Who Owns Mike Disfarmer’s Photographs?

Strangers made his small-town portraits famous in the art world. Decades later, his heirs want control of the estate.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/who-owns-mike-disfarmers-photographs
Like many of Disfarmer’s relatives, Stewart had grown up poor, on a soybean-and-rice farm. As a teen-ager, he’d worn secondhand clothes and taped up old pairs of sneakers to save money for community college. “What really got to me was the thought of other people benefitting from our family, and the thought that they didn’t care,” he said. Disfarmer’s path to posthumous fame seemed to rely on a galling irony: art collectors had celebrated his portraits of modest Arkansans without sparing a thought for his modest Arkansan heirs.

I’ve Always Suspected “Cat Person” Was Based on My Life. Now I Know It Was.


Since I first read Kristen Roupenian’s viral story, I’ve wondered: How did she know about me?

Link: https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/07/cat-person-kristen-roupenian-viral-story-about-me.html
What’s difficult about having your relationship rewritten and memorialized in the most viral short story of all time is the sensation that millions of people now know that relationship as described by a stranger. Meanwhile, I’m alone with my memories of what really happened—just like any death leaves you burdened with the responsibility of holding onto the parts of a person that only you knew.

Despite Outbreaks Among Unvaccinated, Fox News Hosts Smear Shots

Months after Rupert Murdoch got a Covid-19 dose, one of his network’s stars, Tucker Carlson, called a Biden vaccination proposal “the greatest scandal in my lifetime.”

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/11/business/media/vaccines-fox-news-hosts.html
Opposition to vaccines was once relegated to the fringes of American politics, and the rhetoric on Fox News has coincided with efforts by right-wing extremists to bash vaccination efforts.

The Scream | Mohammad Ali

It was clear that Muslim journalists could no longer be objective, impartial observers. We were moving targets in Modi’s India.

Link: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-scream-ali
The emotions I had repressed that day, and for long after, resurface three years later, in therapy. I am overwhelmed by raging helplessness and fear. I also feel shame. In choosing journalism, in abiding by its conventions of self-effacement and objectivity, I feel I have somehow betrayed my identity, my community. The space of therapy allows me, for the first time, to grieve: for myself and my people, for the hatred we now face every day in India. A sense of profound loss suffuses my senses, my heart is heavy. That night, I stay up crying. When sleep comes, it comes with nightmares. I see myself accosted, thrashed by a Hindu mob. The nightmare doesn’t end with the night. Days since then have been engulfed in a miasma of fear and grief.

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Partnership Did Not Survive Trump

The company they built is wildly successful. But her Washington wisdom didn’t hold up, and neither did their close working relationship.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/08/business/mark-zuckerberg-sheryl-sandberg-facebook.html
The indictments made it clear just how large a part Facebook had played, both in spreading misinformation about election fraud to fuel anger among the Jan. 6 protesters, and in aiding the extremist militia’s communication ahead of the riots. For months, Facebook would be a footnote to a day that challenged the heart of American democracy. And Ms. Sandberg’s words attempting to place the blame elsewhere would continue to haunt her.

“Duplex,” a Posthumous Essay by Anthony Veasna So

I needed to make portraits that were heartbreaking. I needed to be great, worthy of the Western canon, of Dad.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/07/12/duplex
If I could resurrect the hungry ghost of Diane Arbus, I would show her the duplex photos hanging on my wall, three thousand miles away from Stockton. I’d tell Diane all about the tile Dad has laid with his bare hands, the foundation he cemented in grout for our sparkling new lives, how no one in our family will touch that tile with their bare feet. How we’ll never feel that morning coldness jolting our tired bodies into waking life.

The People We’re Leaving Behind in Afghanistan

Young Afghans defied the Taliban and signed on to reconstruction efforts, only to learn that U.S. and NATO forces would be abruptly withdrawn.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-people-were-leaving-behind-in-afghanistan
“There’s little reflection on failures and America’s role in these failures,” Akbar said. “That’s frustrating to watch. We are being left with a huge mess. We are being told to deal with it mostly on our own. Of course, it’s our responsibility. It’s our country. But it’s not a mess we created on our own.”

Threats Against Election Officials Are a Threat to Democracy

“To have someone say you deserve a knife to your throat, that you should be executed, that they are going to eff up your family, shakes you,” a former city clerk said.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/threats-against-election-officials-are-a-threat-to-democracy
Since the election, Maribeth Witzel-Behl, who has served as the city clerk of Madison, Wisconsin, for fifteen years, has struggled with the decision of whether to stay in her job. “I’ve had to figure out if the stress of doing this work is worth trying to make voting accessible for all eligible voters in my community, or if I should be pursuing a career where I’m not receiving any death threats,” she told me

Kyle Rittenhouse, American Vigilante

After he killed two people in Kenosha, opportunists turned his case into a polarizing spectacle.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/07/05/kyle-rittenhouse-american-vigilante
According to a theory of social psychology called the “weapons effect,” the mere sight of a gun inspires aggression. In 1967, the psychologists Leonard Berkowitz and Anthony LePage wrote, “In essence, the gun helps pull the trigger.” Their methodology had flaws, but later studies verified their premise. In one U.K. study, people were more inclined to assault a police officer who was visibly armed with a Taser. Brad Bushman, an Ohio State researcher who served on President Barack Obama’s committee on gun violence, told me, “We’ve found that it really doesn’t matter if a good guy or a bad guy is carrying the gun—it creates the bias to interpret things in a hostile way.” Citizens who openly carry firearms “think that they are making the situation safer, but they are making it much more dangerous.”

The Rise and Fall of the Proud Boys

The far-right extremist group helped mount an insurrection. Then it began to splinter

Link: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/proud-boys-far-right-group-1183966/
Guest appearances on Rogan’s podcast were instrumental to the Proud Boys’ growth, says Juliet Jeske, a student at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism who has been following McInnes since 2016, and has watched and archived all 407 episodes of his show. On it, McInnes frequently bragged about how many new followers he’d acquired with each Rogan appearance, Jeske says. Though episodes featuring McInnes were deleted from Rogan’s catalog when his show moved to Spotify, Rogan has previously defended his decision to have McInnes on, saying, “I had him on before he was even a Proud Boy. I didn’t even know what the fuck the Proud Boys was” (this despite McInnes having referred to the Proud Boys as a “gang” on a Rogan podcast appearance). In a later interview, Rogan called McInnes “mostly fun.” (Rogan did not return a request for comment.)

The Sky Thief

How did Beebo Russell — a goofy, God-fearing baggage handler — steal a passenger plane from the Seattle-Tacoma airport and end up alone in a cockpit, with no plan to come down?

Link: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/beebo-russell-seattle-plane-theft-true-story-1187023/
Looping back toward the southern Sound, Russell broke in with an alarming request: “Hey, pilot guy,” he said. “Can this thing do a backflip, ya think?” It was just before 8:30 p.m.; the sky was turning twilight. Russell was coming up with a plan. And it didn’t involve a landing. “Think I’m gonna try to do a barrel roll,” he said, “and if that goes good, then I’ll just nose down and call it a night.”