All posts tagged: best time

The Books Briefing: Justin Torres, ‘Blackouts’

The Books Briefing: Justin Torres, ‘Blackouts’

This is an edition of the revamped Books Briefing, our editors’ weekly guide to the best in books. Sign up for it here. The National Book Awards, a glitzy affair otherwise known as the Oscars for book nerds, took place on Wednesday night. One overwhelming motif pulsed through nearly all of the winning books: the will of marginalized people to have their suppressed stories heard and acknowledged. The winner in the nonfiction category was Ned Blackhawk’s The Rediscovery of America, a radical retelling of history from a Native American perspective. Craig Santos Perez, an Indigenous Chamorro writer from Guam, won the poetry prize for his collection from unincorporated territory [åmot]. At the end of his acceptance speech, he read a poem, “The Pacific Written Tradition,” about wanting young Indigenous people from his island to understand all the ways their history had actually been preserved despite not being taught in school: “Our ancestors tattooed their skin with defiant / scripts of intricately inked genealogy, stories / of plumage and pain.” The translated-literature prize went to Stênio …

The Future of Mental-Health Drugs Is Trip-Free Psychedelics

The Future of Mental-Health Drugs Is Trip-Free Psychedelics

One of my chronically depressed patients recently found a psychoactive drug that works for him after decades of searching. He took some psilocybin from a friend and experienced what he deemed a miraculous improvement in his mood. “It was like taking off a dark pair of sunglasses,” he told me in a therapy session. “Everything suddenly seemed brighter.” The trip, he said, gave him new insight into his troubled relationships with his grown children and even made him feel connected to strangers. I don’t doubt my patient’s improvement—his anxiety, world-weariness, and self-doubt seemed to have evaporated within hours of taking psilocybin, an effect that has continued for at least three months. But I’m not convinced that his brief, oceanic experience was the source of the magic. In fact, some neuroscientists now believe that the transcendent, reality-warping trip is just a side effect of psychedelics—one that isn’t sufficient or even necessary to produce the mental-health benefits the drugs seem to provide. For several years, researchers have understood that the hallucinatory effects of psychedelics can, in theory, …

It’s the Best Time in History to Have a Migraine

It’s the Best Time in History to Have a Migraine

Here is a straightforward, clinical description of a migraine: intense throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise, lasting for hours or days. And here is a fuller, more honest picture: an intense, throbbing sense of annoyance as the pain around my eye blooms. Wondering what the trigger was this time. Popping my beloved Excedrin—a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine—and hoping it has a chance to percolate in my system before I start vomiting. There’s the drawing of the curtains, the curling up in bed, the dash to the toilet to puke my guts out. I am not a religious person, but during my worst migraines, I have whimpered at the universe, my hands jammed into the side of my skull, and begged it for relief. That probably sounds melodramatic, but listen: Migraines are miserable. They’re miserable for about 40 million Americans, most of them women, though the precise symptoms and their severity vary across sufferers. For about a quarter, myself included, the onset is sometimes preceded by an aura, a short-lived …

‘Strays’ Is a Very Silly Movie About Some Very Good Dogs

‘Strays’ Is a Very Silly Movie About Some Very Good Dogs

Early on in the raunchy talking-animals comedy Strays, a montage plays of four dogs humping inanimate lawn ornaments, guzzling beer leaking from trash bags, and bonding over a plan to bite off a man’s genitals. It’s an inartfully staged sequence, packed with sophomoric jokes and enough f-bombs to rival a Quentin Tarantino film. On the other hand: Will you look at those sweet, scruffy faces! Those little paws! Sure, their CGI-ed mouths appear a bit strange and the canines do not seem to be making direct eye contact with one another, but they each deserve belly rubs and every single treat ever. How can anyone dislike a scene in which the goodest dogs are having the best time? Indeed, halfway through my screening, I glanced at my notes and realized that I’d drawn a series of smiley faces. That’s all to say that Strays knows what it’s doing with its choice to follow a furry foursome, which saves the film from being an exercise in pure nonsense—at least for the dog-lovers in the audience. Hollywood …