• Essay

    Can We Still Bump n’ Grind to R. Kelly?

    To Grapple with the Immorality of Artists We May Have to Go Through Their Art

    by Erich Hatala Matthes

    Whatever else “cancel culture” might be about, when it comes to the arts, it’s about this ...

  • Poetry

    by Angela Narciso Torres

    this urge to drive somewhere—what is it?
    from a fast window, even brown grass ...

Essay

America Should Lower Its Expectations

Triumphalism Has Made Us Reckless. Can Making Peace With Our Shortcomings Save Us?

by Randolph Lewis

I get how hard it is to admit defeat, to lower expectations. Even when things are breaking down in every part of the national machine, from public health to education to foreign policy to law enforcement, it’s hard to let go of the easy triumphalism that has characterized so much of American life.
 Triumphalism is a domineering mentality that took off when the U.S. became a superpower in the mid-20th century. A byproduct of the old American exceptionalism—the belief that the U.S. is unique and even divinely blessed to lead humanity to a brighter future—triumphalism promises that the U.S. will always magically prevail: bloodied and dazed like Rocky Balboa ...

Where I Go

Where I Go: My New York Times Crossword Construction Quest

Getting a Sunday Puzzle Fit to Print Seemed Impossible Until I Did It

by Julian Kwan

When I moved to northern New Jersey in 2012 and took a software test engineering job in midtown Manhattan, I suddenly found myself with an hour-long bus commute. I’d solved newspaper crossword puzzles sporadically for the preceding 15 years, but I had very little patience and wasn’t very good. So when I resumed my crosswording during those long trips, I was determined to become a better solver.
 There’s a perception that in order to solve challenging crosswords, you have to be some sort of master of obscure facts, like a Jeopardy! contestant. The reality, however, is that you don’t have to be a know-it-all to become good at crossword puzzles ...

  • Here

    for Padraig Regan

    by Paul Maddern

    Here is the inventory of stone I ...

  • by Matthew Ryan Shelton

    One may speak, one may not speak ...

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