Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number. Her latest essay collection is Look Alive Out There.

“The more extreme things get in reality, the more extreme escapism has to be. It’s like Game of Thrones or bust. But in reality, I think that part of what I’m trying to do with this book — or in anything I write — is to give permission to be mad about little things. Just because there’s all of this, someone still slid their hand down a subway pole and touched you. Or somebody bumped into you. There are still these minor indignities and infractions that occur consistently. And I think there’s some sort of robbing if you tell yourself, Well, I’m not going to be mad about this because of the political landscape that we’re in.

Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, The Great Courses Plus, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.

The Disaster and How Some Escaped

On the curious life of Archibald Butt, confidant to President Taft and tragic victim of the sinking Titanic.

As much as the narrative of Butt’s heroism meant to the family, to the White House, to the military, it seems all too cinematic. The reality is that the experience was probably a great annoyance to him, right up until the moment it became a nightmare.

Christine Kenneally has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Monthly. Her 2018 Buzzfeed article, “The Ghosts of the Orphanage,” was nominated for a National Magazine Award.

"I understood that the abuse was a big part of the story. But the thing that really hooked me and disturbed me and I wouldn’t forget was the depersonalization that went on in these places. It wasn’t just that the records had been lost along the way. It became really clear that the information was intentionally withheld, and it was all part of just this extraordinary depersonalization that happened to these kids.”

Thanks to MailChimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.