Abercrombie & Fitch C.E.O. Mike Jeffries announced that the company will drop its once-ubiquitous logo from its clothing. Vauhini Varareflects on the decision:
“Kids today seem less interested in the aesthetic of conformity-through-consumption that Jeffries, and the company, still seem to advocate. They have other ways of expressing who they are—through the language they use on social media, for example.”
Patrick House discusses the experiences of those cured of blindness with M.I.T. professor Pawan Sinha:
"Sinha believes these first moments for the newly sighted are blurry, incoherent, and saturated by brightness—like walking into daylight with dilated pupils—and swirls of colors that do not make sense as shapes or faces or any kind of object."
The Borowitz Report: Nation Debates Extremely Complex Issue of Children Firing Military Weapons
“Much like the long-running national debates about jumping off a roof, licking electrical sockets, and gargling with thumbtacks, the vexing question of whether children should fire military weapons does not appear headed for a swift resolution.”
“Every writer, of every political flavor, has some neat historical analogy, or mini-lesson, with which to preface an argument for why we ought to bomb these guys or side with those guys against the guys we were bombing before. But the best argument for reading history is not that it will show us the right thing to do in one case or the other, but rather that it will show us why even doing the right thing rarely works out.”—Adam Gopnik on the value of studying history.
Ivan Kreilkampreflects on a trend in clickbait polemics:
" ‘Against [X]’ is a symptom of a liberal culture’s longing to escape its own strictures; it’s the desire of thoughtful and nuanced people to shed their inhibitions and issue fearsome dicta. We feel that we must be fair and evenhanded in our prose, but in our titles we can fly a pirate’s flag."
“It doesn’t much matter what line of argument you take as a woman. If you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it—it’s the fact that you are saying it.”—Mary Beard, speaking at the British Museum in February. Rebecca Meadprofiles the Cambridge academic and “troll slayer” in this week’s issue.
“In effect, for Stillman, exposition is a matter of form; the deft interweaving, from the very start of “The ‘Cosmopolitans,’ of disparate situations arises from a sense that labelling, whether through self-identification or the identification of others, is itself an act of high drama.”
Above: Adam Brody (left) and Adriano Giannini in “The Cosmopolitans.” Photograph courtesy Amazon Video
“To know what we’re getting into, we need information that keeps up with the constantly shifting realities across the most dangerous areas of Syria and Iraq. We need people like James Foley, and now that he’s gone his value seems incalculable.”—George Packeron James Foley.
As Burger King pursues a global market, will Tim Hortons lose its Canadian image? Vauhini Varaconsiders:
"The Canadian image hasn’t done much to help Tim Hortons win over customers in the U.S. And one imagines that it would be even less likely to translate in farther-flung countries whose residents know—and care—little about Canadian culture."
“I was once a linebacker-sized eighteen-year-old, too. What I knew then, what black people have been required to know, is that there are few things more dangerous than the perception that one is a danger.”—Jelani Cobbon Ferguson.
Bill Barolimagines a humorous statement from the subject of the recent monkey-selfie controversy:
“Monkey advised by counsel not to comment while issue being adjudicated, but now that ruling has been issued Monkey grateful to be able to speak out for first time, and perhaps provide valuable context.”
Lena Dunhamwrites about her childhood anxieties, and growing up in therapy:
“I have only the vaguest memory of a life before fear. Every morning when I wake up, there is one blissful second before I look around the room and remember my many terrors. I wonder if this is what it will always be like, forever, and I try to remember moments I felt safe: In bed next to my mother one Sunday morning. Playing with my friend Isabel’s puppy. Getting picked up from a sleepover just before bedtime.”
Over the past month, we’ve been sharing collections of classic stories from the archive. This week, we turn to comedy. Read Julia Hecht’s story about her friendship with the experimental comedian Andy Kaufman, Zoe Heller’s Profile of the legendary comedian Don Rickles, and more.
Ferguson is sixty-seven per cent black, but fifty of its fifty-three police officers are white. In Comment, Jelani Cobbreflects on disenfranchisement, disillusionment, and the protests following Michael Brown’s death.
“This woman, who has never held a job for any time, doesn’t get up in the mornings, is routinely three or four hours late to appointments, who walks out of studios because she doesn’t feel like singing that day, and has a knack for both tantrum and wonder, achieves a childlike intensity of emotion in her songs because on some level she isn’t, even at the age of forty-seven, quite an adult. And I am probably not the only one who isn’t in a hurry to see her to grow up.”—From the archive, Bill Buford’s Profile of the singer Lucinda Williams.