Vol. 39 Issue 5

Oct 11, 2019

From the Editors

It’s 9:44 PM. All I ate today was a bagel, lox, lox cream cheese, garlic-chive cream cheese, plain cream cheese, capers, pasta with spinach and onions, hummus, a few bites of a rotisserie chicken, a shot of vodka, two glasses of wine, and a slice of chocolate-raspberry cake. That might sound reasonable for a day’s sustenance, or maybe even a little excessive, but you have to understand: I’ve eaten all of this in the last three hours. Since 7:07 PM, to be specific.

Today, Wednesday, October 9, I celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiday in which Jews atone for the wrongs we’ve committed in the last year. As part of the process of atonement, we complete a 25-hour fast (no eating, no drinking, no indulgence), using asceticism to induce self-reflection and reckoning. For this reason, we are probably not supposed to love Yom Kippur, but it’s one of my favorite Jewish holidays. Maybe this is my attraction to the mystical strain of Judaism, with its emphasis on embodiment of spiritual practice. I derive a lot of meaning from singing in community, but perhaps more than anything (and maybe this is a bit masochistic), the physical practice of deprivation reminds me that I’m alive. I’ve fasted every year since I was twelve years old, and so by now, rather than physical hunger, what I feel more intensely is a headache that feels somewhat like a large pair of hands gently compressing my skull.

This Yom Kippur, I have reflected on atonement: on the people I’ve wronged in the last year, the ways I can right those wrongs, and the ways I can avoid them in the future. As is the intention of the custom, fasting today has forced me to remind myself that the discipline required for teshuvah is possible as long as I tell myself it is required by higher law. That discipline requires me not only to fast, but also to avoid doing anything that necessitates repentance during my fast. Last year, in a moment of mutually-reinforced crankiness about 22 hours in, I got into a fight with one of my friends about Drake’s Yom Kippur observance. This year, I tried to hold my tongue.

– GS


Within One Frame

Human closeness in Tsai Ming-Liang’s Vive L’Amour

Arts, Oct 11 2019

by Zach Barnes

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Dirty Undies

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by Isabel Guarnieri

I bought my first thong when I was 15. It was a cinnamon color with light blue polka dots, framed by …



Literary, Oct 11 2019

by Matthew Litman

All Al could talk about was how excited he was for dinner. He said his wife was cooking something special. “I …


Right & Wrong & Right on Red

A look at Frank Caprio’s courtroom reality show: Caught in Providence

Metro, Oct 11 2019

by Nick Roblee-Strauss

Judge Frank Caprio has a knack for extracting narratives for his courtroom reality show, Caught in Providence, where Providence’s traffic violations …

The Bully Buster

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by Deborah Marini

She stood amid overturned toy castles and idle trucks and talked canvassing routes, missed calls from constituents, and the newest batch …


Week in Tête-à-Têtes

News, Oct 11 2019

by Ricardo Gomez & Hal Triedman

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Shifting Gears

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News, Oct 11 2019

by Cate Turner

On September 15, nearly 50,000 United Automobile Workers (UAW) union members formed picket lines outside of General Motors factories across the …

Levin’s Legacy

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News, Oct 11 2019

by Julia Chang, Eli Hadley, Sophie Kupetz, Mayo Saji & Misty Wilson

New York City Council Member Stephen Levin B’03, is trying to push through an $11 billion jail expansion plan in New …

Science & Technology

Mosquito Trap

Everything you (wish you didn’t) need to know about Triple E

Science & Technology, Oct 11 2019

by Emma Kofman

Consider this hypothetical scenario: mosquitoes carrying an infection with a 30-percent mortality rate have taken over, and you are the only …

Game Change

A narrative of Gamergate through the lens of games

Science & Technology, Oct 11 2019

by Miles Guggenheim

In 2014, a break-up on social media exploded into an online battleground. Here, on the planes of Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, and …


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