November 19, 2018

Culture

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."

"Podcasting is a peculiarly intimate medium. Usually transmitted through headphones to a solitary listener, or played over the car stereo during a commute, an audio narrative can be immersive..."

"That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media."

"Should the acquired item prove absolutely useless, as its original owner clearly felt it to be, there is always something else to do with it, provided one has ingenuity, a high tolerance for clutter, and, ideally, a range of demented enthusiasms."

"The unconscious can perform astonishing feats of memory, but it can also play a remarkable role in creativity: sudden insights, solutions and life-enhancing ideas sometimes surface unbidden when the mind is adrift in unconscious reverie."

"Yoga and meditation, two ancient practices, are now officially the most popular alternative health approaches in the United States, each used by around 35 million adults."

"In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877), Clifford gives three arguments as to why we have a moral obligation to believe responsibly, that is, to believe only what we have sufficient evidence for, and what we have diligently investigated."

"How people draw those borders effects how we even define "us" and "them" - how, or even if, "they" can become "us." But it hasn't always been that way. In fact, throughout the period known as the European Middle Ages, there were no borders at all"

"Over the past decade, white millennials have embraced witchcraft in droves. Now a parallel phenomenon is emerging among black millennials."

"In Tacitus’s description of the tall, blond, rather savage northern tribes, Himmler saw the superior Aryan stock whose preservation and dominance motivated the Nazis. “We will return to being what we were,” he wrote in his diary..."

"What has truly fueled the Boomers’ transition from “means well, but sometimes frustrating” to Trumpian insanity is Facebook... There all of their worst impulses are collectively reinforced, constantly rewarded, and ceaselessly amplified."

"Traditionally, monsters came from elsewhere: at the unknown edges of maps, from distant times and places. But as the bounds of the known Universe have expanded, the habitats of monsters shrunk back."

"More women than men suffer pain from their footwear, according to podiatric surveys, and similarly, more women than men say they’ll suffer for the sake of their shoes."

"...many contemporary newspapers and politicians openly doubted the truth about the Klan’s purported mission, its crimes, even its very existence. The various motivations for this campaign of denialism are all too familiar today..."

"“I didn’t necessarily feel anything,” was often said. Sometimes, “No, there was definitely something watching us.” Or even, “The kids said they saw a shadow.”"

"Drive from coast to coast and everybody seems to be getting along fine — as long as you don’t listen to talk radio in the car or turn on cable TV news at the hotel."

"'Autonomies,' an acclaimed dystopian drama about the formation of two entities – the Haredi Autonomy in Jerusalem and a secular State of Israel in Tel Aviv – shows how Israel’s various cultures could live better with each other separately."

"Bad opinions aren’t going anywhere, and we all have them. Through conversations with our peers and the media, we subject our ideas to scrutiny and proceed accordingly."

"How did an elite, repressive minority policing speech and culture through political correctness come to browbeat the American democratic majority?"

"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."

In the age of "self-care," where should we draw the boundaries? Are we wasting money, hiding from the world, and hurting our friends all in the name of "self-care?"

What makes a song become a classic. Slate asked critics, musicians, and industry professionals to predict which songs from the past 25 years we will be listening to for the next one hundred.

"As a queer Black Clevelander, the podcast's new season investigating criminal justice in Cleveland clarifies a lifetime of racist interactions with police."

“This desire to inflect price, to bargain, to determine shopping behaviors in advance, is a common denominator for contemporary artists—you might say it’s the lowest.”

On sensitive issues, most Americans are censoring themselves.

“Do you send Venmo requests for less than $5?”

“Religiously unaffiliated voters, who may or may not be associated with other civic institutions, seem most excited about supporting or donating to causes…”

Quoting Churchill can get you in trouble on Twitter these days.

“Nanette erodes the separation between comedy and TED Talk.”

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JJ Best Of The Web

"Military relations in the transatlantic alliance are humming. Yet an intangible but palpable crisis is shaking the foundations of NATO – and it has brought the organization to a moment of reckoning."

"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."

"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."

"Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side..."

"Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable."

"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"While many books experience sweeping popularity, Ferrante’s novels are part of a subgroup of pop culture that compels people to travel. Tour groups like Looking for Lila and Ferrante Fever Naples have popped up across Naples..."

"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."

"As thrilled as I am to be hosting (and therefore not to have to deal with one of the busiest travel days of the year), I’ll be honest: I’m a little stressed out. "

"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."

"Be connected, be still, and be satisfied -- my 3 essential principles of Shabbat do more for me than all the halacha I learned to be a rabbi."