Magazine | October 29, 2018, Issue




Past and future stored away
Under seat and overhead,
Arranged by letter, row, and tray,
Between gray dawn and solid morning,
Our avatars display no dread.
The instruments could not be clearer:
All systems go, no signs of warning.
In Kansas skies the fuselage
Is buffeted by turbulence.
The window’s oval (wing and prop)
Fogs like an enchanted mirror —
Then lightning hits us and we drop
Electrified with holy terror
Under the thunder’s blank barrage.

Stripped of screens, of pads and pods,
The subtle thread of time unravels
In shrunken space that leaves the will
Cornered, graceless, forced to be still,
Forced into line to be destroyed.
It dawns on us we’re doomed if God’s
Native mercy never travels
Faster than the falling odds
Or fastened to the frames of sense.
But now the pilot’s voice relates
An unexpected confidence;
Instructed by the elements
And intimacy with the fates,
He steers a passage through the void —

Delivering our names and dates.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Most Popular


It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More