Tom Wolfe Captured American Life from the Center of the Carnival and We’re All Better Because of It

The USA lost an icon today. Tom Wolfe wrote the pants off of every subject he touched, and he will be missed. But that’s what writing is for, right? He is gone, but his work remains. I devoured as much of his writing as I could when I was studying for my B.A. degree. What I got in return wasn’t just a lesson in style or syntax, but a portrait of American history that I wouldn’t have found anywhere else. From NASA to Nascar, Ken Kesey’s quest for the far-out and Charlotte Simmons’ prelude to #MeToo, Wolfe seemed to have a line on everything that happened in the half-century he spent writing. I hope that my generation can come up with a Wolfe of its own – someone who will thread the needle between all the cultural movements happening right now, and instead of illustrating only the divisions, find something …

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Marathon runners crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge

On Running #2

I’m not sure when it happened – but I crossed a line somewhere along the way, and became a morning person. I’d regularly find myself sitting by the window, waiting for the sun to come up, watching the steam rise from my coffee, letting the quiet and the wakefulness and the possibility of the day course through me. And then… I would go running. On one of those mornings this Summer, I was about six weeks into a marathon training plan, and halfway into an eleven mile run along the Potomac River. On some runs, I just listen to my own ideas. I think about what I see, or I think about myself and assess what’s going on in my life. But on this particular morning, I was listening to an audiobook of Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” – going for the meta-experience, forcing reflection into my …

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On Change

  The impact of a change can be drastically different, depending on what ends and what begins; when a magazine subscription runs out has less force over my daily life than when a new president takes office.  The last time a new presidency began, a magazine with his face on the cover was mysterious – who is he, without a name?  It was actually the cover of TIME, with a superimposed composite, a half-face of Bush and Gore each, which confounded me.  That was a change.  Many more sizable events have covered magazines since, and now the covers shift – to a new face, and another one who went unrecognized until relatively recently. So after eight years, what has changed America has changed me, and in converse, participations of mine have changed it (in miniscule).  Over the last 2,920 days I’ve spent a fair share in continuity, without any distortions …

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