On Brett Kavanaugh’s first day as justice, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a ruling written by Kavanaugh himself in 2017 when he was an appellate court judge. Kavanaugh had determined that the EPA lacked the authority under the Clean Air Act to enforce an Obama administration rule regulating hydrofluorocarbons, industrial chemicals that deplete the ozone. (And so it begins.) More
Before I got pregnant, I thought I understood how DNA works: parents pass on some combination of their DNA, which codes for various heritable traits, to their children, who pass on some combination to their children, and so on down the neat branching lines of the genealogical tree. What I didn’t know was that women can also receive DNA from their children. More
On the one hand, it’s clearly part of Anna Burns’s project in Milkman to redescribe the Troubles without using such terms as ‘the Troubles’, ‘Britain’ and ‘Ireland’, ‘Protestant’ and ‘Catholic’, ‘RUC’ and ‘IRA’. On the other, the narrator’s mad, first-principles language, with its abundance of phrases in inverted commas and sudden changes of register, is also used to describe the inner world of a young woman with no idea whom to tell, and no templates for what she might say, when she’s stalked and groomed by a powerful older man. The public-political and the personal-political aren’t easily disentangled, and there’s no reason that they should be. But the plot complicates the reader’s – and the narrator’s – sense of the way they interact. More
The primary task, I feel, is to create a piece of art that is better than the same amount of silence; I would prefer to sit silently thinking for ten minutes than to listen to certain pieces of music, and therefore feel that it is my duty as a composer to occupy the time of the listener and the musicians with something challenging, engaging and emotionally alluring. I don’t want to play them a movie with a clear exposition, obvious climax and poignant conclusion, nor do I want to drop them blind into a bat cave of aggressively perplexing musical jabs. I try to create an environment that suggests motion but that doesn’t insist on certain things being felt at certain times. Mapping the piece’s route helps me avoid the temptation of the romantic journey or the provocateur’s dungeon. More
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