Caitlin Flanagan's monster fraternities story in the Atlantic turns out to be, eventually and at last, a story about… the insurance industry. Which actually makes it more fascinating, not less! This is particularly intriguing:
Despite everything you may think you know about life on frat row, there are actually only two [Fraternal Information and Programming Group]-approved means of serving drinks at a frat party. The first is to hire a third-party vendor who will sell drinks and to whom some liability—most significant, that of checking whether drinkers are of legal age—will be transferred. The second and far more common is to have a BYO event, in which the [...]
The North American Review began publication in 1815, long before The Atlantic, which was founded in 1857. It is not our oldest continuously operating publication because it ceased publication in 1940, after having fallen on some very hard times. But it almost did not fall on hard times! A savior had swooped in to save the magazine in 1938. That savior, Joseph Hilton Smyth, was in the business of snapping up a number of small struggling publications, including the Saturday Review of Literature and Living Age, and he bought a piece of Current History as well. Unfortunately he didn't have any money of his own and was apparently spending money [...]
Richard Florida's academic clients like to call Creative Class a "think tank." But his company, Creative Class, actually calls itself a "global advisory services firm," which is correct. Apart from the corporate clients—Goldman Sachs, Citi Group, IBM—for whom they advise on how to reach the "creative class," there's work geared to developers and real estate folks, corporate services and "talent management." And then there's his other clients: cities and city-states, and their business-development corporations.
Now Florida is the "anchor" for the Atlantic's handsome new Atlantic Cities site, (as well as a senior editor for the Atlantic). So the publication—which looks good! Love that Atlantic!—doesn't have to bother [...]
I have no idea why they're covering it now, more than six months after it was released, and it goes completely off the rails about halfway through, as is the case with pretty much everything the reviewer writes, but Caitlin Flanagan's take on the Alec Baldwin divorce memoir in the current issue of the Atlantic does deserve points for this lead: Alec Baldwin's A Promise to Ourselves proceeds from a double-pronged thesis: that American divorce laws are deeply flawed, and that Kim Basinger is a crazy bitch.
While you're over there, check out "The Quiet Coup," a former IMF economist's scary-as-shit assessment of the current economic crisis and [...]