All posts tagged: kinds of things

What If Your Best Friend Is Your Soulmate?

What If Your Best Friend Is Your Soulmate?

A lot of the language we use to describe the crucial phases of friendship is borrowed from romantic relationships: friend “crush,” for example, or friend “break up.” A friend can stick around longer than a spouse and be the key to your daily sanity, and still lack a satisfying title. “Best friend”? “Buddy”? “BFF”? All of those fail to convey the weightiness such a relationship deserves. And what if you do “break up” with a best friend? Where do you put your grief? What are the rituals of mourning? In her new book, The Other Significant Others, Rhaina Cohen imagines how life would be different if we centered it on friends. She explains the extremes of friendship—situations in which pairs describe each other as “soulmates” and make major life decisions in tandem. We talk with Cohen about the lost history of friendship and why she cringes when couples at the altar describe each other as their “best friend.” Listen to the conversation here: Subscribe here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Google Podcasts | …

Barbarism Is at the Heart of the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Barbarism Is at the Heart of the Israel-Hamas Conflict

There is a place for geopolitical and strategic analysis of Israel’s war with Hamas and its allies and associates—how it affects politics in the Gulf, whether it will reduce American aid to Ukraine, how Russia may exploit the situation, and so forth. But such discussion will miss an essential element of this war, a conflict that is not solely, or even primarily, about politics or desperately conceived purpose. It is about barbarism. Americans have fought barbarians in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Ukrainians have been fighting them for years, and particularly since February 24, 2022. Sometimes, as in Rwanda, we merely note them with embarrassment and eyes averted. Other times, as during the massacre at Srebrenica committed by Serbian forces, we flinch, and act belatedly and inadequately. We express pity for the dead, but often fail to fight for the living. Barbarians fight because they enjoy violence. They do not only kill and maim—the armies of civilized states do that all the time—but go out of their way to inflict pain, to torture, to rape, and …