Politics

Ron Paul Dons 9/11 Truther Tin Foil

Ron Paul Dons 9/11 Truther Tin Foil

Former Rep. Ron Paul believes that the government knew beforehand, in detail, about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and that the information has been kept from the public in a classified section of the 9/11 commission report. When the ho...

The former Congressman – and father of the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination – thinks the government is keeping secrets about 9/11.

Keep Reading

McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns

McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns

Jesse Benton, a confidant of Sen. Rand Paul as well as campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, resigned on Friday amid a growing scandal stemming from his time working on Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Benton’s re...

Paid endorsements, cover-ups, lying to investigators… Illegalities by a lowly Iowa state senator’s campaign in 2012 shake up Kentucky politics.

Keep Reading

Top McConnell Aide Linked to Shady Deal

Top McConnell Aide Linked to Shady Deal

Politics makes strange bedfellows and there was no pairing stranger in the 2014 election cycle than when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hired Jesse Benton to be his campaign manager. Benton is closely aligned with Ron and Rand Paul. He wor...

Controversial campaign manager Jesse Benton, a Ron Paul protégé, is being edged closer to a bribery scandal from the 2012 Iowa caucuses—and no one knows where the investigation’s goi...

Keep Reading

Ron Paul Dons 9/11 Truther Tin Foil

Ron Paul Dons 9/11 Truther Tin Foil

Former Rep. Ron Paul believes that the government knew beforehand, in detail, about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and that the information has been kept from the public in a classified section of the 9/11 commission report. When the ho...

The former Congressman – and father of the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination – thinks the government is keeping secrets about 9/11.

Keep Reading

Summer 2014 Was the Worst Ever

Summer 2014 Was the Worst Ever

Summer is usually my favorite time of year. It’s a season that conjures up joyful thoughts of vacations and fun in the sun.  And in past years, my Facebook newsfeed would be filled with images of friends enjoying themselves, frolicking on the Jers...

From Ferguson to Gaza to Iraq, this summer has been hellish. A recap of three months we’d all rather forget.

Keep Reading

Women’s Groups Showing Labor Who’s Boss

Women’s Groups Showing Labor Who’s Boss

With control of the Senate hanging in the balance, progressive groups are linking arms with labor in an unprecedented “Kumbaya” moment to turn out voters in the November midterm elections, especially women voters.The responsibility for motivating ...

The movement ‘in crisis’ has groups like Emily’s List taking the lead—to get needed female voters out this November. The AFL-CIO’s chief on the minimum wage, immigration, and Hillary.

Keep Reading

Entertainment

The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’

Crime dramas have never been easy on women. Until very recently, the best a woman could hope for was a role as a supporting character whose destiny was limited to propping up the genius of a male protagonist, while the inevitable worst ranged from...

‘Happy Valley’ has magically transformed the crime drama genre by decoupling the violence against women from the suspense that keeps us watching.

Keep Reading

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

This year has afforded few cinematic touchstones that can compare with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. In a summer of blockbuster disappointments, Boyhood has been the great success story, a welcome reminder that a movie about kids can be grown up, a...

As a treatise on the essential vacuity of the white liberal male, ‘Boyhood’ is a staggering achievement. As a portrait of childhood in America, it is incomplete.

Keep Reading

Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

Keep Reading

The Week in Viral Videos

The Week in Viral Videos

5. Amateur StuntmanDeep down, we probably all wish we were lucky enough to be in the movies. Some might want to be the star, others to direct, but it takes a special breed to want to risk life and limb as a stuntman. This Belarusian motorcyclist s...

From a near-fatal motorcycle stunt to an exclusive look at the iPhone 6, WATCH our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

Keep Reading

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

A Flawed Portrait of Boyhood in America

This year has afforded few cinematic touchstones that can compare with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. In a summer of blockbuster disappointments, Boyhood has been the great success story, a welcome reminder that a movie about kids can be grown up, a...

As a treatise on the essential vacuity of the white liberal male, ‘Boyhood’ is a staggering achievement. As a portrait of childhood in America, it is incomplete.

Keep Reading

My 'Kink' Nightmare

My 'Kink' Nightmare

“WHORE.”Her cold, thin fingers wrapped around my jaw like a Vise-Grip. I could feel the fat of my cheeks trying to escape as she held me still to mark me with red lipstick. There I stood, stripped down to nothing but the chafing rope that bound my...

The James Franco-produced documentary Kink, which provides a glowing portrait of the BDSM porn site Kink.com, is now in theaters. But for some performers, working for Kink can be ter...

Keep Reading

Viral Vid: Jon Stewart's Directorial ...

Viral Vid: Jon Stewart's Directorial ...

Comedy icon and Daily Show host Jon Stewart shocked fans when he took a three-month hiatus from the show in the summer of 2013. Stewart spent that time in the Mideast, working on a film that traces the story of Maziar Bahari, a London-based journa...

A trailer for 'Daily Show' host's first film is out

Keep Reading

Must-Watch Fall TV

Must-Watch Fall TV

Get the DVR ready. With dozens and dozens of new series to sift through, we’ve done the dirty work. Here’s the most intriguing of fall TV’s freshman offerings.

Get the DVR ready. With dozens and dozens of new series to sift through, we’ve done the dirty work. Here’s the most intriguing of fall TV’s freshman offerings.

Keep Reading

My 'Kink' Nightmare

My 'Kink' Nightmare

“WHORE.”Her cold, thin fingers wrapped around my jaw like a Vise-Grip. I could feel the fat of my cheeks trying to escape as she held me still to mark me with red lipstick. There I stood, stripped down to nothing but the chafing rope that bound my...

The James Franco-produced documentary Kink, which provides a glowing portrait of the BDSM porn site Kink.com, is now in theaters. But for some performers, working for Kink can be ter...

Keep Reading

World News

Is Democracy Doomed Abroad?

Is Democracy Doomed Abroad?

Are we the only idiots who can get this right?Even though the ordeal in Ferguson has prompted lectures from around the world, that’s the kind of question more of us are apt to ask about democracy. The world is unraveling, and we are watching, and ...

As the world order falls into disarray, the U.S. must confront the fact that no other truly great power shares our values.

Keep Reading

ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

DOHUK, Iraq — For as long as anyone alive can remember, political loyalty has been imposed in Iraq. Repressive regimes forced the people here to join parties and causes. One day they were Communists, the next Ba’athists, then the KDP, the PUK, the...

The support of local Sunni Muslims has paved the way for the ISIS conquests in Syria and Iraq. They may yet be turned against it, but not by bombs and rockets.

Keep Reading

Brit Kidnapped for ‘Gay Cure’ in Congo

Brit Kidnapped for ‘Gay Cure’ in Congo

Christina Fonthes is out, Congolese, and double-proud. “Yes, I am Congolese; yes, I am gay; and yes, my family know!” the 27-year-old writes on her blog, The Musings of a Congolese Lesbian. But the line that follows may be key to the predicament F...

LGBT activist Christina Fonthes tweeted a cry for help from a family vacation in Kinshasa, claiming her mom was handing her over to a Congolese group that ‘fixes’ homosexuality.

Keep Reading

How Putin Is Selling His War to Russia

How Putin Is Selling His War to Russia

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin ratcheted up his rhetorical-historical claims on eastern Ukraine Friday, even as pro-Russian rebels and their allies among the separatist rebels pushed forward there with a new offensive.The lead headline ...

By proclaiming his support for Novorossiya, the old imperial name for eastern and southern Ukraine, Putin signals he won’t back away from the fight.

Keep Reading

ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

ISIS Enablers Could Be Its Weakness, Too

DOHUK, Iraq — For as long as anyone alive can remember, political loyalty has been imposed in Iraq. Repressive regimes forced the people here to join parties and causes. One day they were Communists, the next Ba’athists, then the KDP, the PUK, the...

The support of local Sunni Muslims has paved the way for the ISIS conquests in Syria and Iraq. They may yet be turned against it, but not by bombs and rockets.

Keep Reading

Is the U.S. Enabling Putin’s Invasion?

Is the U.S. Enabling Putin’s Invasion?

The senior military commanders at NATO, officials at the State Department, and, yes, even the president of the United States proved Thursday that they have a perfectly clear idea what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing in Ukraine. They just...

When is an invasion not an invasion? When the Russian president says so—and the West just takes him at his word.

Keep Reading

Why Obama Backed Off More ISIS Strikes

Why Obama Backed Off More ISIS Strikes

After a week of talk of eliminating the "cancer" of ISIS, President Obama said Thursday that he was not planning to significantly expand the war against the Islamic extremist movement anytime soon.His remarks came after days of heated de...

After lots of bluster about striking ISIS on Syria, President Obama threw cold water on the idea, disappointing those who wanted him to broaden the war.

Keep Reading

Hamas Claims ‘Victory’ … Amid the Rubble

Hamas Claims ‘Victory’ … Amid the Rubble

AL SHAJAYA, Gaza — Exhausted, battered and traumatized from 50 days of fighting and incessant Israeli bombardment, Gazans are now pouring through the streets lined with the rubble of former buildings and breathing a collective sigh of relief. Whet...

Having achieved virtually none of the objectives it said it fought for, at a cost of 2,000 dead and 500,000 displaced, Hamas tries to make the case it won the war.

Keep Reading

Is the U.S. Enabling Putin’s Invasion?

Is the U.S. Enabling Putin’s Invasion?

The senior military commanders at NATO, officials at the State Department, and, yes, even the president of the United States proved Thursday that they have a perfectly clear idea what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing in Ukraine. They just...

When is an invasion not an invasion? When the Russian president says so—and the West just takes him at his word.

Keep Reading

U.S. News

Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

“Don’t open your story with a picture of an abandoned house.” —Chico Her Many HorsesOkay. How about a storm?Driving from the Denver airport to Wyoming, I encountered an almost-otherworldly whiteout of a blizzard. It appeared out of nowhere, save ...

Facing discrimination from whites and social problems of their own, the Wyoming Indian High School Chiefs make their conditions for victory.

Keep Reading

A Bomber in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

A Bomber in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Considering that he was being sued, and considering that this court date was the culmination of two and a half years of legal warfare, Aaron Walker seemed to be enjoying himself. The attorney and blogger was the first witness call...

Benghazi, Robin Williams, Islam, Twitter, and a convicted bomber from the 1970s came together in a court case against right-wing bloggers.

Keep Reading

Yes, Obama Was Right to Golf After Foley

Yes, Obama Was Right to Golf After Foley

In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt warned presidential aspirant William Taft that "golf is fatal,” referring to the reputational toll the game can exacts on one's political future. Taft went on to be our 27th president and chose not to...

Presidents have always needed downtime to recharge to face the next crisis. Carping on Obama’s golf habit is mostly partisan sniping.

Keep Reading

Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

Hoop Dreams for Native American Team

“Don’t open your story with a picture of an abandoned house.” —Chico Her Many HorsesOkay. How about a storm?Driving from the Denver airport to Wyoming, I encountered an almost-otherworldly whiteout of a blizzard. It appeared out of nowhere, save ...

Facing discrimination from whites and social problems of their own, the Wyoming Indian High School Chiefs make their conditions for victory.

Keep Reading

The Gangsters Who Ruled Hell’s Kitchen

The Gangsters Who Ruled Hell’s Kitchen

Michael Daly talks about the Irish gangsters who once ruled the area of Hell's Kitchen, located on Manhattan's west side.

Once upon a time in Hell’s Kitchen, Irish gangsters ruled.

Keep Reading

Who Gives an Uzi to a Little Girl?

Who Gives an Uzi to a Little Girl?

Yesterday afternoon, the "NRA Women" Twitter account sent out a simple and yet ghoulish message to its followers. With an embedded link to an article on their website, it reminded its adherents of "7 ways children can have fun at th...

A little girl was given an automatic weapon to play with this week. She killed a man. Only one first world country would allow such insanity to continue.

Keep Reading

Tech + Health

Is the Cosmos Just a Big Hologram?

Is the Cosmos Just a Big Hologram?

The Universe we inhabit seems to be four-dimensional: the three dimensions of height, length, and depth, along with time. Together those are known as spacetime, which is the background of our successful theories describing the forces governing mat...

What if our 4D Universe (height, length, depth, and time) isn’t actually 4D? Enter the holographic principle—the craziest thing you’ll read about today.

Keep Reading

Silent Shame of HPV

Silent Shame of HPV

When New York City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito discovered she had high risk human papilloma virus (HPV), she quickly took what is, for many women, the hardest step of the diagnosis: disclosing it. And not just to her sexual partner, but ...

HPV is the most common STD in America, but we still aren’t talking about it. Part of it is the shame associated with the virus, and part of it is the lack of education.

Keep Reading

Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

Ebola Vaccine Will Do Little for Crisis

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the branch of the NIH that oversees investigations into infections ranging from Ebola to AIDS to Lyme, announced today that the first of a series of vaccine trials aimed at prevent...

The National Institute of Health announced today that human trials of the Ebola vaccine will begin next week. But it won’t be ready in time for the West Africa’s crisis.

Keep Reading

Geek Fandom’s Hairball of Hatred

Geek Fandom’s Hairball of Hatred

A harmless woman is being harassed online by a nerdy subculture. The fact that I can use that sentence in a unique way every day should be another strike against our species. But it appears there’s some ray of hope. It’s small, it’s flickering, bu...

Pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian’s latest video was met with death and rape threats. The men who defended her were accused of “white knighting.” Nobody wins.

Keep Reading

Silent Shame of HPV

Silent Shame of HPV

When New York City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito discovered she had high risk human papilloma virus (HPV), she quickly took what is, for many women, the hardest step of the diagnosis: disclosing it. And not just to her sexual partner, but ...

HPV is the most common STD in America, but we still aren’t talking about it. Part of it is the shame associated with the virus, and part of it is the lack of education.

Keep Reading

Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

August has been a nightmare for women on the Internet.The editors of the feminist blog Jezebel had to publicly call out their employers at Gawker Media for refusing to permanently ban commenters who spammed the site with animated images of rape an...

August has been a remarkably bad month for women online. Will things ever change?

Keep Reading

Ethics Profs Flunk Richard Dawkins

Ethics Profs Flunk Richard Dawkins

Lately, Richard Dawkins seems to scan the world for sore spots, take a good poke, and revel in the ensuing outcry. A few weeks ago, he proclaimed that stranger rape is worse than date rape. Last Wednesday, he tweeted that if a fetus was diagnosed ...

Richard Dawkins recently tweeted that knowingly birthing a baby with Down syndrome is immoral. That claim is not only offensive—it’s nonsensical.

Keep Reading

Fighting Ebola With Nothing but Hope

Fighting Ebola With Nothing but Hope

Crouching towards a dirt road strewn with pebbles, Emmanuel Boyah, a Liberian primary health care manager , grips a box of enormous yellow rubber boots with both hands.Black shirt tucked into snug black pants, his role is made transparent by the b...

Primary health care manager Emmanuel Boyah is at Ebola’s frontline in Liberia. If he contracts the disease, there will be no ‘secret serum’ waiting for him. Yet he keeps fighting.

Keep Reading

Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

Will the Web Ever Be Safe for Women?

August has been a nightmare for women on the Internet.The editors of the feminist blog Jezebel had to publicly call out their employers at Gawker Media for refusing to permanently ban commenters who spammed the site with animated images of rape an...

August has been a remarkably bad month for women online. Will things ever change?

Keep Reading

BeastStyle

Scarlet Is the New Black

Scarlet Is the New Black

It’s official: Red is the color of the season.The fiery hue has been everywhere lately, from the U.S. Open, where Vogue editrix Anna Wintour turned heads in a saucy scarlet shift, to the VMAs and Emmy Awards earlier this week, where Rita Ora (in a...

From Anna Wintour to Rita Ora to Claire Danes, stars are strutting their stuff in red this season. And the "look at me" color of confidence, sex, and attitude is likely her...

Keep Reading

OMG, I Want This House

OMG, I Want This House

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

Keep Reading

Our Doomed Love Affair with Summer

Our Doomed Love Affair with Summer

Summer, you bitch, you’re leaving me again. You lethargic, unfocused, unstable, lazy, hazy, crazy time of year. Why do I always take you back?Because you’re hot. It’s that simple. Hot, and a little kinky. Look at Edouard Manet’s painting of you, L...

PJ O'Rourke bids summer goodbye and good riddance, after fantasies of freedom and sweaty self-improvement die hard under a steady barrage of gin and tonics.

Keep Reading

Cleaning Up From Napa's Winepocalypse

Cleaning Up From Napa's Winepocalypse

After nearly a week of grieving and cleanup, Napa is still reeling from the earthquake that struck the county last Sunday, hitting downtown Napa and its surrounding areas particularly hard. Barrels of wine, weighing 900 pounds each, are still topp...

The repercussions of the Napa earthquake may go beyond toppled barrel rooms and a disrupted tourist season. It may also affect the style and taste of the smaller winemakers' prod...

Keep Reading

OMG, I Want This House

OMG, I Want This House

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

High in the hills outside of Los Angeles, Hacienda de la Paz is a sprawling estate that is unlike any property around that can be yours...for only $53,000,000.

Keep Reading

Paul Shaffer’s Life With Letterman

Paul Shaffer’s Life With Letterman

Like an increasing number of baby-boomers, Paul Shaffer will be 65 and out of a job next year. Actually, it’s much more than a mere job; it’s his life-long vocation (granted, really half his life), the beating heart of his self-identity, and his d...

He’s the bald guy who leads the CBS Orchestra every night on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’—and soon, like his boss and buddy, he’s going to be out of a job.

Keep Reading

Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa

Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa

It’s 4am on the river. The fire crackles beneath an iron cauldron. A boiling brew is scooped into makeshift bowls—hollowed out coconut halves. Frederico leads the others around the hearth as they gently wash their faces with cupfuls of warm liquid...

Grown in the jungle by the indigenous Kichwa, guayusa (gwhy-you-sa) is a sacred leaf used in ceremonial rituals. This clean source of caffeine is the next noble, and healthy, substit...

Keep Reading

Harry: Perils of a Playboy Prince

Harry: Perils of a Playboy Prince

With just two weeks to go before his milestone 30th birthday, Prince Harry was spotted this week on his rich friend Ben Goldsmith’s yacht near St. Tropez in the company of his rumored new girlfriend, Camilla Thurlow, a charity worker employed by t...

It seems Prince Harry has been having a glamorous, party-filled summer. But he shouldn’t let the playboy image define him, as it has—detrimentally—his uncle, Prince Andrew.

Keep Reading

Paul Shaffer’s Life With Letterman

Paul Shaffer’s Life With Letterman

Like an increasing number of baby-boomers, Paul Shaffer will be 65 and out of a job next year. Actually, it’s much more than a mere job; it’s his life-long vocation (granted, really half his life), the beating heart of his self-identity, and his d...

He’s the bald guy who leads the CBS Orchestra every night on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’—and soon, like his boss and buddy, he’s going to be out of a job.

Keep Reading

Women

When Lightning Strikes

When Lightning Strikes

It took no small amount of hubris to try to capture the life of legendary photographer Dorothea Lange on film. Her audience would not, I imagine, look kindly on any visual imperfection. Fortunately, this challenge was met by Dyanna Taylor, Lange’s granddaughter – an award-winning cinematographer in her own right – who brings her grandmother’s gift of seeing to "Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lighting,” premiering at 9 pm tonight on PBS’s American Masters.The...

Best known for her photograph “Migrant Mother,” Dorothea Lange is the subject of the new documentary “Grab A Hunk of Lightning.”

Keep Reading

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated this week, commemorates the passage of a woman’s right to vote. Starting with our right to weigh in at the polls, the feminist movement has certainly come far. However, for mothers especially, the movement has not ...

Psychologist and mother Dr. Monique Moore argues that, if women hope to achieve true equality, the time has come to unapologetically call for: extended paid maternity leave, more par...

Keep Reading

AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code

AT&T Gives $1 Million to Girls Who Code

On a Thursday in late August, inside a windowless, concrete edifice in downtown Manhattan, twenty high-school girls and their families were gathered at the graduation ceremony for AT&T’s Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, in which they t...

At a small graduation ceremony last week, AT&T made a million-dollar contribution to the nonprofit Girls Who Code. Here's why more tech companies should do the same.

Keep Reading

Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

Serena & the Decline of American Tennis

The parking lots are full, but there’s only a sparse crowd this afternoon in Center Court of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, when the chair umpire of this Cincinnati Open semifinal calls time. Serena Williams, wearing a violet sle...

With no obvious successor in place, 32-year-old Serena Williams, the oldest woman to ever hold the No. 1 world ranking, is one of the lone links to America's past dominance.

Keep Reading

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

A Continuing Struggle for Working Moms

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated this week, commemorates the passage of a woman’s right to vote. Starting with our right to weigh in at the polls, the feminist movement has certainly come far. However, for mothers especially, the movement has not ...

Psychologist and mother Dr. Monique Moore argues that, if women hope to achieve true equality, the time has come to unapologetically call for: extended paid maternity leave, more par...

Keep Reading

Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

In a heart-stopping moment during her 16-minute performance at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé made a bold political statement: Projecting a quote from Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie onto a gigantic, glowing screen while...

The R&B diva’s ‘feminist’ proclamation at the VMAs recalls feminism’s all-important ’90s—a decade filled with strong, outspoken female musicians.

Keep Reading

NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Nerd Genius

NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Nerd Genius

Somewhere in a large glass tower in Northern Virginia, there’s a guy who runs guns with a French name having a bad day. With good reason.It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Me...

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg already had the gun lobby in his sights. Now Bill Gates is donating $1 million for universal background checks—and there’s more where that came from.

Keep Reading

An Equal Rights Amendment for Our Time

An Equal Rights Amendment for Our Time

The historic Emmy nomination of transgender actor Laverne Cox has spurred growing talk of a “transgender tipping point” in the United States, reflecting soaring popular support for those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth...

Since the United States is hitting a "transgender tipping point," the existing Equal Rights Amendment must expand its protections to include gender--with two simple words.

Keep Reading

Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

Beyoncé Is Our Indigo Girl

In a heart-stopping moment during her 16-minute performance at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé made a bold political statement: Projecting a quote from Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie onto a gigantic, glowing screen while...

The R&B diva’s ‘feminist’ proclamation at the VMAs recalls feminism’s all-important ’90s—a decade filled with strong, outspoken female musicians.

Keep Reading

Books

Zen, Motorcycles, and the Cult of Tech

Zen, Motorcycles, and the Cult of Tech

Zeitgeist novels tend to fall in one of three categories, none of which have anything to do with the quality of the work itself. In the first category are books nostalgic for a simpler, romanticized past; James A. Michener’s Centennial, the best-s...

Robert Pirsig's 1974 oddball classic ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ reflects the malaise of its era and prefigures our own technophiliac age.

Keep Reading
  • Your Worst Day in Iraq

    Your Worst Day in Iraq

    AgincourtThis will be the worst day of your life. In years to come you will recount the most intricate details to yourself with obsessive precision, as if tracing the wood grain of a childhood bunk bed from memory. It is not a healthy kind of reme...

    A short story from an army veteran about the last time U.S. soldiers were in Iraq and the impossible choices they faced there.

    Keep Reading

Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

Keep Reading

College: Classy Trade School or More?

College: Classy Trade School or More?

There is a tradition in this country stretching back to Thomas Jefferson of lofty ideals for our colleges and universities. Liberal learning is said to prepare one for autonomy and for citizenship. As Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized, it also led on...

Booker T. Washington promoted a utilitarian approach to education, while W.E.B. Du Bois argued for a broader, more liberal curriculum. The debate resonates to this day.

Keep Reading

The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

The Novelist Who’s Obsessed With Code

When Vikram Chandra mentioned he was working on a nonfiction book about computer coding at a literary party in San Francisco last fall, I was startled. Chandra is a gifted and original novelist, author most recently of Sacred Games (2006), a spraw...

Acclaimed novelist Vikram Chandra is equally obsessed with the tech world of computer coding and the realm of imagination. He talks about the two realities.

Keep Reading

Grateful Dead I Have Known

Grateful Dead I Have Known

The terrific novelist Jennifer Egan grew up in San Francisco in the ’70s where she felt that she’d just missed out on the party. “I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to reconstruct every sense of what that mo...

The Kentucky bard Ed McClanahan once lived in California, where among various endeavors he played Boswell to the Grateful Dead. Here is his timeless report.

Keep Reading

Still Fighting the Opium Wars

Still Fighting the Opium Wars

The politics of victimization are a potent force in the world today. In the U.S., the dredge of cable news seems to be a daily battle between conservatives and liberals over who has been most victimized by the cruelty of the opposing side. On the ...

The 19th century Opium Wars between England and China had lasting ramifications for both countries—so much so that in some ways the wars never ended.

Keep Reading

Past Slaves Haunt Family’s Present

Past Slaves Haunt Family’s Present

After first reading Tomlinson Hill, I found myself intrigued by Chris Tomlinson’s Conradian quest into the heart of his own darkness but frustrated by the book’s flawed structure and lack of authorial warmth. But in the following days, as I digest...

Chris Tomlinson’s Texas forebears were slave owners, but not until he saw the realities of apartheid in South Africa did he begin to truly process the pain of his own past.

Keep Reading

The Twisted History of the Noose

The Twisted History of the Noose

Jack Shuler’s The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose features an evocative account of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, which reached its infamous nadir when 38 American Indians were hanged in public in Mankato, Minnesota. At the heart of this chr...

The story of hanging is long—there are hangings in Homer and the Bible—and often tragic—if for lynching alone—but rarely less than fascinating.

Keep Reading

Still Fighting the Opium Wars

Still Fighting the Opium Wars

The politics of victimization are a potent force in the world today. In the U.S., the dredge of cable news seems to be a daily battle between conservatives and liberals over who has been most victimized by the cruelty of the opposing side. On the ...

The 19th century Opium Wars between England and China had lasting ramifications for both countries—so much so that in some ways the wars never ended.

Keep Reading