My Friend Mister Rogers

Tom Junod remembers his friendship with Fred Rogers 16 years after Fred’s death and considers how Fred would have responded in today’s world, filled with regular mass violence and a growing lack of civility in political discourse and protest.

Author: Tom Junod
Source: The Atlantic
Published: Nov 7, 2019
Length: 28 minutes (7,113 words)

Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore

From algorithms that set work schedules to the whims of the gig economy, too many workers are deprived of free time that overlaps with friends’ and family’s, and America’s social fabric is fraying. “A calendar is more than the organization of days and months,” Judith Shulevitz writes. “It’s the blueprint for a shared life.”

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Oct 10, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,338 words)

The End of Silence

Noise is never just about sound; it is inseparable from issues of power and powerlessness. It is a violation we can’t control and to which, because of our anatomy, we cannot close ourselves off. “We have all thought of killing our neighbors at some point,” a soft-spoken scientist researching noise abatement told me.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Oct 10, 2019
Length: 35 minutes (8,800 words)

My Family Story of Love, the Mob, and Government Surveillance

In this excerpt from his book, In Hoffa’s Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth, John Goldsmith considers the private costs of the invasive surveillance tactics the US government uses against its own citizens. “It wasn’t just the chilling effect on Chuckie’s freedom of thought, belief, and speech—an effect that stretched back decades, to the 1950s, when he first began to suspect that he was under surveillance. It was also, more painfully, the violence against his intimate spaces and relationships, and the annihilation of the stories he told himself and the world about these spaces and relationships, and thus of his power to define and shape his life.”

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Oct 7, 2019
Length: 21 minutes (5,424 words)

Why Some People Become Lifelong Readers

Studies show a link between reading and a child’s home environment, but personality, class, and role models all play a complex role, as well as certain factors outside parents’ control.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Sep 19, 2019
Length: 5 minutes (1,471 words)

What I Wish I’d Known About Sexual Assault in the Military

Sandra Sidi recalls the rampant sexual assault and harassment she and other female colleagues experienced when she worked as a civilian public affairs analyst for the military in Iraq in 2007.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Sep 9, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,650 words)

The Quickening

A memoir of giving birth after years with an eating disorder.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Aug 21, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,711 words)

The Uncounted Dead of Duterte’s Drug War

A report from the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism examines the large numbers of deaths that have gone uncounted in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war — deaths of citizens who were targeted for assassination and denied due process.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Aug 19, 2019
Length: 15 minutes (3,855 words)

The Quiet Cruelty of When Harry Met Sally

Memorable and funny as the movie is, this beloved rom-com gave us the horrible, corrosive idea of high- versus low-maintenance women.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jul 19, 2019
Length: 6 minutes (1,685 words)

An Epidemic of Disbelief

““This heffer is trippin… She was clean and smellin good, ain’t no way that shit happened like she said.” Defense witness trying to discredit a rape victim? No, a detective’s notes on a 14-year-old sexual assault victim.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jul 15, 2019
Length: 31 minutes (7,862 words)