Generation-Specific Instructions for Filing Your Tax Return

Filing Status: Defining who you are by your relationship status is patriarchal and reductive. Leave this blank. Digital Assets: This includes brunch money that’s sitting in Venmo, any TikTok accounts with more than ten thousand followers, and N.F.T.s, but only if you can explain what they are in plain English in less than sixty seconds. Income: You know that piece of paper your employer gave you which you immediately recycled? The numbers on it go here. If it’s too late to fish it out of the t

My Name Is Gilligan, and I’d Like to Get off This Island Now

When the yacht showed up at our island the first time, we thought, Hurray, we’ve been saved! And then out came the cameras. And the microphones. “You’re going to be even more famous than Elvis,” one of the producers told us. Every night, when they sail back to Kauai, the producers give us some excuse about why they can’t bring us with them, like, “We’re short one life jacket.” I’m as big a proponent of nautical safety as the next guy, but this seems a little extreme.

Why We Love Women’s Revenge Narratives

As Mildred Hayes approaches her abusive ex-husband in a crowded restaurant, the camera closes in on her fingers wrapped around the neck of the wine bottle she’s carrying. The viewer waits with apprehension and glee for Mildred to smash it over his head. This is, after all, the woman who drilled a hole in the thumb of her dentist; the woman whose daughter was raped and murdered, a crime which seemed to generate only slight consternation on the part of the local police department; the woman who’s just learned of a fresh act of betrayal by her physically abusive ex, dating a woman half his age.

Can I Borrow Your Oxygen for a Sec? The Bachelor as Cult

The man sits on a yacht in the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by three bikini-clad women who are vying for his attention. Pillows with green and blue diamond patterns line the back row of the boat where the man sits, watching the blonde woman strip for him. He holds a drink in his hands and wears short swimming trunks with flowers on them, a winking nod to femininity that serves to gently offset the uber masculinity of the rest of him.

I Will Never Hire Children Living in a Boxcar to Solve a Mystery Again

I know what you’re thinking: What, exactly, is a boxcar, and why are children living in it? Has anyone called Child Protective Services? First off, apparently the whole boxcar situation is all good with their grandfather, who has a lot of money and is very kind. But let me back up. This all started when I lost one of my slippers and went onto Craigslist to find a private investigator.

My New Self-Help Book Will Banish All Worry from Your Life

I’m a little thrilled but mostly terrified to be going on tour to promote my new self-help book, Worry-Free Me: How I Learned to Stop Worrying, Embrace Uncertainty, and Do All of the Things That Used to Scare Me, and You Can Too! My publicist asked me to post my tour dates on my website, which I was hesitant to do because on the one hand I don’t actually want anyone to come to my events because then I’ll have to speak in front of them, but on the other hand I’ll be pretty embarrassed if no one comes to my events.

Why Do People Join Cults?

There’s a scene toward the end of the documentary Holy Hell where Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” plays in the background as the camera cuts to close-up shots of various Buddhafield cult members. The cult members are wearing flowing fabrics, and a few have flower crowns on their heads. In some shots, the members sit cross-legged or wave their arms above their heads, as if their limbs are made of something more fluid than bone.

Making a Cult: The Peoples Temple and the Jonestown Massacre

Jim Jones was always a con man, Laura Johnston Kohl told me recently over the phone. But when she first met Jones at a Peoples Temple service almost four decades ago, she was impressed and later swept up by the diversity and heady idealism of the community Jones shepherded. In her book, Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look, Kohl describes her younger self — recently divorced and ensconced in the late-1960s San Francisco drug scene — as naive, unobservant, and idealistic. Raised by a politically
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