This was originally published here.

I’m curious as to whether or not we’re experiencing an as-yet-undefined ‘returning home’ of the tourist-as-narrator when we look at the works of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. (Or perhaps we’re seeing the potential emergence of a narrator who is rendered a tourist in their own lives by virtue of how the economy has shown its hand over the past forty years.)

Consider: in Little Fires …, a character is challenged to stand up for their friend for the first time, a mother finds value in reporting on an…

How accurate is a NBA2K simulation in terms of what we might see in a month’s time? The video we’ve placed at the top of this text looks like basketball, but how much of it is basketball?

That question leads to other questions — questions like, “Is it … realistic that Kelly Oubre is backing down Javale McGee in the post?” “Does Dwight Howard really participate in five out that much?” “Would Howard really have trouble backing down Devon Booker?” — and it runs straight into the deep variance that exists at the heart of sports.

You can measure…

Hi, friends —

I want to put some charts and images together to urge you to either stay home this Thanksgiving or to take a lot of precautions in the run-up to Thanksgiving and beyond.

A few hasty late night thoughts at the dawn of a new political era:

1. Power analysis is complicated!

Don’t lose sight of trying to “get it right,” even amidst the often necessary urgency of the present.

Consider: Blackrock is a huge company whose investments help drive pollution. But how do you pressure Blackrock from the ground level to pursue a sensible climate investment policy? By pressuring Whitehaven Coal in Australia to refuse Blackrock’s money and Arch Goal in Wyoming and DMCI Holdings in the Phillipines, amongst several others? …

This is an edited version of a longer piece. (There’s a greater personal dimension to this story.) Eviction moratoriums have since lifted in Massachusetts since this was written. What’s been set up to help folks as the eviction moratorium lifts is insufficient and under strain. And, more broadly, as of this posting, 3,535 evictions were filed in 20 cities across the country over the last week.

Eddie Coyle’s new friends have gotten into real estate. Or, to put it more plain: there are days when it feels like Boston — if not most of the state of Massachusetts — has…

The fulsomeness of New York. Buildings rising into verdancy in Medellin. A sunset as seen from Twin Peaks in San Francisco, the sun gently filling up the bay in the distance. The suburban quiet of Rowville, Australia. Bavarian hills maintaining their exact sense of self as someone drops some silverware in the background. The hanging plants and fairy lights in Brooklyn. A city in a foreign land we won’t name looks like it’s on the verge of becoming an overgrown beach town, even with there being no known beach for miles. The surprising swallowing-you-up feeling of trees in Stockholm and…

My friend,

I know any non-physical voice in a moment like this feels like a cardboard prop, something far off and far away, but I need you to suspend that filter for a second. I need you to believe that you’re surrounded by sweat fleeing New York City cops with The Strokes. I need you to believe that the rivers and green of West Virginia are still glowing like a freshly struck bell. I need you to believe that you’re walking through a windswept section of Edinburgh, Scotland picking away at some fresh fish and chips before coming to a…

Truth, like love and sleep, resents
Approaches that are too intense.
— W.H. Auden, “New Year Letter”

Walter Benjamin spoke of an “angel of history” in his unpublished-at-the-time essay, “On The Concept Of History,” writing that —

His [that is, the angel’s face] face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got…

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