From The New York Times Magazine, here's the 8th Annual Year in Ideas issue. From Time, a special report on Barack Obama as Person of the Year. Nobody here but us post-partisans: Does it matter if Barack Obama doesn't call his policies progressive? He's black, get over it: We may not have chosen to be a hybrid people, anymore than we chose to come here in the first place, but that's what we are now. Witness the caganer, or "shitter" in Catalan: You're going to want to sit down for this. The tyranny of the to-read pile: Advice to beat the credit crunch by reading those books you own but never read isn't as straightforward as it sound. The first chapter from Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America by Kristin A. Goss. Bill Moyers interviews Salon's Glenn Greenwald. Headache and indigestion — is your bra to blame? Can a Kimbo Slice protege become a ghetto superstar? Whatever the outcome, Dhafir Harris does it with no fear. What kind of relationship will the Obama White House have with the media? A lot will depend on Robert Gibbs. Don't hold your breath for that unemployment check. For someone who inadvertently triggered a clash of civilizations, Flemming Rose doesn’t look much like a provocateur. A review of The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America’s Schools by Kevin K. Kumashiro.
From Scientific American, a special issue of the evolution of evolution, including a look at why everyone should learn the theory of evolution and put evolution to use in the everyday world; an article on the evolution of the mind: 4 fallacies of psychology; the human pedigree: A timeline of hominid evolution; and a look at the Future of Man: How will evolution change humans? Why music? Biologists are addressing one of humanity’s strangest attributes, its all-singing, all-dancing culture. Consider the Philosopher: An article on the early metaphysical investigations of David Foster Wallace. Which state is the most crooked — Illinois or Louisiana? Why has Illinois always been so corrupt? In a word: adaptability. Leaving literature behind: The professionalization of the field is turning students off. Marc Ambinder on the once and future Democratic Party. An interview with Michael Chabon on The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (and a review at Bookforum). From The American Interest, Niall Ferguson on what “Chimerica” hath wrought. From Dissent, Kirill Medvedev on The Writer in Russia. From InsideCatholic.com, David R. Carlin on liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism; and Danielle Ben on glamour moms. Here's a message for sex educators: Sex is not dirty. An interview with Aviad Kleinberg, author of Seven Deadly Sins: A Very Partial List.
From Standpoint, a series on reputations overrated/underrated, including Noam Chomsky/Mary Midgley, Eric Hobsbawm/Jeremy Black, Slavoj Zizek/Leszek Kolakowski, John Stuart Mill/Roger Bacon and Edward Said/Elie Kedourie. From Print, an interview with Art Spiegelman (and more from Bookforum). From Big Think, Christie Hefner, the soon-to-be former CEO of Playboy Enterprises, discusses Playboy's future Internet plans (and more). Merriam-based Lee Jeans is a proud maker of “mom jeans”. Katha Pollitt on Barack Obama, Feminist in Chief? An interview with Bitch magazine co-founder Andi Zeisler on "sexy" feminist issues. Germaine Greer ponders whether extreme shoes empower or constrain women, and female thinkers on what heels say today about sex, style, politics and power. The sexual revolution in cartoon form: Seventy-five years before the Spice Girls coined the term girl power, Betty Boop struck a blow for just such a cause. A Global New Deal: The next New Deal won't work if it's only American — fixing our economy will require fixing international systems. The coffee-table view of Turkmenbashi's dictatorship: A fascinating new book on the Turkmen despot unwittingly flatters his cult of personality. From MR, here's a look at six prominent American Freethinkers. What's the reality behind the $73 an hour autoworker? David Leonhardt investigates.
From The Walrus, a review of books on the dictatorship of no alternatives: Progressive economists are rethinking markets. Don't believe no one saw the financial crisis coming — the authors of these three books did. After the crisis is before the crisis: An article on the political economy of debt relief; and more on saving the economy and the planet. With economic conditions deteriorating, the barter system makes a comeback. From Too Much, here's the 2008 Top Ten America's Greediest. Will the Mumbai terrorists get what they wanted? From Vanity Fair, a look at why Somalia matters (and from TAP, a look at how Bush failed Somalia); and when a tour-bus load of would-be Carries, Charlottes, and Samanthas (nope, no Mirandas) go chasing that " Sex and the City" dream, is it comedy, tragedy, or cultural delusion? The end of the hipster: Dragged into the daylight, the youth culture that would not be named has finally been named, branded, marketed, and sold — time to move on? Whatever. What the alleged misdeeds of Rod Blagojevich teach us about lawful politics. A look at how environmental progress is a cause for right-wing paranoia. Objectively wrong: How American journalism is forsaking truth for balance. Obama has made a point of appointing a diverse group of thinkers to his cabinet, but what about the diversity of opinion outside the White House?