The secrets of France’s top serial killer expert


“I went too far,” he said. “It’s my fault, after all! I recognise that.” He had not met 77 serial killers, he acknowledged, but rather about 30, and some of them only briefly. Still, 30 struck him as a reasonably impressive total, all things considered. “My accomplishments might have been enough on their own, without my additions,” he reflected. He had had himself psychoanalysed; the trouble was, of course, with his parents. He had also begun a census of all known French serial killers, and was in the midst of expanding his book on Kemper. “I love to write!” he told me.

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Scott Sayare — The Guardian

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Marie Calloway Was Reviled By The Internet. Then She Disappeared.


If you were on the internet in the 2010s, you’re probably aware of Calloway’s work, even if you can’t quite remember the specifics. Her writing appeared on websites like Thought Catalog and Vice, which were dedicated to archiving the feelings of upwardly mobile white millennials. Then in 2012 came the story that brought her both notoriety and ridicule; “Adrien Brody” was published online by Muumuu House, a small press founded by alt-lit writer Tao Lin in 2008. (The actor Adrien Brody has no apparent link to the piece.) In it, Calloway describes meeting a man online and sleeping with him. He’s significantly older than her, has more power in their dynamic, and has a girlfriend. “I know you said you don’t want me to say this,” “Brody” — a pseudonym seemingly selected because of the absurdity of naming him after someone so famous — tells her at the end of their encounter, “but you will connect with someone one day. It’s just not going to be me.” Amidst the female personal essay boom of the 2010s, the lengthy piece went viral.

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Scaachi Koul — Buzzfeed

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The Keanu Reeves Phenomenon


Though Ted has become an enduring favorite, Variety recognized Reeves’ charm, but wasn’t entirely sold when the film opened in 1989. “Not since Sean Penn’s send-up of an airhead California high-schooler in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ has the screen seen young characters as witlessly appealing as this pic’s Bill and Ted,” Variety’s reviewer wrote. “Keanu Reeves, with his beguilingly blank face and loose-limbed, happy-go-lucky physical vocabulary, and Alex Winter, with his golden curls, gleefully good vibes and ‘bodacious’ vocabulary, propel this adventure as far as they can.”

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Tim Gray — Variety

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Beyoncé’s Evolution


Beyoncé Knowles-Carter came of age during that digital revolution, and knowing how to navigate that dissonance is part of her artistic superpower. She has built her company, Parkwood Entertainment, into a media conglomerate that includes a fashion line, IVY PARK. She is now a mother of three, to nine-year-old Blue Ivy and four-year-old twins Rumi and Sir, with husband JAY-Z. The iconic couple has just been named the new faces of Tiffany & Co., which was acquired earlier this year by LVMH and is relaunching under its auspices. And she is working on new music along with an array of other projects that promise to obliterate old boundaries and vault her further into uncharted territory.

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Kaitlyn Greenidge — Harper’s Bazaar

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How Priyanka Chopra Jonas Gets It Done


On social-media criticism:
Girl, I learned how to deal with that in a year or so [into my career]. Now I’ve been a public person for most of my life — it comes with brickbats and bouquets. You make that deal with the devil, the fact that I’m going to do this job, and I’m for consumption, news about me is for consumption — I made peace with that 20 years ago. So it doesn’t bother me unless it affects my work or my family. But my job is tangible. I go to a set, I create a movie, a TV show. This is what my work is. The freedom and beauty of social media is to create a medium for conversations. I have a tremendous amount of love and support on my social media from people who are interested or curious. At the same time, my relationship with social media changed after large, obscure “scandals” or chatter online that were baffling to me. I’m not as free, open, or vulnerable as I used to be. I monitor my relationship with the internet. I consume it for the positives.

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Hope Resse — The Cut

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Maradona as memory, myth, and metaphor


But the technically unparalleled Messi has never been as beloved as Diego. Messi is a genius who makes his teammates better, but Maradona’s gift was more precious: he made everyone believe they were great and could be greater. Maradona was at his best when representing the underdogs: the Argentine national team, of course, beating England and Germany en route to win the 1986 World Cup. Even more famously, though, at Napoli, where Maradona led a group of mostly average players (like the inconspicuous Careca and Alemão) to triumphs unprecedented for the small team: two Italian leagues, one Italian Cup, one Italian Super Cup, and one UEFA Cup.

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Ezequiel Zaidenwerg — The Baffler

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Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios


My best-case scenario for what’s going on now is—assuming that within the next half year, we do deal successfully with the COVID crisis—that it will become a model for people all around the world recognizing common problems, rallying together to deal with a common problem. My best-case scenario is that, having defeated COVID, we will go on to attempt to defeat and succeed in defeating climate change. For that reason, I see a potential silver lining, and that’s my best-case scenario for what’s going on now.

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Jared Diamond — Edge

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John le Carré, Dead at 89, Defined the Modern Spy Novel


Another obituary.

In 1947, a 16-year-old David Cornwell left the British boarding school system where he’d spent many unhappy years and ended up in Switzerland, where he studied German at the University of Bern—and caught the attention of British intelligence. As the restless child of an estranged mother and a con-man father, and a precocious student of modern languages to boot, the young wayfarer was a natural recruitment target for the security services, which scooped him up in the late 1940s to be “a teenaged errand boy of British Intelligence,” as he put it in his 2016 memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel. Over the next 15 years, those little errands would continue and grow, furnishing Cornwell with the material that would fill the whopping 25 spy novels he wrote under the pen name John le Carré.

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Ted Scheinman — Smithsonian

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Remembering legendary travel writer Jan Morris


I discovered Morris 20 years ago while working at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge. With a newly minted degree in literature, it was pretty much the only job I was qualified for. The used-book department in the basement had that musty scent of dust and other people’s houses. After work one quiet Sunday night I spotted “The World” on the shelf in the “Essays” section, equidistant from volumes by James Baldwin and Virginia Woolf. Small images of global landmarks adorned the spine and caught my eye. The minimal title — solemn, seductive and assured — snapped me to attention. The essays — impressionistic but set in tangible and at times familiar places — were like nothing I’d read before.

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Liza Weisstuch — The Washington Post

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Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Sheds the Rock-Star Mask to Tell His Truth


Most rock stars have unlikely origin stories, and Kaukonen is no exception. To put his journey in context, consider the case of one of his contemporaries, Janis Joplin, about whom Kaukonen writes, “The first time I met Janis, I realized that I was in the presence of greatness.” No disrespect, but it’s a safe bet Joplin was not thinking the same thing about Kaukonen when they performed together in 1962, with Steve Talbott on harmonica, at the Folk Theater in San Jose, California. Five years before her breakthrough with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin was already a full-time musician at age 19, the product of a troubled childhood in the oil-refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. A budding drug habit would round out the dues she’d eventually pay to sing the blues.

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Ben Marks — Collectors Weekly

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