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New York City, February 16, 2017

★★★★ The outdoors was bright, cold, and windy in a thoroughly appopriate way. Chalky spots of slush crust stuck to even otherwise gleaming paint jobs on passing vehicles.

What Was the Suzuki Violin Method?

Teaching tiny people to play music. Image: TheeErin In a house at the edge of a long and narrow river, I am crying.

Forget ‘1984’ — Today, Orwell’s Essays Matter More

Forget ‘1984’ — Today, Orwell’s Essays Matter More You’ll get more from “Why I Write” than from ‘Animal Farm.’ Image: Luca Cerabona To the surprise of absolutely no one, George Orwell is everywhere these days.

More Collective Nouns

For everyday use. Image: Daniel Lombraña González A passion of teachers A sigh of poets A swallow of psychopharmacologists A growth of stoners A handle of drunks A denial of Republicans A pyramid of polyamorous people A table of chemists A floss of dentists A torture of lawyers A tray of servers A bubble of elites A tempest of teapots An armada of Mormons A catechism of Christians A revelation of Catholics A query of Jews A nirvana of clouds A disturbance of Jedis A box set of DJs An encyclopedia of librarians A cancer of smokers A fistfight of bros A shrug of celebrities A hot-air-balloon of politicians A dream of peace treaties A disaster of wars Josh Lefkowitz won the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Prize, an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, was a finalist for the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, and won First Prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest.

Four Weeks Later

A reflection in verse Photo: Tricia It isn’t just the way that there’s no limit to the lies It isn’t just the fear that comes with every new surprise It isn’t the audacity, the bluster and the bluff The dumb aggressive ignorance that sells itself as tough It’s not the chronic chaos and the basic lack of skills It isn’t all the idiots who see these things as thrills It isn’t the erasure of the line through “laugh or cry?

Stranger of the Week

Westbound L train Illustration by Forsyth Harmon “It’s your favorite time!” you shouted to about twenty seven captive people, of whom I was one.

Clark, “Peak Magnetic”

What day is it today? Photo: GollyGforce Have you noticed that every weekday feels like a combination of Monday and Friday now?

New York City, February 15, 2017

★★ Morning was neither dark nor bright, neither mild nor cold. Something had wetted down the pavement and a floating dampness was the only distinguishing feature.

Money Trouble

Can this exploitative economic system be saved? Photo: The Hamster Factor Now that we have decided the Enlightenment was a mistake, how long will it be before we come to the same conclusion about capitalism?

The Politics of Platforms

Some shit that’s happening on YouTube, I don’t know. Photo: Vulkan der Nacht It makes sense that YouTube would become home to such a performatively self-aware economy.

Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?

Comparing notes with other unsatisfied owners of the Peggy sofa When I was a kid my grandma had a couch on her front porch that was, as a result of some sort of thrifty post-wartime craft project, stuffed with crumpled-up newspapers.

Let Yourself Be Seduced by Saint-Saëns’ ‘Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah’

Classical Music Hour With Fran Nicolas Poussin’s ‘Bacchanal Before a Statue of Pan’ A thing you may or may not know about me in my life is that outside of classical music, I have straight up awful taste in music.

What America Needs Now Is Horror Movies

Stay spooked. Image: Khánh Hmoong Recently, in the lobby of a suburban Maryland Cineplex, I spotted a poster for Patriots Day, Peter Berg’s movie about the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Do-It-Yourself George Saunders Class

There’s a lot to do. Photo: Jeremy Sternberg Have you heard that George Saunders has a novel out? The publicity has been pretty low-key, so you might not have.

A Poem by Drew Gardner

The Pleasure of Commonalities Owning a great golf course gives you great power — Donald Trump The real-estate agent creates reality with his mouth.

Hell Is Other People At A Cafe

The Adventures of Liana Finck Liana Finck’s cartoons appear in The New Yorker and on Instagram. Her book is A Bintel Brief.

Buli, “Caught In Stasis”

It’s okay to be upset. Photo: Michael Pardo You know how whenever you talk about how horrible everything is now there’s always some jackass who sighs deeply and shakes his head at you and says, as if talking to a small, dull child, “Well, there are still people around who lived through two world wars, let’s not overdo it”?

New York City, February 14, 2017

★★ The blended blue and white became a blend of white and gray. The day seemed completely ordinary, hour to hour.

Hauschka, “Constant Growth Fails”

Take a little break from the terror. Photo: Rodrigo Here’s another one from the forthcoming Hauschka record.


We’re being peeping Фом’d by Russia Flickr This morning a producer for Fox News’ Pentagon and State Department coverage tweeted that a Russian vessel was stopped 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut, loitering: UPDATE: Russian spy ship now located 30 miles south of Groton, CT home to a US Navy submarine base.