Sharlet: In a few weeks I head up to Boston to answer a few questions for WGBH, one of the flagship PBS affiliates. “What should the American people know about religion?” “What do they want to know about religion?” “What do you think would make an interesting program?” Well, I have lots of answers, but given that I’m responsible for helping to steer the course of publictelevision — the fate of the nation! — I keep it broad, so to speak. My answer to all three queries: Food. What we eat is what we believe. Which is why I find the timing of my comrades at Killing the Buddha (at which I’ve been downgraded to “editor-at-large,” because I am, in fact, large, and because I’m too busy Revealing to kill many Buddhas) so perfectly apt. They’ve finally published the recipe for “Jewish-style Mulligatawny Soup” I’ve been waiting for, courtesy of Abigail Pickus, who makes it tasty with a tale of the yenta what schooled her: “She was not fat exactly, but zaftig: a token of too many helpings of brisket and kugel…”
What’s most interesting about Geraldine Sealey‘s damning Rolling Stone report on the Bush administration’s failure to live up to its promises to fund the fight against AIDS is not the information she presents — most of it old news to those who’ve followed this story — but rather the fact that it’s in Rolling Stone. After a flirtation with Blender-style ADD journalism a few years ago, Rolling Stone has rededicated itself to real reporting. Even so, the presence of this story in the magazine is a surprise. Does it reflect a sophistication among Rolling Stone‘s youthful readers overlooked by the politicos-that-be? Maybe this is a sign: The kids are notalright. They know there’s real trouble in the world, and they want the details. Nothing gonzo or rock n’ roll about it; just the facts, straight up and brutal.