1. Robert Kolkerâ€™s profile of Long Island congressman Peter King (â€œPeter Kingâ€™s Muslim Problem,â€ March 14â€“21) proved useful in the discussions surrounding the representativeâ€™s hearings about the radicalization of the Muslim-American community. Bloggers and pundits seized on Kingâ€™s break with the local Muslim community, as well as on his novel,Vale of Tears, in which a Long Island congressman named Sean Cross battled homegrown Islamic terrorists. The majority of commenters on nymag.com found Kingâ€™s motivations questionable at best. â€œPeter King is nothing more than an ethno-religious ambulance chaser,â€ wrote one. â€œHe is doing his level best to bring heat rather than light to the issue of peaceful relations between Jews, Christians, and the Muslim world. He will say or do anything to keep and consolidate his base of power and is the most dangerous of men because of this.â€ Another questioned the value of Kingâ€™s methodology, writing, â€œCongress is definitely capable of solid conservative research, and these hearings cannot produce material of that standard by any stretch of the imagination.â€ Others expressed concern that heâ€™s just making things worse. â€œKing assumes that there is no problem in antagonizing Muslims because they already hate us,â€ argued one reader. â€œThe problem isnâ€™t with the Muslims who already hate usâ€”the problem is giving Muslims who previously didnâ€™t hate us a very good reason to. This is not a time when we need to go around creating more enemies.â€ Still, the congressman had his supporters. â€œPeter King is right on many levels about the real issue of the Muslim threat. A significant element of the Muslim community is hesitant to assist in flushing out or naming extremists for fear that the wrath of radical Islam will visit upon them and their families,â€ wrote one. â€œKudos to Peter King for speaking about the difficult, and often swept-aside, subject of Muslim fanaticism,â€ wrote another. â€œSimply because some people are offended does not change the reality and risk of another attempted attack by a homegrown Islamic terrorist.â€
2. Stephen Metcalfâ€™s analysis of what caused four of his therapists to nod off while treating him (â€œThe Sleeping Cure,â€ March 14â€“21) was a wake-up call to many a drowsy shrink. â€œI used to fall asleep a lot,â€ confessed one therapist on nymag.com. â€œI would bite my little finger real hard to keep from nodding off. It is a lot of work to listen to people, especially therapeutically, and we all have only so much mental energy.â€ Another therapist commenter, who perhaps had a distant mother, wrote, â€œI abhor the tradition in psychoanalysis of blaming the client for this phenomenon. It was only a certain client or two that I fell asleep on. But what was common in each was not the defects of the patient, but my reluctance to address the ways I was â€˜phoning inâ€™ my therapy rather than actively working with the patient to have clearly focused treatment goals.â€ Another, with an apparently even stronger superego, wrote in to say, â€œI was so disgusted after reading [this] article that I lost sleep ruminating about it. Even during periods when I was pregnant or a sleep-Âdeprived mother of infants, I have never even come close to falling asleep while with a patient, not even the â€˜resistantâ€™ ones. A psychotherapist is being paid to be present, alert, and completely focused on the patient. On behalf of my profession, I apologize for their inadequacies.â€ Metcalf also wanted to clarify any confusion engendered by his reference to the film Ordinary People in the opening paragraph of the article. The film came out in 1980, but in his memory he mistakenly placed it (and the whole episode with his first sleeping therapist) earlier. The magazine regrets the error but rejects assigning any particular significance to it.
3. Chris Rovzarâ€™s â€œTopicâ€ page about a dating site that matches couples based on facial similarities Â(â€œIntelligencer: Someone Like You,â€ March 14â€“21) gave many readers a moment of reflection. â€œI would love to find someone who looks like me! I should be so lucky,â€ wrote one enthusiastic narcissist on nymag.com. â€œWhen you think about it, it sort of makes sense that you would want to date someone who has at least some of your features,â€ wrote Timeâ€™s NewsFeed blog. â€œWeâ€™re still a little freaked out, but not enough so that we wonâ€™t sign up when the site launches.â€ Zosia Bielski of the Globe and Mail followed up with site founder Christina Bloom, who noted that the article â€œhit the nail on the head with its comparison of fashion designer Marc Jacobs and boyfriend Lorenzo Martone.â€ On the other hand, as the blog Geekologie pointed out, â€œThat sounds like â€¦ a great way to accidentally start dating a relative.â€ Or as one of our commenters put it: â€œGod help the identical twins of the world.â€