September 23, 2019

Culture

"Adam Morris’s American Messiahs: False Prophets for a Damned Nation attempts this difficult task, tracing a series of cults and communes through history from the founding of the American Republic to the fall of Jonestown."

"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."

"What if there were a way to promote gender inclusion—as announcing pronouns and adding Mx. as an option to airline reservations seek to do—without running the risk of worsening gender inequality? We think there is: using they/them for everyone..."

"From the context of comedy to transphobic memes, ContraPoints is doing the seemingly impossible: making nuanced and controversial political debates both sexy and engaging."

"A recent survey showed there are now as many Americans who claim “no religion” — 23 percent — as there are who identify as Catholic or evangelical, the two largest affiliations."

"The current system for delivering news online is broken. Readers and journalists will need to work together to find a new one."

"Suppose we were to say that only those people are women who possess two X chromosomes. Do we then want to exclude trans women? This question has arisen with some hostility recently..."

"Her new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, looks at first glance like another contribution to the literature of digital detox. "

"Conservatives, crack open some champagne and celebrate. A remarkable renewal of traditional painting and sculpture has taken place in the American art scene over the past 10 years."

"During the Super Bowl this year, a commercial about inclusive, or human-centred, design was broadcast, showing how Microsoft redesigned the Xbox by working with children who have disabilities."

"somewhere along the way, the message of inclusivity went from “every kind of person can be beautiful” to “every person is beautiful.” I’m increasingly convinced that this message [is] harmful."

"For some of the immigrants who take classes in English and citizenship from Welcoming the Stranger... the past few years have clouded the sense of welcome they felt when they first came to America."

"Twitter user @freeyourmindkid asked white people to share “the most outrageous thing that you’ve gotten away with as a white person that you know damn well a black or brown person would have never gotten away with?”"

"Presidential races are getting longer.... There was a time when a future president could wait until the latter half of the year to announce a campaign for the next."

"Nineteenth-century minstrel entertainers spawned a racist caricature that endures to this day when they darkened their faces to portray black people as grinning, dancing simpletons."

"Characters like Maryann White come along, and they’re so easy to hate. Swimming through the news cycle today is exhausting when done carefully — and the Maryann Whites of the world are convenient life buoys."

"An unscrupulous, money-hungry marketing industry helped define the millennials, often with wildly inept results. And now it's getting to work on the next cohort."

"Although widely held, the belief that merit rather than luck determines success or failure in the world is demonstrably false. This is not least because merit itself is, in large part, the result of luck."

"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."

"It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance: an architectural practice that puts the commodifiable image above all else, including the social good..."

"If you tell me to calm down, I probably won’t. The same goes for: “be reasonable,” “get over it already,” “you’re overreacting,” “it was just a joke,” “it’s not such a big deal.”"

"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."

"The air is getting more dangerous to breathe all over the world — and a suite of companies are hoping to capitalize with a new fashion item."

"Nowadays, the Men’s Rights movement runs the gamut from incels to red pillers, but in the 1970s, men's libbers looked something like… feminists?"

"The value of outsider art to the art world lies less in its formal qualities than in the narrative surrounding its artists. Outsider artists can make for easy-to-manage art stars: they’re often shy or indisposed, dead or reclusive."

"A few practical concerns tempered their Maoism: demands for free housing and food for minority students—and even for free fabric softener, the last of which prompted some well-deserved scorn on social media (“The Snuggle is real”)."

"The art school’s brief run in Germany shows not a simple dichotomy, but rather how, to varying degrees of bravery, individuals tried to survive under tyranny."

"Almost all major religions, monotheistic or otherwise, have featured some hierarchy of reward and penalty after death. The specifics are debated—some faiths describe endless torture, others a place for introspection..."

"The implication of conflict between Islam and the Constitution was indisputably part of Pirro's original rant, but she's right she never made the claim explicit. Her suggestion was a little narrower..."

..From eye contact parties and cuddle puddles to 'conscious dance.' The Bay Area has changed in a lot of ways, but still knows how to get kinky..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"As the president considers how the United States should respond to a series of aggressive acts by Iran and its proxies in the Middle East, one fact should be clear: There are no good options. Inaction is unacceptable. A passive posture would..."

"Calls for the impeachment of President Trump have resumed, and they're louder than ever. They began from the start of the Trump presidency. (My first column about whether a drive to impeach Trump would succeed ran on February 3, 2017, exactly..."

"Take a deep breath. As you breathe in, your lungs fill with air. The air is carried through every part of your lungs by tubes. These tubes are organized in a particular way. They branch off, one into the left lung, one into the right. The tubes..."

"Let me begin with an image. It is of an old-fashioned beam balance of the sort that blind Justice is often portrayed as holding. Its very appearance tells us what it is to be accurate. What I want you to imagine is that part of your visual..."

"The left’s apocalyptic economic predictions for the Trump Presidency haven’t panned out. With jobs plentiful and wages rising at the fastest rate in a decade, liberals are doubling down on alarms about inequality. The inconvenient evidence is..."

"A lot happened in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell, the Iron Curtain crumbled and a young political theorist named Francis Fukuyama announced that with Western liberal democracy’s triumph, we had reached “the end of history.” Also that year, the pilot..."

"On Tuesday, Arab voters flocked to the polls, defying expectations of a low turnout. Arab turnout skyrocketed compared to the April 9 election, reaching 59% on Tuesday, almost as high as the Jewish turnout. This could suggest that the Israeli..."

"Does repeating a falsehood make it true? It seems so, at least when it comes to the myth that technology is addicting us all. While a reassessment of the role our gadgets play in our lives is healthy, many people are buying into a self-defeating..."