Stefania Koverova (Comenius): Sexual Orientation as Symbolic Capital and as the "Object" of Symbolic Violence. A review of Orgasm and the West: A History of Pleasure from the Sixteenth Century to the Present by Robert Muchembled. More and more and more on The East, the West, and Sex: A History of Erotic Encounters by Richard Bernstein. From Nerve, an article on the ten greatest sex lives in history. Have you got erotic capital? It can be just as valuable as a university degree, especially for women. A review of Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa Diamond. When sportswriter Mike Penner announced he'd become Christine Daniels, he sought "joy and fulfillment"; after a year, he returned as Mike — but his struggles continued. On the possibility of a "fourth" sexual orientation: Are there asexuals among us? From Slate, can a woman "prong" a man?: Why it's so hard to put sex in the dictionary. For students of high-profile philandering, 2009 was the gift that keeps on giving. Monogamy isn't easy, naturally: Swapping partners in the animal world is more common than once thought. Animal Lovers: Zoophiles make scientists rethink human sexuality. From furry gatherings to nudist mobs, Details takes you on a tour of the nation's sexiest, strangest, and stickiest sex conventions. A look at 6 depraved sexual fetishes that are older than you think. Kyle Munkittrick on how to make sex better. A look at the 5 worst places to go for online sex advice. The Sex Spotters: Facebook as morality police? A St. Mike's scandal highlights the current state of sex on campus. The Catholic Truth Society has published a new Prayer Book for Spouses, containing a prayer to be recited by couples before engaging in sex. An interview with Kate Figes on books on sex and marriage.
A new issue of Applied Semiotics is out. From n+1, to his credit, Jacques Derrida resisted the messianic role others wanted for him as much as possible — now he no longer has to. Meet 25 media stars who leaped from old media to new media. WikiLeaks has revealed the secrets of the Pentagon, Scientology, and Sarah Palin and the explosive video of a US attack on civilians and journalists in Iraq — meet the shadowy figure behind the whistleblower site (and more). The Navy kicked off the month by kicking pirate butt in three foiled attacks. From Forbes, a special section on Your Life in 2020: How to create the future. Pat Buchanan on how separatism and secessionism seem to be in the air. The Search for Serendipity: Believe it or not, some Web readers are starting to miss editors. The Magazinist: A review of Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction by Jake Silverstein. From First Things, Joseph Bottum on the Papal difference. Thrill of the chaste: An article on the truth about Gandhi's sex life. From Cato Unbound, Glen Whitman on the rise of the New Paternalism. It’s hard to fathom that WinterBand band isn’t a joke, something imagined by a deeply disturbed idiot savant in the throes of a swine flu fever dream — but this classic rock-loving crew of bearded bible thumpers is the real deal. From The Morning News, branding a Brooklyn subway station is greater than a typographic concern; Joseph Kloc weaves a brief history of the dash in America, the Czech Republic, and John Wayne’s poetry. Winston Churchill v. Bloomsbury: Shall we fight for king and country? Zombies of Immaterial Labor: Lars Bang Larsen on the modern monster and the death of death. From New York, a look inside the life of Rachel Uchitel and fellow VIP hosts and bottle girls.
James Wood Forsyth Jr. and B. Chance Saltzman (USAF) and Gary Schaub (AWC): Remembrance of Things Past: The Enduring Value of Nuclear Weapons. From Air & Space Power Journal, a special issue (Winter 2009) on nuclear weapons. A review of Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security — From World War II to the War on Terrorism by Julian E. Zelizer. A review of Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement by Lawrence Wittner. A global debate is rising on the merits — and feasibility — of total nuclear disarmament. How can nuclear weapons be abolished when nuclear technology has gone global? A review of Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America’s Enemies by David Albright (and more). Russ Wellen on nuclear weapons: When our national security makes us insecure. Will the START treaty be the dead end of Obama's no-nukes dream? President Obama has significantly limited the role of nuclear weapons in future defense policy — will it help rid the world of nukes, or put America in danger? Why did the Nuclear Posture Review bomb? With its defining statement on nuclear policy, the Obama administration struggles to move past 1949. What China, Pakistan, Russia and the U.K. think about the President's move to reduce the importance of nuclear weapons in future US defense policy. The Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review wins over last holdout: Defense Secretary Gates. How revolutionary is Obama's nuclear posture? Marc Ambinder on flanking the Right on nuclear policy. Your guide to National Nuke Policy History Month. Why is Obama literally nuking swing states in America at this very moment? (and more on the quintessential Fox News image). Here are ten things to help get you through the inevitable nuclear apocalypse.
Kristi Scott (USI): Cheating Darwin: The Genetic and Ethical Implications of Vanity and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. Cosmetics can play a significant role in your life, from helping you attract mates to boosting your earning potential. The future looks large and sexy: The body has a lot of change to go through on the path to post-humanity. Rosemary Ricciardelli (McMaster) and Kimberley Ann Clow (Ontario): Men, Appearance, and Cosmetic Surgery: The Role of Confidence, Self-esteem, and Comfort with the Body. What characteristics of a rival's body are the most threatening to the different sexes? Imagine inhabiting a body that was completely contradictory to what your mind said was right for you — how far would you go to make your body reflect who you really are? Welcome to Manhood, Chaz Bono: Being a dude has its advantages. An interview with Donna Dickenson on books on body shopping. From TED, Anthony Atala on growing new organs. Need a new heart? Grow your own — the idea sounds like science fiction, but it might someday come true. Making a bit of me: A machine that prints organs is coming to market. An interview with Henry Markram, the man who builds brains. Have we entered the stem cell era? Treatments for cancer, blood diseases, and even HIV are finally realizing some of the potential for stem-cell medicine. Tools and Tests: Jonathan Shaw on the evolution of stem-cell research. The first chapter from Stem Cells for Dummies by Lawrence S.B. Goldstein and Meg Schneider. A review of Human Enhancement. A review of Chips, Clones, and Living Beyond 100: How Far Will the Biosciences Take Us? by Paul J. H. Schoemaker and Joyce A. Schoemaker. Wake me up when men get pregnant: Biological transhumanism starts the 21st century on the wrong foot.
From the Journal of Transnational American Studies, Junghyun Hwang (Sogang): From the End of History to Nostalgia: The Manchurian Candidate, Then and Now; and Konomi Ara (Tokyo): Josephine Baker: A Chanteuse and a Fighter. From Mclean's, whenever a scandal arises, the same debate is replayed: does the public have a right to know about a politician’s private affairs? A review of Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen. The Archaeologist as Minotaur: A review of Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism by Cathy Gere. A review of Excess: Anti-consumerism in the West by Kim Humphery. A review of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters (and more and more). Slightly used: What can we learn from our (seemingly) pointless tools? More than thirty years after its very first SportsCenter, ESPN is a colossus — bigger, stronger, and faster than its scrappy founders could have possibly imagined; now, by thinking smaller, it's thinking bigger than ever. On a mission to cultivate the minds of the nation: An interview with Lewis Lapham. From Vice, an interview with "Grandma Justice" Lina Marangoni on Comasina in the mid-80s. A review of The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 by Jacques Derrida. They doth protest too much: These days, what's a good old-fashioned street demonstration worth? The myth of the benign monopoly: It’s worth remembering that extreme market dominance introduces trends that are far from benign. The mystery of Bosnia's ancient pyramids: An amateur archaeologist says he's discovered the world's oldest pyramids in the Balkans, but many experts remain dubious. Jon Avalon on the top 25 centrist columnists and commentators. From UN Dispatch, what's behind the Kyrgyzstan Revolution, and what's next? Three possible scenarios.
From NYRB, an article on Denise Scott Brown, the world’s foremost female architect. The Economist discovers a surprise cache of Marcel Duchamp's urinals. Rogue urinals: Has the art market gone Dada? A review of Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era by Douglas Kellner. Does arts criticism have a future? Norman Lebrecht marks the launch of New Statesman's search for young music critics. A critic’s place, thumb and all: Is there a future for arts criticism? Cinema's Invisible Art: The literary pleasures to be had from reading well-written scene action can be extremely powerful — and yet are largely overlooked. Bad times for good art: For unknown artists to make any money, they need to be known, and to be "known," they need to be able to afford the time to make work, which requires money — you see the Catch-22? An interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist on books on contemporary art. From The L Magazine, Pacman is dead, but it wasn't the red ghost that finally caught up with him: Benjamin Sutton on the video game as art; and Henry Stewart on the art of the video game score. The art world no longer wonders what to make of Chris Ofili's dung-pocked canvasses — instead, they wonder what he will make next. On Value: Paula Marantz Cohen on the strange process of determining worth. The Color of Money: An article on Mark Rothko and selling out in the art world. A review of Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen's Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity, and Geopolitics. Coming off acclaim for The Wire, David Simon takes his approach to New Orleans. Visual art and music are often studied separately, even though seeing and hearing are inexorably linked; Geeta Dayal on books that examine the myriad connections and convergences between sound and painting, architecture, and film.
A new issue of Federations is out. Nicolas Gueguen (Bretagne-Sud): Man’s Uniform and Receptivity of Women to Courtship Request: Three Field Experiments with a Firefighter’s Uniform. The silly hobbies of rich people: Matthew DeBord on a visual history of daffy pursuits. Teresa Ghilarducci, a New School professor of economics who specializes in pensions, is "the most dangerous woman in America". Researcher Rob Wilson is questioning the notion of "group think" — a common psychological phenomenon — that has been used to explain some of the extreme things people do once they are within the confines of a group. An interview with John Timoney on books on policing. A review of The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong by David Shenk (and more and more). An interview with Graciela Chichilnisky on books on risk management. Some say Steve Kappes knows how to run a spy agency, helping the CIA survive the chaos of the Bush years — but to others he’s the hidden hand in many of the nation’s intelligence failures. Stephen Holmes reviews Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State by Garry Wills (and more at Bookforum). Mind over matter: So much for abstract thought — even high-concept thinking may be rooted in the way we experience life physically. Do higher cigarette prices deter smoking? The politics of a good society: An interview with Stephen R. Shalom on participatory politics, or parpolity. Let us now praise shyness. From The Guardian, a look at the Amazonian tribe that can only count up to five. Discrimination in the workplace: Minorities and broads often face discrimination in the workplace, but thanks to education, we are making significant progress. Alan Johnson on the glory that is Normblog (and more).
Laurence Cooper (Carleton): What Liberalism Is Missing. Richard Epstein on the trouble with progressives (and more). From The New American, Wiliam Jasper on the grasp of Socialist International and on how the media jump to smear the Right with extremist label. John Derbyshire on the "Archie Bunkers" and the Meatheads of fashionable liberalism. From Intellectual Conservatism, Bill Wavering on the history of the Church of Secular/Progressivism (and part 2); and a review of How the Left Was Won: An In-Depth Analysis of the Tools and Methodologies Used by Liberals to Undermine Society and Disrupt the Social Order by Richard Mgrdechian. Jean Bethke Elshtain reviews The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right by Jon Shields. From Freedom Daily, Jacob Hornberger on ten tenets of freedom (and part 2); James Bovard on how George W. Bush redefined American freedom; and articles on liberal delusions about freedom and democratic misrepresentations. David Boaz on how there's no such thing as a golden age of lost liberty. From Alternative Right, an article on the Myth of the Old Right. Despite the growing interest in Michael Oakeshott, “Rationalism in Politics” is not appreciated widely enough. Alan Johnson on conservatism as an adversary culture. Josh Marshall on the Right's phony fetish, the Constitution. The Right since Obama: Jennifer Burns on the return of market fundamentalism. Bring it on, Ayn Rand geeks: Why the emergence of the libertarian right is good news for progressives. The tea party crowd boasts would-be stars, but many thinking conservatives begin to worry: Who will lead them? Mark Schmitt on the high cost of conservative intellectual bankruptcy: David Frum's firing is bad news. More and more on Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society.
Andrew Dilley (Aberdeen): Empire and Risk: Edwardian Financiers, Australia, and Canada c. 1899-1914. A review of London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945 by Barry Miles (and more). Philip Hensher on why we're in the grip of medieval mania. A review of The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System 1830-1970 by John Darwin. A review of Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850 by Holger Hoock. An excerpt from Before Wilde: Sex Between Men in Britain’s Age of Reform by Charles Upchurch. Intimate History: A grand history and an elegiac new film explore Britain’s recent, and irrecoverable, past. An excerpt from The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play by James Whorton (and more and more). A review of Strange Days Indeed: The 1970s: The Golden Days of Paranoia by Francis Wheen. A review of Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-world, 1783-1939 by James Belich. A review of The Mythology of Imperialism: a Revolutionary Critique of British Literature and Society in the Modern Age by Jonah Raskin. 1282 and all that: Welsh historians must look beyond England to challenge their tired and introspective consensus. A review of Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England by Adam Kuper. A review of The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850 by Joel Mokyr. A review of When the Lights Went Out: What Really Happened to Britain in the Seventies by Andy Beckett. For 70 years, this picture has been used to tell the same story — of inequality, class division, “toffs and toughs” — but what was the real story behind it? The first chapter from British History for Dummies by Sean Lang.
Ben Schiller (East Anglia): Selling Themselves: Slavery, Survival, and the Path of Least Resistance. From Psychology Today, a look at why nostalgia for the past is good medicine; and your 20s are always the "good old days": Our preference for certain products and cultural images that are no longer popular is explained. The Sheriff: Michelle Cottle on the semiotics of Janet Napolitano. Bartenders revive classic cocktails — the law responds by reviving classic crackdowns. Much ado about cutting: Why the big flap over circumcision? More than ever, the anti-hero, in specific Tony Soprano-esque ways, is very much alive. Gangstas R Us: Jeremy Sherman on why we love crime drama. A review of NYPD Confidential: Power and Corruption in the Country’s Greatest Police Force by Leonard Levitt. A review of Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v the Media by Lance Price. Ingrid Hylander (Karolinska): Organizing for a Peaceful Crowd: An Example of a Football Match. A review of Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World by Gary Indiana. Archaeologies of Media Art: An interview with Garnet Hertz. In defense of the chick flick: After Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for best director, Hollywood says it's the Year of the Woman — so why the attack on female-friendly films? Just too soft to be Sartre: It's not easy being an existentialist in today's moral greyscale. Lincoln Michel reviews How to Sell by Clancy Martin. From Fletcher Forum, an interview with Jack Goldsmith on the future of enemy combatants, Guantanamo Bay, and nuclear terrorism. From Flashpoint, a special issue on artist and poet David Jones. An interview with Albert Laszlo Barabasi, author of Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do. There are 50 ways to leave your lover, according to Paul Simon — but how many ways are there to leave a friend?