September 21, 2019

Culture

"The clearest sign that a protest movement will provoke change is its size... Organizers often don’t know the impact of their work until years later."

It's commonly known that women wait longer in line for bathrooms than men do. Solving this problem, AKA the legislative quest for "potty parity," has made few gains.

"Online, the self-own follows an established pattern: the cocky assertion, the twist, the pile-on, the humiliated retreat into silence (or, worse, the attempt to argue yourself out of the hole you’ve dug—otherwise known as “doubling down”)."

"It’s hard to believe that Seinfeld first aired 30 years ago, just as the first pieces of the Berlin Wall were chipped away, and Nintendo created and released the first-ever Game Boy."

"Natalie Wynn, the creator of the comico-philosophical YouTube channel ContraPoints, wanted to make a video that was both more trenchant and entertaining than the others. "

"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."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."

"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."

"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."

"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."

"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."