“My dentist was recently indicted for murder.” It sounds like a droll line that you’d use at a dinner party, but in my case it’s true. On October 15, 2015, Dr. Gilberto Nunez, whose patient I had been for many years, was indicted for killing his friend Thomas Kolman, of Saugerties, New York, by getting him “to ingest a substance that caused his death.” There were also two forgery counts: allegedly, Nunez had been posing as a C.I.A. agent. He’d apparently told people that he was authorized to implant tracking devices in patients’ teeth. It wasn’t the kind of news you wanted to hear about your family dentist.
Steve wears jeans at the party. Darker than his work pair, thinner than his everydays. These are his party jeans. Steve knows that wearing these jeans leaves the door wide open to intercourse.
Your Dad’s Friend Who Makes You a Little Uncomfortable Thought It Was Great Seeing You
The Awkward Age
There was a line at the ski lift. The group of boys who had come on the bus had joined it, one next to the other, skis parallel, and every time it advanced—it was long and, instead of going straight, as in fact it could have, zigzagged randomly, sometimes upward, sometimes down—they stepped up or slid down sideways, depending on where they were, and immediately propped themselves on their poles again, often resting their weight on the neighbor below, or trying to free their poles from under the skis of the neighbor above, stumbling on skis that had got twisted, leaning over to adjust their bindings and bringing the whole line to a halt, pulling off windbreakers or sweaters or putting them back on as the sun appeared or disappeared, tucking strands of hair under their woollen headbands, or the billowing tails of their checked shirts into their belts, digging in their pockets for handkerchiefs and blowing their red, frozen noses, and for all these operations taking off and then putting back on their big gloves, which sometimes fell in the snow and had to be picked up with the tip of a pole. That flurry of small disjointed gestures coursed through the line and became frenzied at the front, when the skier had to unzip every pocket to find where he’d stuck his ticket money or his badge, and hand it to the lift operator to punch, and then he had to put it back in his pocket, and readjust his gloves, and join his two poles together, the tip of one stuck in the basket of the other so that they could be held with one hand—all this while climbing the small slope in the open space where he had to be ready to position the T-bar under his bottom and let it tug him jerkily upward.
The new film from Edgar Wright, the British director of “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and “Hot Fuzz” (2007), is “Baby Driver.” Set in Atlanta, it was met with elation when it played at the South by Southwest Film Festival, in March. The title takes its cue from the song of the same name, by Simon and Garfunkel, and contains both the identity and the job description of the hero. He is a driver, and he is called Baby (Ansel Elgort). Things could be worse, I guess. He could be Cecilia. Or Rock. Or a fair-haired guy called Scarborough.
DVD of the Week: “David Holzman’s Diary”
To unveil Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement on climate change, his Administration held an upbeat ceremony featuring a jazz quartet in the White House Rose Garden. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh—not Paris,” he proclaimed.
Jeff Baena, the writer and director, was wandering around the Cloisters the other weekend with his girlfriend, Aubrey Plaza, the actor. “Excuse me, sir? Where are the Unicorn Tapestries?” he asked a guard. The guard indicated an ornate doorway, which led to another room. Baena was wearing a cream-colored sweater over a plaid shirt, and had a pair of reflective sunglasses pushed into his silvery hair. “I haven’t been here in almost twenty years,” he said.
The Trial and Testimony of Everyone Who Has Deleted Me on Facebook
C.D.C.: Millions of Americans in Areas Colored Blue Will Be Too Sick to Report to Work Thursday Morning
Hasan Minhaj’s “New Brown America”
In late February or early March, Ali was in his apartment in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, when he got a phone call from a local police officer. “Get dressed, we have to take you in,” the man said. Ali took the SIM card out of his cell phone, inserted it into a spare, blank phone, and hid his regular handset. By the time he was done, two police officers were knocking on the door. They put him in a car and drove to a nearby street, where two cars were waiting. The men put him in the back seat of one of the vehicles and got in with him.
How a Russian Journalist Exposed the Anti-Gay Crackdown in Chechnya
How the Drag Queen Cassandro Became a Star of Mexican Wrestling
Queer, Arab, and Onstage After Orlando
Every Wednesday afternoon, in a windowless conference room in an office building at the tip of lower Manhattan, David Pecker decides what will be on the cover of the following week’s National Enquirer. Pecker is the longtime chief executive of American Media, Inc., which owns most of the nation’s supermarket tabloids and gossip magazines, including the Star, the Globe, the Examiner, and OK!, as well as the flagship Enquirer. Pecker’s tabloids have few subscribers and minimal advertising. Virtually all their revenue comes from impulse purchases at the checkout counter. A successful Enquirer cover can drive sales fifteen per cent above the weekly average of three hundred and twenty-five thousand copies, and a lemon can hurt sales just as badly, so the choice of cover headlines and photographs represents a nearly existential challenge every week.
Live: Journalists Discuss Trump’s First Hundred Days
Rex Tillerson Is Still Acting Like a C.E.O.
Jimmy Breslin and the Lost Voice of the People
One Sunday morning, just after deer-hunting season ended, Veronica Coptis, a community organizer in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania, climbed onto her father’s four-wheeler. She set off for a ridge a quarter of a mile from her parents’ small farmhouse, where she was brought up with her brother and two sisters. “Those are coyote tracks,” she called over the engine noise, pointing down at a set of fresh paw prints.
Why Trump Will Make the Wrong Decision on Paris
What Trump Could Do to Help Pennsylvania (Instead of Holding a Rally)
Catching California’s Superbloom
It’s difficult for people who weren’t around at the time to grasp the scale of the Hemingway cult in twentieth-century America. As late as 1965, the editor of The Atlantic could write reverently of scenes from a kind of Ernest Hemingway Advent calendar: “Wine-stained moods in the sidewalk cafés and roistering nights in Left Bank boîtes. Walking home alone in the rain. Talk of death, and scenes of it, in the Spanish sun. Treks and trophies in Tanganyika’s green hills. Duck-shooting in the Venetian marshes. . . . Loving and drinking and fishing out of Key West and Havana.” It was real fame, too, not the thirty-minutes-with-Terry Gross kind that writers have to content themselves with now. To get close to the tone of it today, you would have to imagine the literary reputation of Raymond Carver joined with the popularity and political piety of Bruce Springsteen. “Papa” Hemingway was not just a much admired artist; he was seen as a representative American public man. He represented the authority of writing even for people who didn’t read.
Be Careful! Your Mind Makes Accidents Inevitable
The Inappropriately Intimate Exchanges of Barbara Browning
The Mysterious Frontiers of Can Xue
The eighteenth-century British novel appeals to an apparently dwindling taste. With intrusive narrators, slatternly plots, odd punctuation, and long, ambling digressions, books like “Tristram Shandy” and “Joseph Andrews” try the patience of many contemporary readers, and modern efforts to emulate them—Thomas Pynchon’s “Mason & Dixon” and Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle spring to mind—are frequently greeted with exasperation. Laurence Sterne and Henry Fielding couldn’t help writing like that, but what, some people wonder, is Pynchon’s excuse? The appealing qualities of the period’s literature—its humor, its frankness about sex and power, its omnivorous curiosity about humanity and the world—can be squandered, by present-day revivalists, amid defunct slang, semicolon dashes, and promiscuous capitalization.
The Inappropriately Intimate Exchanges of Barbara Browning
Denis Johnson’s Generosity
The Bodily Terror of Women’s Gymnastics
The Hello Girls, by Elizabeth Cobbs (Harvard). This engaging history crackles with admiration for the women who served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the First World War, becoming the country’s first female soldiers. Operating switchboards in France, they juggled constantly shifting lists of codes and connections, worked fast amid artillery blasts, and mastered the “genteel diplomacy” needed to communicate with officials in French as well as English. Their technical skill was matched by what one woman called the “great, unquenchable, patriotic desire to do my bit.” Cobbs intercuts front-line activities with political battles on the home front: the women returned from victory to an America that did not yet grant them the right to vote.
Choose Your Own Advertising Experience
My Father, in Four Visits over Thirty Years
Birthday Cards for Donald Trump
As pundits argue over whether or not President Trump is an obstructor of justice, a gaggle of Queens residents are preoccupied with a different question: Is the First Lady, Melania Trump, a Gottscheer? The issue hung in the air at the Miss Gottschee 2017 pageant, which was held, last month, at Plattduetsche Park Biergarten, in Hempstead, Long Island. Christina Gladitsch Popowytsch, a blue-eyed blonde and a recent graduate of Marist College, waved a cupped hand to the dirndl- and lederhosen-clad crowd as she was crowned. Upon receiving her blue-and-white sash—Gottschee colors—she vowed “to fight to preserve the lives and traditions of the past,” a task she considers “vital for those of my generation, with a vibrant Gottscheer heritage like myself.”