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New York City, January 30, 2018

★★★★ Even through the blinds, to eyes without contact lenses, the world was newly brightened all around—not inherently bright, with dawn still under the pall of the gentle storm, but evenly bright, the gray-blue light of the sky shining back from the roofs and the balcony rails and the parked cars.

The Awl, 2009-2018

The Awl was born of the following thoughts: What if there were a website with a wealth of resonant, weird, important, frightening and amusing bits of news and ideas?

Jared Kushner Sells Girl Scout Cookies

Image: David & Margie Hill via Flickr JARED, who has a black eye, is looking for an Overton window to jump out of, as his DAUGHTER is happily doling out the Girl Scout cookies she sold earlier this term.

Holding On

I remember the first time I held my daughter’s hand. She was just minutes old, and I knew nothing about babies, so I was impressed to find that even a newborn could hold on.

The Awl Stories You Never Saw

As the end rapidly approaches it seems as good a time as any to unburden myself of some of the ideas that I’ve wanted to see on the site but that for one reason or another never came to fruition.

Felix Salmon, "Fusion Money," and Floating Upward

Last Friday, just after 2pm, the financial journalist Felix Salmon posted a blog titled “Why I’m Leaving Fusion.” It was a very short post indeed: So, that is a provocative shruggie, is it not?

Bears, Britain, Bunga-Bunga: Bye

While it has been nice to see the kind words said about this site since we announced its shuttering a couple of weeks ago I feel as though we have not gotten enough credit for some of the things we pioneered in this corner of the Internet over the years.

Steely Dan, "Everything Must Go"

Is it obnoxious to choose, as The Awl’s final morning selection, a song from a band for whom almost everyone under 40 has a depressing and inexplicable distaste?

New York City, January 29, 2018

★★ A wide band of pale blue separated the sharp purple hills at the horizon from the frayed purple edge of the cloud sheet above.

A Finale

Image: Martin Thomas via Flickr Towards the end of last year, I asked people what they wanted me to cover in this column in 2018, a bold and ultimately fruitless thing to do, given I would only have about five or six more editions of this column to write.

Stop Twitting Yourself

Six months ago I quit Twitter. It happened in a moment that combined the deepest loathing (both self- and other-directed) and the brightest clarity, and I have not looked back since.

Francis Harris, "Minor Forms"

Here’s music. Enjoy.

The Many Acts of Keith Gordon

This story was co-published with Longreads. Keith Gordon circa 2008. Photo by Rachel Griffin. “When I first met him the only thing I really remember is that he looked familiar to me,” cinematographer Tom Richmond told me about Keith Gordon, the director and former actor.

I'm Going To Leave You With This Meditation on "Major Tom" by Peter Schilling

Even if you’re a walking fetus, i.e. a person in their twenties I don’t understand, you have probably heard at least a snippet of the third-best song of the Neue Deutsche Welle, “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling.

Mark E. Smith, 1957-2018

Photo: Stefan Müller The indescribable Mark E. Smith, who was somehow 60, 60 and “only 60?” has died.Even the things that make sense don’t make sense anymore.

Sex and a Cheese Sandwich

Image: Iain Watson via Flickr When it comes to food writing that stands alone, you’d be on solid ground if you identified Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential as the most iconic work to arrive in the last generation.

I Am Finally Writing About Gustav Mahler

Image: Jeremy Sutcliffe via Flickr There are some things we all thought we’d never do. For some, it’s risky shit: it’s bungee jumping or skydiving or whatever.


New York City, January 22, 2018

★★★ The morning was chilly without being cold, and damp and grimy without being mucky. Sun glimmered halfway or maybe a third of the way into view.

Small Bursts

Image: photosteve101 via Flickr This is an effort to get what I want. My problem is that I know what I want, but there isn’t an adequate, efficient way to explain it.