Those words are part of Marcel Proust’s famous description his encounter with a madeleine cookie from Remembrance of Things Past and crystallize his notion of ‘involuntary memory,’ a concept that made it all the way from his literature into the canon of modern psychology.
For the first time in weeks, my bike ride to work through Court Square didn’t take me past a row of satellite trucks. The Huguely trial is over and the verdict is in. In this week’s issue, J. Tobias Beard takes a crack at answering the question he set out to explore when he began his coverage: Why did we watch this particular tragedy so closely, when there are so many others playing out around us right now?
Is it Opposite Day? One entry in the Belmont Bridge Design Competition [“Bridge Builders,” February 14] took all the top awards. But, it designed no bridge. Here’s why.
The Belmont Bridge was falling down. We needed a solution.
I’m still relatively new to town. Most of the week I sit at a computer, like a carp sifting passively through a river of news and information, so I need weekends like this last one to remind me why I came here in the first place.
There’s a big trial happening up the street, a so-called media event, but life is still going on all around us. It makes you stop and think a little bit about what the news is. Should we write stories because we know people will read them or because they won’t ever get read unless we write them?
We were standing in the Boston Common by the Park Street subway stop on a Saturday, and my friend, an old hippie, looked out at the green hill sloping up towards the State House and said, “I remember when you’d look up there and see people getting it on under blankets.”
Brendan Fitzgerald’s article “Does anyone trust science anymore?” January 24, melds half-truths, undefined terminology, and under-critical reporting. The initial quote of Michael Mann, “hopefully every scientist…is a skeptic,” was hopeful. The next sentence has Mann revealing his own muddled bias as he elevates consensus to scientific fact, and then re-labels skepticism as denial.
Not too long ago, I was sitting at a dinner table with a friend of my mother’s on her 60th birthday when she announced that she planned to live to 120. Turning 60, she said, was kind of like turning 40 used to be.
As a 21-year-old in 1963, Dylan sang “The Times They Are a A-Changin’” with Baez from the podium during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and later in that same year, receiving a civil rights award from the ACLU a month after Kennedy was assassinated, he thumbed his nose at the progressive establishment.
We are all acting out roles we’ve inherited, and we are all evaluated by an audience that understands us incompletely–– that’s the message Shakespeare taunts us with…
Last week we took a bit of a beating for running an issue about the future and featuring a number of young people, all of whom happened to be white. A couple of indignant readers pointed out that painting an all-white future of this city amounts to racism, and they demanded a response from the editor.
On the shortest day of the year, cultures in northern latitudes from Japan to Finland celebrate the return of light. It makes sense to recognize a thing so elemental in its absence, another paradox of human perception. Like you can’t have your cake and eat it too…
Americans put a huge emphasis on sports. When I was 11, I missed a free throw to lose the Police Boys Club city championship game in Washington D.C. and cried my eyes out in front of 1,500 or so people.
I knew a political operative in Chicago, since moved on to D.C., who used to get upset by the way people misunderstood and then misused O’Neill’s analect. For this guy, the advice wasn’t a warning to limit the scope of campaign messages, it was a simple reminder that to win elections, you have to start with a base at home and build out from there.
When I was a kid growing up in D.C. in the mid-80s, there were bumper stickers around that read, “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun.” If you’ve spent any time in Northern Virginia over the past two decades, you’ll understand the futility of the position.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to say thanks. No, really. Because with the planes, trains, and automobiles on Wednesday, the turkey and football on Thursday, and the dawn frenzy of Black Friday, it may be hard to get a quiet minute, much less make the connection that we are celebrating the bounty of the American continent.
Since the Pew Research Center began unveiling a series of studies on income disparities in the U.S., I’ve been reading about the death of the American Dream.
I’ve been watching the Occupy movement with great interest. The bootstraps activism of the ‘60s is something I’ve always romanticized, on the one hand, and been haunted by, because I missed it.
This week’s feature is about Vaughan Wilson, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, our war in Afghanistan, which is 10 years old this month. It’s also about the fact that a decade of war has created a generation of men and women directly affected by its costs and that, as a country, we’re really only just beginning to learn what that means.
Food is the most direct connection between necessity and art in culture. Whether you are an Oglala who prizes a salted slice of raw kidney from a fresh kill, a Basque with a taste for reconstituted salt cod in pil pil sauce, or a Virginian with specific thoughts about Surry County ham, our cuisines show how we adapt and ultimately exalt the foods that keep us alive, and in the process create a shared identity.
I’ve led a pretty nomadic existence since my college graduation in 1997. In just under 15 years I’ve lived in 10 places––spending three months at the shortest stop, Eugene, and four years in the most permanent, Boston, where I still managed to bunk down in five different neighborhoods.
Before I moved to Charlottesville, I already had a picture in my mind of the perfect place to live. It was a university town with a balance between culture and country.
I spent two years teaching high school English on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the way I look at the world will never be the same