From The New Yorker, does the wrangling of interest groups corrupt politics — or constitute it? Laws for Sale: Why politicians, and not the lobbyists who influence them, are the problem in Washington. Notes on a Scandal: Why pledges to "clean up Washington" never work. Michael Weiss on the five varieties of bad political thinking: Understanding what's wrong with politics today. The word "partisanship" is typically accompanied by the word "mindless" — that's not simply insulting to partisans; it's also untrue. The GOP's Dirty War: How Republicans have risen from the dead by distorting Obama's agenda and shutting down the government. Weapon in Unity: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found some success in his strategy to contain Democrats. Why Republicans want gridlock: Groups in decline, such as the white working class that controls the GOP, tend to focus on blocking change. Hail on the Chief: Crackpot! Socialist! Tyrant! Oh, how we Americans love to pillory our presidents. Research hints that the roots of political judgments may lie in fundamental personality types and in the hard-wiring of our brains. John Protevi explains his book Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic. What can policymakers learn from happiness research? Elizabeth Kolbert reviews The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being by Derek Bok (and more and more). From Boston Review, Eliot Spitzer on government’s proper role in the market (and responses). All power to the choice architects: Alan Wolfe offers up a liberal critique of libertarian paternalism (and a response by Mark Schmitt, and a reply by Wolfe). From TNR, it's you, not me: Liberals and libertarians finally break up (and a response).
Chick flickology: What can your average guy learn about women by watching movies made for them? Male and female shopping strategies show evolution at work in the mall. Are men more evolved than women? Men might not be so primitive after all. An analysis of titles of Harlequin romance novels provides evidence that evolutionary impulses help explain our choice of mate. Why Men Cheat: One man's unfiltered, unadulterated explanation. Jesse Bering reopens the case of the female orgasm. The myths about Mr. and Ms.: Men’s and women’s brains really are not the same — but most of those differences are learned, not inborn. A review of The Masculine Mandate: God's Calling to Men by Richard Phillips. What do this year's Superbowl spots tell us about men and women? (and more on the "castrating woman") Innate gender differences in abilities exist, but why aren’t they controversial this time? An interview with Greg Middleton, author of Real Men: What's Happening to Our Male? A new meta-analysis finds gender differences in sexual attitudes and behaviors are smaller than you may think. The shame cycle: Jessica Grose on the new backlash against casual sex (and more). A review of Male Sexuality: Why Women Don't Understand It and Men Don't Either by Michael Bader. Dockers and Dicks: Genderless society is an utter myth — someone tell the advertising companies. Why are boys so keen on cars and construction kits? Hormones, not upbringing, could be the explanation. Here are revelations about women and sex. Pregnant women have a long list of rules to follow to protect the health of their child, but evidence suggests lifestyle choices of fathers should be called into question too. Men are hardwired to love tanks; Will Smith decides to step up his manhood and mount a few.
Jutta Haider and Olof Sundin (Lund): Beyond the Legacy of the Enlightenment? Online Encyclopaedias as Digital Heterotopias. Brandon Beemer (Colorado): Mashups: A Literature Review and Classification Framework. From Wired, 10 years after: A look back at the dotcom boom and bust. An article on how ICANN, the little-understood, policy-setting body that’s in charge of the net’s address system, and its energetic new leader, Rod Beckstrom, is gearing up for some of its biggest challenges yet. Russell M Davies on the value of metadata. How privacy vanishes online: Using bits of data from social network sites, researchers gleaned names, ages and even Social Security numbers. Even if you do have a mostly private Facebook profile, others can glean vital information about you — just by looking at your friend list. Here's a look at the 7 types of Internet lists and 5 reasons the Internet could die at any moment. Loss in the Internet Age: Facing the death of a loved one will never quite be the same in an era of 1800Flowers.com e-reminders and Facebook walls. From Business Insider, here is the full story of how Facebook was founded. Facebook may be great at connecting long-lost friends, but could it also be used as a legal defense? A look at how Twitter and Facebook make us more productive. More and more and more on You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier (and more at Bookforum). From Writ, a landlord/tenant defamation case highlights the risks of Twitter. The Curated Web: Tumblr, a relatively new blogging platform, just might be the future of the social Internet. An interview with Andrey Ternovskiy, creator of Chatroulette (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Before Chatroulette, there was the Circuit, a combination of Match.com, Skype, and the transporter from Star Trek.
From The Root, Dayo Olopade on how black women became powerful, on why are there so few black women politicians, and on tomorrow's crop of black women leaders. Are our asteroid-destroying nukes big enough? A new study shows that blasted asteroids could re-form, Terminator-style. Why are we afraid to tax the super-rich? Recording sexual behaviour in the sixteenth century: An excerpt from Shakespeare, Sex & Love by Stanley Wells. Diversity training has swept corporate America — just one problem: It doesn’t seem to work. Children’s books have privileged a paradigm of homogeneity and heterosexuality, but lately a number of children’s books that reflect existing diversity have been steadily appearing. Toward a New Alexandria: Lisbet Rausing on imagining the future of libraries. From The Nation, a review of Freedom's Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s by Robert Cohen. GalleyCat Reviews collects some classic criticism of Alice in Wonderland from some great writers. The decision to honor Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History has provoked controversy; Scott McLemee meditates on the protest. From This Recording, Alex Canevale on The Urge to Rehab; and Dick Cheney on Sex with Josh Holloway: "You guys. This is a perilous time in American life for precisely all the reasons you're thinking of". Michael Dirda on how Robert K. Merton's classic work of comic scholarship On the Shoulders of Giants is a uniquely witty, digressive entertainment for the mind. The Gay Terrorist: A new story about the run-up to 9/11 has emerged — a previously undisclosed, covert C.I.A. effort to recruit a spy to penetrate Al Qaeda a year and a half before the planes crashed into the towers.
Carolyn Erler (Texas Tech): The Obama Code: Ghosts and Monsters in the Visual Datasphere. From Commentary, Michael J. Lewis on the art of Obama worship. The lavishly illustrated Art for Obama is more than just another coffee table tome. White Canvas House: What’s revealing about Obama’s art selections for the White House has nothing to do with gender or race — it’s more abstract than that (and more on the Obamas' taste in art). Art theory on the news: Barack Obama rented all this new art to express his feelings about things. Why dictators love kitsch: Kim Jong Il-Clinton photo op spotlights a style that’s long glorified tyrants. From Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, a review of Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority (and a roundtable on defining anarchist art). When art was by and for the people: The modern left seems to think good art should exclude the masses — William Morris knew better. James Matthew Wilson on art and beauty against the politicized aesthetic (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4 and part 5 and part 6 and part 7). The comfort of ignorance: The Right continues its shameless crusade against the arts. Tamara Rojo, one of the world's greatest ballerinas, says we should treasure our lack of political interference in the arts. Davide Panagia’s The Political Life of Sensation asks whether there is an aesthetics in democracy. An article on the Berlin Wall and how today's art reflects 20 years of memories. The art of diplomacy: An excerpt from Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens by Mark Lamster. Gregory Sholette |inprint/01603/4324|reviews| Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era_ by Julia Bryan-Wilson. The art of politics: As the Federal Duck Stamp turns 75, what's coming out of the national government's only art contest?
From Triple Canopy, Joshua Cohen on Thirty-Six Shades of Prussian Blue: Reading the world’s first artificial color; and De Tribus Impostoribus: Victoria Miguel on an Internet play inspired by the eponymous book (which was neither written nor published), consisting of three dialogues on the limits and imperfections of language. An interview with David Kirby, author of Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment. The People v. Bush: Charlotte Dennett on how to prosecute a president. The first study of magazines and their various approaches to websites, undertaken by Columbia Journalism Review, found publishers are still trying to work out how best to utilise the online medium. The only thing standard about magazines’ Web sites is that there are no standards. Here's a proposition: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the outstanding democratically elected national leader in the world today. A confluence of forces over the past two years could be contributing to a bizarre rise in real-life, mask-and-spandex super heroes. A segregated peace: Is this how Northern Ireland was supposed to turn out? In celebration of Small Press Month, the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row blog profiles The Great Books Foundation. Dirigible Dreams: Is one of aviation's most enduring technological hopes about to become a reality? An article on Siberia, the next Costa Rica. How men in grey suits changed the world: Accountancy has a reputation for dullness but its history is the history of civilisation itself, from the evolution of government and taxation to trade and capitalism. The New McCarthyism: How a smearing of Justice Department lawyers as "terrorist sympathizers" traveled from the conservative media to the United States Senate.
And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.
From the JRB, conflicting narratives mar all discussion of the settler movement, impeding dispassionate understanding of its origin and destination — all writers are either “with us” or “against us”. From AI, Daniel Kurtzer on how West Bank settlements hollow out respect for the law in the State of Israel; are the settlements illegal? Answering that question is a pitfall the Obama Administration has been wise to avoid; and Israel and America have long taken opposite approaches to managing Palestinians and other Arabs — it’s time we recognized the divide. From Haaretz, do Israelis and Palestinians belong to one divided society, or to two separate societies in a situation of forced proximity as a result of a temporary occupation? From Logos, a review of Eyal Weizman's Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, Saree Makdisi's Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, and Neve Gordon's Israel’s Occupation. Could the Israeli government make it any more obvious they have no intention of sharing the Over-Promised Land with its other inhabitants? The Palestinians should now declare their independence. Michael Herzog on the Hamas Conundrum: The untamed shrew, four years on. An excerpt from Norman G. Finkelstein's This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion. Operation Cast Lead and the ethics of just war: Was Israel's conduct in its campaign against Hamas morally justified? Fearful Asymmetry: James Traub reads the Goldstone Report. To the victor go the street names: The real legacy of regional conflict can be found in the smallest details — street names, curriculum choices — that painfully enshrine some of the worst violence. A review of Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine by Lev Luis Grinberg. An excerpt from A Wall in Palestine by Rene Backmann.
From AHR, a special section on Naturecultures, including Gay Hawkins (UNSW): More-than-Human Politics; and Zoe Sofoulis (UWS): Social Construction for the Twenty-first Century: A Co-Evolutionary Makeover; and a special section on Writing in the Anthropocene, including Madronna Holden (OSU): Re-storying the World: Reviving the Language of Life; and Kate Rigby (Monash): Writing in the Anthropocene: Idle Chatter or Ecoprophetic Witness? White liberals champion green values partly as a substitute for religion, which has largely lost its grip on them. A review of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear by Douglas Bevington (and a response). Counter to the laws of private property, jurisprudence based in the rights of Nature is possible. For all its complexity, the core of this problem is simple: What kind of a climate transition would be fair enough to actually work? The idea that growing human numbers will destroy the planet is nonsense, but over-consumption will (and more). From ALF, a special issue on climate change after Copenhagen. Johann Hari on how mainstream environmental groups sold out their principles, often in exchange for money from the worst polluters (and responses). Of all the wrongheaded ideas trumpeted by America's right, anti-environmentalism occupies a unique position — at once the most devoid of a rational or moral foundation and the most dangerous. The Chamber of Commerce's challenge to carbon regulations probably won't convince a court of law — the court of public opinion is another matter. A review of Why We Disagree about Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity by Mike Hulme. Science won't tell us what to do about climate change, but it can make the controversy worse.
Dennis Baron (Illinois): Should Everybody Write? The Destabilizing Technologies of Communication. From Zenit, priestly celibacy is not psychologically dangerous, and in fact, sexual behavior based on "anything goes" is what is truly destructive to the personality. Tim Worstall on how megachurches would profit from temple prostitution. From Time, a special section on 10 Ideas for the Next 10 Years: A thinker's guide to the most important trends of the new decade. Dr. Helen interviews Ed Hudgins on A Year of Going Galt: Private happiness without public penalty? From Vanity Fair, the late-night war among Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman is an Oedipal conflict: pretender, contender, and defender — but none has the elusive quality that made Johnny Carson king. The Great Sperm Race: "Sizing Up Sperm" uses real people to represent 250 million sperm on their marathon quest to be first to reach a single egg. An interview with Terry Eagleton on The Task of the Critic. A review of The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford. From Vice, an interview with Joe Kittinger, the guy who jumped out of a balloon at 102,800 feet. From World Hum, Robert Reid on a short history of spring break; and tourism is not a four-letter word: On travel snobbery — and why paying 30 bucks to get pummeled by a guy named Mustafa isn't such a bad thing. The space program we almost had: An interview with Megan Prelinger, author of Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962.
And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.
From Wired, how Andrew Breitbart hacks the media (and more and more and more). They fear Obama's the antichrist or a socialist — meet the GOP's army of washed-up celebrities. Obama, a college Marxist: Little information has come to light about President Obama’s youthful political views — that may change as disclosures by former professor John C. Drew surface in the mainstream press. Michael Lind on mythological politics: The key to understanding the populist right's accusations that Obama is a socialist. Remember when religious populism walked hand-in-hand with economic populism? Neither does Sarah Palin. "Run, Sarah, Run!": Jonathan Raban on the Tea Party Convention. If Glenn Beck is an example of the new sensibility, then what distinguishes the new conservatives is a deep grievance with history itself. You've got to hand it to Beck and the Tea Party crowd: They’re making it OK to call someone you disagree with a Nazi. Too many of those analyzing the Tea Party movement seem to have no genuine interest in grappling with its potential historical significance. A "tea party" nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court. Teabaggers are mounting an electoral challenge to movement's hero Ron Paul. A review of Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove (and more and more and more and more and more). You've must admit, there's something Churchillian about Newt Gingrich. Jonathan Chait on Randian Paul Ryan and the Republican vision. If Ryan's roadmap is the Republican way, why aren't Republicans driving on it? How Dick Cheney plans to use his daughter Liz's political future to ensure his legacy. How did 28-year-old ex-Yalie and former speechwriter Christopher Michel become the man behind Dubya's memoirs?