Watching ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’

Adam Gravano

There are other tried and true elements of the season. The house's many ghosts interacting with one another as well as the Harmon family adds the complexity of conflicting goals and multigenerational drama to the tale. For example, all the women want a baby, as do Patrick and Chad, and sharing isn't exactly an option. In all, the viewer might find himself reminded that, as Sartre wrote in No Exit, “Hell is other people.” 

For GOP, Incompetence Is a Feature (Not a Flaw)

Mike Lofgren

The national security functions of government have long been a subject of mystification: The public and the press have a tendency to regard its practitioners as a kind of priesthood possessing an arcane and special knowledge. But long before Trump, the GOP treated it as a political reward for crackpot ideologues whose credentials were thin or nil. Bill Kristol, whose only qualification for anything was being the offspring of Irving Kristol, somehow blossomed in the late 1990s as a Republican national security expert. 

A Night at the Opera

Anne Branigin

When I saw that Turandot, the opera in which “Nessun Dorma” is featured, was playing at the Metropolitan Opera House, I knew I had found the perfect entry point into an art form that always felt a bit beyond my reach. I haven’t done a whole lot of fine-artsy things in New York City, and had resolved that I should do better with my time than sit in my apartment and scroll through Netflix. New York City is one of the places in the world where great opera is so accessible.

How Colleges Address Drug and Alcohol Issues on Campus

Dan Reider

Most colleges appear to require introductory classes, which include topics such as peer pressure, bullying, drug and alcohol use, dealing with roommate conflicts, etc. Many also require completion of online seminars that must be taken either before the first day of class or during their first semester. These are all good and worthwhile requirements. However, when the colleges were asked specific questions related to safety on campus and in student housing, they often had difficulty providing clear, concise responses. 

Greta Gerwig Makes Directorial Debut With ‘Lady Bird’

Piya Sinha-Roy

The film, which opened in limited theaters last week and will roll out in more U.S. theaters this month, marks the solo directing debut of Gerwig, 34. She carved a career co-writing and starring in independent darlings such as 2010’s “Greenberg” and 2012’s “Frances Ha.”  “Lady Bird” has already garnered critical praise and early awards buzz. “She just has this unique lens of seeing the world,” actor Beanie Feldstein, who plays Lady Bird’s best friend Julie, said of Gerwig. ​

Justin Fairfax Wins in Democratic Sweep of Virginia

Stacy Brown

The hardworking Democrat defeated Republican Jill Vogel in the hotly contested race for the second-highest office in Old Dominion. Fairfax’s win capped a banner night for his party as Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie to win the governor’s mansion and Mark Herring beat GOP candidate John Adams in the race for attorney general. The race, in many ways, put President Donald Trump against his predecessor Barack Obama in the first showdown since Trump won the presidency.

The New Museum Takes Aim With ‘Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon’

Sandra Bertrand

There are those pieces that elicit delight, exhibiting an entrepreneurial spirit as much as shock value.  Vaginal Davis, a Los Angeles-born, Berlin-based transgender artist has created a generous series of small abstract wall reliefs in a blood-red mixture of nail polish, Aqua Net hair spray and other Dollar Store beauty supplies. A more formalistic abstraction is offered by Ulrike Muller’s geometric enamel on steel pictures, exhibiting a clean mastery of minimalism and grace.  

My Story With Leon Wieseltier

Karen Lehrman Bloch

My purpose here is not to defend Wieseltier against the charges of other women. I have no special interest in defending him. We haven’t worked together in years. I bumped into him last year; it was the first time I had seen or spoken to him in ages. I’m writing not to negate anyone else’s story, but simply to tell my own. I want to say that this particular man inspired me to be my best self, made me into a thinker, and helped me reconnect to my Judaism.

 

James Atlas Shares His Own Life in ‘Shadow in the Garden’

Lee Polevoi

James Atlas, the author of Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet and Bellow: A Biography, has written a sort of “summing-up” of his own life, large chunks of which he’s devoted to chronicling the lives of an obscure poet of the 1930s and Saul Bellow, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist of more recent times. His memoir, The Shadow in the Garden, is an often fascinating—and, at times, very personal—account of the nearly insurmountable tasks of completing an in-depth literary biography.

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