Sunday 7.3.2016 New York Times Digest

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1. Oh, Say, Can You See (but Not Hear) Those Fireworks?

“Pet shelters also claim to take in the most runaway dogs each year on July 5.”

2. ‘Brexit’ Bats Aside Younger Generation’s European Identity

“For them, it is perfectly normal to grow up in one country, study in another, work in a third, share a flat with people who have different passports and partner up without regard to nationality.”

3. Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone

“He seems to be somebody who is at home with himself.”

4. Pillars of Black Media, Once Vibrant, Now Fighting for Survival

“Black ownership is dying.”

5. Military Is Asked to March to a Less Expensive Tune

“The Pentagon fields more than 130 military bands worldwide, made up of about 6,500 musicians, and not just in traditional brass and drum corps like the kind that will march in many Fourth of July parades on Monday. There are also military rock acts with artsy names, conservatory-trained military jazz ensembles, military bluegrass pickers, even a military calypso band based in the Virgin Islands. All of this cost about $437 million last year — almost three times the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.”

6. American Dreams

“I have always been intrigued by the concept of the American dream, of a set of aspirations supposedly shared by and accessible to the diverse citizens of a complex and unequal country.”

7. Star Wars and the Fantasy of American Violence

“The literary historian Richard Slotkin called this story ‘the myth of regeneration through violence,’ and he traces it from the earliest Indian captivity narratives through the golden age of the western, and it’s the same story we often tell ourselves today. It’s a story about how violence makes us American. It’s a story about how violence makes us good.”

8. The Myth of Cosmopolitanism

“Our tribe of self-styled cosmopolitans doesn’t see itself clearly as a tribe.”

9. Dolly Parton Is Proud of Her Gay Fans and Hillary Clinton

“I still use my little tape recorder, and I still write longhand. I can’t think unless I’ve got a pen or a pencil in my hand, with a big old yellow legal pad. I think my writing is as good as it ever was. In some ways, I think it’s better because I’ve lived longer and I’ve experienced more stuff.”

10. Viggo Mortensen Goes Off the Grid With Captain Fantastic

“He is famously picky about roles and makes only a movie or so a year without worrying too much about whether it makes any money. The rest of the time, he paints; takes photographs; writes poetry and music; and runs a small eclectic publishing house, Perceval Press, where he personally edits, proofreads and supervises the printing of all the books.”

11. Maxwell Is on His Own Timetable

“He retreated for a second time, filling his days with ‘a lot of Netflix, listening to music, traveling, days on the beach.’”

12. Working With Bill Cunningham

“George Clooney and Julia Roberts were co-hosting the Met Gala one year. He didn’t know who they were. He didn’t go to the movies or have a TV. Bill didn’t care about celebrities.”

13. ‘Child, I Trust You’: On Deadline With Bill Cunningham

“Bill embraced fashion’s eccentrics and didn’t care about celebrities. (He refused to say Kanye West’s name in the most recent Met Gala video, referring to him as ‘one man.’) Though it was a photo of Greta Garbo that earned him his first half-page spread of pictures in 1978, the only reason he had photographed her was because he loved how her coat fell on her shoulder.”

14. The Good, the True, the Beautiful and Chuck Klosterman

“The premise of this book can be succinctly stated: Most of what we believe is likely to be wrong.”

15. In America’s Long History of Slavery, New England Shares the Guilt

“The behavior of New England settlers differed less from that of their contemporaries who established plantation colonies in the Chesapeake and the Caribbean than might be assumed.”

16. Donald Trump Versus the ‘Haters’

“Trump’s usage of ‘hater’ has the distinctive flavor of hip-hop parlance, in which it’s not enough to simply note the presence of a hater: He must be condemned, then dismissed.”

17. How ‘Advantage Players’ Game the Casinos

“Many casino executives despise gamblers like Grosjean. They accuse him of cheating. Yet what he does is entirely legal.”

18. The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes

“No governing body has so tenaciously tried to determine who counts as a woman for the purpose of sports as the I.A.A.F. and the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.). Those two influential organizations have spent a half-century vigorously policing gender boundaries. Their rationale for decades was to catch male athletes masquerading as women, though they never once discovered an impostor. Instead, the athletes snagged in those efforts have been intersex women — scores of them.”

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