Jared Kushner’s Soulless Memoir & More: The Week in Narratives

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from across the New York Times, read aloud by the journalists who wrote them.

The US Secret Service isn’t known for its sense of humor, but when Jared Kushner was codenamed “Mechanic,” was someone betting he’d call his memoir “Breaking History”?

It’s a title that, in its utter lack of self-awareness, matches the contents of this book. Kushner writes as though he believed that notable (and less prominent) foreign personalities had praised him in the White House because he was the new man of ideas, the starting point guard, and the mystery boy.

“Breaking History” is a serious, soulless act — Kushner looks like a supermodel, he writes like one — and it’s an oddly eclectic assessment of Donald J. Trump’s tenure in office. Kushner almost completely ignores the chaos, the isolation of allies, the violation of laws and mores, the flirtation with dictators, the overall loss of America’s moral leadership, etc., endlessly, to talk about his boyish (“mechanical”) patchwork with the issues he cared about.

Written and narrated by Debra Kamen

Last summer, Nathan Connolly and his wife, Shani Mott, welcomed an expert into their Baltimore home, hoping to take advantage of historically low interest rates and refinance their mortgage.

They thought their home — which was improved with a new $5,000 tankless water heater and $35,000 in other renovations — was worth much more than the $450,000 they paid for it in 2017. Home prices have been rising nationwide since the pandemic. ; In Baltimore, it’s up 42 percent in the past five years, according to Zillow.com.

But 20/20 Valuations, a Maryland appraisal firm, valued the home at $472,000, and in return, the couple’s mortgage loan refused to take out a refinancing loan.

Dr. Connolly, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and an expert on redlines and the legacy of white supremacy in American cities, said he knows why: He, his wife and three children, ages 15, 12 and 9, are black.

Months after the first evaluation, the couple applied for another refinancing loan, removed the family photos, and had a white colleague – another Johns Hopkins professor -. The second appraiser valued the house at $750,000.

Mark notices something is wrong with his young child. His son’s penis looked swollen and was sore. Mark, a stay-at-home dad in San Francisco, grabbed his Android smartphone and took photos to document the problem so he could track its progress.

His wife called a consulting nurse at the healthcare provider to schedule an emergency consultation the next morning, by video link because it was a Saturday and there was a pandemic going on. The nurse said to send the pictures so the doctor could review them beforehand.

Mark’s wife grabbed her husband’s phone and sent some high-quality close-up photos of her son’s groin area to her iPhone so she could upload them to the health care provider’s messaging system. In one of them, Mark’s hand was visible, which helps to better show the swelling.

Mark and his wife didn’t think about the tech giants who made this rapid capture and exchange of digital data possible, or what these giants might think of photos.

But this incident left Mark with a much bigger problem, one that will cost him more than a decade of calls, emails and photos, and make him the target of a police investigation.

Written and narrated by Sheila Diwan

Blaming mass murder on mental illness is a time-honoured motive, used by law enforcement and politicians alike. Such interpretations satisfy a deep longing to understand the incomprehensible. They resort to common sense – how can someone who kills indiscriminately be in their right mind?

However, America’s mass murderers do not fit into any one picture and there certainly is no pattern of insanity – many, if not most, of them have never been diagnosed with a serious mental disorder.

Instead, many experts have focused on the warning signs that occur whether or not there is actual mental illness, including noticeable changes in behavior, behavior, or appearance; Uncharacteristic fights or arguments; Informing others of violent plans is a phenomenon known as “leakage”.

Written and Narrated by Madeleine Aguiler

Nevermet is one of a growing number of virtual reality dating services that allow users to match up with other VR enthusiasts and then arrange a meeting somewhere in the metaverse.

Starting this year’s Valentine’s Day, NeverMate has a simple goal: to completely recreate human nature. “We intend to change the dating market, where physical attraction will become one of the many factors rather than the primary way people communicate,” Cam Mullen, CEO of NeverMate, told me over the phone.

Mr. Mullen argued that dating now places too much emphasis on appearance. With virtual reality, humans can finally evolve beyond the superficial and instead communicate with each other on a deeper level – heart to heart, soul to soul.



The Times Narrated essays by Tali Abekasis, Baren Behrouz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jacques Desidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrien Hirst, Elishiba Etope, Emma Quebec, Marion Lozano, Tania Perez, Krish Senevasan, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslet, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Epeque.

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