I just want to thank the Horde, and El specifically, for this thread. It helped me process a lot of what I've been thinking in regards to art and identity. My life has been--is--limited, and the lionshare of my 30s has been about getting some sense of the wade swath of experience to which I am ill-exposed. This is a place of contention and challenge, but the true joy, for me, comes from those moments when I get the privilege of seeing the world through the eyes of someone totally different from me.
At the end of the day, that is the joy of reporting. It's one thing to claim that Bill Cosby doesn't know what he's talking about. It's quite another to try to understand why he might speak that way, still and all coming to different conclusions yourself. Likewise, it's one thing for me to argue back and forth about whether In Memoriam is gay. It's quite another to try to understand why someone else, from somewhere else, might read it that way. And to do that without vague "on-the-other-hand"-ism, with a probing curiosity, to take that reading as legitimate, is different still.
Nevertheless, it's essential to me. Thanks for talking. I look forward to hearing more. Apologies for the deletions. I was looking for something very specific.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power