time machine: 20 Oct

Angry with His Own Time

Mencken's anger at America was his trademark. But it was also – more than once – his undoing. An excerpt from An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken

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explore the archives

founded in 2017, the smart set has published more than 1,800 essays on arts, culture, books, and life. Explore our archives by searching, by column or author, or with our curated lists below.

on walking

The Last Walk
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Are cars turning human beings into quadrupeds? Or is there room for walking after all?

Take a Walk
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How to overcome the argument that walking is too slow.

and the living’s easy

A Day at the Beach
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The disappointment of going to the seaside on the cusp of summer.

The Summer Jam
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Why "Umbrella" is one (and "Zombie" wasn't).