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Nihilism for Optimists

Johann Heinrich Füssli, Gunther’s Wedding Night, 1807. Public Domain I believe we should read only books that bite and sting us.

Is Eminem Dad Rock?

Image: Peter Pham via Flickr Eminem resurfaced for a BET Hip Hop Awards freestyle aimed at Donald Trump, and he got scorn from all sides: people who do not buy Eminem’s political awakening, people who get real mad on the Internet when someone is mean to our very stable genius-in-chief, and people who snicker at lines like “That’s an awfully hot coffee pot / Should I drop it on Donald Trump?

New York City, January 16, 2018

★★ A yellowish wrong-way sunrise glowed briefly in the west, where the clouds had temporarily left an opening.

Inside the World of Pet Anti-Vaxxers

Image: Army Medicine via Flickr If you call your pet a “furbaby,” it is possible that you think of your dog or cat as your child.

The Hills are Alive With The Sound of Mozart

Image: SorinNechita via Flickr Happy 2018! It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? Even my very last column was technically written last year, so it’s nice to be diving in.

New York City, January 15, 2018

★★★ Loose little clouds drifted and evolved. The light through the windows was warm and the draft through the windows was chilly.

Awl Ends

It is with a mixture of disappointment and relief that we are announcing the cessation of editorial operations on The Awl at the end of this month.


Image: mark sebastian via Flickr Tom Garland was with the company for six months when he volunteered to have the ESM chip implanted under his skin.

The Donald Trump of Mexican Wrestling

The lights dim in the Arena Coliseo in Guadalajara and a troop of ring girls emerge from backstage. A spotlight scans into their midst, revealing a blond giant with an American flag propped on his shoulder.

Haint Blue, the Ghost-Tricking Color of Southern Homes and Gullah Folktales

. . . . . . . . . . There was once an old witch-woman who lived in the woods. She was ugly as sin but helpful, and she could fix any number of problems if you asked her politely.

New York City, January 14, 2018

★★★ The six-year-old kept putting on his knit Batman hat, the one with the eyes and ears, against the chill in the pew.

A Colonial potty, a kangaroo paw, and a carousel jester

Lot 1: Shithole Chair Image: Photograph courtesy of James D. Julia Auctioneers, Fairfield, Maine, USA.

Nothing Makes Sense Any More, Nothing Will Make It Make Sense

“I still don’t understand what happened in the Vikings/Saints game. Can you break it down for me?” —Football Frank Look, nothing makes sense anymore.

Pat On The Back

New York City, January 11, 2018

★★ The lingering snow fell as rain under the scaffolding. Jackets had taken back the streets from parkas and puffy coats.

Jared Kushner Wears The Wrong Socks

Image: mark via Flickr JARED is using IVANKA’s paper shredder to destroy copies of MICHAEL WOLFF’s Fire and Fury.

The Miscellaneous Bros of

  Johan Viirok via Flickr On the internet, where people become data and popularity is conveniently quantified, it’s easy to learn what a community values most.

A Very Specific Keychain

Photos by Bryan Washington About a week into my stay in Setagaya, I decided to give Akihabara a second try.

Hey, Watch It

New York City, January 10, 2018

★★★ The otherwise mirror-flat surface of the Hudson was studded with chunks of ice. The chill was an agreeable coolness, the sky a newly enriched blue.