Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. García Márquez’s Five Favorite Cocktail Stories
By Santiago Mutis Duran, and translated by David Unger | The Paris Review | August 2019
“Santiago Mutis Durán, the son of Márquez’s close friend Álvaro Mutis, gathered together small author-less stories that Márquez had written down or told over the course of his lifetime.”

2. How to avoid the traps that produce loneliness and isolation
By Arthur C. Brooks | The Washington Post | January 2020
“But the real question is why so many people feel isolated, when contact with others should be easier than ever. If we can answer that, we can craft a solution — if not societally, at least personally, to make our lives happier and better.”

3. A Man In Full
By Walter Shapiro | The New Republic | January 2020
“Joe Biden wants to be a normal president in a highly abnormal age.”

4. More than 60,000 Mexicans have been ‘disappeared’ amid drug war, officials say
By Mary Beth Sheridan | The Washington Post | January 2020
“Karla Quintana, head of Mexico’s National Search Commission, which coordinates the effort to find the missing, said at least 61,637 people had been reported disappeared and not been found — what she called ‘data of horror.’ The actual number is thought to be even higher, since many cases are never reported. The numbers confirm that Mexico is suffering one of the worst crises of ‘the disappeared’ in Latin American history.”

5. The Racist History of Tipping
By William J. Barber II | Politico Magazine | July 2019
“Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.”

6. The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings
By Rachel L. Swarns | The New York Times | August 2019
“America’s nuns are beginning to confront their ties to slavery, but it’s still a long road to repentance.”

7. The Great Boundary-Breaking Women of Fiction
By Louisa Treger | CrimeReads :: LitHub | August 2019
“Celebrating 10 strong women who refused to conform and who struggled to find their place in the world.”

8. One Year in Washington
By David Freelander | The Cut :: New York Magazine | January 2020
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reshaped her party’s agenda, resuscitated Bernie Sanders’s campaign, and hardly has a friend in town.”

9. Violent Policing of the Texas Border
By Augusta Dell’Omo | Not Even Past :: UT Austin Department of History | January 2019
“Between 1910 and 1920, an era of state-sanctioned racial violence descended upon the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Rangers, local ranchers, and U.S. soldiers terrorized ethnic Mexican communities, under the guise of community policing.”

10. Is your to-do list making you nuts? Start a to-don’t list instead
By Anna Phelan | Ideas :: TED.com | March 2019
“The TED speaker and podcast host shares 4 items from his to-don’t list — stuff he’s shed from his life to make him a happier and more effective human. Read it and learn.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The Native American Alamo / The depths of personal loneliness / The ultimate guide to presidential impeachment / What obsessed Hitchcock, Welles and Kubrick / Lady Gaga’s tattoos

This week: The Native American Alamo / The depths of personal loneliness / The ultimate guide to presidential impeachment / What obsessed Hitchcock, Welles and Kubrick / Lady Gaga’s tattoos

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. NASA Captures First Air-to-Air Images of Supersonic Shockwave Interaction in Flight
By Matt Kamlet | NASA | March 2019
“The images were captured during the fourth phase of Air-to-Air Background Oriented Schlieren flights, or AirBOS, which took place at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. ”

2. All Quiet on the Western Front becomes instant bestseller – archive, 1929
By Richard Nelsson | From the Archive :: The Guardian | March 2019
“Ninety years ago, a harrowing account of warfare in the first world war was brought to an international audience by German veteran Erich Maria Remarque”

3. Native Americans want to re-imagine Alamo as a cemetery
By Elaine Ayala | San Antonio Express-News | February 2019
“Long before it was the site of a famous battle, the Alamo was where the city’s earliest citizens lived, worked, died and were buried. They were the city’s first Catholics and helped forge the city and state’s future.”

4. What’s the Loneliest You’ve Ever Felt
By Kristen Radtke | The Atlantic | October 2018
“The author started a project on loneliness by asking this simple question. Many people quickly recounted experiences, often with surprising specificity.”

5. The only impeachment guide you’ll ever need
By Darren Samuelsohn | Politico Magazine | January 2019
“In one sense, Trump is as vulnerable as he’s always been. In another, the risk is huge. The collision of anti-Trump forces with his powerfully loyal base — to say nothing of the president’s own thirst for conflict — would guarantee the most explosive political disruption in generations. If the effort misses, the blowback could easily propel Trump back into office in 2020, with a reinvigorated base bent on revenge.”

6. Netflix Holds the Key to Preserving Film’s Vanishing History
By K. Austin Collins | Vanity Fair | November 2018
The Other Side of the Wind and Shirkers show how the streaming giant could save historic films — even as past-facing services like FilmStruck prove unsustainable.”

7. The Obsessions of Hitchcock, Welles, and Kubrick
By Jonathan Kirshner | Boston Review | June 2017
“The book concludes with the observation that our heroes shared the ability to ‘triumph’ over ‘the ordinary, the conventional, the banal.’ Certainly they did. But surely there was more.”

8. All of Lady Gaga’s tattoos and their meanings
By Melissa Minton | Page Six :: The New York Post | February 2019
“[S]he has called the left half of her body her ‘Iggy Pop’ side, and the tattoo-less right side her ‘Marilyn Monroe.’ ”

9. The dollar is still king. How (in the world) did that happen
By Peter S. Goodman | The New York Times | February 2019
“The enduring potency of the dollar gives force to President Trump’s mode of engagement.”

10. Who Killed Tulum
By Reeves Wiedeman | The Cut :: New York Magazine | February 2019
“Greed, gringos, diesel, drugs, shamans, seaweed, and a disco ball in the jungle.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Oprah buzz sparks debate about celebrity presidents
By Niall Stange | The Memo :: The Hill | January 2018
“On one level, a Trump vs. Winfrey race seems too surreal a scenario to take seriously. But the idea of Trump becoming president in the first place was met with similar disbelief when he entered the race in June 2015, and Winfrey has hinted before at a run.”
Also, from The Hollywood Reporter: Gayle King [says] Oprah ‘Intrigued by the Idea’ of Running for President

2. Could Lupe Valdez (or Oprah?!) Be The Key to a New Texas?
By R.G. Ratcliffe | BurkaBlog :: Texas Monthly | January 2018
“The two campaigns have launched — kind of. Both are long shots to have any real effect on the state.”

3. Away from Washington, a more personal Mattis reveals himself
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | January 2018
“Mattis, now the Pentagon boss and perhaps the most admired member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is a storyteller. And at no time do the tales flow more easily than when he’s among the breed he identifies with most closely – the men and women of the military.”

4. I Started the Media Men List My name is Moira Donegan
By Moira Donegan | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.”
Also, from the Huffington Post: Moira Donegan Outs Herself As Creator Of ‘S**tty Media Men’ List
Also, from The New Yorker: The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and “Shitty Media Men” (October 2017)

5. Ronan Farrow, the Hollywood Prince Who Torched the Castle
By Marisa Guthrie | The Hollywood Reporter | January 2018
“Farrow is now a hot commodity, aggressively pursued on the speaker circuit, and though he only has one short-lived TV news-hosting gig under his belt, he is being courted by a wide array of outlets.”

6. The Biggest Secret
By James Risen | The Intercept | January 2018
“My life as a New York Times reporter in the shadow of the War on Terror.”

7. ‘ISIS selfies’ on New York streets are chilling
By Tina Moore and Ruth Brown | The New York Post | January 2018
“One shows a man wearing an ISIS-branded scarf over his face outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and right near an NYPD security camera. Pedestrians can be seen walking by on the snow-dusted street.”

8. When rivers die — and are reborn
By Victor Mallet | OUPblog :: Oxford University Press | October 2017
“Most of the great cities of the world were built on rivers, for rivers have provided the water, the agricultural fertility, and the transport links essential for most great civilizations. This presents a series of puzzles. Why have the people who depend on those rivers so often poisoned their own water sources?”

9. How to Get Better at Spending Time Alone
By Maggie Puniewska | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“It can be difficult for some people to get onboard with alone time because it can seem, well, undesirable. … But amid all the dire warnings, it’s easy to miss the fact that loneliness and solitude aren’t interchangeable concepts.”

10. Will America Ever Have a Woman President?
Politico Magazine | November/December 2017
“A year ago, it seemed like a safe bet. Today, it feels further away than ever. 20 women consider what it would take to get there.”

‘A child of love’

Part 9 of this special series focuses on Tennessee Williams, the famed playwright, who embraced his diary as shelter from the depressive snowstorms that ravaged his life

This special Stillness of Heart series explores the Morgan Library & Museum’s fascinating exhibit, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.”

Part 9 focuses on Tennessee Williams, the famed playwright, who embraced his diary as shelter from the depressive snowstorms that ravaged his life. Success, drugs, sensual companionship, even public accolades like a Pulitzer Prize (for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) all failed to calm his suffocating anxiety, loneliness, and despair.

“A child of love — dined on the terrace with the cathedral spires lit up and a mass choir singing Catalonian folks songs on the Square below. Then love — came twice, both ways, and divinely responsive as if a benign Providence, or shall we be frank and say God, had suddenly taken cognizance and pity of my long misery this summer and given me this night as a token of forgiveness.”

Examine images of his amazing diary and listen to the museum’s audio guide here.

Entries in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the exhibit and Charlotte Brontë
Part 2: Frances Eliza Grenfell
Part 3: Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part 4: Paul Horgan
Part 5: John Newton
Part 6: Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet
Part 7: Walter Scott
Part 8: Bartholomew Sharpe
Part 9: Tennessee Williams
Part 10: John Ruskin