Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. It's always gratifying to see how an artist can turn even the most familiar tale into something new. The final twist in this totally original next chapter of a Mother Goose's classic offers a stunningly triumphant ending that will take your breath away.
The finest man I know. Until three years ago when the college, in a gesture that meant a tremendous amount to people now in their 80s, awarded its V students their diplomas. They grew up during the Depression, the then they fought a long world war and cold war. Their times were tough — for instance, the life expectancy for an American man born in , like my father, was only into his mid 50s—twenty years less than for someone born in , like most of you. Every day in China I also see a billion-plus people struggling to condense a century of economic development into a few years.
But they are changing your world. Perhaps in the military, as a teacher, as a parent, as an entrepreneur, as volunteer. Second, curiosity. My dad always knew that he had been pulled out of Ursinus too soon. And that was a huge advantage. Having missed half of his normal college education, he gave himself ten educations in the ensuing years.
He taught himself Greek, and then Hebrew, and polished up his Latin — and there were more. He became a painter, and sculptor, with his work in shows. He taught himself to sail, and play the piano, and to become a cowboy and head of local mounted police. He took up computers in his 50s and became a local webmaster. You can use your upcoming reunions as a handy benchmark. Guitar; Arabic; the tango; whatever. There is no better way to learn about your own country than to see it from afar.
Third, character: Your parents know what I have learned from seeing my own children grow: that a lot of what we are as people, we are from the start. Probably because he was so busy rushing through Ursinus, my dad — like another practical-minded Philadelphian, Benjamin Franklin — always emphasized that our character is the accumulation of things we actually do each day. Some are obvious.
Or, type IMs while you drive. Get in the habit of being happy. Get in the habit of being excited. Never mail them. Remember that anything hostile you say about people will get back to them. Instead think of those you admire — and construct your own personal Mt. Rushmore, seeing what traits you can emulate. Take every chance to tell your spouse, when you have one, and your children that you love them. When in doubt, phone your mom. One final habit: Whenever you have the chance to deliver a sincere compliment, be sure to do it.
My father is proud to be from Ursinus; I am proud of you; and we all are proud of you new graduates.
These are sincere compliments, every one. Make the most of this wonderful day. I would like to see actionable social entrepreneurship kits and trainings made available. Fallows have the personal capacity to add such an initiative to your own plans and activities. But I suspect there are people and organizations that can do so. We are not living in a time of optimum conditions. We cannot simply plant and grow in any type of soil.
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The soil must support what we hope to harvest. This is a fair, and important, observation. And it is in line with our intentions, and the themes we intend to explore. But one of our ambitions is to connect people who do have those abilities. Please stay tuned, follow along, and send us your suggestions and ideas to ourtowns theatlantic. These will range broadly, over: economics and business questions; urban architecture and the arts; the reinvention of schools and libraries; the expansion of broadband and technological opportunities to rural America; ways to help local journalism survive as a business, and to encourage national journalism to take small-town America more seriously; and whether solutions being devised at the local level could percolate up to improve national-level politics.
We have already done some initial reports. Soon we will be traveling again, by small airplane, to Appalachian North Carolina and Kentucky; and to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; and to industrial areas of Wisconsin, from Racine to Eau Claire; and to inland areas from Oklahoma to Nebraska to Nevada; and beyond. Please follow along here! And please send ideas or suggestions to ourtowns theatlantic. Just about every discussion of the political, economic, opportunity, and other gaps between rural and urban America starts from the premise that life outside the big cities really is doomed.
On the basis of the headline, this story would seem to be offering yet more reasons rural prospects are so dark. This headline contains two additional words, in parentheses. Here is the twist those words add:. As Van Dam clearly lays out in the story, among the many burdens on rural America is a bureaucratic and definitional one. To oversimplify: Whenever a non—major-metro area starts developing or prospering, for that very reason it stops being classified as rural. That is: On top of the many real challenges rural communities face, their situation looks even bleaker than it is, because of the steady reclassification of successful smaller towns and rural areas as being no longer rural.
The contest between rural and urban America is rigged. Official definitions are regularly updated in such a way that rural counties are continually losing their most successful places to urbanization [as officially classified]. When a rural county grows, it transmutes into an urban one ….
It distorts how we see rural America. It skews our view of everything from presidential politics to suicide to deaths caused by alcohol …. It makes rural areas look poorer, whiter, older and more prone to alcohol-related death or suicide than under broader definitions. The story and the reports it refers to are all worth your attention.
After the Fall (TV Movie ) - IMDb
As Van Dam says:. About 6 in 10 U. The reinforcement is the idea that for certain very top-level, sought-after, professional-and-technical talents, the economic rewards in white-hot centers from New York to San Francisco exceed what they could find anyplace else. This is partly because automation has removed so many accountant-and-clerk-type jobs from the biggest cities. As the report, by Ryan Streeter and Daniel Cox, found and as they elaborated in a post for The Atlantic last week , people who live near parks, libraries, etc.
Everyone knows about first responders. In Ferguson, Missouri, the public library stayed open when the schools were closed after the riots, to offer the kids a safe place and even classes taught by volunteers. After the hurricanes in Houston, some library websites were immediately up and running, announcing that they were open for business. After Hurricane Sandy, some libraries in New Jersey became places of refuge. In Orlando, after the nightclub shootings, the library hosted an art gallery for those who made art as a way to express and share their reactions.
After the Thomas Fire, the Santa Barbara Public Library invited the public to share their stories and lessons, to help heal and prepare for the future. Libraries step in to fill gaps and offer help when normal channels are inaccessible. In Charleston, West Virginia, librarians told me that they have launched searches for people to research health issues or concerns. In some libraries, librarians have Narcan training. In Bend, Oregon, a social worker has helped prepare the librarians to work with people who came in with sensitive, personal questions, such as how to meet their rent and mortgage payments.
Others report that they have helped people figure out how to have a dignified funeral when they have no money for one. In Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, among the hardest-hit areas of the entire country during the — financial collapse, the leaders of the public-library system found ways to stretch and reprogram their budget to ensure that their system would stay open seven days a week during the crisis, because they knew their citizens would need its resources to cope with job loss, house foreclosures, and more.
Carved in the granite above the doorway of the imposing flagship Carnegie Library in Columbus, Ohio, are the words Open to All. I have seen homeless people line up waiting for the doors to open so they can spend the day inside comfortably and safely. In my hometown of Washington, D. None have reported serious incidents to me, which suggests that respect is mutual. The most serious of these examples are testament to the trust that citizens place in their libraries and librarians.
The Pew Research Center reports that 78 percent of people say libraries help them to find information they can trust. Librarians are nothing if not discreet. I have asked librarians about their users looking at pornography on the public computers. Zabriskie, who now works in Yonkers, points to the complexity of being a librarian these days.
But sometimes those kids are homeless. We have to resist hardening the space. If these are the libraries acting as second responders, there are also plenty of cases where they respond as providers of second chances. The Los Angeles Public Library offers a chance to earn a high-school degree for those who missed out the first time around.
The most popular volunteer opportunity at the Smiley Library in Redlands, California, is for adults to teach other adults how to read and write. Public libraries across the country offer a variety of paths to help people find new economic opportunity, with job and interview support and digital skills training.
And listen for how often you hear adults credit the public library as the place that spirited them away in their youth from anger or sadness or boredom at home. I have seen and heard variations on this theme that range from the library being the only place the kids could go, to the library being the cool place where teenagers would hang out. I heard these comments from the desert communities of Arizona to the small towns of California to the urban centers of the Midwest and East Coast. Extending that metaphor of the library coming to the people, I have seen pop-up libraries in parks in Wichita, Kansas.
After the Fall
There is a summer program around Minneapolis lakes to lend books in watertight containers from a library raft to boaters. And there is a library in the big shopping mall in Ontario, California, opportunistically placed for presumably reluctant shoppers who accompany enthusiastic shoppers. This was a fascinating session—I say, as the person who got to ask the questions, rather than having to give the answers.
The hour-long YouTube video is here. They were:. It may also give you a sense of the breadth of the renewal efforts under way in American settlements large and small. Congratulations to Ashoka and its four rural innovators for putting this session together, and for the ambitious projects they discuss. In the summer of , nearly six years ago, my wife— Deb Fallows —and I announced in this space the beginning of a project to visit smaller towns around the country.
These were places that usually show up in the news only as backdrops for national-politics coverage, or when some human or natural disaster has struck. Our means of travel, from one small airport to the next, would be our little four-seat, single-engine, Cirrus SR22 propeller airplane—a model that has become the best-selling small plane of its type around the world, because of its built-in parachute for the entire plane. Early in , after spending most of four years on the road, Deb and I announced in this space that this first stage of the journey was over.
We would be flying from our home in Washington, D. It drew on what we had found, learned, and described in hundreds of web posts and several articles for The Atlantic through the preceding years. The guiding principle of this reporting will be the one we developed—city by city, story by story, question by question, surprise by surprise—through our preceding years of travel. The central premise is that the most positive and practical developments in this stage of American life are happening at the local and regional level— but that most Americans have barely heard of those developments except in the communities where they themselves live.
But by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio, people in different parts of the country, and of different races and economic groups, said they felt that their own communities were moving in the right direction. People recognized the possibility of progress, despite obstacles and injustices, in their own part of America, but assumed the rest of the country must be doing much worse.
Of course the paralysis and division of national politics matter. Of course every community has its entrenched problems, of which the opioid and addiction crisis is the most acute, economic dislocation is the most widespread, and racial injustice is the most intractable. Any clear-eyed view of this nation, at any point, will include the tragic and the inspiring.
But the underappreciated and potentially inspiring news of this moment, as Deb and I have come to believe through travel in every corner of the country, is the extent of locally based renewal and experimentation, and the evolution of formal and informal networks connecting those far-flung efforts, all directed at many of the same challenges that seem hopeless from a national perspective. Starting with the next few installments in this space , the focus will be on the state that has long had the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the entire country: Indiana. At a public forum last month in Fort Wayne, we talked with the podcaster Ashley C.
Ford , who is now based in Brooklyn but grew up in and considers herself a proud citizen-in-exile of Fort Wayne. Our plan is deliberately slow-building, incremental, learning as we go. Deb and I look forward to hearing from you with tips, stories, and even dissents. Please join us here as the journey unfolds.
A year ago, the year-old Swedish climate activist began striking from school each Friday to protest climate inaction; last Friday, she gave a speech to hundreds of thousands of people in New York, at the Global Climate Strike, which was inspired by her protest. It is always at least a little unfortunate to see a young person become an icon—it robs them of the privacy of growing up. But Thunberg is an especially flummoxing figure. She looks younger than her years, yet her speeches take a shaming, authoritative tone that is, at the very least, unusual for a child.
Usually the drama of an investigation lies in finding out what happened, but the drama of this investigation lies in what happens next. By the end of last week, rumors were swirling about what President Donald Trump might or might not have done to elicit a whistle-blower complaint about his conversations with a foreign leader.
The president was refusing to answer questions. It was largely corruption—all of the corruption taking place. Neither Ukraine nor Trump has produced any evidence to support that claim about the Bidens.
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Trump once again implicitly admitted pressuring Ukraine during remarks at the United Nations Monday. The president of the United States reportedly sought the help of a foreign government against an American citizen who might challenge him for his office. This is the single most important revelation in a scoop by The Wall Street Journal , and if it is true, then President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office immediately. Until now, there was room for reasonable disagreement over impeachment as both a matter of politics and a matter of tactics. The Mueller report revealed despicably unpatriotic behavior by Trump and his minions, but it did not trigger a political judgment with a majority of Americans that it warranted impeachment.
The Democrats, for their part, remained unwilling to risk their new majority in Congress on a move destined to fail in a Republican-controlled Senate. To be a parent is to be compromised. The organized pathologies of adults, including yours—sometimes known as politics—find a way to infect the world of children. Only they can save themselves. To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app.
Our son underwent his first school interview soon after turning 2. An admissions officer at a private school with brand-new, beautifully and sustainably constructed art and dance studios gave him a piece of paper and crayons. While she questioned my wife and me about our work, our son drew a yellow circle over a green squiggle. They are, for lack of a more specific term, readers. That why is consequential—leisure reading has been linked to a range of good academic and professional outcomes—as well as difficult to fully explain.
But a chief factor seems to be the household one is born into, and the culture of reading that parents create within it. I am an out gay man in my late 20s. Last weekend, while scrolling through Grindr, I came across my therapist's profile. While I understand that my therapist, also an out gay man, is an adult with his own life outside of his office, I was deeply unnerved by learning so much explicit information about a person whom I try not to think of in a sexual context. My sudden exposure to this intimate knowledge feels acutely unsettling given that a lot of our work together focuses on my anxieties and vulnerabilities regarding sex and relationships.
It refers to the mismatch between a long-standing procedural instinct of the press and the current realities of the Era of Trump. This approach has the obvious virtue of seeming fair, as a judge is fair in letting the prosecution and defense each make its case. Is the latest prime-rate move by the Fed a good idea? Or a bad one? The latter was a design choice, because no bags would be allowed in the stadium. Pro football can look past allegations of predatory behavior toward women, but making the NFL look bad is a different story. Hours before week three of the NFL season got under way, the recently unemployed wide receiver Antonio Brown took to Twitter, unloading a series of self-destructive tweets that may finally dissuade teams from taking him on.
There it was: perfect, juicy, glistening. And, without mayo, vegan. This year, the fast-food giant is rolling out the plant-based Impossible Burger at its 7, U. That is a testament to the great advances that food manufacturers have made in producing animal products without animals: Impossible Burgers, Beyond Meat patties and sausages, and Just Mayo are becoming more common not only because they are good ethically , but also because they are good to eat.
That is also a result of the way contemporary food entrepreneurs have slipped these products into the mainstream of American culture: not by trying to convert omnivores, but by appealing to them. Washington, District of Columbia. Show 3 Newer Notes. James Fallows. That is a vaguely neutral sounding term, but that is shorthand for murder, rape, starvation, and disease. Literacy diminished dramatically or was largely lost. Material possessions diminished in quality and quantity. People were poorer. The roofs have rushed to earth, towers in ruins. Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras, Whoever wrote this knew more than we about what living in the 8th century was like, and he seems pretty certain that things had once been better than they were.
Continue Reading. Pax Romana vs Pax Americana. Another reader, with a list: I enjoyed your seeds-sprout-in-the-ruins piece about the possible upsides of declining federal capacity. Filling the vacuum. More mail ahead, with a different range of views. But that is not in prospect right now.