A Journalist in Mogadishu →
It’s possible to view Abdi’s nonchalance as the epitome of Mogadishu cool. Some of the other journalists employ gunmen who relish the part: Ray-Bans, turbans, cowboy antics (jumping in and out of moving vehicles) and lots of attitude. But Abdi, I tell myself, is the Clint Eastwood of gunmen, ready to blow away the bad guys and go right on munching khat. Whatever doubts I have about...
Riding That Country Wagon →
“It takes a lot for someone with the substance abuse issues I have to stay away from such things,” said Mr. Earle, who added that he was consuming a half-gallon of vodka a day, cocktail by cocktail. “If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut.”
The End of the Echo Chamber →
These weak ties “are indispensible” to your network, Bakshy says. “They have access to different websites that you’re not necessarily visiting.”
Grave Inflation: A new report on the Haiti... →
What will happen when the next earthquake devastates a city and the OCHA is called upon to act and mobilize resources? Will Byrs or one of her successors have to claim an even more historic, more unprecedented disaster in order to get the world’s attention?
Stephen Colbert's Real Advantage: Free Air Time →
Colbert’s nightly fake news show, for instance, has done a great deal more to influence American politics than anything his super PAC has achieved. Indeed, the only reason we know about the super PAC — the only reason it exists in the first place — is thanks to Colbert’s media celebrity.
Made in Colombia: In a country desperate to... →
The local entrepreneurs are always young, because only kids dare to invest. While they understand the past—the failed reforms, the failed presidents, the almost-failed state—these optimistic pioneers also imagine progress. They believe, but they are a minority. They need some compadres to join their ranks.
Social Laboratory on a Field: In Haiti, an... →
“Sometimes I was protected by gunmen who were supposed to shoot me. He would know me from the team and say, ‘Don’t go there because I’m supposed to kill you there.’ That showed me how much soccer means to the Haitian people.”
How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work →
“We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”
Everyone Is an Immigrant: Poetry and reportage in... →
It’s a spectacular show when the open, wooden boats come in, people huddled against the gunwales. In this human drama, the police are the supporting actors. So are the journalists like me, struggling against the cordon to talk to arrivals. So are the paramedics. We are all waiting for refugees.
Is African football progressing? →
I was having a coffee in a courtyard shaded by mango trees in Benguela, western Angola, talking to a Swiss clown who’d married a Nigerian woman he’d met while touring with his circus. He’s spent much of the past 20 years writing about African football. “It’s all rubbish,” he said. “I hate it now, hate what’s happened. I hate the lies and the false...
Charles Dickens has been ruined by the BBC →
Not only on account of what he wrote, but on account of his bridging the chasm between the serious and the popular, I consider Dickens to be our finest writer after Shakespeare, an example and reproach to every too high-minded stylist and every too low-minded populariser who has come after him.
The Autumn of Joan Didion →
Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair.
Anthony Bourdain, Just Like Me: Is the Kitchen... →
One of the talks he delivers is called “How to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Globalization,” in which he stresses “globalization is inevitable. It’s coming, it’s here — and it’s a good thing. Relax and enjoy.”
Kingsley Amis did not care what people thought of... →
In reviews of other writers, he used such terms as “little twit,” “fucking fool,” “pompous buffoon,” and “that little turd.” Yet he was aware that somewhere along the line he had gone from being an Angry Young Man to become, in his words, a “curmudgeonly old shit.”
Making It in America →
The still-unfolding story of manufacturing’s transformation is, in many respects, that of our economic age. It’s a story with much good news for the nation as a whole. But it’s also one that is decidedly less inclusive than the story of the 20th century, with a less certain role for people like Maddie Parlier, who struggle or are unlucky early in life.
No Worries: Chris Gethard's Awkward Adventure in... →
New Yorkers will be rude, but at least they do so out of the rationale that everyone around them is always slowing them down. Los Angeles, I learned, is a city full of people who have the personality of the coolest pretty boy from your eighth-grade class. But I also met people who were a huge exception to this rule. They were all Mexicans.
Gary Taubes on Dieting →
Then some journalist like me comes along, and says, “What about all the other animals that get fat on grains and vegetable matter?” And the experts look at you and say, “Oh, you’re one of those Atkins people aren’t you?”
Why Authors Tweet →
Of the “I want to be alone!” type, Jennifer Weiner (34,682 followers) says: “I sometimes read about authors who say they require a perfectly silent room maintained at precisely 68 degrees, with trash bags taped over the windows and a white-noise machine in the corner to write, and I think, ‘Who are these people, and do any of them have kids?’”
Do College Sports Affect Students' Grades? A... →
There are plenty of problems with the current system of big-time college athletics, from the devaluing of academics to the plantation mentality that allows universities to make huge profits on the backs of unpaid athletes. But fixing those problems requires thinking creatively about real solutions, not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
'If they make me go back, I will be lost' →
“They kept calling Mexico ‘your country.’ They kept saying, ‘You should go back to your country,’ but it’s not my country. I don’t know anyone in Mexico, not a single person.”
Haiti’s Tragic History →
For the better part of two centuries, outsiders have been offering explanations that range from racist to learned-sounding — the supposed inferiority of blacks, the heritage of slavery, overpopulation — for why Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. None of these work.
Muddy Waters and Mozart: on the Late Great Townes... →
He seemed to taunt oblivion, gambling away his last possessions, even his gold teeth, letting himself fall from a fourth-story balcony to see “what it felt like,” and generally until the end of his days, performing myth-making acts of excess in defiance of the human body’s capacity for abuse.
Bad Nights In The NFL →
There was a young millionaire in Denver whose white limousine came under gunfire on a snow-lined boulevard in the dark of a winter morning. When the shooting began he had about one minute to live.