Best Of The Web
“WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY TWO STINTS at the now-shuttered Village Voice—for which I freelanced regularly from the late seventies to the late eighties, returning as a staff writer from 1994-1999—one unexpected but apt word that keeps popping to mind is “fecund.” My recollection that I worked for two or possibly three different papers all hawked under the same name doesn’t seem remarkable, because the Voice never stopped mutating. Interludes of smugness weren’t unknown, but ossification was never in the cards.
That was because responsiveness to cultural and political flux was built—and often jerry-built—into the paper’s ramshackle m.o. The Voice broke its share of hard-news stories, and certainly alerted readers to more than its share of no-longer-fringe trends, sometimes NYC-specific and sometimes not. But the difference between how we went about the job and the staid way the NYT or The New Yorker did was that we never covered that stuff from a settled institutional distance. We let ourselves get stimulated and jostled by it, and brother, did we ever argue about it. We hashed these squabbles out every week among ourselves, as well as with an audience that expected contentious perceptiveness about the latest City Hall shitstorm or collective art-world orgasm, not just a tidy rearrangement of the same reassuringly familiar deck chairs.
Amid all the disputativeness, fecundity became the only constant, defining the paper’s identity every bit as much as the stubborn (albeit increasingly minuscule) “Village” in its name. I don’t want to exaggerate this side of the paper’s appeal, because our audience could also expect the Voice’s crankier mainstays to reliably produce thoughtful variations on the same column brief week in and week out. For some readers, that no doubt remained a much better reason to pick up the paper every Wednesday than the basket of unpredictables who’d chosen to update a bohemian sensibility they’d imbibed from the Voice itself by regularly yanking and re-wiring their elders’ preconceptions six ways to Sunday.”
JJ Best Of The Web
North Korea has committed itself to denuclearization… again. The breakthrough deal between North and South Korea is being celebrated. But why should we trust North Korea this time?
“The Electoral College was a dumb idea when it was first proposed. Today, it's the Constitution's most egregious affront to elementary fairness… It's long past time we abolished it.”
Israel has fought in a number of wars since the Yom Kippur war in 1973. But not a single one of them so deeply threatened the existence of the Jewish State, and the national trauma still remains.
As the first Emmy Awards Ceremony in the post #MeToo era, diversity was supposed to be the theme of the evening. But measuring diversity at an awards show is no easy feat.
“Wall Street's profit-generating machine created a jumble of products (MBS, ABS, CDO...) designed to profit off of the relatively mundane business of mortgage lending… These products are staging a comeback.”
“To be alive and online in our time is to feel at once incensed and stultified by the onrush of information, helpless against the rising tide of bad news and worse opinions.”
Reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance” at school is so common as to be taken for granted in American schools. The truth is, it’s not that common. And we haven’t always done it.
Tolstoy, in addition to literary masterpieces, left behind a legacy as a political and spiritual thinker. His teachings inspired a Kibbutz-like cooperative farming movement. These Tolstoyan communities still exist.
It’s not uncommon today for parents to empower their children with more choices. For the parents of almost-three-year-old Naya, gender is just another thing their letting their kid decide.
“First came the cauliflower steaks, thick vegetal slabs, roasted and served like cruciferous T-bones. Then there was Buffalo cauliflower, breaded and fried and generally chicken-shaped.”
Climate change can be difficult to document. That's why scientists and journalists traveled to Greenland to study the slow transformation of ice. Follow the link to see the stunning photos of a landscape in flux.
Jews have had a state for seventy years. It has been just about as long since the end of the Holocaust. Globally speaking, antisemitism is down. But it doesn’t always feel that way.