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Twenty Questions (A Sampler), 1986, by Lorna Simpson

Two photographers focus on the difficulties of putting words to what one sees.

Pacific Rim: Chomsky versus Zizek

An online dustup between two pop star penseurs shows them staggering through afterlives.

Dancers at the Barre (1895–1900), by Edgar Degas

A painter who never lost sight of life’s being perpetually in transition.

Martín Adan’s The Cardboard House; José Manuel Prieto’s Encyclopedia of a Life in Russia

Cate Blanchett, Max Casella, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine; Sophia Coppola’s The Bling Ring; Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station

Alexei Ratmansky’s Chamber Symphony, from his Shostakovich Trilogy

Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy renders the composer’s world and life in the Soviet Union through dance at American Ballet Theatre.

Leakonomics: Pirates and Snowden

Bounties on the mutineers demonstrate the limits of transparency.

Two Lane Blacktop

Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop

Ground Zero worker

The architecture of the new World Trade Center buildings emphasizes that their business is none of ours.

Blogs

The Roosevelts pumps PBS ratings, but that doesn’t make the network any less centrist.

September 19, 2014

Ntozake Shange, author of the groundbreaking choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, explains what the Ray Rice scandal means for black feminism.

September 18, 2014

The Nation and the Center for Community Change partnered together for an essay contest in which young people were asked to submit a photo they found meaningful and an essay explaining the significance of the photo in 500 words.

September 17, 2014

Eric on "The Beatles in Mono" and Reed on how the emphasis on optics skews our democratic priorities.

September 11, 2014

"Outside, the ground separates, / breaking open like sores..."

September 3, 2014

An incomplete list of ten of the best songs ever written about school.

September 3, 2014

A solo Koons exhibition, Danto wrote in 1989, was “a vision of an aesthetic hell.”

September 2, 2014

In honor of Labor Day, here’s a stab at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people.

August 29, 2014

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the media’s coverage of climate change. 

July 21, 2014

These ten songs, taken together, help distill the American experience and make clear both what’s great about the US and what still needs critical attention.

July 2, 2014