182 posts tagged with essays.
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"It's simply very easy to subordinate oneself to a worldview that's supportive of one's own interests."

A reading by Wallace Shawn: "I like to be reminded of these poor people, the 'unobtrusives', and then, I like to be reminded of my lack of interest in them." [C-SPAN video player] (Previously: 1, 2) [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Dec 23, 2009 - 71 comments

Santayana would likely approve

History and Policy UK-based collaborative project by noted historians, offering free-to-view history papers on topics relevant to current policy issues.
posted by Abiezer on Jun 14, 2009 - 5 comments

Arts Journal

The Highlights is an online arts journal. It consists of web-based projects and essays by artists. An example from the current issue, Master of None, where the author posits that a new model of work for artists can exist, one where the artist retains agency while also getting paid to do complementary work which is informed by the subtlety, strangeness, and sure-footed temperament of the artist’s persona. Two years of journals in the archives. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 24, 2009 - 9 comments

Replacing things lost.

Amy DePaul writes about the unlikely intersection of breast cancer and breast augmentation. A piece from The Morning News. Warning: article photographic illustration is most likely NSFW.
posted by shadytrees on Feb 26, 2009 - 30 comments

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm

How the Poor Die My right-hand neighbour was a little red-haired cobbler with one leg shorter than the other, who used to announce the death of any other patient (this happened a number of times, and my neighbour was always the first to hear of it) by whistling to me, exclaiming "NUMÉRO 43!" (or whatever it was) and flinging his arms above his head. This man had not much wrong with him, but in most of the other beds within my angle of vision some squalid tragedy or some plain horror was being enacted. Previously [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Dec 4, 2008 - 16 comments

The Light The Dead See

30 years ago today, Frank Stanford, a young Arkansaw poet shot himself three times in the heart with a 22-caliber pistol. He was 29. By then he had become a powerful and unique voice in the American poetry landscape, dubbed "a swamprat Rimbaud" by Lorenzo Thomas and "one of the great voices of death" by Franz Wright. He left behind a strong (though often hard to find and/or unrecognized) body of work, most notably his immense epic The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You, a 15,280 line poem with no punctuation or stanzas. [more inside]
posted by troubles on Jun 3, 2008 - 44 comments

History is a Weapon

History is a Weapon -- Featuring Propaganda by the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays, essays by Bill Clinton, Eugene Debs, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, the entirety of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and much, much more.
posted by empath on May 26, 2008 - 55 comments

"The events of 1968 marked the birth of globalization."

1968: Lessons Learned. Dissent Magazine examines the transcontinental legacy of one of the most tumultuous years in world history. Essays from Marshall Berman, Robin Blackburn, Mitchell Cohen, Ralf Fuecks, Vivian Gornick, Michael Kazin, Enrique Krauze, Lillian B. Rubin, Christine Stansell and Michael Walzer.
posted by amyms on May 7, 2008 - 42 comments

Essays by Charles Bardes, M.D.

Awaiting autopsy, the newly deceased lies supine, naked, on a metal table. The head is positioned as if the closed eyes were looking straight up. The arms are at the side. The knees and elbows are straight. The ankles are bent forward, not to the side, at an angle of about 45 degrees. I have seen the bodies this way of persons I had known, persons I had spoken with the previous day. And sometimes a live patient, consulting me for a physical examination, will lie the same way on the examination table, naked, looking up, arms at his side; and my thoughts turn to the autopsy suite. I wonder if I will someday see him too lying this way, recently cold, and I wonder about the complicated awful predicament of the physician.
Short essays by Charles Bardes, M.D. on the practice of medicine. An appreciation of Charles Bardes by Sven Birkerts.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 24, 2008 - 15 comments

We should seek the truth without hesitation!

Why do we spend so many precious hours of our lives watching films? What is it about cinema that it should occupy a place of such prominence in our lives? And why do we even need movies? It is as though we are trying to fill a gap in our lives - a void, an emptiness within ourselves. So to even begin on the path of our Truth Quest, we have to see the broader picture of how film correlates to life, and life to film. To find this higher perspective, it is helpful to look towards the other arts, as well as philosophy.
Cinema Seekers: Searching for truth in cinema and in life. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Apr 21, 2008 - 26 comments

Tilling Word and Land

Wendell Berry is an agrarian writer, poet, and Mad Farmer. Perhaps most famous for his decision not to buy a computer, which stirred some controversy, Berry is an anti-war, anti-state, anti-capitalist, conservationist conservative. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Apr 10, 2008 - 34 comments

Words Without Pictures

Words Without Pictures. A web site about photography.
posted by chunking express on Jan 23, 2008 - 4 comments

Go with your love to the fields ... ?

"My general feeling about farmers is that they can go fuck themselves." The most recent essay published in the new online magazine 'The Smart Set', is a rather contrarian view of rural life, and poses an interesting question: just why does our society have a general consensus that rural=good and urban=bad?

"What do the farmers really believe, anyway? ... Don't they know that the mute indifference of nature is as terrifying and empty as the noisy scrambling of the metropolis?"
posted by woodblock100 on Sep 4, 2007 - 153 comments

The Best Game I've Ever Seen

Sports Illustrated's website is running a feature where all of their regular columnists, for all the sports the site covers, writes an essay on "The Best Game I've Ever Seen." Some fine examples of modern sports writing.
posted by Slap*Happy on Jul 25, 2007 - 6 comments

Titillating treasure trove of tit torture tidbits.

Matt Nicholson's Breast Punishment Primer discusses the history of tit torture, the anatomy of breasts and the motivation for torturing one (or two), and various manners in which one might torture a tit. That and tit torture trivia. All links NSFW.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 25, 2007 - 72 comments

The Armless Maiden and the Hero's Journey

The Armless Maiden and the Hero's Journey. An exploration of heroic narratives. Author's bio page.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 11, 2007 - 9 comments

Not so colorful site of a pretty colorful personality

The Bear's Pages - the 'Bear' being the legendary Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the 60s acid cook.
posted by daksya on Mar 23, 2007 - 8 comments

Forty Acres and a Mule

Twilight for Black Farms. An interesting topic at NPR. Photos. Audio. Essay.
posted by dgaicun on Feb 24, 2006 - 6 comments

Many of them include outlines, too...

Remember how you wrote when you were in high school? Would you have been secure enough to post one of your essays online? [.doc files] Essay.org has compiled a collection of essays (in various languages), in order to "provide free essays for entertainment, education, and publishing." (My favorites are definitely the persuasive essays.)
posted by voltairemodern on Aug 25, 2005 - 19 comments

I checked, but oh man, I am hoping this isn't a double post...

Below Code. Comatonse Records has been around for a little over 10 years, and to celebrate, the owner, Terre Thaemlitz, put out a free best-of CD. The physical copies are all long-gone, but it's available for download (along with a bonus track that didn't fit on the original disc). Most of the stuff is relatively noisy (and some found sound stuff), but there's some cool electronic type pieces, rock and pop songs and solo piano pieces as well. Also of note is his own personal site, which has links to a lot of cool essays, typically about gender issues and music. (There's also links to images of graphical scores to some of his music.) [Poking around these sites are pretty much NSFW -- the only explicitly NSFW links are on "his own personal site" and "music", but there's quite a few naked people and suchlike around, including on one of the postcards that make up the main link, so, yeah -- take care!]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Aug 1, 2005 - 4 comments

A corrollary to Godwin's Law

Blogs are bad, essays good. Yet another priesthood is taking defensive action, this time essayists. In this piece, the author argues, without much thought or precision, that the throughtful, precise essay is much, much better than those dirty blogs. With apologies to Bill Maher, NEW RULE: If you think Matt Drudge is a blogger and cite him as such, you've already lost the argument.
posted by baltimore on May 15, 2005 - 20 comments

The Undoing of America

The Undoing of America. Gore Vidal on war for oil, politics-free elections, and the late, great U.S. Constitution. And he doesn't pull his punches either.
posted by acrobat on Mar 24, 2005 - 92 comments

Kentucky cracks down on budding writer

Write about zombies, go to jail. I'd be really pissed at the grandparents, if I were this kid.
posted by Thorzdad on Mar 3, 2005 - 90 comments

Why death is no big deal.

Why death is no big deal.
posted by TiredStarling on Mar 1, 2005 - 52 comments

The nuggets may be packed full of beaks, the burgers may be, mostly, squashed intestine and the chips may be soaked in beef flavouring, but there are rare, if no, cases of food poisoning.

Ten Reasons --from going to McDonald's (Did you know that Happy Meals are a loss leader?) to becoming a miser (It's a weightloss plan that really works) and more. From AK13, a great little brit web mag.
posted by amberglow on Jan 17, 2005 - 23 comments

Dillard's How-To

Do you want to be a writer? "Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?... Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. The problem is structural; it is insoluble; it is why no one can ever write this book. Complex stories, essays and poems have this problem, too -- the prohibitive structural defect the writer wishes he had never noticed. He writes it in spite of that." Luminous and wise writing advice from Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, one of the most beautiful books written in the last hundred years (published when Dillard was 29). As a writer myself, I am often asked by younger folk how to become one. Dillard says best what I would tell them.
posted by digaman on Jan 10, 2005 - 67 comments

Only geeks read on Friday nights

Nominations for the best software essays of 2004. There's lots of reading here, pardners, and much of it is great.
posted by bonaldi on Dec 3, 2004 - 3 comments

New Perspectives Quarterly: The Scientific Imagination - An overflowing cornucopia of food for thought.

From Between Being and Becoming by Ilya Prigogine, The Future Won’t Look Like the Present by Stephen Hawking to The Fate of the Religious Imagination by Czeslaw Milosz, to mention but a few, finds New Perspectives Quarterly: The Scientific Imagination presenting an overflowing cornucopia of food for thought. And that's just this issue--Check out the archives, too. Essays--by an impressive cohort of authors--abound on a myriad of topics.
posted by y2karl on Nov 28, 2004 - 12 comments

Chapters in the Sky

Chapters in the Sky --- a rich collection of autobiographical aviation storytelling by Paul Niquette. Complete with glossary for non-pilots/enthusiasts. Highlights: two crashes in one day, the flight school riding on the success of Paul's FAA checkride, commuting over LA.
posted by tss on Nov 24, 2004 - 7 comments

The Autodidact Project & Selected Quotations Therefrom

"Ironic Detachment as an Escape from Routine" by Christopher Lasch ; Compared to What by Eugene McDaniels as performed by Les McCann ; What Is Cynical Reason? Peter Sloterdijk Explains ; Rainer Maria Rilke on Being and the Transitory ; Albert Einstein on Intellectuals and the Masses, Specialization and the Division of Labor, and the Quality of Life ; T.W. Adorno on Zen Buddhism ; Temporarily Humboldt County and Pondering the Spirit World with Seinfeld--just a taste of The Autodidact Project by Ralph Dumain (Librarian-Archivist-Information Specialist Researcher-Scholar) Can you dig it?
posted by y2karl on Nov 16, 2004 - 22 comments

The Great Bear

The Great Bear in Maine.
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2004 - 3 comments

America, thru Stalin's spectacles

"I have become more and more aware of the Stalinist tactics and mentality of much of the American Right..... Relentless insistence on unity, on the existence of an unprecedented and overwhelming external threat, and on the total moral depravity of political opposition were all integral to Stalinist propaganda, and they are a growing part of conservative rhetoric in the United States today.....[Hateful] rhetoric was the prelude to a terrific acceleration of state murder in the Soviet Union....when I read posts on right-wing websites and blogs such as Free Republic or Little Green Footballs, I am reminded strongly of the rage and rhetoric of the young Communist Party activists in the late 1920s....The drive to sustain the administration's alternative world, and the blind hatred and rage of many of President Bush's supporters, may well have disastrous consequences for America." [ Matthew Lenoe, author of Closer To The Masses. Stalinist Culture,Social Revolution, And Soviet Newpapers. Harvard University Press, 2004 ] An op-ed, by someone who knows a bit about totalitarianism, it reminds me of Metafilters 36201, 32747 24363....
posted by troutfishing on Oct 28, 2004 - 9 comments

Bias at the NYT

Is The New York Times biased? Dan Okrent, the NYT public editor, has gone through reams of campaign coverage and delivered his opinion. Make sure you read to the very end. Previously discussed here.
posted by grrarrgh00 on Oct 10, 2004 - 52 comments

Seeking Band Geek Lit

Book publisher soliciting proposals on a high school marching band memoir. It could have an “American High” structure, in which a reporter follows a number of members of a band for a year, but the tone should be “Freaks & Geeks.” It could be something along the lines of “Drumline.” Or, and this is preferable, it could be a person’s wry memoir of his or her life as a band geek: weirdness on the bus, band sluts, the freshmen who steal your place, rivalries, loathing, the football team, what personality type goes with each instrument, etc. Knowledge of band camp and competitions would be a plus. BONUS: Maud's post includes the email address of a senior editor at Wiley to whom you may send your book proposals.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Oct 8, 2004 - 9 comments

Critique Magazine's On Writing III

Critique Magazine's On Writing III - Each year, Critique Magazine's staff compiles essays by and interviews with writers, teachers, and translators of merit for inclusion in the special anniversary edition "On Writing".

Basically, a shitload of authors provide thoughts on, ahem, writing. {Both sites are worth a look, imo.}
posted by dobbs on Sep 15, 2004 - 18 comments

What Makes A Writer A Writer?

So You Think You Might Be A Writer? Just because you write? An astute essay by Joseph Epstein poses the uncomfortable question: are you weird enough? There's something very unnatural and unhealthy about writing (as opposed to reading, for instance) - but what is it? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 19, 2004 - 51 comments

Can't Get No Satisfaction

Can't Get No Satisfaction - This unassuming essay (it's in a state of half-decay with missing figures) is a fascinating (and accessible) overview of phase transitions in NP systems (it explains those terms). In other words: complex physical systems and difficult problems in computing are related. The seminal paper is here, and this is a list of other essays by the same author (links at foot of page).
posted by andrew cooke on Feb 5, 2004 - 4 comments

El Niño is coming

El Niño is Spanish. Like all things spanish, it is dangerous.
posted by jmgorman on Jan 15, 2004 - 32 comments

Hey, bud... let's roll!

In the evening, gunfire emanates with the relentlessness of frog "ribbits'' around a summer pond, sometimes sporadic and at other times overwhelming. But in the daytime, it's intermittent at most -- a few pops here and there. Five times a day, the Islamic call to prayer is broadcast through loudspeakers from each mosque in the city. The chant echoes and ricochets through Baghdad's declining alleys and architecture. One experiences a palpably hypnotic engagement with Middle Eastern spiritual life, like living in a movie with this chant as its score. Sean Penn returns to Iraq... and writes about it.
posted by squirrel on Jan 14, 2004 - 30 comments

Renasence Editions

The Book of the Courtier - Baldessar Castiglione (Sir Thomas Hoby tr.), An Essay on the Regulation of the Press - Daniel Defoe, The Schoole of Abuse - Stephen Gosson, Merrie Conceited Jests - George Peel and The Praise of Hemp-Seed - John Taylor, a sample selection submitted for your approval from Renasence Editions, An Online Repository of Works Printed in English Between the Years 1477 and 1799.
posted by y2karl on Nov 26, 2003 - 7 comments

Ted Rall's

Ted Rall's "Why we fight: Iraq from the other side." Excerpt: You are joining a broad and diverse coalition dedicated to one principle: Iraq for Iraqis. Our leaders include generals of President Saddam Hussein's secular government as well as fundamentalist Islamists. We are Sunni and Shia, Iraqi and foreign, Arab and Kurdish. Though we differ on what kind of future our country should have after liberation and many of us suffered under Saddam, we are fighting side by side because there is no dignity under the brutal and oppressive jackboot of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority or their Vichyite lapdogs on the Governing Council, headed by embezzler Ahmed Chalabi. Ted's cartoons can be seen here.
posted by skallas on Nov 14, 2003 - 65 comments

The Abduction of Modernity

The Abduction of Modernity. "Western thinkers, many of whom cannot speak or read any non-Western language, are held back in their analysis of modern civilization by the assumption that modernity is an exclusive characteristic of the West. At a time when the sole superpower is resurrecting the practice of imposing national will by military might, Henry C K Liu examines this assumption in a series of articles." Part 1: The race toward barbarism, Part 2: That old time religion, Part 3: Rule of law vs Confucianism, Part 4: Taoism and modernity, Part 5: The Enlightenment and modernity, Part 6a: Imperialism as modernity, Part 6b: Imperialism and fragmentation, Part 6c: Imperialism resisted.
posted by homunculus on Oct 15, 2003 - 13 comments

Avocado Memories

Avocado Memories. It's more than a photo collection and group of essays about his parents' failures with interior decoration; it's a nostalgic website brought about by Wes Clark's impulse to let his children know what it was like growing up during a more innocent age.
posted by debralee on Jun 17, 2003 - 9 comments

Generation J?

Red, White and Jew --an examination of 6 issues facing the American Jews of today and tomorrow, religious and non, from the holocaust as history to Israel fatigue to Jewish conservatives.
...We can finally be Jewish and American, but somewhere along the line nobody bothered to figure out entirely what that meant. So it falls to us, the next Jewish generation, to balance the scales. Will we be more Jewish, more American, or a fusion of the two? More importantly, how will we do it?
posted by amberglow on Jun 16, 2003 - 23 comments

Hiroshige

The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige. Images and essays - a treat for ukiyo-e fans.
Also good for ukiyo-e admirers :- Universes in Collision: Men and Women in 19th Century Japanese Prints; and Hiroshige: A Shoal of Fishes.
posted by plep on Jun 14, 2003 - 4 comments

F/X porn

Seeing The Matrix yesterday (and just before it, the preview for the third Terminator movie) reminded me of this old David Foster Wallace essay"F/X Porn", in which he points out how Hollywood blockbusters have become the equivalent of your average "2 for $10.99!!" XXX rentals. [Google cached version here.]
posted by slipperywhenwet on Jun 13, 2003 - 36 comments

facism definined

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism.
posted by thedailygrowl on May 12, 2003 - 47 comments

Philosophy and The Matrix

Is there no spoon? The Warner Bros Matrix site is home to a series of scholarly essays inspired by the film (last updated 3/20/03). I mean, sure, the film offers some "whoa dude" moments regarding technology, perception, and vinyl pants, but I was surprised to find it an interesting launching point for discussions about freedom, heaven, and Plato's Cave as well. Being a philosophy layman, I can't vouch for their quality with any authority, but if you know the movies inside and out, as I apparently do (god help me) you might find the essays interesting.*
*for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway
posted by scarabic on Apr 30, 2003 - 36 comments

The Quiet American

The Quiet American provides glimpses of other cultures via phonographs: snapshots of sound. (The field recordings in Vietnam are beautiful and evocative.) Vagabonding also conveys the wonders of travel. What other sites allow non-travelers to experience other parts of the world?
posted by jdroth on Mar 5, 2003 - 5 comments

Henry Makow

Henry Makow is the inventor of the board game Scruples, and the author of A Long Way to go for a Date. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and taught at the University of Winnipeg. He now publishes his prolific writings online. He is also completely, utterly, deliciously insane.
posted by son_of_minya on Dec 3, 2002 - 17 comments

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