‘I’ve Lost Everything to the Beast’

“Formed in Los Angeles by refugees fleeing US-backed violence in El Salvador, MS-13 has wreaked havoc in Central America.”

Published: Apr 14, 2021
Length: 20 minutes (5,019 words)

The Stanley Crouch I Knew

“When I was first introduced to Stanley Crouch, more than twenty years ago, I never imagined becoming friends with him. Stanley, who died last week, at seventy-four, after a long illness, was at the height of his fame: a regular on the Charlie Rose show, a consultant to Ken Burns’s documentary on jazz, a consigliere to the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for the concert series Jazz at Lincoln Center.”

Author: Adam Shatz
Published: Sep 24, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,468 words)

What Ails America

“We would like to think we have health care that incidentally involves some wealth transfer; what we actually have is wealth transfer that incidentally involves some health care.”

Published: Sep 3, 2020
Length: 18 minutes (4,700 words)

Balls Don’t Lie

On the NBA, Black Lives Matter, and “the ritual exploitation that benefits—and damns—us all.”

Published: Sep 27, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,983 words)

Broken Glass, Blood, and Anguish: Beirut After the Blast

Pediatrician Seema Jilani recounts the immediate aftermath of the Beirut explosion: “As I emerged from the car, the air was still whirring with debris. Everything was eerily silent. But it wasn’t. I just couldn’t hear anything. My ears were ringing. The street scene in front of me, almost two blocks from my apartment and walking distance from the epicenter of the blast, was a silent horror film.”

Published: Aug 18, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,757 words)

Sun Ra: ‘I’m Everything and Nothing’

‘Sun Ra says, “the darkness. Nobody made that. It just happens. Light and all that—someone made that; it’s written that they did. But nobody made the darkness. My music is about dark tradition. Dark tradition means a lot more than black tradition.” On the other, Sun Ra named himself for the sun itself, that roiling source of a light that glows and splatters and bolts out of that universal darkness.”‘

Published: Jul 23, 2020
Length: 12 minutes (3,141 words)

When Will We Care About Domestic Violence?

The pandemic has sparked a surge in reports of domestic violence, and the U.N. has called for governments to “put women’s safety first.” But that has never happened in any country, crisis or not.

Published: May 11, 2020
Length: 16 minutes (4,192 words)

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Leslie Jamison reviews “Private Lives Public Spaces,” an exhibition of home movies and photography at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. What makes the exhibit fascinating is the thread of desire that runs through it — that keen human need to document our present as it all-too-quickly turns into our past.

Published: Apr 23, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,922 words)

Since I Became Symptomatic

A month after filing for divorce, single mom Leslie Jamison contracted COVID-19. She wrote this meditation on single parenthood, loneliness, longing, and frustration while sheltering in place — and sweating out the virus — with her 2-year-old daughter.

Published: Mar 26, 2020
Length: 6 minutes (1,500 words)

A Tale of Two Churches

Two pastors—one black, one white—unite their congregations in the heart of Trump country.

Published: Nov 20, 2019
Length: 28 minutes (7,000 words)