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“Look, New Year’s Eve sucks. You know it, I know it. It’s all anticipation, no follow-through. It’s invariably a disappointment.
You know what’s better than New Year’s Eve? Rosh Hashanah. Come with me, won’t you, on a journey of year-end musing!
Here is why I (and perhaps you) hate New Year’s Eve: You’re supposed to get dressed up all fancy (it is fun to be fancy sometimes—but it is not fun to feel pressure to be fancy) and go to a schmancy place that is invariably packed with unpleasant people. You are supposed to drink too much, which generally makes unpleasant people even more unpleasant and causes the streets of my neighborhood to run beige with vomit. There is a reason New Year’s Eve is known as Amateur Night. New Year’s Eve is expensive. Restaurants have prix fixe menus I do not want. Lyft prices skyrocket. Babysitters have cartoon-character dollar signs in their eyes.
And you’re supposed to have the Best! Time! Ever! New Year’s Eve is when everything wonderful is supposed to start! (It’s the only secular holiday that officially begins the night before, with an erev, the way every holiday on the Jewish calendar does. Yes, Christmas does, too, but that’s not a secular holiday.) New Year’s Day is about being schlumpy and hungover and lying on the couch in thick socks, or waking up with a stranger and regrets, but New Year’s Eve is all manic joy and possibility.
And it is a lie. New Year’s Eve is like the wedding that concludes classic Shakespearean comedies and entirely too many rom-coms. That’s it! Whoo! Achievement unlocked! There’s no real-world looking ahead to the challenges of, y’know, marriage. New Year’s Eve is all glorious and gleaming surface, no difficult reality. So many formative movies feature love blooming on this special, special night. There’s When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Apartment, Bundle of Joy (yeah, look how well marrying New Year’s Eve co-star Eddie Fisher wound up for Debbie Reynolds!), Waiting to Exhale, and An Affair to Remember (ruining people’s real-life New Years since 1957!).”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."
"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."
"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."
"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."
"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."
"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."
"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."
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"
"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."
"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."
"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."
"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."