On the Mat We’re Briefly Perfect: On Netflix’s ‘Cheer’

Junior college is two years, but Daytona is forever. Lovely art criticism from Arielle Zibrak: “In all aspects of the sport, self sacrifice is the chief tenet — and the best way, in fact, of extending one’s life beyond the limits of time.”

Published: Jan 22, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,882 words)

Dancing at Lizzo’s Wedding

“[N]o matter how wildly inventive and unconventional I know the people involved to be, there’s always some degree of this absurd clichédness to the ceremony and the beginning of the party when they make all of the speeches, and dance like everyone’s watching (because they are), and throw bouquets and underthings. It’s about tradition, after all. But then—there’s the dance party.”

Published: Sep 23, 2019
Length: 16 minutes (4,000 words)

Animal Attraction: The Ridiculous Realism of Bachelor in Paradise

To the ever-growing list of “reality TV tropes,” we can now add “confessing feelings to disinterested animals who happen to wander on-camera.”

Published: Oct 4, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,900 words)

On Being Smaller

Colin Gillis finds both joy and an unexpected sadness after losing one-third of his body weight.

Published: Jul 18, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,574 words)

Survivor Syndrome; or, Snacking While Jewish

“Milk was served proudly, whenever we could have it, as a way to celebrate life. Someone had been so close to death and seen so much of it and then survived.”

Published: Jan 18, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,891 words)

My Thoughts Are Murder

Still looking for some post-election inspiration? Try watching Heathers, and/or standing in front of a classroom. Pete Coviello pens an essay on “loving your students, hating your enemies, and Winona.”

Published: Dec 9, 2016
Length: 12 minutes (3,232 words)