The Magazine
March 15, 2021
“Captive Audience,” by Tom Gauld.
Reporting
The Political Scene
What Is Happening to the Republicans?
In becoming the party of Trump, the G.O.P. confronts the kind of existential crisis that has destroyed American parties in the past.
By Jelani Cobb
Dept. of Business
What Happens When Investment Firms Acquire Trailer Parks
The financial industry’s pursuit of profits from mobile-home communities is undermining one of the country’s largest sources of affordable housing.
By Sheelah Kolhatkar
Letter from Malibu
A Shooter in the Hills
Who was behind the mysterious attacks in the California wilderness?
By Dana Goodyear
A Reporter at Large
The Rise of Made-in-China Diplomacy
While political leaders trade threats, the pandemic has made Americans even more reliant on China’s manufacturers.
By Peter Hessler
More Reporting
The Critics
Pop Music
Genre Is Disappearing. What Comes Next?
As record stores close and streaming algorithms dominate, the identities that music fandom supplies are in flux.
By Amanda Petrusich
A Critic at Large
How Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Sex and Survival
The parasites, hybrids, and vampires of her science fiction make the price of persisting viscerally real.
By Julian Lucas
Books
Briefly Noted
“The Three Mothers,” “America and Iran,” “Infinite Country,” and “Wild Swims.”
Books
How Much of Your Stuff Belongs to Big Tech?
In the digital era, the old rule book on ownership doesn’t work anymore. But beware of what’s replacing it.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
The Art World
The X-ed Out World of KAWS
Using cartoons such as “The Simpsons” or characters of his own devising, the artist KAWS makes work that sails beyond kitsch into a wild blue yonder of self-cannibalizing motifs.
By Peter Schjeldahl
On Television
Queen Latifah Obliterates Trumps n’ Musks in “The Equalizer”
The CBS crime procedural is a gimme for an audience who’d die to have this therapeutic queen dismantle racial capitalism in one fell girl-boss swoop.
By Doreen St. Félix
More Criticism
The Talk of the Town
Nick Paumgarten on a year of COVID lessons; new beginnings; assembling a first draft of lockdown history; reopening cinemas; if this were the Second World War.
Comment
New York’s Year of COVID
There is plenty to be anxious about as people emerge from their pandemic confinement. But here in the city there are green shoots.
By Nick Paumgarten
Checking In
As Told To: An Unhoused High Schooler’s New Nest
A year ago, fifteen-year-old Camilo was living in a shelter without Wi-Fi. He catches us up on his year in quarantine, his rescued pet pigeons, and his search for home and friends.
By Zach Helfand
As It Happens Dept.
The Race to Collect COVID Ephemera Before It’s History
The New-York Historical Society has spent the pandemic year scrounging for tomorrow’s museum artifacts, including homemade masks, store-closure signs, and a street artist’s portrait of Dr. Fauci as Mr. Spock.
By Sarah Larson
Intermission Dept.
A Movie Theatre Returns from the Longest Intermission Ever
Three hundred and fifty-one days after the closing credits of “Sonic the Hedgehog,” employees at a Queens multiplex prepare for reopening and get to popping thirty-five pounds of popcorn.
By Adam Iscoe
Rearview Mirror
A Year After Pearl Harbor, a Year into COVID
They rationed sugar; we hoarded toilet paper. In December of 1942, in a time different and not so different from today, Americans took stock of sacrifice, grief, duty, and irretrievably ripped stockings.
By Bruce Handy
More Talk of the Town
Shouts & Murmurs
Shouts & Murmurs
Enter the McDonald’s McPlant: The Tragedy of Macmuffin
Bubble, bubble, rat hair and stubble!
By Jay Martel
More Shouts & Murmurs
Cartoons
Fiction
Fiction
“The Shape of a Teardrop”
“What I really wanted to sue them for was giving birth to me in the first place.”
By T. Coraghessan Boyle
More Fiction
Puzzles & Games Dept.
Crossword
The Crossword: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
A moderately challenging puzzle.
By Aimee Lucido
Poems
Poems
“How to Apologize”
“Cook a large fish.”
By Ellen Bass
Poems
“Remembering a City and a Sickness”
“Where do they, / did they, / go, / the zapped rats, I mean.”
By Christian Wiman
More Poetry
Goings On About Town
Classical Music
“Musical Storefronts” Brings Live Music Back to the City
In the Kaufman Music Center’s series, through the end of April, vacant retail spaces on the Upper West Side become stages for local musicians.
Tables for Two
Fany Gerson’s Craveable Doughnuts and Mexican Brunch
At her new shop, Fan-Fan Doughnuts, in Bed-Stuy, the chef offers pastries that practically quiver with joy; at El Newyorkino, in Red Hook, it’s huevos divorciados and challah French toast with cajeta.
By Hannah Goldfield
More Goings On About Town
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