Sabrina Rubin Erdely: School of Hate. Rolling Stone, Feb. 2012.
Against this supercharged backdrop, the Anoka-Hennepin school district finds itself in the spotlight not only for the sheer number of suicides but because it is accused of having contributed to the death toll by cultivating an extreme anti-gay climate. “LGBTQ students don’t feel safe at school,” says Anoka Middle School for the Arts teacher Jefferson Fietek, using the acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning. “They’re made to feel ashamed of who they are. They’re bullied. And there’s no one to stand up for them, because teachers are afraid of being fired.”
Charles Graeber: Inside the Mansion—and Mind— of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on the Net. WIRED, Oct. 2012.
Kim has surrounded himself with luxury, but what he prizes above all other indulgences is pure, deep sleep. He simply doesn’t always like to get up in the morning, and he doesn’t always like going to bed at night, and—here’s the kicker—he doesn’t have to. The sun is up or down—who cares? The clock is numbers in a circle, duodecimal nonsense. It is a guilt machine, a metronome for the normal lives of normal people. But it is always dark somewhere. And it is always night in the Dotcom Mansion. Great black curtains shut out the light, thick stone walls block the sound. The $103,000 horsehair Hästens bed is waiting. In his sleeping chamber there are no electronic things, no humming or beeping devices, no leaking of LED, no sigh of capacitor or fan. For sleep of the finest quality, for epicurean, luxury slumber, total silence is required and enforced.
Michael Wolff: A Life Worth Ending. New York, May 2012.
The traditional exits, of a sudden heart attack, of dying in one’s sleep, of unreasonably dropping dead in the street, of even a terminal illness, are now exotic ways of going. The longer you live the longer it will take to die. The better you have lived the worse you may die. The healthier you are—through careful diet, diligent exercise, and attentive medical scrutiny—the harder it is to die. Part of the advance in life expectancy is that we have technologically inhibited the ultimate event. We have fought natural causes to almost a draw. If you eliminate smokers, drinkers, other substance abusers, the obese, and the fatally ill, you are left with a rapidly growing demographic segment peculiarly resistant to death’s appointment—though far, far, far from healthy.
Chris Jones: The Big Book. Esquire, April 2012.
Caro has spent vast stretches of his life poring over documents, mostly at the Johnson Library in Austin — it alone contains forty-five million pages, held in red and gray boxes, many of which he is the only visitor ever to have opened, rows and rows of boxes stretched across four floors — and interviewing hundreds of subjects. Some have stopped talking to him; he lost Lady Bird Johnson’s ear after the first book. Some have refused to talk to him altogether; Bill Moyers, the journalist and Johnson’s former press secretary, has steadfastly said no for thirty-eight years. (Awkwardly, Moyers also has an office in the Fisk Building. Moyers did not respond to requests for an interview for this story, either.)
Ezekiel J. Emanuel: Why I Hope to Die at 75. The Atlantic, Sept. 2014.
But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.
A.O. Scott: The Death of Adulthood in American Culture. The NYT Magazine, Sept. 2014.
In suggesting that patriarchy is dead, I am not claiming that sexism is finished, that men are obsolete or that the triumph of feminism is at hand. I may be a middle-aged white man, but I’m not an idiot. In the world of politics, work and family, misogyny is a stubborn fact of life. But in the universe of thoughts and words, there is more conviction and intelligence in the critique of male privilege than in its defense, which tends to be panicky and halfhearted when it is not obtuse and obnoxious. The supremacy of men can no longer be taken as a reflection of natural order or settled custom.
Michael Wolff: Empire Falls. Town And Country Magazine, Sept. 2014.
Forbes now maintains a skeleton staff; in effect anyone can write for it, with little vetting or oversight or alignment with the brand. In some sense there is no Forbes brand anymore, at least no specific, coherent one. Almost anybody who writes for the magazine or website—PR people promoting something; consultants looking for clients; anybody selling anything, in fact; as well as oddball opinionists—can claim to have been endorsed by Forbes.
Dvorkin, who is rail thin and has deep-set eyes that give him something of a Crypt Keeper look, recently told an audience at an event sponsored by PandoDaily, the tech news website, that traditional journalism was dead and hostile journalists should “get over it.” Journalists, he said, “need to understand the world is changing.”