Sunday 9.30.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Fury Is a Political Weapon

“If you are angry today, or if you have been angry for a while, and you’re wondering whether you’re allowed to be as angry as you feel, let me say: Yes. Yes, you are allowed. You are, in fact, compelled.”

2. An Age Divided by Sex

“The culture war as we’ve known it since has not been a simple clash of conservatives who want to repress and liberals who want to emancipate. Rather it’s been an ongoing argument between two forces — feminists and religious conservatives — that both want to remoralize American society, albeit in very different ways.”

3. We Can’t Just Let Boys Be Boys

“Parents have abdicated responsibility for talking with their children, especially their boys, about sexual ethics or emotional intimacy.”

4. Why Trump Will Win a Second Term

“Mr. Trump has created an unscripted drama that has unified living rooms everywhere. Whether you’re rooting for the antihero or cheering for his demise, chances are Trump TV has you under steady — some would say unhealthy — hypnosis.”

5. Why I Love Reality Television

“Reality TV gives us an unfiltered window onto the capitalist and ideological structures that make up all media.”

6. Depressed About the Future of Democracy? Study History

“I believe that democracy will beat back the illiberal wave, and that President Trump will be one of the first to go. My faith is based on the lessons of history. The liberal project has faced down much worse: the First World War, the Depression, World War II, the Cold War. And democracy overcame them all.”

7. In Praise of Mediocrity

“Values like ‘the pursuit of excellence’ have crept into and corrupted what was once the realm of leisure, leaving little room for the true amateur. The population of our country now seems divided between the semipro hobbyists (some as devoted as Olympic athletes) and those who retreat into the passive, screeny leisure that is the signature of our technological moment.”

8. Christians Don’t Fit in Political Boxes

“To not be political is to be political.”

9. At Elite Colleges, Racial Diversity Requires Affirmative Action

“Elite colleges can’t achieve racial and ethnic diversity without directly considering race and ethnicity in admissions. There is no easy option that depends on other criteria such as income.”

10. More Evidence That Nutrition Studies Don’t Always Add Up

“Nutrition research is plagued by a credibility problem.”

11. Bradley Cooper Is Not Really Into This Profile

“He learned how to play the guitar. He learned how to play the piano. Not just enough to be convincing onstage — enough to be a professional musician.”

12. The Man Who Taught a Generation of Black Artists Gets His Own Retrospective

“Whiteʼs project, in general, was bigger than himself.”

13. An ‘Ancestral Memory’ Inscribed in Skin

“These line tattoos speak to a practice that dates back at least 10,000 years and is now being revitalized by Alaska Native women who want to reconnect with the traditions of their ancestors.”

14. I, Knausgaard

“The books constitute a kind of genre novel in which the author himself has become the genre.”

15. Congressional Bloodshed

“In 1841, an exchange of insults between two representatives, Edward Stanly of North Carolina and Henry Wise of Virginia, led to a wild melee in which nearly all the members of the House pummeled one another. John B. Dawson of Louisiana ‘routinely wore both a bowie knife and a pistol’ into the House and once threatened to cut a colleague’s throat ‘from ear to ear.’ Angry over a speech delivered by the antislavery Ohioan Joshua Giddings, Dawson shoved Giddings and threatened him with a knife. Another time, Dawson pointed his cocked pistol at Giddings and was prevented from shooting him only when other congressmen intervened.”

16. Unpublished and Untenured, a Philosopher Inspired a Cult Following

“As of June, his curriculum vitae listed no publications to date — not even a journal article. At 60, he remains unknown to most scholars in his field.”

17. Stress Test

“Attention turns away from events and toward our own ability to react to them. The difference, online, is that we also pull at one another; everything becomes a fight to ensure that everyone else is experiencing and interpreting the shock the same way.”

18. New Sentences: From The New Rules of Coffee

“We can’t enjoy the Snake River Canyon without some daredevil eventually dressing in an American flag costume and trying to fly over it on a hybrid rocket-cycle.”

19. Photographing Past Stereotype

“The men in these photos are of various races, ages and income levels. They collectively show us the usually concealed demand behind the overly familiar supply. It is a conventional execution of a brilliantly uncommon subject.”

20. How to Get Someone Out of a Cult

“If you’re trying to persuade someone to leave a cult, supply reminders of the world beyond it by calling, emailing, writing letters, sending photographs and maybe even visiting, although Lalich warns that anyone can get lured into a cult. You should visit ‘only if you feel strong enough to resist,’ she says.”

21. The Crisis of Election Security

“The ballot box is the foundation of any democracy. It’s not too grand to say that if there’s a failure in the ballot box, then democracy fails. If the people don’t have confidence in the outcome of an election, then it becomes difficult for them to accept the policies and actions that pour forth from it. And in the United States, it’s safe to say, though few may utter it publicly, that the ballot box has failed many times and is poised to fail again.”

22. Will Florida’s Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?

“The framers did not include the right to vote in the United States Constitution.”

23. Deborah Eisenberg, Chronicler of American Insanity

“With the exception of a play, a book about the painter Jennifer Bartlett and a handful of critical essays, her output consists entirely of short stories, and yet as a portraitist and interpreter of the moral and political chaos of American life she is the equal of any novelist of the past 30 years. Her stories rove from the Midwest, where she was born, to the metropolitan centers and foreign outposts of American power and concern the fate of artists and intellectuals, bankers, movie stars and C.I.A. apparatchiks, as well as drifters, dropouts and dead-enders, the politically displaced and the existentially homeless. Like their creator, her dramatis personae are beings of an almost extraterrestrial sensitivity and confusion; they look at the world with a kind of radical naïveté, as though they had never before encountered cars, buildings, trees or clouds, let alone the ambiguous workings of human social life. Just how strange it is to be that lost and lonely creature, oneself, is a realization that Eisenberg’s world-dazed men and women arrive at time and again.”


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