Zach Hindin
Zach Hindin is a former associate editor at The Atlantic. He teaches writing at the George Washington University.
  • Mike Morgan / Grand Central / Zachary Bickel ...

    The View From Baltimore

    In his coming-of-age book The Cook Up, D. Watkins writes about drugs, race, and class for audiences living in different Americas.

  • Andres Martinez Casares / Reuters

    When Nativism Becomes Normal

    The refugee crisis in the Dominican Republic and Haiti shows the human consequences of extreme anti-immigration policies—and how voters get used to them.

  • Legacy Industries of the World, Unite!

    Last night my father and I were making vacation plans by phone. “It’s not about the room,” he insisted, “it’s about the amenities.” The pro tip, with its Morty Seinfeld cadence, confirmed that my father is a South Floridian of a certain age, and it spurred a thought: What do the music and hospitality industries have in common?

    They’re both under siege by the sharing economy. Both markets were dominated until relatively recently by legacy brands, such as Sheraton (est. 1937) and Columbia Records (1887)—companies that, however different otherwise, have been similarly undercut by peer-to-peer systems, “freemium” competitors, and a perceived shift of value from the service itself to the network of patrons.

    But industry dominance doesn’t disappear overnight. Multi-platinum records and mega-concerts sell out every year; likewise, hotels will remain the default hospitality provider for the foreseeable future. With handwringing about disruption on the wane, the question for leaders in both industries is how to make a career in their sector more profitable. And for the higher minded, what kind of responsibility does the tourism industry have to support the arts?

    Here’s a way of addressing both questions: combine two distinct groups of customers—those who want to hear live music and those who want to see the world—into a single market. With two revenue bases under the same roof, hotels, musicians, and their respective management can each collect from both.

    That would appear to be the idea behind the Starwood hotel line’s exclusive concert series for loyalty members, which features John Legend at the Sheraton in downtown Los Angeles tomorrow night. Earlier this year, the same series offered its guests exclusive access to performances in Beijing, Mexico City, and Madrid.

    It would be useful to scale the same model to support artists across mediums and price points. And while we’re at it, imagine what other legacy industry collaborations would like. How about a hardcover book with your next taxi? Any thoughts?

  • No Back to the Future Reruns in China This Week

    In the course of fact-checking a feature on China’s burgeoning film industry (forthcoming in our Dec. issue), I learned that the list of subjects censored by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television—say that fast once—includes ghosts and time travel. The latter was banned in 2011, when time travel as a theme in Chinese film and TV was becoming very popular (illustrated by the viral ad seen above, from that year).

    The questions pile up. Is the ban meant to discourage frivolity or political imagination, and where does the SAPPRFT draw the line? Is the ban on ghosts part of the CCP’s insistence on regulating reincarnation, i.e. the Dalai Lama’s? How might upsetting history, say in a depiction of time travel, upset the status quo? And to that end, so predominated by forward thinking, which parts of history are worth upsetting immediately?

    Chris and I were talking about this as we were leaving the office Wednesday. Which was auspicious, he pointed out, because it was Back to the Future Day. At that moment, 200 miles away, unbeknownst to us, our colleague David Sims was wrapping up his piece “China’s No-Ghost Protocol Is Hampering Movie Flops.” In Doc Brown’s words:

    It could mean that that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance, almost as if it were the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.

  • The Silence in Washington Today

    #pope-pocalypse #washingtondc #allthetraffic

    A photo posted by Ashley (@a.m.tish) on

    I pedaled my bike to work this morning through the largest security operation ever mobilized for a single person. Pope Francis’s visit is a National Special Security Event, a designation otherwise reserved for summits held by the UN, NATO, the WTO, the IMF, presidential inaugurations and funerals, State of the Union addresses, Olympic games, and Super Bowl XXXVI. Even by those standards, the pope’s five-day tour of Washington, New York, and Philadelphia has mobilized coordination, counterterrorism, crowd management, crisis response, and traffic control (land, sea, and air) on a scale that is, in U.S. history, unexampled.

    I read the warnings last week, imagining hordes, sirens, riot gear, choppers whapping overhead. Instead it was like the morning after snowfall.

  • Oliver Munday / The Atlantic

    A More Historic Act of Clemency

    The crisis of oversentencing requires presidential action at an entirely different scale than Obama's 46 commutations.

  • Jett Drolette

    Live From New York: The State of Jazz in 2015

    Dispatches from the 11th annual Winter Jazzfest, where more than 100 groups performed over three days