Thursday, November 17

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Nine months after the AOL merger, here’s a progress report.

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Central Park wasn’t always so bucolic.

Gangs of toughs—teenagers and the macho middle-aged, usually drunk, occasionally including a couple of off-duty cops—roam the Ramble at night, engaging in an old American pastime: fag bashing. You don't have to be gay. You don't have to be exposing yourself. You don't have to be doing anything except walking through the tangled darkness to be abused, shoved, threatened at knifepoint, kicked, and beaten.
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On Al Vernacchio, the best sex ed teacher in America.

Wednesday, November 16

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We have a rich literature. But sometimes it’s a literature too ready to be neutralized, to be incorporated into the ambient noise. This is why we need the writer in opposition, the novelist who writes against power, who writes against the corporation or the state or the whole apparatus of assimilation. We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music.
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I’ve read stories from people who say they always knew they were attracted to the same sex, or that they figured it out at a young age. I’m not one of them.
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Chantix is a pill that decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes. It also causes hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and waking nightmares:

A week into my Chantix usage, I started to feel as if the city landscape had imperceptibly shifted around me. Mundane details began to strike me as having deep, hidden significance. The neon arch above McDonald’s: The lights blinked on and off in some sort of pattern, and I needed to crack the code.

Tuesday, November 15

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How American higher education became a summer camp doubling as a debt factory.

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On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.

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How the contradiction-rich “country the size of Connecticut” that birthed Al-Jazeera has played an integral and surprising role in the revolutions of the Arab Spring.

Monday, November 14

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A profile of a breakout male porn star:

The porn machine churns out performers to satisfy every fantasy, be it MILF, dwarf, fat, granny, or gang bang. But if you’re interested in watching a young, heterosexual, nonrepulsive man engage in sex, James Deen is basically it.