Vagelis Siropoulos of the University of London has two papers on musicals in Image and Narrative: Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative: Evita, the Society of the Spectacle and the Advent of the Megamusical, and Cats, Postdramatic Blockbuster Aesthetics and the Triumph of the Megamusical. And have you heard of any great playwrights lately? The days when the national media turned high-culture figures into mainstream stars are long past.

Intellectual historian Richard Wolin recently published The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s, which shows "how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life" (reviewed by Times Higher Education and Standpoint). Writing in Bookforum, Scott McLemee revisited Russell Jacoby's The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe during its 20th anniversary in 2007. An important essay Richard Bellamy, "Gramsci, Walzer and the Intellectual as Social Critic", which appeared in The Philosophical Forum in 1998, was recently made available online. There is also a review of Politics and the Intellectual: The Legacy of Irving Howe by John Rodden at The Common Review. York University's Allan Hutchinson "want[s] to explain what is the 'business' that I think that I am in as an academic or, more grandly, as an intellectual." It’s easier to be brilliant than right: There is a danger with intellectual brightness — it is to overemphasize and develop a bias for cleverness, quickness, facility with data, and the ability to persuade. R.R. Reno, writing in First Things, thinks that "an exaltation of theory is unique to late modern culture, and it’s what makes an intellectual an intellectual rather than what used to be called a 'man of letters'". The Acton Institute recently reviewed Thomas Sowell's Intellectuals and Society (and more at The American Spectator). And focusing on a specific phenomenon within Egyptian intellectual history over the past sixty years, Hassan Khan writes in defense of the corrupt intellectual.

The most important relaxation sounds release of all time: Clocking in at precisely 58 minutes and 32 seconds, Ocean Surf — the Metal Machine Music of relaxation sounds records — proved an audio gem of intellectually substantial, far-from-relaxing waves crashing down brutally on some innominate beach.

Shiladitya Verma (LNCTS): Addicted to Shopping: When You Don’t Know When to Stop. What's more American than shoplifting? One out of 11 of your fellow shoppers is guilty. When shopping was sociable: Alexandra Lange writes about her book Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes. The Washington Times reviews The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960 by Richard Longstreth. Punk'd in the Great Depression: Catalog No. 439 gave American men everything they never knew they needed. In Common-place, an online magazine on American history and culture, there's a review of Paper Money Men: Commerce, Manhood, and the Sensational Public Sphere in Antebellum America by David Anthony.

Your mailman is watching you: A review of Postal Systems in the Pre-Modern Islamic World by Adam Silverstein.