Best Of The Web
Welcome, Bearded Man with a Slouchy Beanie Riding the Subway. You are reading me, a book. I am the reason that everyone in this train car is looking at you. They are curious—a young man reading a book, in this day and age? He must have a good heart, they think. Your literary fluency is attractive, they decide. They imagine that you will sweep them off their feet with poems about soft lips, though, in reality, you haven’t brushed your teeth for longer than forty seconds since high school. If only they knew that you were reading this book, a placeholder book, to convince other people that you are reading.
Chapter 1: A Celebration Is in Order
You’ve made it to the first chapter, which means that you’ve turned one page. Time to celebrate this lofty achievement.
Chapter 4: A Good Chuckle on Behalf of the Fools
Ha! Despite this current attempt to gain the respect of commuting strangers, in your regular life, you are barely able to string a sentence together without betraying your stupidity. Most of what you say are the regurgitated opinions of your co-worker (and longtime Frisbee enthusiast) Benj. But no one on this train needs to know that. Here, you are the man who knows how to enjoy literature and probably loves his mother a lot, but not too much.
Chapter 7: You Are Getting Away with This
Blah blah blah blah. See? You’re technically reading! Who needs real books, anyway, now that you’ve got this meta book that’s convincing everyone that you’re on a quest to find the perfect tree trunk to lean up against? Sure, the truth is that you haven’t done laundry in two months because “the bank is far and no one else has quarters.” But forget that! You are getting away with this whole book thing. Maybe you should be a professor. A books professor.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."