Truman Capote: The Duke In His Domain. The New Yorker, Nov. 1957.
Now, loosening his belt still more and thoughtfully massaging his midriff, he scanned the menu, which offered, in English, a wide choice of Western-style dishes, and, after reminding himself “I’ve got to lose weight,” ordered soup, beefsteak with French-fried potatoes, three supplementary vegetables, a side dish of spaghetti, rolls and butter, a bottle of sake, salad, and cheese and crackers.
Chris Heath: 18 Tigers, 17 Lions, 8 Bears, 3 Cougars, 2 Wolves, 1 Baboon, 1 Macaque, and 1 Man Dead in Ohio. GQ, March 2012.
Only once you slide up and down these slippery moral slopes can you see how much easier it is for all of these owners to believe that they are acting with kindness to animals that they love, and that their love is on some level reciprocated. Maybe something went very astray with Terry Thompson, and so of course it is now in the interests of the other owners to draw a firm line between what he did and what they do, but my hunch is that if one had visited him a few years ago, he would have expressed the same love and care and concern for his animals, and done so with conviction. The truth is that while, on a practical level, we may feel as though we can distinguish between better and worse owners, it is logically impossible to know for certain what the animals are thinking or experiencing. Every human who interacts with an animal and then makes claims about what that interaction means to the animal—in backyards or zoos or even on the plains of Africa—is making a claim neither they nor anyone else can verify.
Nicholas Cameron: Life Sentence. Maisonneuve, Sept. 2014.
Robert Kolker: What Happens When You Accuse a Major Hollywood Director of Rape? New York Magazine, Sept. 2014.
Scaachi Koul: Face of the New West. Maisonneuve, Sept. 2014.
Erica Lenti: Open Registration. Maisonneuve, Sept. 2014.
Lisa Miller: The Trans-Everything CEO. New York Magazine, Sept. 2014.
Graeme Wood: How Gangs Took Over Prisons. The Atlantic, Sept. 2014.
Walking into the SHU feels like entering a sacred space. After the clanging of doors behind you, a monastic silence reigns. The hallways radiate from the command center at the hub of the SHU snowflake, and each one has chambers on either side that sprout chambers of their own. The hallways echo with footsteps when you walk down them. There are no prison noises: no banging of tin cups, no screaming of the angry or insane. The silence is sepulchral, and even when you get to branches of the snowflake, where the inmates actually live, it seems as if everyone is in suspended animation, on one of those interstellar journeys that last multiple human lifetimes.