The Man Who Shot Santa Claus

An out-of-luck journalist. A past-his-prime killer. Unwrap all the angles and you just might discover who’s been naughty and who can afford to be nice.

Dec 2010

American Idol

At 65, Archie Andrews has somehow remained relevant, even hip, in an increasingly crass culture. But he still can’t choose between Betty and Veronica. How did this World War II-era goofball manage to stay current? The little girls understand.

Dec 2006

Raiders of the Lost Backyard

When 10-year-old Chris Strompolos and 11-year-old Eric Zala decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot for shot, in the summer of 1982, they never imagined it would take 7 years—and emerge, two decades later, as a minor cult phenomenon. A tale of love, obsession, and pissed-off moms.

Mar 2004

Sex, Drugs, and Soybeans

In 1970, pot-smoking guru Stephen Gaskin, a former U.S. Marine, led his band of acolytes on a mystic trip out of San Francisco and into the American heartland. But a funny thing happened on the way to enlightenment: Gaskin’s hippies learned the ancient virtues of hard work, good hygiene, and crop rotation. Deep in the Tennessee woods, they formed a spiritual commune called The Farm, which has morphed over its 36 years into a high-tech eco–think tank.

Apr 2007

Lazy-Ass Nation

America’s Can-Do-But-Why-Bother spirit has produced a wave of gadgets that take the effort out of almost everything: vacuuming rugs, parking cars, walking dogs. In fact, why wear out those tongue muscles when a virtual assistant can order you a Motorized Ice Cream Cone?

Oct 2007

Songs in the Key of Lacerating

Sparks flew in Greenwich Village, 1969, when Loudon Wainwright III, the sardonic bard of Westchester County, met Kate McGarrigle, a sublime singer-songwriter from Quebec. They produced two babies and wrote a few confessional songs about each other before an acrimonious breakup. Now their talented children, Rufus and Martha, are carrying on the family tradition of setting their most private thoughts to music, even at the risk of making their parents mad. In this family, the only unforgivable thing is to write a lousy song.

May 2007

Addicted to Cute

America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute–we’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes–that is transforming marketing (the GEICO Gecko), automobiles (the Smart car), and movies (Up). But is the world bound to sour on all this sweetness?

Dec 2009
From the Web

Girl, Uninterruptible

Oscar nomination and indie cred (Winter’s Bone), franchise chops (X-Men), box-office record (The Hunger Games), romantic-comedy sparkle (Silver Linings Playbook): Jennifer Lawrence has, at 22, hit the bull’s-eye every time.

Feb 2013