opinion | Ron DeSantis is an optical illusion

Also in The New Yorker, Jesse Dorris visited a recently opened memorial to the 20 children and six adults who were fatally shot about a decade ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.: “It is only fitting that a visitor to the Sandy Hook Memorial should walk in circles; we are all caught in a loop of carnage, campaign donations, thoughts and prayers. (Debbie Davidson, San Francisco)

In The Times, Michael Wilson reflected on the genesis of three mass shootings just before Thanksgiving: “Yesterday’s parents, children and friends became Thursday’s empty chairs.” (James Turner, Hampton, Va.)

Daniel Lewis wrote an obituary to the composer and diarist Ned Rorem who explored the specific nature of Rorem’s tell-all tendencies: “Dropping names is one thing. With the gossiping Mr. Rorem, it could reach the level of carpet bombing. (Carol Dane, Oakland, California, and Robert Allen, Richmond, Va.)

Jon Mooallem spent some time with director and screenwriter Noah Baumbach, who is “53 and speaks in long, repetitive stops and starts and carefully considered multi-point turns, like a man trying to parallel park his consciousness in an impossible place.” (Bill Webb, Eminence, Ky., and Luc Leblanc, Montreal, among others)

Ruth Whippman described her piano lessons a long time ago: “I can still picture the chemical overload of my teacher’s aftershave — synthetic flowers with a base note of trickle-down economics. Overwhelming, but not quite able to drown out the background smell of my mother’s expectations.” (Nan Valrance, Bluffton, SC, and Margaret Wohler, Alexandria, Va.)

Mike Tanier thought the dismal drop-off of the Los Angeles Rams of their championship season last year: “The Rams aren’t just having a Super Bowl hangover. They’ve woken up next to a complete stranger in a Nevada honeymoon suite with an empty wallet and no sign of their car keys. (Arthur Ostrove, White Plains, NY)

Andrew Das described a The Brazilian player’s winning goal to Switzerland: “It was so quick off his foot and was so well placed, the Swiss goalkeeper could only watch it pass like a man admiring a high-speed train from the platform.” (Ann Lowman Yang, Carrboro, NC)