Tales, trivia, and tidbits from now and then.
Friedrich Nietzsche's comical perspective of God
On the act of writing.
Notes and commentary from the table.
What I learned at a bar in Osaka, Japan
Commentary on the worlds of entertainment, style, and media.
Is the shift from owning songs to streaming them eroding listener loyalty and reducing the cultural impact of music?
Taking comics seriously.
You might wait a million years for another comedy of such caliber
Michael Lind at the intersection of politics, culture, economics, and history.
What can save us from mindless partisanship?
A regular column from a very promiscuous reader.
Reconfiguring the magic order
From your point of view.
On the 72nd birthday of Karen Armstrong
Music to your ears.
A nostalgic look at The Blues Project's Danny Kalb
And other things it hurts to learn about on the internet
You say you want an education.
Why non-academic skills are as important as the traditional academic stuff
[Insert John Mellencamp here.]
Whatever side of the aisle you're on, H.L. Mencken is as relevant as ever.
Witty banter with persons of note.
Robin Leach on the art of the interview
Dispatches from exhibitions around the world.
Contemporary portraiture at the Whitney Museum
For and against our better judgement.
An encyclopedia of bad prose
Around the world by highways, byways, and waterways.
Weathering the unexpected in Istanbul
Investigations into the intersection of science and humanity.
The fate of the universe hangs in the balance.
Links from around the web.
Links from The Smart Set and beyond
October 5th has a history of monkey business.
On the wide world of sports.
The legacy of Babe Ruth, pitcher
Notes on design.
Why should the look of fashion be the opposite of joy? Against RBF on the runway.
The big ideas on the small, the not-so-small, and the everyday.
Earthworks, new and ancient, and the art of disappearance
Field notes on arts, culture, and everything else from our critic-at-large.
In Cleveland, the ghost of d.a. levy is everywhere, even animating MOCA Cleveland's summer show. But what is it that makes the poet's legacy endure?
To praise shopping is to breach the last taboo of academic culture.
As a cultural critic, I've tried to keep some distance from consumer culture. But as a seeker of perfect skin, I really need to tell you about the Wonder Cloth.
Peeking into the cracks and crevices of culture.
In Eileen Chang's Naked Earth, holding on to reality in Maoist China means living in the details.
Looking back on the dalliances of my MFA program.
My relationship with the German guy — or lack thereof — was nothing but liberating.
Looking at a single obscure object from museums around the world.
The match safe, a relic from when "pants-on-fire" wasn't just a schoolyard taunt.
A guide of unconventional places and ideas.
Are cars turning human beings into quadrupeds? Or is there room for walking after all?
Journeys through the world of food and drink.
I've always made meals out of my late summer fruit binges. And this year, I was especially captivated by Italy's traditional berry and melon risottos.
Notes on music from around the world and throughout history.
This year, classical music fans celebrate the Britten centennial. But no one remembers his lifelong collaborator and lover, Peter Pears.
Notes on what we buy, why we buy it, and how companies get us to keep buying more.
A eulogy for Kodak.
Everything you wanted to know about life, poets, and the poet's life.
Advice and insight from a professional poet.
Revisiting older books in light of new events.
Some villains make no apologies.
Notes from a barbarian at the gates of culture.
Anthony Weiner's penis.
Dispatches from a woman of a certain age.
On buying what I hope is my final roof.
Stories from the institutions that preserve and interpret our history and culture.
Suspicions of the 15th president.
Communications with the living world.
On the national identity of state parks.
Aristotle says every human action is due to one of seven causes. I now have seven legitimate excuses for my behavior.
Ben said he could score some pot. Ben said he knew the neighborhood. Ben said...
In which our heroine writes a column.
In which our heroine learns the art of scrapbooking. Sort of.