1 For New York’s cover story, Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh reported on a group of college sophomores who fell under the destructive influence of their classmate’s father after he moved into their dorm (“The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence,” April 29–May 12). “This story is bananas on so many levels,” Jessica Valenti tweeted, “but I need to know how this dude was living in a Sarah Lawrence dorm and the school did … nothing?” The school’s alumni were particularly troubled. Jacklyn Grace Lacey tweeted,“I think I’m not the only one asking myself right now ‘What else happened on campus that I normalized or wasn’t visible because of particular energies of SLC’s people & places?’ ” Mitchell Sunderland wrote, “I hope @SarahLawrence hires more mental health experts. The school has always lacked mental health resources, and that’s partially why this cult flourished.” And @amyzsolis shared that more than two dozen alumni “have put their name to [a] joint letter to SLC President asking for clarification on why this happened & what their plans are to ensure student safety & wellbeing.” Sarah Lawrence graduate Patrick Phillips, who was classmates with the students featured, wrote that many alumni “have been less than thrilled with a story that feels sordid and exploitative. How is this information going to help anyone? People’s lives were clearly ruined by their involvement with Larry Ray, and now many Sarah Lawrence graduates are turning to one another wondering what we’re supposed to make of it. We keep asking ourselves how could we have not known, but what would we have done if we did?”
2 Anjelica Huston regaled Andrew Goldman with six decades of Hollywood stories — including her father’s many love affairs and why Jack Nicholson doesn’t act anymore (“In Conversation: Anjelica Huston,” April 29–May 12). Readers admired Huston’s candor, with Adam B. Vary writing, “It is full of delicious shade, frustrating contradiction, and brutal honesty.” Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted, “Whatever you think of any individual statement, it’s a portrait of a woman who is absolutely free.” Others were put off by her more controversial remarks, including her defenses of Roman Polanski and Woody Allen: thealei78 commented, “Huston’s nonchalance about Allen and Polanski ruined the rest of the interview for me … It’s disturbing and sad to see/read so many older actresses dismiss that kind of behavior while also acknowledging the sexism and harassment they’ve experienced.” Michael McWilliams wrote to corroborate one of the actress’s memories: “Thank you for your refreshingly candid interview with the indelible Anjelica Huston, whose reminiscences of Penny Marshall reflect my own as Penny’s downstairs neighbor for 20 years: ‘She stayed up all night, followed QVC for beanbag dolls and stuff … she did a lot of coke.’ Ms. Huston neglects just one detail: The TV was at full blast. I recall hundreds of nights sleeping on the living room couch with a white-noise machine perched on the coffee table next to my head. Pleas from the co-op board, from the management company, from the superintendent did nothing to stop her.”
3 “What matters more? My social values or my paycheck?” Such is the dilemma Wall Street machers are facing as they search for a finance-friendly Democrat to back in 2020 (“Biden? Pete? Trump?!,” by Gabriel Debenedetti, April 29–May 12). Bernie Sanders speechwriter David Sirota said it showed “how Wall Street moguls are gearing up to try to buy the election because they are panicked that [Sanders] could actually win.” Steve Fraser, author of Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life, offered a historical perspective: “Wall Street displays the same misplaced hysteria that once led them to denounce the New Deal. Although FDR made clear he was trying to save capitalism, few on the Street were listening. Today, with the lone exception of Sanders, the roster of announced candidates contains no anti-capitalist, and that includes Elizabeth Warren, who has described herself as capitalist in the bone. If these anxious heavy-hitters took a deep breath, they would realize Trump’s raging incoherence is a much greater threat to economic and political stability in the long run, notwithstanding whatever tax and other financial perks he may provide in the meantime.” Sidney Plotkin, a political-science professor at Vassar, wrote, “What Wall Street most fears is loss of a privileged immunity: never having to ask for respect and influence. Perish the thought that facing a Sanders or Warren administration, the big brokers of money and power might encounter a rational president standing erect.”
*This article appears in the May 13 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!