Portraits from weed country.
Sunday, May 20
A profile of singer-songwriter Will Oldham.
He has settled into character as an uncanny troubadour, singing a sort of transfigured country music, and he has become, in his own subterranean way, a canonical figure. Johnny Cash covered him, Björk has championed him (she invited him to appear on the soundtrack of “Drawing Restraint 9”), and Madonna, he suspects, has quoted him (her song “Let It Will Be” seems to borrow from his “O Let It Be,” though he says, “I’m fully prepared to accept that it’s a coincidence”).
Saturday, May 19
An essay on the “history, meaning and practice of suicide, from third-century Christian death cults to the Aurora Bridge.”
The author reflects on his mayoral run with Norman Mailer against John Lindsay.
At the bar one night a couple of weeks after the primary, I looked up from a drink and saw my face and Norman's face floating across the screen on the NBC First Tuesday show. It is a network thing, and they did a 20-minute look at our campaign. The show reinforced my opinion that Norman and I had some of the most terrific lows in the history of anything that ever took place in this city. And, perhaps, a couple of highs that could be recognized as time passes a bit. Like maybe colleges for years will be using the things Norman Mailer was saying out in the streets.
Friday, May 18
The parallel lives of a KGB defector and his CIA handler.
A profile of former Bosnia Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose war crimes trial began, and was abruptly suspended, this week.
Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”
Thursday, May 17
On the perils and poisons of mining for gold in southeastern Peru.
“I didn’t realize who my father was. So it didn’t make a whole lot of difference. I wasn’t there believing that I was receiving genius from on high. My father was my father.”