We tend to think of our relationship with technology as either online or offline—two states we can toggle like a light switch. When we’re scrolling through our Facebook newsfeed, we’re online; sitting in a coffee shop reading a paperback, we’re offline. For many of us these days, however, no such division exists. Technology is not elective but essential, a fundamental part of how we interact with the world. Like body and mind, working in unison, we walk the earth today as man and machine, two networks coming together as one.
We all know the stereotype of urban ascetics. They resist material luxury. They make their own yogurt, churn their own butter. They live simply and self-sustainably in a small studio with a foldout couch or air mattress. They have no conventional responsibilities, no goals beyond graduation or the next gallery show. They are single artists in the morning of their life. They are not middle-aged parents.
On April 13, 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win an Academy Award for best actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. But even beyond Poitier’s stellar performance, the film’s up-tempo gospel number, “Amen” (lip-synched by the tone-deaf actor), left an indelible imprint on American culture.
It was a simple skyhook, like countless others he sank in his long career, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s fourth-quarter baseline shot against the Utah Jazz on April 5, 1984, fixed his star in the basketball firmament. It made him the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a record still untouched 32 years later.
Despite T.S. Eliot’s claim to the contrary, April is a month for love—and what better way to show it than by playing ruthless tricks on the people closest to us?
“There comes a moment,” Yann Martel writes in his author’s note to Life of Pi, “when you realize…[a novel] won’t work. An element is missing, that spark that brings to life a real story, regardless of whether the history or the food is right. Your story is emotionally dead.”
Donald Trump likes to portray himself as a self-made man, a rags-to-riches paragon, but even his rags were worth more than your house.