Laughing in the Dark With Ottessa Moshfegh’s ‘Homesick for Another World’

Lee Polevoi

Yes, these stories are bleak and the author seems strangely obsessed with acne, scars, and other unglamorous bodily functions. But Ottessa Moshfegh’s vision surpasses these particulars and Homesick for Another World emerges as among the most profound, absorbing short story collections to appear in years. And you can take that critical hype to the bank.

How the First Amendment Trumps Political Correctness

Hal Gordon

According to Mr. Tam, the name worked because it allowed these young, cutting-edge performers to talk about their “slant” on life as musicians of color, and also to pay tribute to those Asian Americans who had been using the racially-loaded term in a “re-appropriated, self-empowering way for about 30 years.” Mr. Tam argued, sensibly enough, that “irony and wit can neutralize racial slurs, because it shifts the dynamics of power.”

The Opioid Crisis in Black and White

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There’s one final great cruelty in the glaring racial double standard on drugs. The reports and statistics on opioid and heroin addiction, the wrath of news stories and features on it, and the calls for legislative action to deal with the problem, have not changed one whit the deeply embedded perception that drugs in America invariably come with a young, black face. 

The Pride of Black Lives Matter

Angelo Franco

Exit polls showed that as many as 70 percent of African-American Californians voted in favor of Proposition 8. More in-depth studies have since shown that religion, more so than race, was a better indicative of constituents voting for or against the legislation; the study stipulated that African-Americans, being the most religious group in California, accounted for approximately 58 percent of the votes in favor of Proposition 8, while Latin-Americans almost paralleled that with 59 percent voting in favor of it. 

A Breakdown of Black Stars on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Celebrities List

Michael Harriot

Every year, Forbes magazine ranks the highest-paid “front of the camera” celebrities. These rankings are based on stars’ pretax income, this year from June 1, 2016, through June 1, 2017, calculated from box-office earnings, music rankings, book sales, two paycheck stubs, how they ball out at the club and their mamas’ bragging at church. While the list is compiled by extensive research, after viewing this year’s collection of talent, we had a few thoughts about the black celebrities ranked on the list.

The Enduring Legacy of Clarence Darrow

Adam Gravano

When some Dayton, Tennessee hucksters saw the marketing value for their town, they leapt on the offer, inviting the local science teacher John T. Scopes to immortality. While Darrow initially saw the case as a potential circus and thought to avoid it, as did the ACLU, which originally planned to hire former Supreme Court Justice and presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes, he jumped in after the entry of Bryan and the stage was set for what would be a titanic showdown. 

Will James Comey’s Testimony Sink Trump?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Those hopes almost certainly will be dashed. The so-called “impeachment clause” in the Constitution lists the thoroughly ambiguous, “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the crimes that a sitting president must commit for the House to initiate the action and then the Senate to convict. In Trump’s case, this would fall into the category of obstruction of justice. The Comey memo isn’t enough. Trump will continue to deny that he ordered him to back off from the investigation. 

Reveling in the Many Splendors of Cartagena

Sandra Bertrand

Walking back through the main entrance to Cartagena, we passed through the historic Puerta del Reloi or Clock Gate, smack in the middle of a plaza of carriages.  Taking a chiva ride is one of the main attractions for tourists, but for us the sun was already too high to pull these horses from their little pockets of shade.  Throughout our stay, particularly during the evening hours, these carriages would be as plentiful here as the cars on their way to the hotspots and high-rises of nearby Boca Grande.  More than once we would find ourselves hopping onto the narrowest of street curbs without a moment to spare to let the rushing hooves pass.    

Colombia: A Colonial Wonderland in High Relief

Sandra Bertrand

 A late afternoon snack at Patagonia, conveniently situated around the corner from our hotel, provided all the local color any curious turista could hope to find.  Circumventing a customer’s motorcycle parked three-quarters inside the door, we encountered bullfighting posters, rustic workmen’s tables crowded with midday diners and a narrow bar where we opted for a plate of grilled chorizo and a popular Colonial beer.  

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