David Counter

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The Bittersweet Beauty of Adam Rippon

How much an out gay Olympian could mean to a kid now—or to a 34-year-old who’s been waiting for it his whole life.<p>I fell in love with the Olympics, particularly with figure skating, when I was eight years old. It was 1992, and from faraway Albertville, France, I was introduced to <b>Kristi Yamaguchi</b> …

Adam Rippon

Bringing luxury perks to co-living life, Ollie raises cash to expand

As rents continue to soar in America’s most desirable cities, companies like New York-based Ollie (no, not that one… the other one) are angling to transform the real-estate market with an updated version of an old model of co-living spaces.<p>Once all the rage (from the 1920s through the 1960s), …

Full text: Jeff Flake on Trump speech transcript

<i>Prepared remarks for Sen. Jeff Flake, who delivered a speech to the Senate on Jan. 17, 2018.</i><p>Mr. President, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident...” So, from our very beginnings, our …

Josef Stalin

Great Moments in 'Shithole' Literature

A 1629 manuscript containing the first-known use of the term can be found at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.<p>What more can be said about Donald Trump’s reported remark about “shithole countries”? Media outlets have by and large decided it was newsworthy enough to report without censoring, so we’ve …

Literature

Have They No Sense of Decency?

In the “shithole era,” the Republican U.S. senators who object to the president’s vulgarity have a choice to make.<p>“Have you no sense of decency?” It’s the question that the members of the Republican majority in the Congress—51 senators, 239 representatives—might bear in mind, in the “shithole” …

Republicans

Friday essay: the myth of the ancient Greek 'gay utopia'

<i>In our sexual histories series, authors explore changing sexual mores from antiquity to today.</i><p>In recent years, we have seen significant advances won …

Ancient History

10 hot LGBT movies you can watch on Netflix while it’s freezing outside

It’s cold out there in most of America right now, with record low temperatures and snowfall giving plenty of excuses for staying inside for some …

Consciousness: Where are Words?

Words, words, words. With the advent of the stream of consciousness in twentieth-century literature, it has come to seem that the self is very much a …

In Palm Springs, to Pool Hop Is to Time Travel

When you fly into Palm Springs, the geometry of pool-centric living is clearly laid out below, in the repeating grid of aquamarine rectangles, ovals and odd little squiggles. What is it about the swimming pool that grabs us by the hand and pulls us in? Nowhere is it more entwined with the history …

Trump Tests the Limits of Shame

The president attacked a senator who has emerged as a crusader against all manner of sexual misbehavior by political leaders.<p>Just after 8:00 on Tuesday morning, President Trump whipped out his phone and fired off this incendiary, insinuating tweet:<p>Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total …

Kirsten Gillibrand

The prospect of a Roy Moore victory should make your stomach churn with fear

Despite allegations of sexual abuse and hard-right views, Moore is supported by the Republican establishment – the cumulative radicalisation of the American right is fully under way<p>At what point does corporate America start disinvesting in the Republican party? Not any time soon seems to be the …

Rights & Freedoms

Hart Crane’s View From the Bridge

Hart Crane conceived of his long poem, <i>The Bridge</i>, in the winter of 1923. He was twenty-three years old and working as a copywriter for a small …

The Men Who Cost Clinton the Election

Matt Lauer, like Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin before him, is a journalist out of a job after his employer fired him for sexually harassing female colleagues. It’s good news that real penalties are now leveled on men who harass — after centuries of the costs mostly befalling the women who endure …

The Case for Not Being Born

The anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar argues that it would be better if no one had children ever again.<p>David Benatar may be the world’s most pessimistic philosopher. An “anti-natalist,” he believes that life is so bad, so painful, that human beings should stop having children for reasons of …

“Call Me by Your Name”: An Erotic Triumph

Luca Guadagnino’s latest film is emotionally acute and overwhelmingly sensual.<p>The new film by Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name,” begins in the summer of 1983, in a place so enchanted, with its bright green gardens, that it belongs in a fairy tale. The location, the opening credits tell us, is …

The Nationalist's Delusion

Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination.<p>THIRTY YEARS AGO, nearly half of Louisiana voted for a Klansman, and the media struggled to explain why.<p>It was 1990 and David Duke, the former grand …

Political Science

Exclusive: What Trump Really Told Kislyak After Comey Was Canned

During a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office, the president betrayed his intelligence community by leaking the content of a classified, and highly sensitive, Israeli intelligence operation to two high-ranking Russian envoys, Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Lavrov. This is what he told them—and the …

The Degrading Ritual of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Pre-Thanksgiving Press Briefing

The President of the United States is a bully who makes a mockery of his office, democratic institutions, and the English language. So is his press secretary. On Monday, during the last briefing before the Thanksgiving holiday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders treated the White House press pool the way a …

Donald Trump

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow

In 1987, a young real estate developer traveled to the Soviet Union. The KGB almost certainly made the trip happen.<p>It was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the …

Russia

The Odyssey and the Other

What the epic can teach about encounters with strangers abroad and at home<p>Who could have guessed that the time would be so ripe for an <i>Odyssey</i> that shrinks the vast distance between the ancient text and contemporary sensibilities? During the age when <i>The Odyssey</i> took form, near the end of the eighth …

Literature

Here are the four-star generals Donald Trump has publicly bashed

As the controversy surrounding President Trump’s condolence call to a Gold Star widow rolled into its third day, the White House continued to play defense.<p>Much of Friday’s effort was on behalf of White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, who one day earlier had criticized Rep. Frederica S. Wilson …

Donald Trump

White House Says It Is Unpatriotic to Offer Irrefutable Video Evidence That a General Lied

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a stirring defense of Donald Trump’s chief of staff, General John Kelly, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Friday that it was “unpatriotic in the extreme” to offer irrefutable video proof that a four-star general lied.<p>“It is …

John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup

Consider this nightmare scenario: a military coup. You don’t have to strain your imagination—all you have to do is watch Thursday’s White House press briefing, in which the chief of staff, John Kelly, defended President Trump’s phone call to a military widow, Myeshia Johnson. The press briefing …

Donald Trump's Impeachable Offense

The commander in chief’s calls to abridge freedoms of speech and the press represent attacks on the Constitution he swore to protect and defend.<p><b>Whereas</b> Donald J. Trump stood beneath American flags on the steps of the United States Capitol on January 20, 2017, placed his hand on a Bible, and spoke …

Donald Trump

Two Dark American Truths From Las Vegas

On the certainty of more shootings<p>Beyond the scores of people who have been killed and the hundreds who have been wounded in Las Vegas today, thousands of other people, though not visibly or directly injured, have had their lives changed forever. Children and parents. Husbands and wives. Brothers …

Guns

Rex Tillerson Must Go

“If he does remain, it will be yet another sign of the collapse of self respect among those who are now willing to serve in senior positions in government.”<p>There is nothing more to be said about the depth of Donald Trump’s ignorance or his more consequential lack of character—his selfishness, his …

North Korea

The Museum of Colonialism

The man—and the empire—that made the British Museum<p>The latest controversy to embroil the British Museum began, as it often seems to do in the early 21st century, on social media, when @britishmuseum tweeted a reply to an innocuous #AskACurator question about exhibition descriptions. “We aim to be …

Museums

Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Alternatives to Despair

Let’s talk for a moment about Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has one of his blockbuster essays in the Atlantic, on Donald Trump as the latest avatar of an enduring white supremacism. The essay is very long but I think my basic disagreement with it can be distilled by just looking at two passages. Here’s the …

Political Science

George Packer Responds to Ta-Nehisi Coates

There’s a lot to admire in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new essay. It’s one of those pieces that grabs you with its first paragraph and never lets go. The argument keeps gathering force, building on the striking imagery (“Trump cracked the glowing amulet open”) and the caustic scouring of the polemics …

Society

The First White President

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.<p><b>It is insufficient</b> <b>to state</b> the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office …

Democratic Party