Jul 21, 2014 · Hilton Als Hilton Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994 and a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town. He won.... Als’ mother taught him that silence is the key to survival because when you provoke someone you put yourself at risk to be scrutinized or harmed for your provocation. Als is suggesting that discriminatory and offensive labels, such as “faggot,” are used not only to make people feel better about themselves but to maintain the social hierarchy that exists in America. BY Hilton Als in Features | 26 SEP 19 By the late 1980s, I had pretty much stopped looking at contemporary art. I no longer trusted my eyes to see what the art world had to offer, in part because I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Back then, the trees glistened with so much gold and so many pendants celebrating boy achievement, amen. Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for 'The Talk of the Town,' he became a staff writer in 1994, theatre critic in 2002, and lead theater critic in 2012. Week after week, he brings to the magazine a rigorous, sharp, and lyrical perspective on acting, playwriting, and directing. Hilton Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in October, 1994, and a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town. Before coming to The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe.