I remember when it was possible, at least in theory, to spend the summer catching up. Summer was the slow season, the sultry season, the season of reruns. It’s not like that anymore. The days stretch out before us, but they overflow with new things to see. Chernobyl, check. Fleabag season two, check. When They See Us, check. Women’s World Cup, ongoing check. Democratic primary debates, check check check. In advance of the second season of Big Little Lies, I interviewed four of its stars at the women’s collective the Wing in Manhattan; Sunday nights will be appointment viewing through late July because I cannot miss one minute of Meryl Streep, in the performance of a lifetime, being salty to Reese Witherspoon.
But the dream of slowing down and catching up lives on at V.F., where we propose summer as the season of sizzle, scandal, surfing, swing, and schadenfreude—stories to while away a leisurely weekend at the beach. The sizzle comes from our cover star, Idris Elba, he who is often rumored to be the next James Bond, except that James Bond is not nearly smooth enough (cool enough? hot enough?) to be Idris. The scandal is the opioid crisis in America and its connection to the pharma-baron Sackler dynasty, about which David Sackler speaks here for the first time. The surf rolls in to Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, where a group of glowy mamas and their Insta-perfect progeny are perfecting the aspirational art of authentic living through social media—and being handsomely rewarded for it. Swing: the wave of women instrumentalists in jazz—the new top brass, if you will—upending the age-old boys’ club. The schadenfreude takes root in Greenwich, Connecticut, where a hedge-fund manager who got on the wrong side of the Southern District of New York returns after serving jail time, only to find himself less than welcome on the charity circuit. Turns out he prefers the camaraderie of inmates to the mean scene of the moneyed elite.
They may seem like the perfect stories for summer—the waves of Byron Bay beckon to where the living is easy, that siren call you hear is the low note of the saxophone—but really they’re seasonless. It’s high time to escape, any way we can—if not in real life, then at least in the pages of a
English | 111 pages | pdf | 104.05
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