From Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Paul Fearne (LaTrobe): Nijinsky: Ballet, Schizophrenic Consciousness and Philosophy; a review of Comedy Incarnate: Buster Keaton, Physical Humor, and Bodily Coping by Noel Carroll; and a review of Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics. A review of Exploding the Myths of Modern Architecture by Malcolm Millais. The disappearing darkroom: Photographer Richard Nicholson documents the demise of the traditional industry with snapshots of London's remaining professional labs. Even in the face of prolonged war and bitter recession, it seems 2010 is a pretty great time to be a young artist. From The Nation, Barry Schwabsky on The Resistance of Painting: To speak of a movement of abstractionists would be a contradiction in terms, like speaking of a church of atheists. A review of Fine Art and High Finance: Expert Advice on the Economics of Ownership. The DIY Chip: William Gurstelle on how new sensor tech is democratizing art and invention. David O'Neill reviews Robert Bresson: A Passion for Film by Tony Pipolo. If you draw it: An article on art in the age of resource overconsumption. How soon was now? Barry Schwabsky on the death, and afterlife, of the Polaroid. Toward a Starchitecture: Aaron Hsieh on the theoretical polemics of Rem Koolhaas. From Artforum, the work of Anne Truitt has always stood slightly apart. That Francisco Goya was a better painter than the earlier, more popular Peter Paul Rubens, or a more intelligent artist than Diego Velazquez, Michelangelo or Rembrandt hardly seems worth mentioning.
From The American, Roger Noriega on Haiti’s disasters, natural and man-made. From CJR, Haiti expert Henry (Chip) Carey gives context to the current tragedy; and Sam Eifling on Haiti as journalists have known it. Here are satellite photos that show Port-au-Prince before and after the Jan. 12 earthquake. Mary Beard reviews The Infinity of Lists by Umberto Eco (and more; and more by Albert Mobilio). A review of Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine" by Henry E. Scott. Disclosed Encounters: Why UFO buffs think Barack Obama is their best hope for the truth about ET. Dahlia Lithwick, Nick Gillespie, and Clive Thompson debate the worst ideas of the '00s. Hippie meets hip-hop in the 2K10 Factory of Damon Dash. From Vanity Fair, it became known, and ultimately reviled, as Disco, but the music that surged out of gay underground New York clubs such as the Loft and 12 West in the early 70s was the sound of those who wanted to dance, dance, dance. A review of Uglier Than a Monkey's Armpit: Untranslatable Insults, Put-Downs, and Curses from Around the World by Stephen Dodson and Robert Vanderplank. Obama Contra Niebuhr: Supporters of President Obama’s "moral realism" are unaware of many elements of Reinhold Niebuhr’s political theology. Survivalism Lite: They call themselves "preppers" — regular people with homes and families, but like the survivalists that came before them, they're preparing for the worst. From Cracked, a look at 6 assassination attempts that almost f#@ked the world; and an article on 7 books we lost to history that would have changed the world.
Craig Calhoun (SSRC): Remaking America: Public Institutions and the Public Good. The first chapter from The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being by Derek Bok. From National Affairs, Jim Manzi on keeping America's edge (and more and more and more). How to make America more innovative: Give scientists more incentives to innovate. For eight years, Republicans politicized science or ignored it — can Obama stop the War on Science? An article on 10 (potentially) cool innovations from government. From Governing, the millennial in the cubicle: A new generation of workers expects unfettered access to technology tools — they may end up changing the way governments operate; and an article on wi-fi and social justice. Push Comes to .GOV: How federal agencies learned to stop worrying and love Web 2.0. A review of The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs by Michael Belfiore. Bullet trains for America: The Obama administration has revived the dream of building high-speed rail lines to rival those of Japan and Europe, but the tracks are littered with political and financial obstacles. A trainspotter's guide to the future of the world: America's preference for highways and airports over modern rail transportation will make the country increasingly look so 20th-century. Here are seven ways to fix the U.S. Postal Service. Here are five reasons why libertarians shouldn't hate government. Paul Light on the real crisis in government: The federal government can no longer guarantee the faithful execution of our laws.
From Rolling Stone, a cover story on how Big Oil and Big Coal mounted one of the most aggressive lobbying campaigns in history to block progress on global warming (and more on climate killers). Tim Flannery on Copenhagen, and after (and more). Sam Hummel on common mistakes in the coverage of the Copenhagen Accord. Here are 7 tipping points that could transform Earth and five possible scenarios for our future climate. We've just ended a two-decade experiment in global problem solving, but climate change doesn't scare us — that's frightening. Post-Copenhagen, it's clear that logic alone won't save us — we must accept that big business is just about the best hope we have left. The geoengineering gambit: We may have to consider extreme action despite the dangers. Ronald Bailey on the cultural contradictions of anti-nuke environmentalists: Why do environmentalists reject a good bet for renewable energy? Get ready for these nuclear fallacies. A group of six new blueprints for nuclear power stations promise advances in safety and efficiency. Coal or nuclear? Experts discuss how clean coal works and how dangerous nuclear waste really is. An essay on living with coal, climate policy’s most inconvenient truth (and a response). A look at how fossil fuel subsidies dwarf clean energy subsidies. An article on seven myths about alternative energy. The green movement is boring: Should environmentalism become less empirical and more emotional? People haven't stopped caring about our planet, but the reasons why they care have changed immensely. Why don’t TV weathermen believe in climate change? An excerpt from Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan.
A new issue of Words Without Borders is out. Brad Baumgartner (IUP): Recovering Resentment: A Reflection on Disgust, Empathy, and Milton's Satan. William S. Haney II (AUS): Consciousness and the Posthuman in Short Fiction; and an essay on the wisdom of Shakespeare’s fools. And the Beat goes on: A forged will sends Jack Kerouac scholars, fans, collectors, literary executors, and lawyers on the warpath. Sappho, the great poet of the personal: Hardly any of the Greek poet's work survives, but the fragments that remain are enough to make her immortal. From The Guardian, an article on Leo Tolstoy, the forgotten genius; there's more to Tolstoy than War and Peace; and do today's novelists think Tolstoy is the greatest writer of all time? From Harper's, Elif Batuman on the murder of Leo Tolstoy: A forensic investigation. From The New Yorker, Claudia Roth Pierpont on the contemporary Arabic novel. An interview with Michael Ondaatje about why he writes novels, and when fiction can succeed by operating like poetry. In the fiction of Sylvia Townsend Warner, historical change is accidental and almost imperceptible, but for all that no less decisive. An interview with Orhan Pamuk on "finding an authentic voice". Enid Blyton may not have regarded the children of the post-colonial world as her audience, but many of the authors among them still cite her work as an inspiration. An article on Martin Amis: The wunderkind comes of age. James Wallenstein on Geoff Dyer’s unlikely terms of engagement (and from Bookforum, Kera Bolonik interviews Geoff Dyer on Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi).
From FT, the rise of Newsmax defies media trend. At the pinnacle of media and politics, Roger Ailes of Fox News has an agenda (and more). A look at how the Republican Party is like Domino’s Pizza. More and more on Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal. White Power USA: A look at the rise of Right-wing militias in America. The upcoming Tea Party convention has attracted a large number of the high-profile conservative Christians — could an alliance be next? Samuel Jacobs on the finger-pointing and paranoia that rules the Tea Party Convention. The first senator from the Tea Party: 2010 will be a year of Republican civil war, and Florida is where the fighting is now fiercest. Meet the new GOP centrists: How a formerly fringe caucus is giving Tea Parties a direct line to the Hill. A look at why Harry Reid is receiving a benefit of the doubt that wouldn’t be extended to a Republican leader under similar circumstances. Is an anti-filibuster movement taking hold? As the reach of his alumni has widened, Chuck Schumer has become one of the most powerful men in American politics. So what should liberals and leftists do about the Palin phenomenon? Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster: An excerpt from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (and more and more and more and more). President Obama once praised as a gifted orator, is now facing heat for what some say is a lack of emotion. David Bromwich reviews The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President by Taylor Branch (and more and more and more).
Stian Reimers (UCL): A Paycheck Half-Empty or Half-Full? Framing, Fairness and Progressive Taxation. From Vanity Fair, given Tiger Woods’s impenetrable mask of perfection, and the hints of trouble from one strange glimpse behind it, the revelations were inevitable and very, very costly; and since, like, the 60s, and definitely since Clueless, one word has been, like, everywhere; Christopher Hitchens examines the, like, unstoppable onslaught of “like”. Dems versus the deficit: What's the progressive approach to deficit reduction, anyway? From Business Week, forget economics: Philosophy offers a deeper, broader way of thinking to help guide companies through times made tougher by overspecialized experts. A review of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution by Thomas McNamee. Ron Rosenbaum on the catchphrase of the decade — and those that have had their 15 minutes of fame. The first chapter from Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations by Jason Dempsey. Supersized Cocktails: Wayne Curtis on the drinking man’s case for smaller servings. From TPM, Lewis Gordon, author of An Introduction to Africana Philosophy, on an intellectual terrain that examines what it means to be human in the modern world; and Wendy Grossman is a humourless spoilsport and proud of it. Where in the world is Umaru Yar'Adua? Nigeria hasn't seen its president for more than 50 days, leaving the country without effective leadership. Us paranoia: Could the newly remade Red Dawn actually be a good thing?
Harris Gleckman (BEC): Global Governance in a Globalized World. David Freestone (UNSW): Problems of High Seas Governance. From German Law Journal, a special issue on the transnationalization of legal cultures. An excerpt from The Perils of Global Legalism by Eric Posner. From Carnegie Council, a panel on Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World by David L. Bosco. An interview with Mark Mazower, author of No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (and more and more and the first chapter). A review of Conundrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives. A review of UN Peacekeeping in Civil Wars by Lise Morje Howard. An interview with Edward Mortimer of the Salzburg Global Seminar on books about the United Nations. Joel Kotkin and Robert J. Cristiano on moving the United Nations to Dubai. The Keep: Justin Davidson on America’s medieval new U.N. mission. For the conservative World Congress of Families, the United Nations is a key battleground over abortion and "family values". Only two governments have not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Somalia and the US; President Obama supports ratification — on the opposing side are Christian Right home schoolers and believers in "American Exceptionalism". The limits of soft cultural power: Guarding precious and vulnerable places is one of the better things UNESCO does — but it may topple over if it stretches too far (and more and more).
From Esquire, meet Dana White, the King of Mixed Martial Arts: With the UFC, he has turned a bloody fringe sport into a $1 billion empire — but not without stopping at Pinkberry. From National Affairs, the health of baseball concerns all of America, and the health of America — perhaps especially the American family — finds itself reflected in the state of our national pastime. Baseball’s Fall Classic may not match the Super Bowl for ratings or popularity, but when it comes to American sporting nostalgia, the World Series has no peers. A review of Onward Christian Athletes: Turning Ballparks into Pulpits and Players into Preachers by Tom Krattenmaker (and more). Football and the brain need a divorce: Evidence is mounting that the game's violence is shortening players' lives. Football pared to its bare essentials: Dreamed up as a half-time distraction, the Lingerie League is taking off. A review of Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefon Szymanski (and more). Hog the ball, kid: The case for selfishness in the egalitarian sport of soccer. Here are a slew of lessons on losing you may want to consider taking on board. A review of Wicked Good Year: How the Red Sox, Patriots & Celtics Turned the Hub of the Universe into the Capital of Sports by Steve Buckley. Taking the plane to the game: Sports travel — following your team on the road to away games or vacationing at major attractions — is scoring big. Unsporting: John Swansburg on why he stopped being a sports fan. Ever wonder where sports broadcasts get their facts and figures? Sports Animal: Jesse Smith on the not-quite-animal/not-quite-human mascots of professional sports.
From TNR, Peter Bergen on the battle for Tora Bora and how Osama bin Laden slipped from our grasp — the definitive account. From Dissent, Jon Wiener on the best argument for the Afghan War — and what's wrong with it. As the Obama administration prepares to send more troops to Afghanistan, what are the problems U.S. forces will face, and what, if anything, can they do to overcome them? In Afghanistan, where avoiding civilian deaths is a top priority, U.S. military sharpshooters may have found the war that needs them most. Michael Crowley on the cult of counterinsurgency. From Boston Review, a forum on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, including Nir Rosen on why counterinsurgency doesn’t make sense — it asks soldiers, concerned primarily with survival, to be Wyatt Earp and Mother Theresa (and responses by Helena Cobban, Syed Saleem Shahzad, Andrew Bacevich, and more). A review of Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field and Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan by Antonio Giustozzi. From NYRB, Rory Stewart on Afghanistan: What could work. Sean McFate built an African army — now here's what it will take to build Afghanistan's. Lowering its sights and concentrating on order, the international community helped stabilize Tajikistan — the same approach could work in Afghanistan, too. The next Afghanistan: Pirates, Al Qaeda, unruly sheiks — Yemen has it all (and more and more). How did Yemen get so poor? (and more and more). Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: What you need to know about the organization that gave us the Christmas bomber (and more and more).