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.
To get a job at the Museum of Ice Cream, hopeful future employees show up at the weekly casting call, Tuesdays at noon. They head to the former Savings Union Bank in San Francisco’s financial district, where pink banners announce, in minimalist font, the name of the employer-to-be. Inside, there are giant animal cookies on carousel mounts. Gardens of gummies. A minty scent wafting through a jungle of mint leaves. Each day, roughly 1,700 people pay $38 a ticket to march through the maze of rooms, licking pink vanilla soft-serve cones, following instructions from a cotton candy server to text someone in their life whom they consider the “cherry on top,” and, all the while, angling for photos. It is as if Willy Wonka had redesigned his factory for the selfie age.
In a rambling interview, the president threatened to intervene in the Justice Department, disclosed “very, very secret” meetings with North Korea, and revealed that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
Updated on April 26 at 10:21 a.m.
President Trump isn’t great at avoiding trouble. On Thursday alone, his nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson, withdrew amid allegations of misconduct; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is set to be grilled about allegations of misconduct on Capitol Hill; and his longtime fixer Michael Cohen was set to appear at a court hearing in Manhattan, a day after saying he’d invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a suit in California.
But if Trump can’t avoid problems, he can at least try to grab the spotlight himself when they crop up. That’s what the president did during a wide-ranging and characteristically bizarre call-in to Fox and Friends Thursday morning. It was the president’s first television interview in some time—he called in to another Fox show two months ago—and he didn’t hesitate to make news, if not sense. The hosts seemed shell-shocked when it was over.
Today marks the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. On April 26, 1986, technicians conducting a test inadvertently caused the fourth reactor to explode, causing the world’s worst civil nuclear disaster.
Today marks the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. On April 26, 1986, technicians conducting a test inadvertently caused the fourth reactor to explode. Several hundred staff members and firefighters then tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Authorities evacuated 120,000 people from the area, including 43,000 from the city of Pripyat. Below, recent images from Chernobyl and nearby ghost towns within the exclusion zone, as well as memorials held in Ukraine and Russia.
Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself.
I have seen the future, and it is in the United States.
After a several-year immersion in parts of the country that make the news mainly after a natural disaster or a shooting, or for follow-up stories on how the Donald Trump voters of 2016 now feel about Trump, I have a journalistic impulse similar to the one that dominated my years of living in China. That is the desire to tell people how much more is going on, in places they had barely thought about or even heard of, than they might have imagined.
In the case of China, that impulse matched the mood of the times. In the years before and after the world financial crisis of 2008, everyone knew that China was on the way up; reporters like me were just filling in the details. In the case of the modern United States, I am well aware that this message runs so counter to prevailing emotions and ideas as to seem preposterous. Everyone knows how genuinely troubled the United States is at the level of national politics and governance. It is natural to assume that these disorders must reflect a deeper rot across the country. And indeed, you can’t travel extensively through today’s America, as my wife, Deb, and I have been doing in recent years, without being exposed to signs of rot, from opioid addiction to calcifying class barriers.
A spate of #MeToo comeback stories—including a rumor about a confessional TV show hosted by Charlie Rose—ask uncomfortable questions about who deserves redemption.
In sitcoms, there’s a thing that will sometimes happen when a new character is introduced to the show: The newbie, often but not always a fleeting love interest of one of the main characters, will arrive on the scene … and then promptly be dismissed as narratively expendable. Tasha on Insecure, Emily on Friends, the Mother (her name is pretty much irrelevant) on How I Met Your Mother: They are good characters who serve, in the end, primarily as foils for the people the audience already knows—the people the audience has been trained, episode after episode, to care about. Issa. Rachel. Robin. So: After Ross, reciting his wedding vows to Emily, pledged his undying love to Rachel… Friends proceeded to treat the bride’s anger not as an eminently reasonable reaction to this turn of events, but rather as proof of her unfitness to become a permanent member of the tight-knit group at the show’s core. (This despite the manifest evidence that Emily’s love life, too, is DOA.)
The saga of Drew Cloud reveals just how badly those with debt want reliable information.
It doesn’t take much to run a survey on the website Pollfish. An email address, a title for the survey, a couple of target-demographic details, and $400 dollars—which buys 400 responses—is all that’s needed. These are the types of surveys that produced the sometimes jarring findings published by the Student Loan Report, a website that was founded in 2016 as “a source for news on the student loan industry, financial aid, and scholarships.”
Based in part on those findings, the website’s founder, Drew Cloud, built a public profile. He wrote columns in local newspapers advising those who had taken out student loans on how to manage their debt. The surveys the site conducted were cited in major news outlets, such as The Washington Post, Fortune, and CNBC—so too was Cloud himself. Mic linked to the site in an article about student loan myths. It all seemed pretty normal, except for one thing: In a digital-age twist, Cloud wasn’t real.
The rapper and president are bros now. Here’s why.
The scandals are like sediment in the delta of Kanye West. Each new controversy—each paparazzi fight, each “BILL COSBY INNOCENT,” each repackaging of ratty apocalypse couture as expensive fashion, each “multiracial women only” casting call—instead of burying him, only builds up higher and higher until it somehow becomes the very thing that grounds him. It’s worth wondering if, some untold number of years in the future, contemporaries will reflect on West and struggle to remember past the questionable comments and erratic behavior to even recognize his brilliant artistic contributions. The rapper and producer has become a pulsar of nihilism, an object to be followed closely only if one wants to have their faith in humans tested.
When did America decide preschool should be in a classroom?
Most American kids don’t spend large chunks of their day catching salamanders and poking sticks into piles of fox poop. In a nation moving toward greater standardization of its public-education system, programs centered around getting kids outside to explore aren’t normal.
But that’s precisely what students do at the Nature Preschool at Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills, Maryland. There, every day, dozens of children ages 3 to 5 come to have adventures on Irvine’s more than 200 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. These muddy explorers stand out at a moment when many American pre-K programs have become more and more similar to K–12 education: row after row of tiny kids, sitting at desks, drilling letter identification and counting.
The conviction of the actor and comedian is a testament to the power of #MeToo.
“Let’s face it: She went up to his house with a bare midriff and incense and bath salts. What the heck?”
That was one of the jurors in the 2017 trial of Bill Cosby, in which the actor and comedian defended himself against charges that, in 2004, he had drugged and then raped Andrea Constand, at the time a Temple University employee for whom he had served as a mentor. The jury in that trial, after more than50 hours of deliberation, found itself unable to reach a conclusion about the facts of the case. And that anonymous juror suggested to the Philadelphia Inquirer why the jury couldn’t bring itself to convict Cosby: It wasn’t clear to all 12 members, it seems, that the sex that took place between Cosby and Constand wasn’t consensual. After all: the bare midriff. And the incense. What the heck?