The Dirtbag Left’s Man in Syria

A profile of Brace Belden, a Jewish 27-year-old anarchist and former punk musician from San Francisco who spent six months in Syria fighting against ISIS with Kurdish rebels.

Published: Apr 3, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,546 words)

To Save the City We Had to Drown It

Kim Stanley Robinson, the utopian sci-fi writer with an eye towards climate change, set out to write a “comedy of coping” with his latest book, New York 2140, which is set forty years after the catastrophic flooding of the city from rising sea levels.

Published: Apr 27, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,800 words)

John Hinckley Left the Mental Hospital Seven Months Ago

Can a man who tried to murder a president be rehabilitated?

Published: Mar 21, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,839 words)

Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away

It’s a muted form of pink—more sophisticated than bubblegum, more luxurious than eraser pink—and it can be found on book covers, runways, Pinterest boards, cosmetics labels, and almost any Instagram feed. It’s been around almost as long as millennial-hating has been around, and it also shows no signs of letting up.

Published: Mar 19, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,900 words)

The Forgotten Black Woman Behind Betty Boop

The comic character Betty Boop is enjoying a renaissance, with new cartoons, a new trademark red lipstick, and women’s fashions on offer. Gabrielle Bellot explores the original inspiration for Betty Boop — a black jazz singer named Baby Esther Jones — whose signature voice and scat-inspired patter inspired not only Betty’s look, but her signature phrase, “Boop-oop-a-doop.” As Bellot says, Boop was far more than just a cartoon character — quite the opposite — as the first feminist depicted in animated film.

Published: Mar 15, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,978 words)

Choose Your Own Rachel Cusk

A profile of feminist author–memoirist, novelist–Rachel Cusk, and the many contradictions contained within her, and her writing.

Published: Mar 14, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,312 words)

Pandas Will Fix Everything

How importing cute Chinese guest workers on temporary visas became a cuddly “Kumbaya” dream for New York’s rich and powerful.

Published: Mar 8, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,938 words)

My Mother’s Murder

Leah Carroll assembles the details surrounding her mother’s murder at the hands of organized crime, after her mother mysteriously disappeared in 1984, when Leah was four years old.

Published: Feb 28, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,929 words)

‘The Kids Think I’m a Shoe’

Stan Smith had a respectable, if not forgettable tennis career, but his sneakers have brought him much more success than he could have ever imagined.

Published: Feb 10, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,200 words)

Fat in Every Language

Being fat in America is nothing like being fat abroad.

Published: Feb 8, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,010 words)