Appreciation

Appreciation — June 26, 2014, 8:00 am

The Twenty-Three Best Train Songs Ever Written—Maybe

From Johnny Cash to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

“Ascending the Alleghanies,” Harper’s Magazine (June 1859)

Appreciation — April 21, 2014, 1:33 pm

Vara, A Blessing

Khyentse Norbu’s love poem to Old India

Still from Vara, A Blessing © Moving Temple Pictures

Appreciation — April 16, 2014, 8:00 am

My Top 5 Metal Albums and Their Poetic Counterparts

Havoc, and spoil, and ruin be thy gain

The audience at Inferno Festival, Ohio, by Peter Beste

Appreciation — March 19, 2014, 6:11 pm

Matt Power: Headlamp a Must

“January 1998. In the windowless office shared by the Harper’s interns, I meet this hippie dude from Vermont: ponytail, spectacles of the sort favored by engineering students, lumberjack shirt.” 

Matthew Power. Courtesy SilentUK.com / GQ

Appreciation — February 14, 2014, 12:29 pm

I Told You When I Came I Was a Stranger

Leonard Cohen’s first public musical performance

Songs of Leonard Cohen

Appreciation — August 28, 2013, 7:55 am

Wong Kar-wai’s Subtle Battles

How the director of The Grandmaster captures the essence of the fight 

Tony Leung in “The Grandmaster” © The Weinstein Company

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“He had paid for much of her schooling, something he cannot help but mention, since the aftermath of any failed relationship brings an ungenerous and impossible impulse to claw back one’s misspent resources.”
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“It seems to defy reason that this anachronistic farm state — a demographic outlier, with no major cities and just 3 million people, nine out of ten of them white — should play such an outsized role in American politics.”
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“This is the strange magic of an arrangement of all the world’s knowledge in alphabetical order: any search for anything passes through things that have nothing in common with it but an initial letter.”
Artwork by Brian Dettmer. Courtesy the artist and P.P.O.W., New York City.
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“Buckingham Palace is a theater in need of renovation. There is something pathetic about a fiercely vacuumed throne room. The plants are tired. Plastic is nailed to walls and mirrors. The ballroom is set for a ghostly banquet. Everyone is whispering, for we are in a mad kind of church. A child weeps.”
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“If I really wanted to learn about the Islamic State, Hassan told me, I ought to speak to his friend Samir, a young gay soldier in the Syrian Army who’d been fighting jihadis intermittently for the past four years.”
Photograph (detail) by Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty

Amount by which the number of government jobs in the U.S. exceeds the number of manufacturing jobs:

5,129,000

The sound of mice being clicked may induce seizures in house cats.

In Turlock, California, nearly 3,500 samples of bull semen were stolen from the back of a truck.

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Two Christmas Mornings of the Great War

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Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.

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