A writer visits the home of Bryan Saunders, an artist known for his self-portraits created under the influence of a variety of drugs:
"We turn to the next one. 'Whoa,' I say. This one could not be less Xanax-like. The drawing is spindly and paranoid, and the page is patterned with real-life bullet holes. They pepper Bryan's stomach and neck. I ask Bryan how they got there and he explains that he used a gun borrowed from a friend. He propped up the page from the sketchbook and repeatedly shot it. 'I remember bouncing into the walls like a fly going bong, bong, bong,' he says. The drug that elicited this reaction was called Geodon.
"'Geodon?' I say.
"Bryan Googles it. 'It's for symptoms of schizophrenia,' he reads, 'so it's an anti-psychotic agent, I guess.'
"'Did you get it from somebody with schizophrenia?' I ask.
"'No, I got it from a doctor,' Bryan says. And this is when Bryan tells me the other way he acquires many of his drugs. He sometimes visits psychiatrists, tells them about the art project, and asks them for 'samples of some pain pill or sedative I've never tried. I say, 'Can you write me a prescription for just one so I can do my drawing?' And I take my book with me and show them my art project. And they always give me some crazy, crazy anti-psychotic pill instead.'"
PUBLISHED: Nov. 30, 2012
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2942 words)
Remembering a New York friendship. Excerpted from Manguso's new book, The Guardians: An Elegy
, out Feb. 28:
"The Thursday edition of the Riverdale Press carried a story that began An unidentified white man was struck and instantly killed by a Metro-North train last night as it pulled into the Riverdale station on West 254th Street.
"The train’s engineer told the police that the man was alone and that he jumped. The police officers pulled the body from the track and found no identification. The train’s 425 passengers were transferred to another train and delayed about twenty minutes."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 14, 2012
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2368 words)
It's a beautiful, clear night outside on deck 4. Ahead of us are the lights of another cruise ship. A few days later – when we reach Puerto Vallarta – I spot it again. It's called the Carnival Spirit. Forty-three people have vanished from Carnival cruises since 2000. Theirs is the worst record of all cruise companies. There have been 171 disappearances in total, across all cruise lines, since 2000. Rebecca is Disney's first. A few days ago, Rebecca's father emailed me: "Would like to inform you the number of people missing this year has just gone up to 17. A guy has gone missing in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival Conquest." By the time I get off this ship, the figure will have gone up to 19.
When someone vanishes from a cruise ship, one of the first things that happens to their family members is they receive a call from an Arizona man named Kendall Carver. "When you become a victim, you think you're the only person in the world," Carver told me on the phone. "Well, the Coriams found out they aren't alone. Almost every two weeks someone goes overboard."
PUBLISHED: Nov. 11, 2011
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4510 words)
Martin Woods was set apart by his modus operandi. His speciality, he explains, was his application of a "know your client", or KYC, policing strategy to identifying dirty money. "KYC is a fundamental approach to anti-money laundering, going after tax evasion or counter-terrorist financing. Who are your clients? Is the documentation right? Good, responsible banking involved always knowing your customer and it still does." When he looked at Wachovia, the first thing Woods noticed was a deficiency in KYC information.
PUBLISHED: April 3, 2011
LENGTH: 16 minutes (4224 words)
The collaboration between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Web’s notorious information anarchist, and some of the world’s most respected news organizations began at The Guardian, a nearly 200-year-old British paper. What followed was a clash of civilizations—and ambitions—as Guardian editors and their colleagues at The New York Times and other media outlets struggled to corral a whistle-blowing stampede amid growing distrust and anger. With Assange detained in the U.K., the author reveals the story behind the headlines.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 6, 2011
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7338 words)
It's developing so fast, we forget how new it all is. It's totally understandable that those of us with at least one leg in traditional media should be impatient to understand the business model that will enable us magically to transform ourselves into digital businesses and continue to earn the revenues we enjoyed before the invention of the web, never mind the bewildering disruption of web 2.0.
PUBLISHED: Nov. 19, 2010
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5782 words)
Excerpt: Simon Garfield looks at the history of typefaces, the obsessive care taken over their design – and the role they play in shaping our lives
PUBLISHED: Oct. 17, 2010
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4869 words)
America's nastiest rappers in shocking revelation – they've been evangelical Christians all along
PUBLISHED: Oct. 9, 2010
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3141 words)
Don DeLillo, in a rare interview, talks about living the American dream, growing old and how an art installation inspired his latest novel, Point Omega
PUBLISHED: Aug. 8, 2010
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2945 words)