hundred new judges and plans to add at least a hundred more. Nearly half of sitting immigration judges were appointed by Trump, and about half of these new judges had previously been attorneys for ICE, according to the Associated Press.
  • Trump’s Assault on Food Stamps: A Petition from Medical Students and Residents
    To the Editors: On July 24, 2019, the US Department of Agriculture proposed a rule that would end the policy called “Categorical Eligibility” by which households receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If the rule is finalized, over 3.5 million people will lose food stamps. Nearly three fourths of the households slated to lose benefits live in poverty, and almost half of them include an elderly person.
  • Philosophy of a Blowjob: An Interview with Jacqueline Novak
    Andrea Long Chu: I think you’re saying the penis is inherently a cheat. So cheating does seem inescapable to me. At least from an audience member’s perspective, I don’t stress about it as an ethical question. But that’s not my job; maybe it’s your job. Jacqueline Novak: That’s why it’s an art, not whatever else. I’m not an academic. It’s art, and therefore a little drop of paint here, a little drop of paint there—it’s not a perfect argument. It’s a piece. It’s a living thing that nudges ideas around.

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