Sunday 1.6.2019 New York Times Digest

1. The Genius of Insomnia

“Lean in to insomnia and you can discern the varied granular textures of the dark. Tune in and your ears can feast on a strange nocturnal orchestration: animal, atmospheric, hydraulic, electric.”

2. The Plot to Pump in Prison

“The United States has one of the lowest breast-feeding rates of any industrialized nation. One reason is that, unlike every other developed country, the government doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. Once back at work, many women find that their employers make it virtually impossible to pump.”

3. Distillers Dream of a ‘Napa-fication’ of Kentucky

“Americans aren’t just buying more whiskey, and paying more for each bottle. They’re buying into an entire ‘bourbon experience,’ from whiskey-themed boutique hotels in downtown Louisville to trendy restaurants with ‘curated’ whiskey lists to fleets of tour buses carting bachelorette parties and corporate retreats from distillery to distillery.”

4. Who’s Really Getting Ripped Off by $35 Sage?

“Cultural appropriation, it’s big business.”

5. Must Writers Be Moral? Their Contracts May Require It

“This past year, regular contributors to Condé Nast magazines started spotting a new paragraph in their yearly contracts. It’s a doozy. If, in the company’s ‘sole judgment,’ the clause states, the writer ‘becomes the subject of public disrepute, contempt, complaints or scandals,’ Condé Nast can terminate the agreement. In other words, a writer need not have done anything wrong; she need only become scandalous. In the age of the Twitter mob, that could mean simply writing or saying something that offends some group of strident tweeters.”

6. Middle-Class Shame Will Decide Where America Is Headed

“What I have called the ‘middle precariat’ vote — or what could be called the anxiety vote — gave us this president, and now it has also given us a Democratic House. It is a powerful force.”

7. A Psychotherapist’s Plea to Louis C.K.

“Speaking to your real experience is the only way for your true feelings to emerge.”

8. Hollywood’s Obsession With Cartels

“The cartel operative — be he a kingpin or a hit man or a small-time drug dealer — has become the dominant image of Latino people in American television and cinema. He’s of course also the dominant image of Latino people in the discourse of the president of the United States.”

9. How the Dispute Over Runaway Slaves Helped Fuel the Civil War

“Pro-slavery Southerners insisted that the federal government was obliged to capture slaves who had escaped to free states and return them to their masters, and thus vindicate the masters’ absolute property rights in humans. Antislavery Northerners, denying that obligation and those supposed rights, saw the fugitives as heroic refugees from bondage, and resisted federal interference fiercely and sometimes violently.”

10. A Book That Will Make You Terrified of Your Own House

“We spend upward of 90 percent of our time indoors. Luckily, most of our co-habitators are either benign or actually beneficial in some way, like the house spiders that keep down indoor populations of flies or mosquitoes that can carry disease. But because we’ve become so hyper about making our surroundings as pristine as possible — sealing off our homes from the outdoors and using pesticides and antimicrobials with a vengeance — we’ve tipped the scales away from those harmless or helpful bugs, in favor of some of the bad guys.”

11. One of America’s Most Vital Exports, Education, Never Goes Abroad, but It Still Faces Threats

“Over the past decade, the explosion in the number of international students has turned education, almost by stealth, into one of the most vital American exports. The idea that a student taking classes in Iowa City or Ann Arbor can be counted as an export might seem strange. In economic terms, however, the student’s situation is not so different from, say, a Japanese company buying American soybeans: Foreign money flows into the United States from abroad — except that in this case, the product doesn’t leave the country.”

Comments are closed.