We’ve Got to Be Artists of Some Kind

by Jen Paton Chimamanda Adichie has a talk called “the danger of the single story.” She says, the “single story [that] creates stereotypes…that are not untrue…but incomplete.” Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture I watched three stories about American women this weekend: Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010), the Diablo Cody written Charlize Theron “comedy” Young Adult (2011),…

Ways to Be American Abroad: A Working Guide

Every Sunday morning, over the simulacra of breakfast burritos, we have brunch. Sometimes, talk turns to language skills, our relative proficiencies in Russian. This one guy knows Arabic, used to live in Cairo. “How did you learn Arabic?” someone asks him. “How” was the question, not “why,” nonetheless: “I think for the same reason everyone in our generation wanted to,” this guy of my generation says, trying to catch my eye. I’m not having any of this answer, I already know. “After 9/11, I think…everyone just wondered how the hell this happened.” No, no. I don’t speak Arabic, we’re not even in an Arabic speaking country right now, but I’m still, like, NO.

Symptoms

by Jen Paton Some travelers to Paris, mostly the Japanese, are supposed to suffer psychologically when the real City of Light does not match up to the imagined one. The disease is called Paris Syndrome: “fragile travelers can lose their bearings. When the idea they have of the country meets the reality of what they…

Borradores

“The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.” – WikiLeaks’ Twitter Feed, November 22nd Julian Assange may be some new kind of journalist, but he is without a doubt some new kind of historian, too. He and his organization often frame their mission in terms of redefining history, as above,…