January 18, 2019

Culture

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Brands feel pressure from Millennial and Gen Z shoppers to step beyond the bounds of straightforward consumer-product marketing. “I think it is important to stand for more than the product’s benefit that you provide..."

Fear of the news; fear of climate change, fear of touch screens... these New Yorker cartoons portray the modern phobias that are driving us crazy.

"Having resisted bloodthirsty terrorists of the past and of today, the secret of Jewish identity strength is to embrace the holy, towering heritage that has enabled to survive."

"Is Western Civilization even a thing? That may seem like an odd question, but it’s one that anyone who talks about Western Civilization these days will eventually have to face because a lot of intellectuals claim that it isn’t."

"I’ve spent as much money on therapy as the next Angeleno and can appreciate self-forgiveness, but I wonder—is this what L.A. mindfulness is actually about?"

"It’s 2019. Why haven’t you started meditating, already? Why hasn’t everyone? Don’t roll your eyes. You’ve heard about the benefits of mindfulness before."

"You know what’s even more exciting than a mutual fund? An adventure. An adventure is a box you put human beings into, and out the other side comes a more valuable human being. "

"Few spaces in American life today are exempt from the gentle-but-firm dictates of mindfulness..Now it has found its way into the hallowed halls of the art museum."

"Some researchers believe that America's increasingly polarized politics — and the partisan viciousness on social media — may be at least partly the product of increasing loneliness."

"We live in a culture of selfism — a culture that puts tremendous emphasis on self, on self-care and self-display. And one of the things we’ve discovered is that you can be a very good person while thinking only about yourself!"

"An airport kiss between two reunited lovers, or the cries of passion from Marvin Gaye or Etta James, must seem like the unintelligible language of aliens to a generation who, according to Wade, “only have sex with partners they’re not interested..."

"...a true avant-garde leads the way forward. Establishment entrenchment behind bunkers is not a position for a revolutionary, progressive, or idealistic advance."

"Reddit’s Change My View forum, founded in 2013 by Kal Turnbull, then a teenage musician in Scotland, is an online space that promotes respectful conversation between people who disagree with each other."

"We opened the box of doughnuts, popped the cork and had a 30-minute party that never would have happened if we’d put it on the calendar."

"In 1899, Isaac Peebles published “Politeness on Railroads” to help Americans navigate a new mode of transport that had suddenly thrust people into close proximity—and to correct the “evil” of “too great laxity of true politeness.”"

"The word “gaslighting” has lately become an all-purpose term of abuse in political arguments. Its journey from the pages of Psychology Today to the flame wars of Twitter offers us a useful perspective to examine the way our language is changing..."

"The appeal of Zero Waste on an individual level is clear. Late capitalism fosters a sense of helplessness in the face of systemic injustices, a yawning global wealth gap, and rapidly approaching climate catastrophe."

"The hearing world must stop forcing deaf culture to assimilate. Too many hearing people view deafness as a deficiency rather than a separate linguistic context, worldview and culture."

"Kate Bush, the English singer-songwriter, is one of those who have held fast without shrinking, so it is curious and instructive to see how certain cultural signifiers have been trotted out over the years to diminish her."

""Baby, It's Cold Outside" doesn't portray a situation in which a woman lacks sexual consent. It portrays an attempt at seduction."

"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."

"While misinformation has been the object of great attention in politics, medical misinformation might have an even greater body count."

"Against moral sainthood: As philosopher Susan Wolf argues, life is far more meaningful and rich if we do not aim at being morally perfect."

"Progressives are constantly checking their “white privilege,” but what about ideological privilege? Particularly for women, the prevailing assumption is that you aren’t normal unless you’re a liberal Democrat."

"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"

"They always have rebuttals. They're not playing the same game. You're trying to win at chess but they're masters at Go."

"Apocalypse humour and marketing ploys aside, the drive to put together a go bag underlies a sobering reality: ultimately, each one of us is responsible for getting to safety should the need arise."

"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."

"What if you trivialize Hitler? The question has plagued artists ever since the Holocaust. At least one contemporary artist manages to pass the test."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"