But today you see me here naked standing in front of this hotel mirror.
You are someone who knew me before I was the world's collective joke
about cigars, thongs, stained dresses, when I was a girl named Monica.
I miss her much more than I miss you.
The riff about the bird is just gorgeous. Julianna's site is here. This piece is called "Monica Lewinsky Thinks of Bill Clinton While Standing Naked in Front of a Hotel Mirror."
I posted Julianna's piece on Mary Todd Lincoln last week, mostly because that poem clawed its way into my skull almost ten years ago, and will not leave. This is the great thing about art--it enables people who you do not know to touch you in ways that usually only people you know can. And that power survives even death. I have been thinking about that "I know how I will die..." riff in the Mary Todd poem for, literally, years.
I had the pleasure of exchanging a few nice notes with Julianna. It's nice to be able to tell people when, and how, they've gotten to you. All the poems in the book are written in the voices of seemingly "tragic" women. But Baggot empowers them with agency. The sadness is still there. But the taint of victimhood is gone.
It's an amazing feeling, as a dude. It's like trying on different masks.
The show, this season, with exploitative plotlines that treat racism as entertainment, is becoming harder and harder to defend.
This post reveals minor plot points for The Bachelorette Season 13 Episode 6.
A few years ago, in response to a combination of scientific studies, legal cases, and human tragedies, commentators began to question the morality of watching American football. We’d always known the sport was an especially dangerous one to play—that, indeed, is part of its brute appeal—but now there was undeniable evidence of that brutality, rendered in statistic and awful anecdote. To watch the violence play out, it became increasingly clear, was to be in some way complicit in it—to cast asilent vote, not with one’s pocketbook but with one’s attention, in favor of all that violence continuing.
The Bachelorette, of course, depicts a sport only in the loosest sense; the show is very rarely violent in the literal sense of the term. And yet it has recently adopted the same rough outlines that football acquired a few years before: The show, always questionable, has become in its latest season more troubling than it has even been before. Recent episodes of the long-running ABC show have laid bare just how craven and exploitative its producers have become. Problems that have long been simmering in its world have come to a boil. Watching it has become harder and harder to enjoy—and, like that other blood sport, harder and harder to defend.
The U.S. must establish policies that can protect its electoral system and respond to foreign actors in real-time.
Few people in Washington now doubt that Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. As more information about the response to that interference has been publicly disclosed, it’s become clear that key decisions were made by good people trying to do the right thing for the right reasons that nevertheless led to bad outcomes. The accounts of former FBI Director James Comey and of other government officials indicate that, in the run up to the election, their choices were influenced by the fear of appearing political—even as their actions inadvertently may have created exactly that impression.
Make no mistake—Russia will attack again. Yet right now, America hasn’t made any progress towards building a nonpartisan system that could respond to Russia—or any other foreign adversary. The United States has made no policy changes to ensure that if the exact same situation presented itself in next year’s congressional midterms or in the 2020 presidential election, its leaders wouldn’t face the same hard choices that Obama’s White House faced last summer.
Early drafts of a canonical work show how Muslims' understanding of their faith has evolved.
“What does the Koran say about…?” is perhaps the most common question my students ask me in the Islamic history courses I teach. It’s an understandable question, but they will be disappointed with the answer if they hope it will explain how Islam has been interpreted and practiced for all of history.
In the post-enlightenment West, a society historically influenced by Protestantism’s “back-to-the-Bible” appeal, many of my students have grown up imbibing a public discourse obsessed with a religious or civil tradition’s origins and founding documents—the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Constitution—and by extension often assume that the only book of consequence for Muslims is the Koran. After 9/11, sales of the Koran skyrocketed. More recently, in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, news outlets from Haaretz to Newsweek ran pieces asking “What Does the Koran Say about Being Gay?” And over the past month, as ISIS called for increased attacksduring Ramadan, the Koran was again scrutinized as the source of the violence.
Ten years hence, smartphones have been fully domesticated.
There’s a paradox in technology. For something new to become widespread, familiar, and mass-market, it must create enough novelty and curiosity to draw people’s attention. But novelty alone is not enough to reach saturation. To permeate life, a technology must elicit more than novelty and curiosityin its users. It must become ordinary. It must recede into the background, where it continues to run but ceases to be noticed by the humans who made it pervasive.
This is the story of all successful technologies. The locomotive, airplane, and automobile. The electric light, the telephone, the washing machine, the personal computer. So humdrum are these once-revolutionary machines that no one gives them a second thought, unless they break down.
Washington's relationship with Seoul makes it a target for the Kim regime.
When South Korea’s President Moon Jae In greets President Donald Trump at the White House today, their warm smiles will do little to mask the fact that they meet at perhaps the most dangerous moment in the six-decade old U.S.-South Korean alliance. The failure of a quarter-century of diplomacy has left the North Korean dictatorship on the cusp of possessing a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile. For the first time since 1953, when the United States committed to protecting the South from another invasion from the North, the American homeland will soon come under direct threat from one of the world’s most ruthless regimes.
Of course, the United States is at loggerheads with the Kim regime because of its commitment to the South—the alliance is not a symptom of today’s crisis between Washington and Pyongyang, but the cause. Not only does the United States station well over 20,000 troops on the Korean peninsula; the two militaries are well-integrated and jointly trained. The United States went so far as to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea until 1991, and continues to extend the so-called “nuclear umbrella” to protect the South. South Korea, in turn, provided the largest contingent of allied troops during the Vietnam War, and 3,000 of its troops fought in Iraq. South Korea also supported Obama-era initiatives such as the G20 and Nuclear Security Summits, and participates in the Proliferation Security Initiative, the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, making it a leader in anti-proliferation activities.
Fareed Zakaria argues that the core of Donald Trump’s message in 2016 was, “your life sucks—it's because of Mexicans, Chinese people, and Muslims.”
What’s behind the surge of populism that brought Donald Trump to power? For Fareed Zakaria, trends in technology and globalization are one important factor, insofar as they have created a disconnect between economic growth and jobs in the United States.
That isn’t, however, the whole story.
“There's an interesting puzzle,” he declared in a Wednesday lecture at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. “This is a wave of populism taking place around the world. This is not just the United States. We have to unpack that for a minute and ask ourselves where it is happening.”
The heart of populism used to be Latin America.
“If you went back 30 or 40 years and asked yourself where would you see the great populist regimes, they were all in Argentina and Bolivia and Brazil––that's really what defined modern populism,” he said. “Today, Latin America has almost no populism. Latin America is a place filled with pragmatic, reform-minded, Hillary Clinton-like policy wonks who are trying to integrate their economies into the globe.”
Apple changed the world when it launched the iPhone 10 years ago, but the technological march toward computers in everyone’s pockets began long before that.
A man sits in a chair in front of a small documentary camera crew. He’s trim, dressed in all black. A red notebook sits on his lap. “Here’s what I wrote in 1989,” he says. “This is a very personal object. It must be beautiful. It must offer the kind of personal satisfaction that a fine piece of jewelry brings. It will have a perceived value even when it’s not being used. It should offer the comfort of a touchstone, the tactile satisfaction of a seashell, the enchantment of a crystal.”
Then comes the reveal. He picks up the notebook. We see a sketch: a rectangular slab of glass, all display, except for bezel at the top and bottom. From his pocket, he pulls an iPhone and holds it above the drawing. The similarities are startling.
Residents of an eccentric hub at the prestigious university must move out of the building after a yearlong turnaround process failed to achieve its aims.
The walls of Senior House, a dorm on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus, are not composed of lifeless, cream-colored cinder blocks. Instead, they ooze passion and raw emotion, providing a concrete canvas for residents’ renderings of cartoon characters, inspirational phrases, and internal dialogues. The murals reflect the community of students who knew Senior House not just as a place to sleep, but also as a place to call home.
But the dorm, which has been housing MIT students for the last century or so, is about to become a different kind of home—one, perhaps, where the murals will revert back to nondescript walls. Last year, MIT administrators released data showing just 60 percent of Senior House residents graduated in four years. Campus-wide, the four-year graduation rate is 84 percent. Illegal drug usage among residents was also cause for concern. “What this is all about is the safety of our students in the residential communities,” MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart told me. “We have an obligation to provide students with a safe, healthy living environment and what we are up against right now is an unhealthy dorm culture that has crossed dangerous lines.”
The ways some “healthy voice hearers” cope might be able to help people with psychotic disorders.
Jessica Dorner was lying in bed at her cousin’s house when her grandmother, a “pushy lady” in an apron who had been dead for several years, appeared in front of her. “I know you can see me,” Jessica heard her say, “and you need to do something about it.”
It was a lonely time in Jessica’s life. She was living away from home for the first time, and she thinks her grandmother was drawn by some sense of that. She eventually told her parents what happened, and according to her they were concerned, but not overly panicked. “My parents are probably the least judgmental people I know,” she said.
As Jessica tells it, over the next two years, spirits visited her every now and again. Her brother-in-law’s deceased father began forming before her, ghostlike, just as her grandmother did. And while the experiences were intense and at times made her feel “crazy,” she said, they were infrequent, and insists that they were never a real source of suffering.
A look at the varied and even contradictory changes that GOP senators are seeking in exchange for their votes
After abandoning a quick vote on his original proposal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to come up with a revised health-care bill by Friday so it can be ready for debate and a vote when lawmakers return to Washington the week of July 10.
His challenge is stark: At least 10 Republican senators have declared their opposition to the plan McConnell originally unveiled, and he can afford only two defections and still get the 50 votes he needs to pass the bill. If he does, Vice President Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote.
McConnell’s central hurdle is that the 10 critics are split nearly down the middle between conservatives like Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee who want the bill to spend less money and repeal more of the Affordable Care Act, and more moderate senators like Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski pushing to restore cuts to Medicaid and provide more funding to states. At the majority leader’s disposal is a pot of nearly $200 billion resulting from the fact that the original draft reduced the deficit by more than the Senate was required to do. Short of simple persuasion, McConnell’s narrow path to passage likely involves a combination of more money sought by moderates and a loosening of existing regulations that conservatives want—if the various factions will agree to a trade.