Kirk Packwood (North Texas): Sports Commentators and Late Monopoly Capitalist Indoctrination in the United States. James W. Satterfield and Michael Gary Godfrey (Clemson): The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Football: A Metaphorical, Symbolic and Ritualistic Community Event. Why you should always go for it on 4th and short. From Scientific American, an in-depth report on the science of pro football. Football wasn’t always as dangerous as it is now — it used to be far, far worse. How college bowls got over-commercialized: Like many sports traditions, the college football bowl system keeps getting bigger — and sillier. Game of Numbers: How the BCS rules college football (and more). A look at the argument against college sports. For the US academy, sport — particularly American football — isn't a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that. Whose best interests does the NCAA serve? College players are being deprived of some basic American labor rights. Susan Ferguson on Marxist theories of sport: Nation, commerce and pleasure. Major League Soccer foolishly ignores the sport's American history. The meaning of Russia 2018: What the World Cup says about the world. The ugly prejudice that casts a shadow over the beautiful game: Twenty years after Justin Fashanu came out football remains out of step with the real world. GeoCurrents on the Nations of Rugby.
Jude P. Dougherty (CUA): Two Treatises on the Acquisition and Use of Power. From Skepsi, a special issue on literature and violence. Mapping the malaise of modernity: A review of The Geography of Good and Evil by Andreas Kinneging. An interview with Simon During, author of Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity. In 140 characters or less, White Girl Problems tweets about everything from wardrobe meltdowns (“Fuck. I left those shoes in Dubai.”), to general laziness (“I don’t want to.”), and has become the ultimate guide to crises that affect the privileged and oblivious. Roger Scruton on Multiculturalism, R.I.P. From Open Democracy, Michael Gardiner on "English Literature" as ideology. A new role for an old political philosophy: A review of Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination by Benedict Anderson and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott (and more at Bookforum). U.S. rethinks strategy for the unthinkable: The Obama administration wants to convey how to react to a nuclear attack but is worried about seeming alarmist. An interview with Joshua Phillips, author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. The iconography of Lady Justice and her blindfold: A review of Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms by Judith Resnik and Dennis E. Curtis (and more).
Chauncey DeVega on the cult of Ronald Reagan and the racist origins of American conservatism. Robert C. Smith on his book Conservatism and Racism and Why in America They Are the Same. The American “precariat”: What role does racism play in fueling support for the Tea Party movement? Joe Palmer thinks he knows what informs the Tea Party. John Dean on Sarah Palin and the dumbing down of the American presidency. Sarah Palin, Anyown, and the Constitutional Reformation: Normal America and free America are at war with the Left, and anyone one who is not ready to fire back when fired at need not apply. A look at how the Tea Party was foretold by Sinclair Lewis' classic It Can't Happen Here. Spengler on how longevity gives life to Tea Party. The Tea Party's Vendetta: After two years of Obama's foreign policy pragmatism toward Latin America, Republicans in Congress are threatening to turn back the clock to Cold War times. Critics of the Tea Party movement might think the only college at which the conservative activist group belongs is the virtual Glenn Beck University, but students who have started Tea Party organizations at a number of campuses might beg to differ. R. Christopher Whalen's Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream could be the Das Kapital of the Tea Party Revolution. The Tea Party Troubadours: Meet the artists providing the soundtrack to patriotism. Bedtime for little patriots: The rise of the right-wing children’s book.
Jeremy Waldron (NYU): Torture, Suicide, and Determinatio. Vassili Zaitsev was the Soviet Union’s greatest sniper; these 10 sniper tactics are based on Zaitsev’s own memoir. The contest between rival “Soviet” and “European” discourses fuels a dead-end debate about Belarus’s elusive national identity — it is time instead to change the question. Belarus Betrayal: Why is the West cozying up to Alexander Lukashenko, Europe's last dictator? (and more and more from Foreign Policy) Federal Deficit Disorder: Why the tax-cut deal won't solve America's fiscal or economic crises. What's the purpose of taxes? Many are wondering if it is time to construct a better system. Enough humbug: Deck the halls with Christmas cliches. The Legacy of High-School Cliques: How the labels we get as teenagers shape the rest of our lives, and why social networking and the economy are changing the way a generation deals with those early stereotypes. Privacy is over: Computers start to read minds. HiLobrow’s Joshua Glenn published a book titled The Idler’s Glossary, in which he claimed that idlers can be very busy and productive, indeed — in 2010, he set out to prove it. Michael Kinsley reviews Decision Points by George W. Bush. Ezra Klein on how health-care overhaul's individual mandate makes all the difference. The 10 Worst Predictions for 2010: Ten pundits and politicians whose prognostications for this year completely missed the mark.
Susanna Mancini (Bologna): To Be or Not to Be Jewish: The UK Supreme Court Answers the Question. From the Jewish Review of Books, an article on the curious case of Mark Zborowski and the writing of a modern Jewish classic. It is no accident that Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex while having an affair with Jewish novelist Nelson Algren. From Tablet, recent right-wing rejections of Einstein’s theory of relativity echo Nazi dismissals of what they called "Jewish Physics"; and Harry Houdini exhibited two very different public faces — master of escape and anti-mystical firebrand — that were united by his Jewishness (and more). From Forward, Arthur Green on how Hasidism went astray; and an article on spelling "G-d": By golly, it’s the deity again (and more). An interview with Abraham H Foxman on anti-Semitism. Barry Rubin on Friedrich Nietzsche, the strangest antisemite of them all. Early Zionist writing evoked the tragic male hero, bound by the cruel destiny of his people and himself — it’s true of many contemporary works, including Kushner and Spielberg’s Munich. A video extolling the American Jewish World Service plays on stereotypes that may have been offensive in the past. Saul Austerlitz on the evolution of the Jewish Comedy Nerd. Yabba Dabba Jew: Fred Flintstone was voiced by a New York Jew who modeled his delivery on the immigrants he grew up among. Jews and the Booze: Brewers for thousands of years and we’re still sober.