On I'm Nobody: Eve Sedgwick After Death

@dinah Reading Christopher Hitchens as the antidote for "self-absorbed" writing would certainly be a homeopathic remedy.

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 10:00 am 2

On Marco Rubio's Post-Modern Explanations For the Holy Bible

So when do we get to the era when we are all supposed to quit our jobs to relax in the name of The Lord, then?

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm 0

On Bizarre Candidate Warns Against American Executions of Monarchs

To question the divine right of kings would be to rock the very foundations of our society!

Posted on February 9, 2012 at 10:55 am 0

On Life Is The Hardest Commute Of All

"Once, when a young man, I espied in the street the profile of a face that was very displeasing and repulsive to me. I was not a little taken aback when a moment afterwards I found that it was my own, which, in passing by a place where mirrors were sold, I had perceived reflected from two mirrors that were inclined at the proper angle to each other.
Not long ago after a trying railway journey by night and much fatigued, I got into an omnibus just as another gentleman appeared at the other end. "What degenerate pedagogue is that that has just entered," thought I. It was myself: opposite me hung a large mirror. The physiognomy of my class accordingly was better known to me than my own."

In honor of Ernst Mach, I propose to call it Machenfreude.

Posted on October 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm 0

On The Strangely Carnival Atmosphere Outside The Israeli Embassy In Cairo

I liked this piece, but one thing it is missing is an account--even a very abbreviated one--of just how important ties with Israel were for the Mubarak regime and for the new government. The transitional government is having to walk a very fine line between keeping up its end of the illegal, five-year siege of Gaza so as not to lose U.S. aid and not completely alienating public opinion, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the occupation. Given the money that is at stake for them, it will take more than the deaths of a couple of soldiers for the Egyptian government to make any really significant changes in its Israel policies for the time being.

Posted on August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am 0

On What's Invisible At Harvard: A Conversation

@Joey "People are people"

This seems to me to be a good way to avoid having to talk about class differences, since it begins by making differences irrelevant.

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm 3

On Gerrymandered, U.S.A.

"The French builders, clearing away as mere rubbish whatever they found and, like their ornamental gardeners, forming everything into an exact level, propose to rest the whole local and general legislature on three bases of three different kinds: one geometrical, one arithmetical, and the third financial; the first of which they call the basis of territory; the second, the basis of population; and the third, the basis of contribution. For the accomplishment of the first of these purposes they divide the area of their country into eighty-three pieces, regularly square, of eighteen leagues by eighteen...When these state surveyors came to take a view of their work of measurement, they soon found that in politics the most fallacious of all things was geometrical demonstration...It was evident that the goodness of the soil, the number of the people, their wealth, and the largeness of their contribution made such infinite variations between square and square as to render mensuration a ridiculous standard of power in the commonwealth, and equality in geometry the most unequal of all measures in the distribution of men."

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm 1

On Brooklyn's "Hero Bradley Manning" Wall


blah, blah. Next time, try to make an actual argument that would, for example, distinguish what he did from what Ellsberg did, or the relative claims in that vow of loyalty to the state or the attempt (in the service, ultimately, of protecting lives) to force an end to our various insane and pointless wars.

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm 1

On The Mouse That Crawled Up Inside A Man, And Other Urban Legends Of The 17th Century

The beginning of 'David Copperfield', when they try, unsuccessfully, to sell his caul has always freaked me out. I'm slightly more freaked out to know how far back that practice goes.

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm 0

On Panicked Cops Arrest Witnesses of Miami Beach Shoot-Out

Not in Miami proper, BUT, about an hour north, in Lantana, the FBI just arrested a police officer who was robbing Latinos--pulling them over as they left check-cashing places and asking for their wallets so he could "check their papers." Naturally, this fine up-standing lawman also had a pile of Internal Affairs citations for doing things like showing up for work drunk and general incompetence. Florida!

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 11:12 am 0