Come to Fight, Come to Win

“At that time Marine aviation was expanding rapidly, and although young and believing myself to be unqualified, Smith gave me command of VMF-323,” said Axtell. “I took it on and decided that the group I had was going to be the best. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing, but we thought we could whip everybody else.”

The leaked New York Times innovation report

How to go from print to digital journalism. “Another [desk head] suggested that the relentless work of assembling the world’s best news report can also be a ‘form of laziness, because it is work that is comfortable and familiar to us, that we know how to do. And it allows us to avoid the truly…

The Women and the Thrones

"I suspect that one reason Game of Thrones has seduced so many of my writer friends, people who have either no taste for fantasy or no interest in television, is precisely that its willingness to mete out harsh consequences, rather than dreaming up ways to keep its main characters alive for another season, feels more…

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie

“In the spring of 1930, in a damp and dimly lit studio, in a small Wisconsin village on the western shore of Lake Michigan, the duo recorded a batch of songs that for more than half a century have been numbered among the masterpieces of prewar American music…” If you care about American history, the…

Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rise of the bad fan.

“Subjects, whether bigoted or not, found the show funny, but most bigoted viewers didn’t perceive the program as satirical. They identified with Archie’s perspective, saw him as winning arguments, and, “perhaps most disturbing, saw nothing wrong with Archie’s use of racial and ethnic slurs.” Lear’s series seemed to be even more appealing to those who…