• Essay

    Is the U.S. Winning Russia's War in Ukraine?

    Putin Is Losing, Ukraine Is Suffering, And It’s America’s Geopolitical Battle to Lose

    by Manlio Graziano

    The Russian war in Ukraine is a calamity—for the people suffering through it, for Ukraine, for Russia, for Europe ...

Where I Go

Where I Go: Your Doctor, My Car, Our Neighborhood

What Volunteering to Drive My Aging Neighbors Taught Me About Life and Community

by Tim Roberts

In the film industry, when a new movie flops, the studio often responds with layoffs, in part to cover the stiff losses. Thus, in spring 2015, after 39 years with Columbia Pictures—by then Sony Pictures—I found myself with lots of free time at my disposal.
  I decided to use that time in part to volunteer; I felt too work-oriented to abide being put out to pasture. While tutoring with the adult literacy program at my local branch library, a flyer for a neighborhood group called Westchester Playa Villages, later renamed Westside Pacific Villages (WPV), caught my eye. “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” and “Serving Your Community” and “Become a Friend”—the upbeat, dynamic, and thoroughly sociable tone intrigued me.
  I learned that WPV matches aging neighbors (who pay a small fee) with local volunteers who help them in a number of different ways ...

Essay

When War Comes for the Museum

I Led the Rescue of Syria’s Cultural Heritage—Here’s What We Need to Do to Protect World Treasures from Politics and Strife

by Maamoun Abdulkarim

Culture Class

You’re No Trickster, Elon Musk

The Real ‘Agent of Chaos’ Does More Than Disrupt the Status Quo

by Jackie Mansky

The term “agent of chaos” has been rattling around in the back of my brain since a billionaire announced his intention to acquire a “sporadically profitable social company,” to quote the New York Times, for $44 billion, roughly 19 percent of his net worth. Some used it in the negative, but mostly it was the fandom who murmured it, admiringly, after news of the purchase broke. Their trickster king, at it again.
  In this chaotic period, people like Elon Musk, who seemingly wield chaos like a lightning rod, have become lauded for such acts, regardless of their motivations, or plans, or if they even end up seeing them through. And this moniker, “agent of chaos,” has come to cloak them in a kind of neutrality—after all, they’re just sowing chaos for chaos’ sake. The label, I’ve noticed, not only seems to absolve them of any responsibility, but even holds up their pot-stirring as some kind of noble act ...

Inquiries