Anti-Asian Activity Online, Walking Down the Aisle Alone and Your Brain on Peloton: The Week in Narrated Articles
Take out your headphones, put down your phone and listen to New York Times journalism narrated by the reporters who wrote the story.
This week: Davey Alba looks at the rise in anti-Asian vitriol online; Amanda Hess reports on her journey into the Peloton universe; Daniel Peña extols the virtues of biking through the Berlin streets at night; Danielle Braff explores how brides are increasingly shunning the tradition of being given away; and Ruth Graham delves into the ways the suspect in the Atlanta spa shootings characterized his motives.
Before the Atlanta spa shootings last week, which left eight dead, including six women of Asian descent, anti-Asian rhetoric had been on the rise in various corners of the internet.
Davey Alba explores how online attacks against Asian-Americans spilled over into real world violence.
Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, “The Biggest Loser” — exercise-as-entertainment is something of an American institution. However, whereas the fitness guru sphere of influence typically has been centered on the body, Peloton, the exercise bike company, has introduced a topicality and specificity to the genre with classes themed around Black History Month and the life philosophy of the television producer Shonda Rhimes.
By joining the Peloton universe, Amanda Hess — who admits to once thinking it was all about a “slavish devotion to a techno-religious sect”— has found the key to an active lifestyle: Cody Rigsby, an instructor who looks like a photo-realistic image of a Disney prince with the energy of a messy podcast host.
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Written and narrated by Daniel Peña
Riding his bike through Berlin after midnight, Daniel Peña felt as if he had the city mostly to himself.
“The joys of the night ride were the joys of feeling present in my body again, orienting myself amid the disorientation of pandemic life, which has a tendency to erase the body even as it threatens it,” Daniel writes. “Pedaling felt like a celebration of kinetic energy, of blood, cartilage and bone.”
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Written and narrated by Danielle Braff
Meghan Markle entered her wedding ceremony solo in 2018, walking halfway down the aisle before joining Prince Charles, who later stepped aside and left the duchess to complete her journey to Prince Harry alone.
Many other brides are choosing to do the same. It has been a slow yet steady march toward this evolution.
One of the first things we learned about the suspect in the Atlanta spa shootings was that he told the police he had a “sexual addiction.” He carried out the attacks, he told them, to eliminate his own temptation.
The suspect and his family were active members of a southern Baptist church, and Ruth Graham noticed right away that some people who had been raised in the evangelical culture were recognizing familiar themes in the suspect’s history and descriptions of his motivations.
Ruth talked to experts about how ideas of sexual purity may have shaped the suspect’s world and contemporary evangelical culture more broadly.
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The Times’s narrated articles are made by Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Aaron Esposito, Elena Hecht, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Anna Martin, Tracy Mumford, Tanya Perez, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and John Woo. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.