In a round-up cover story, Time Magazine recognizes various women and a few men in media and other fields who had the courage this year to speak out about the sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination they endured from men in power. Unfortunately, the magazine undermined the impact of naming the “silence-breakers” of the #MeToo moment as its Person of the Year by selecting sexual-predator-in-chief Donald Trump as runner-up.
Time reporters Michael Scherer and Zeke J. Miller spend dinner with the president and not only observe how the White House has changed under Donald Trump, but also how Donald Trump has changed since taking over the White House. (Spoilers: the White House has already had an extreme makeover where maudlin oils have replaced modern art, yet Donald Trump remains essentially the same. He gets two scoops of ice cream and you get one, natch.)
In November 1990, LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby surrounded by anguished family members as he lay dying of AIDS. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
[Not single-page] IBM and Microsoft teamed up on what was supposed to be the operating system that changed everything. It didn’t turn out that way:
“Meanwhile, Microsoft was two-timing the operating system it had co-created. In May 1990, it released Windows 3.0, the first version that was sort of decent. In terms of technical underpinnings, it remained creaky, but it gave garden-variety PCs the same sort of Mac-like pretty front end that OS/2 aspired to deliver. Consumers and businesses embraced Windows by the millions, instantly turning it from an apparent dud into a blockbuster. Every PC maker in the industry except IBM soon standardized on it.
“With Windows suddenly flourishing, Microsoft decided it didn’t have to share the future of operating systems with anyone else. It not only began to sever ties with IBM but also argued that OS/2 was, in senior vice president of systems software Steve Ballmer’s cheery words, ‘a dead end.’ The software that was originally supposed to be OS/2 3.0 morphed into Windows NT, the modernized version of Windows that both Windows XP and Windows 7 eventually descended from.”
Even back then it was apparent that fan fiction was not just an homage to the glory of the original but also a reaction to it. It was about finding the boundaries that the original couldn’t or wouldn’t break, and breaking them. Issue No. 3 of Spockanalia included a story called “Visit to a Weird Planet,” in which Kirk, Spock and Bones are transported to the set where Star Trek is being filmed and get confused with the actors who play them (Bones: “I’m a doctor, not an actor!”). Spockanalia No. 4 ran a story in which Spock has an affair with a fellow Federation officer. These were homages to Star Trek, but at the same time they were critiques: I love the show, but what if it went further? What happens if I press this big, shiny, red button that says “Do not press”?
If you want to humble an empire it makes sense to maim its cathedrals. They are symbols of its faith, and when they crumple and burn, it tells us we are not so powerful and we can’t be safe. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, planted at the base of Manhattan island with the Statue of Liberty as their sentry, and the Pentagon, a squat, concrete fort on the banks of the Potomac, are the sanctuaries of money and power that our enemies may imagine define us. But that assumes our faith rests on what we can buy and build, and that has never been America’s true God. #Sept11
The Stellar Wind confrontation was a rare moment in presidential history, an act of defiance that turned the Commander in Chief in his tracks. “You can only do that once, threaten to resign,” says Frances Fragos Townsend, who was then Bush’s counterterrorism adviser. “The second time you do it, you’re going to be told, ‘Accepted.'” That was not how it turned out for Mueller. He did it again two years later, with much the same result.
The American obsession with transformation isn’t new. In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson preached about tapping into the “infinitude of man.” In 1879, Mary Baker Eddy founded the religion of Christian Science, premised on the limitless power of faith and mind. Norman Vincent Peale was an early best-selling self-help author with The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952. But it was Werner Erhard, a lean, wolfish former salesman, who created the first modern transformation empire when he founded EST seminars in 1971. His courses were legendarily uncomfortable. He paced and cursed at his students. He had them writhe on the floor and scream out all their anxieties. He challenged participants to control their bladders so they didn’t have to leave the long sessions. (“You are not a tube,” he preened in the documentary Transformation while sipping water at the end of a seven-hour session. “You have transcended peeing.”)
If “The Pale King” isn’t a finished work, it is, at the very least, a remarkable document, by no means a stunt or an attempt to cash in on David Foster Wallace’s posthumous fame. Despite its shattered state and its unpromising subject matter, or possibly because of them, “The Pale King” represents Wallace’s finest work as a novelist.
I had a courtside seat for that game in Indianapolis, on the Princeton bench. I was a sophomore, small — too small, and slow — forward on that 1996 team. The only action I saw was the pregame layup lines. But countless times over the past 15 years, my former teammates and I have all had conversations, even with people we’ve just met, along these lines: “Oh yeah, you played basketball at Princeton? Were you in that team that beat UCLA?” “Yes.” “Man, I remember that game, I was at my frat house at Scranton going wild.” Or “I was at a sports bar in Baltimore,” or “I was in my den, screaming at the television.” People — and, believe me, not just Princeton or UCLA alums — know precisely where they were, what they were doing and what they were drinking (often alcohol) during that game.