All posts tagged: course

Sydney Sweeney’s Growing Empire – The Atlantic

Sydney Sweeney’s Growing Empire – The Atlantic

Immaculate is obsessed with Sydney Sweeney’s face. It’s not news that the camera loves the actor, who has fast become Hollywood’s newest ingenue. But Immaculate, a horror film set in a convent, is a Sweeney showcase in the smartest possible way, devoting much of its running time to her wide-eyed, trembling visage as she encounters all kinds of demonic nastiness. It’s a straightforward piece of genre silliness, an 89-minute thrill fest crammed with the requisite jump scares and creepy religious imagery. But it’s also part of a larger body of evidence that Sweeney, unlike the guileless characters she often portrays, is carefully constructing her career in ways that suit her skill set. Consider Madame Web, the comic-book movie that starred Dakota Johnson as a laconic superhero and featured Sweeney in a supporting role. The film was so noxious that it became an instant cult classic (although I stress that it’s quite bad), with Johnson herself practically reveling in its ineptitude while publicizing the movie. Sweeney got in a few of her own licks: “You might …

The Books Briefing: The Human Face of American Decline

The Books Briefing: The Human Face of American Decline

This is an edition of the Books Briefing, our editors’ weekly guide to the best in books. Sign up for it here. Alex Kotlowitz’s There Are No Children Here, published in 1991, helped define an entire genre of writing. Its immersive story of two brothers growing up in a housing project in Chicago was also the story of an American underclass contending daily with violence, drug abuse, and poverty. Kotlowitz allowed his subjects’ lives to unfold as if they were in a realist novel. He was attuned to character and narrative and the smallest, most intimate detail. In the decades since, many other authors have pursued Kotlowitz’s approach to depicting social issues from the ground up. Kotlowitz himself wrote for us this week about a new book, Benjamin Herold’s Disillusioned, which tells another largely ignored tale about the slow death of the suburbs. Once the emblem of the American dream, the resources and infrastructure of many outer-ring communities have now been depleted, leaving their newer residents—mostly Black and brown families—“with the waste and debris of …

How Uncovered Windows Became a Status Symbol

How Uncovered Windows Became a Status Symbol

Walk down the block of a wealthy neighborhood at night, and you might be surprised by how much you can see. One uncovered window might reveal the glow of a flatscreen TV across from a curved couch; through another, you might glimpse a marble kitchen island and a chandelier. Of course, some of the curtains are closed—but many are flung open, the home’s interiors exposed, like you’re peering into a showroom. Uncovered windows have quietly become a fixture of high-end homes across America. The New York Times recently referred to the “obligatory uncurtained windows” of Brooklyn Heights, a rich enclave in New York City, and The Root pointed out that this seemed common among wealthy young white people living in gentrified urban areas. On TikTok, onlookers have been baffled by the trend—and, sometimes, tempted to pry. Although this phenomenon is most visible in cities, the link between wealth and exposed windows extends across the United States. Most people do still close their shades, but Americans who earn more than $150,000 are almost twice as likely …

How winter wear has changed

How winter wear has changed

In some ways, dressing for inclement weather is harder than it used to be. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty January 20, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. In 1938, the writer Margaret Dana began an Atlantic essay by describing an everyday indignity: A man went into a large city store not long ago and bought a raincoat. He wore it that afternoon, walking several blocks through a hard storm, and arrived at his destination soaked through to the skin, raincoat and all. He was, of course, very angry, and returned at once to the store, demanding satisfaction. The store refunded his money politely … but explained just as politely that it was not actually or legally culpable—rather that the rain itself was to blame. For, the store reminded him, he had bought a showerproof coat, while the rain that afternoon …

How We Talk – The Atlantic

How We Talk – The Atlantic

Texting, calling, voice notes, group chats: Humans’ relationship to the phone is constantly evolving. Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock / The Atlantic January 6, 2024, 9:41 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. Gathering with family can be a chance to observe up close how multiple generations live their lives. One fascinating instance I’ve been thinking about lately: the way people interact with their phones. Home for the holidays, one might’ve encountered the avid texters, the old-fashioned phone talkers (those can exist across generations), the group-chat fiends, the brave (or perhaps annoying) voice-note senders. Each person’s relationship with their phone is different, of course—a murky combination of age, preference, and environment, among other things. Today’s newsletter rounds up some of our writers’ analysis on ever-evolving modes of phone communication, from those that grate on us to those that connect us. On Talking Maybe Don’t …

Taylor Swift at Harvard – The Atlantic

Taylor Swift at Harvard – The Atlantic

Last month, Harvard announced that I would be teaching a class next semester called “Taylor Swift and Her World,” an open-enrollment lecture partly about Swift’s work and career and partly about literature (poems, novels, memoirs) that overlaps with, or speaks to, that work. When the news came out, my inbox blew up with dozens of requests, from as far away as New Zealand. Reporters wanted to know whether Swift would visit the course (not expecting her to), whether her online superfans were involved (some will be), whether Harvard approved (yes, at least so far), and, above all, why a Millennial pop star deserves this kind of treatment at a world-class university. In some ways, the answer is simple. If the humanities ought to study culture, including the culture of the present day, and Taylor Swift is all over that culture, then of course we should ask why and how the Swift phenomenon came to be. That’s what a cultural historian of the future would do, looking back at how Americans embraced Swift as an artist, …

A Poem by Margaret Atwood: ‘Bored’

A Poem by Margaret Atwood: ‘Bored’

Miki Lowe Published in The Atlantic in 1994 By Margaret Atwood Illustrations by Miki Lowe December 17, 2023, 8 AM ET When the poet and novelist Margaret Atwood was a child, she spent much of each year in the forests of northern Quebec. Her father was an entomologist—he kept an insect lab up there—and the family went along with him to the freezing wilds without electricity. “Places choose you,” the adult Atwood once said when asked how she decided where to locate a story. In a sense, that was also true of her early life. Her father chose the place, or the place chose her; she certainly didn’t choose it herself. What young person does? Reading Atwood’s poem “Bored,” I imagine her in this period: a typical tween who “could hardly wait to get / the hell out of there.” She’s rolling her eyes about holding logs to saw, carrying wood, sitting in a boat. I’ll admit, I don’t really know if Atwood was writing about that time of her life. But I do know …

Trump Says He’ll Be a Dictator on Day One

Trump Says He’ll Be a Dictator on Day One

Donald Trump, the former president of the United States who tried to steal the 2020 election, says he’ll be a dictator on day one of a second term. That’s not the rhetorical excess of the mainstream press, nor is it the cynical spin of a political rival. It’s just what Trump said. During a town hall in Iowa last night, Fox News’s Sean Hannity tossed Trump what ought to have been softball question. “Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?” Hannity asked. “Except for day one,” Trump replied. David A. Graham: Trump isn’t merely unhinged This is a remarkable enough admission—practically every president abuses his power in some way, but few boast about it. What followed was even wilder. “He says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’” Trump riffed. “I said: ‘No, no, no, other than day one. We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.’” It’s not unusual for political candidates to accuse their …

The Atlantic releases How to Keep Time podcast

The Atlantic releases How to Keep Time podcast

December 4, 2023, 2:13 PM ET The Atlantic is today launching the fifth season of its popular How To podcast series with How to Keep Time, an exploration of our relationship with time and how to reclaim it. For the new season, The Atlantic’s Becca Rashid returns as co-host (and producer), now joined by Atlantic contributing writer Ian Bogost. How to Keep Time follows the show’s past seasons, which have explored such related topics as how to build a happy life (with Arthur C. Brooks), how to talk to people (with Julie Beck), and how to start over (with Olga Khazan). Over the course of six episodes, in How to Keep Time, Becca and Ian will look into fundamental questions around our relationship with time, including why we can feel like there’s never enough time in a day; what cultural myths get in the way of using time to build connections; why so many of us are compelled to record time and document our lives; and even how an understanding of theoretical physics can inform …

The Pumpkin Spice Latte Made Autumn Perfect

The Pumpkin Spice Latte Made Autumn Perfect

I drink the Pumpkin Spice Latte to commune with autumn. Not first for its taste, warmth or color, though also for those things. I order pumpkin spice to fuse my body with the leaves, the crisp air, the gentle reminders of death, and all the other trappings of fall. Twenty years ago this month, Starbucks brought this flavor to the world. In so doing, autumn was perfected. The Pumpkin Spice Latte—the PSL, to its devotees—was not, of course, the first mass-marketed seasonal coffee beverage. By 2003, Starbucks had already introduced a pair of Christmas drinks: the eggnog latte (born in 1986) and the peppermint mocha (2002). But these precedents were different in kind. Eggnog is a beverage of its own; peppermint is a normal flavoring. The PSL was something else entirely: a concoction of known elements recombined into a new seasonal essence that somehow came to seem as though it had always been around. Read: The company that tested pumpkin-spice foie-gras mashed potatoes A related set of flavors had been around for many, many decades, …