From Inkling, will Big Pharma's female Viagra-hopeful Flibanserin enliven ailing sex lives — or handcuff women to another daily pill? A review of Why Women Have Sex by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss. Why men use prostitutes: The reasons why many men pay for sex are revealed in the interviews that make up a major new piece of research. From Details, meet America's first legal male prostitute, former Marine "Markus"; and an article on the lure of dating an ex-lesbian: So-called hasbians are going for straight guys just like you! A review of Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis by Mels van Driel and The Naked Man: A Study of the Male Body by Desmond Morris. The iPhone app Grindr is the biggest boon for gay sex since Craigslist. A look at how Grindr and the men who use it are changing the way you're hooking-up. Here's a polyamory zine on "infinite relationships", relationships without bounds or boundaries, love without limits, without ends. G. Tracy Mehan, III on cultures monogamous and polyamorous. Damon Linker on how the sky is still falling on the heads of sexual traditionalists. From shame to game in one hundred years: An economic model of the rise in premarital sex and its de-stigmatisation. From Arts & Opinion, Cynthia Peters on 21st century sexuality. The most telling indicator of how late capitalism is shaping human sexuality is found in the proliferation of next-generation sex dolls. The American Psychological Association may no longer consider homosexuality a disorder, but according to its updated guidebook, playing with toys or liking sex a lot is cause for concern. Here is sex explained graphically by pens. Spanish are outraged by teen masturbation workshops. A look at the 5 most horrifying attempts to teach sex ed to children.
The mystery of Zomia: In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, Yale professor James Scott finds a case against civilization (and Joel Robbins reviews Scott's The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia). From Irrawaddy, taking over the airwaves: Private FM radio stations are shooting up all over Burma. Sex, drugs and inner tubes: As Laos opens to tourists, some fear it may be losing its soul — others are merely losing their bikinis. Laos steps into the globalized world — but Vientiane is now inextricably linked with Beijing. What is behind the latest crackdown on democracy activists in Vietnam? In the rapidly developing Cambodia, forcible evictions are an all-too-common way to make room for the new. From Asia Times, a special investigation on drugs and disaffection in southern Thailand. A review of Singapore: A Biography by Mark Ravinder Frost and Yu-mei Balasingamchow. A review of Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project by Michael D. Barr and Zlatko Skrbiss. It's not just politics and racial discrimination: Malaysia's brain drain appears to be picking up speed. From Aliran Monthly, a review of Malaysia at the Crossroads by Jeyakumar Devaraj; and an interview with Andrew Aeria on the divide between east and west Malaysia (and more). From Inside Indonesia, an article on the ongoing challenge of the Papua dilemma. Death in Freeport: 21st Century colonialism flourishes in West Papua. A review of The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam by Christopher S. Bond and Lewis M. Simons (and an excerpt). What's behind Asean's arms race? William Boot looks at the regional rivalry for energy resources while China's growing shadow drives massive spending on weapons in Southeast Asia.
David R. Wenger (Freiburg): The Impotent State: Between Self-assertion Strategies and Illusions of Control. From The New Criterion, a special issue on The New Statism and the Assault on Individual Liberty. The first chapter from A Brief History of Liberty by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan (and more). A review of Liberal Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State by Anna Stilz. The many faces of liberalism: Samuel Brittan reviews books on the political philosophy that has shaped our world, from personal freedom to free markets. From Rationality, Markets, and Morals, Frank Dietrich (Leipzig): Individual Interest and Political Legitimacy; and Horacio Spector (UTDT): Value Pluralism and the Two Concepts of Rights. Where are the polyarchists gone?: Tony Curzon Price on the liberty/equality axis. Marc F. Plattner (NED): Populism, Pluralism, and Liberal Democracy. From Public Reason, Christopher Jay (UCL): Keeping Truth Safe From Democracy. The Grasping Hand: Peter Sloterdijk on how the modern democratic state pillages its productive citizens (and Axel Honneth on Peter Sloterdijk). Samuel Bowles (SFI): Machiavelli's Mistake: Why Good Laws are no Substitute for Good Citizens. Small places matter more than big ones: Ron Johnston's investigations into the impact of geography on democracy have revealed that people in the same class position tend to support different parties depending on where they live. From Telos, democracy and modernization will provide popular sovereignty and progress only if they eschew further abstraction from localities, communities and families and instead uphold the "good life" and the common good in which all can share. A review of Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square by Clarke D. Forsythe.
Shennette Garrett-Scott (Texas): A Historiography of African American Business. From Americana, Angela Nelson (BGSU): The Repertoire of Black Popular Culture. An interview with author, scholar and MacArthur “genius” winner Charles Johnson on charting a new course in post-academic life. An interview with Zachery R. Williams, author of In Search of the Talented Tenth: Howard University Public Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race, 1926-1970. An interview with Cornel West on Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir. Is Harlem no longer black? It depends on where you set the boundaries. A review of Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men by John A. Rich (and more and more). From Contexts, William Julius Wilson on framing race and poverty; and the emancipation of slaves is a century-and-a-half in America’s past — many would consider it ancient history. Bigots I have loved: Perhaps Faulkner was mistaken and the past really is past — bigotry little more than a rusty whip handle unearthed at the site of a Mississippi plantation. Has the Supreme Court been mainly a friend or a foe to African Americans? A review of Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Bettye Collier-Thomas. A review of Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist by Nancy Goldstein. Saving Detroit from itself: As the Motor City falls into greater collapse, a group of frustrated black nationalists are taking its protection into their own hands. An article on rethinking Malcolm X's inflammatory rhetoric. Race in the South in the Age of Obama: James Fields is an African-American Democratic state legislator in a nearly all-white Alabama county that voted overwhelmingly against Barack Obama — is he an anomaly or the future?
From Expositions, Brian Satterfield (Villanova): What is the Good of the “Examined Life”? Some Thoughts on the Apology and Liberal Education. Why are some departments being eliminated while others are secure? Meg Worley wonders about the future. A review of Stanford in Turmoil: Campus Unrest, 1966-1972 by Richard Lyman. Free speech within reason: Constantine Sandis is disturbed by a claim that academics have the right to say what they want at all times, in all places. When the First-Amendment scholar runs the university: Lee Bollinger puts free-speech theory into practice, and practice into theory. At what cost? A successful academic faces lifelong debt. The structure and silence of the cognitariat: In the American university system, recipients of higher education are increasingly prepared for a working life in a knowledge economy where independence and social protections have been eroded. A review of Porn University: What College Students are Really Saying About Sex on Campus by Michael Leahy. A review of Varsity Green: Millionaire Coaches, Ruthless Sneaker Wars, and the Battle for the Soul of College Sports by Mark Yost. Daniel Pearce on Postcollege Ennui: College has proved so reliable a setting for fiction that it’s even laid claim to its own literary genre — but what happens after the campus novel graduates? Neal Gabler on the college admissions scam. Does the English Department have a Jewish problem? The New Math on Campus: A shortage of men. Ramesh Ponnuru on the case against college education. A case for comics in college: My name is (insert name here) and I am a visual learner — and other reasons why comics is a relevant subject for the college curriculum.
Lee Haddigan (Delaware): How Anticommonism "Cemented" the American Conservative Movement in a Liberal Age of Conformity, 1945–64. Justin Raimondo rereads The Political Principles of Robert A. Taft by Russell Kirk and James McClellan. From Humanitas, Bradley J. Birzer (Hillsdale): More than "Irritable Mental Gestures": Russell Kirk’s Challenge to Liberalism, 1950–1960; and Justin Garrison (CUA): A Covenant with all Mankind: Ronald Reagan’s Idyllic Vision of America in the World. Gideon Rachman on how Reagan ruined conservatism. An interview with Will Bunch, author of Tear Down This Myth: The Right-Wing Distortion of the Reagan Legacy. From The American Conservative, Reid Buckley on how before William F. Buckley Jr. shaped American conservatism, the Mexican frontier shaped his father’s creed; and where have you gone, Henry Regnery? Conservative bestsellers run long on celebrity but short on ideas. James Piereson on Irving Kristol, the godfather of modern conservatism. Patrick Allitt on his book The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History. From Reason, longtime Ron Paul watcher Brian Doherty wonders if his CPAC victory is the dawn of a new age, or the beginning of the end; David Harsanyi on the Ron Paul Delusion: Why the Texas congressman does not represent the future of conservatism; and Jacob Sullum on the unfulfilled promise of “constitutional conservatism”. Christopher Buckley (politely) takes on his first cousin, Brent Bozell III, and the other signers of the Mount Vernon Statement, for trying to redefine conservatism (and Bozell responds; and more and more and more). An excerpt from George H. Nash's Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism. More and more on We Are Doomed by John Derbyshire.
A review of China's Cosmopolitan Empire by Mark Lewis. Tom Scocca reviews The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China by Hannah Pakula (and more and more and more and more). A veil has begun to lift on prosaic stories of the Cultural Revolution — some sad, some funny, most humdrum to an extreme. From Portal, a special issue on Post-Mao, Post-Bourdieu: Class and Taste in Contemporary China. What in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville could conceivably be thought to offer any guidance for the study of contemporary China? From Beijing Review, an interview with John and Doris Naisbitt, authors of China's Megatrends; and an article on what has happened to China's cultural relics overseas. From LRB, Perry Anderson reviews books on China (and more ). There's a new Red Scare — but is China really so scary? An interview with Kent Deng on books on China in the world economy. Has China’s economic success left a spiritual void inside the country? (and more) China's love consultants offer dating advice and wardrobe tips — they'll even adjudicate lovers quarrels. How the habits of China’s users are already making an impact beyond the web. China’s Cyberposse: Internet users are hunting down and punishing people who have attracted their wrath. How to spell Chinese porn in Internet: Are they on an anti-smut moral crusade, or simply using porn to censor the Web as their online population explodes? Jill Yen (Essex): Dangerous Masculinity: The Problematisation of “Johns” in Contemporary Taiwan . Love Motel 2.0: Taiwan's love motels are stepping up their game with outrageous themes, movie marketing and extra privacy. Meet Chthonic, Taiwan's premier metal act — don't expect to see them in China anytime soon. A look at why Taiwan is more Chinese than China.
A new issue of 4strugglemag is out. Seeing the Thunder: Kathleen L. Housley on insight and intuition in science, mathematics and religion. The Last of the Golden Swindlers: In his five-decade criminal career, Thomas F. Quinn has stolen an estimated $500 million; he's served minimal jail time — now the government is getting tougher on financial fraudsters, and his luck may be about to change. Stephen Law makes the case for a more liberal education. From Axess, a special issue on "normality slandered", including an introduction; Per Svensson on the discreet charm of the middle class: Nothing is as popular with the middle class as being horrified by the narrow-mindedness of the middle class; for anyone who is mad, outcast or ill, the drive for normality can be the way to a decent existence; and voices are being raised suggesting that the constitution should be based on a perspective that is critical of heteronormativity, but radical feminists who want to challenge this norm are themselves often captives of conservative notions of gender and sexuality. From The Daily Beast, Tunku Varadarajan counts down the most influential Right-wing media figures in the country and the Left's top 25 journalists. What makes for a successful mash-up neologism? Bryan Garner investigates. An excerpt from A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great and Offbeat Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100 by Eric Hanson. Roll over, Charles Darwin: A. A. Gill visits Kentucky’s Creation Museum, which has been battling science and reason since 2007 (and more at Vice and more at Intelligent Life). American Gothic: Michael Bergmann on the Creation Museum, as viewed by a lover of Gothic cathedrals. An interview with Richard Wiseman, author of 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot.
From TAP, a review of Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents by Ian Buruma. A review of God Interrupted: Heresy and the European Imagination between the World Wars by Benjamin Lazier. A review of The End of Secularism by Hunter Baker. The Catholic Church not only allowed priests to destroy hundreds of young lives, it blamed the victims and covered up the crimes for decades. A wolf in sheep’s clothing: George Morelli on the work of Satan disguised as the work of God. A review of Satan: A Biography by PG Maxwell-Stuart. From Expositions, a review essay on the Reformation. From New Statesman, a special issue on Islam. Contrary to the European experience, secularization in the Islamic world preceded a religious reformation — with profound negative consequences. Firmness of Faith: David Mekelburg on the challenges presented by the subtle proselytizing of Hinduism. The God and government problem: The very essence of modernism is that there is no connection between our politics and our assumptions about God and final things. The rise of Islamic extremism is putting increasing pressure on Christians in Muslim countries, who are the victims of murder, violence and discrimination. A review of Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity by Miriam Adeney. From TAC, William Lind on Benedict’s Counter-Reformation. From ancient castration motifs and anti-marriage campaigns to the new Prayer Book for Spouses, godly rulers just can’t stay out of people’s bedrooms. A review of After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Sunni-Shia Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton. A review of A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present by John W. O’Malley, S.J.
The Appalachia of the West: California’s agricultural heartland threatens to become a wasteland. From Bookforum, Naomi Fry on California Haze: California is usually portrayed as a palm-treed Eden, wholesome and easeful, but as the Roman Polanski scandal has reminded us, this sunny vision has a lurid underside; and Sonya Geis reviews West of the West: Dreamers, Believers, Builders, and Killers in the Golden State by Mark Arax. Commentators continue to see California as a beacon, for better or for worse, of the future, even as it remains stubbornly sui generis. An article on California as America’s first failed state. The Coast of Dystopia: Is the California dream really, really dead? An article on how tax cuts killed California. A look at how the L.A. suburb of Downey became one of the most toxic towns. The depth of California's political suckitude is hard to fathom — it's like a contest from hell, where both parties try to outdo each other in sleaze and contemptibility. Boom: A Journal of California, scheduled to debut next February, will focus on "informed, critical perspectives about the past, present and future of the state". Will California continue to lead the fight against global warming? California's Nuclear Nexus: A faux disarmament plan has roots in the Golden State's pro-nuclear lobby. A Factory Like a City: A photo essay on a California factory slated to close. Venoco Inc., which wants to begin round-the-clock drilling in the Carpinteria area, is pouring money into a ballot initiative that would exempt it from the city's industrial development and environmental rules. Loose in Obamalandia: John Ross on Dead Man Walking in California. The Great California Wine Mystery: Why superstar West Coast vintners don't (or won't) put out inexpensive bottles.