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political

A Taxonomy of Mask Cheats

The face mask, that simple piece of cloth, has become fraught territory. Over the summer, Americans began reading the use or absence of a mask as a political statement, a commentary on individual freedom, an invitation to a fight. Our president and his cadre were agonizingly slow to wear them, often casting the mask as a sign of weakness. Their bare faces have come to symbolize the administration’s negligence and denial.

How He Changed over Time

He used to play the violin, but then, as his fingers thickened and lost some of their agility, he became frustrated by trying to play, and then bored by it. 

Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century

Citizenship is not inherently political, and yet it is impossible to escape its politicization. In this century, citizenship—the status, the idea, the very word itself—has been politicized to extremes, commodified and weaponized in unprecedented ways. It has become a third rail of conversations and campaigns. And to the degree that it is wrapped up with notions of patriotism, it is often used as a litmus test for legitimacy. All of which is to say that citizenship—its privileges, its responsibilities, even its attainability—is a topic whose complexities can disappear against a vitriolic backdrop.

The 2020

We were passengers forced to jump into the water when our ship, the 2020, after years of creaking, cracked in half and sank down into the darkness. The ship was long thought to be beautiful. For it gleamed in the sunlight. And it gleamed in the moonlight. It throbbed like a beacon, could be seen across great distances. And since it was like a beacon it was taken for a beacon. 

National Interests

On July 30, 2020, we invited Anuradha Bhagwati, Jamelle Bouie, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jason Stanley to discuss our current state of affairs and a few of the larger political themes that animate them.

State

your name for purposes of identification

how can I when it’s failed

better a border made of water

harder to cross

each seed is different

like each tongue

how many heads

was the right question to ask