March 7, 2016
"Goldwater discovered it; Nixon refined it; and Reagan perfected it into the darkest of the modern political dark arts." An excellent piece on the history of the Republican party’s racial politics since the Civil Rights Movement era, and how the 'Southern Strategy' and its dog-whistle appeal to racism paved the way for the current unpleasantness within the Grand Old Party. [more inside]
When juveniles are found guilty of sexual misconduct, the sex-offender registry can be a life sentence.--Longform by Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker.
Nkosinathi Maphumulo is a South African musician better known as Black Coffee. He has been devoted to making music since an early age, and even though he lost the use of his left arm in a car crash while growing up in a poor township, he has gone on to become a superstar in South African music. More than a marathon-session DJ (going so far as to DJ for 60 hours), he created a multimedia stadium show, where he played with a 24 piece orchestra and additional live percussion, keyboards and singers, who all spoke with love for the unique South African experience they created. [more inside]
Everything the establishment hated most was in Oz, the enfant terrible of the underground press. Now, 45 years after its famous obscenity trial, the entire archive has been published on the web
There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.
Oh So Surreal: - Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art; featuring interviews and work from artists as diverse as Mr Mead | SSSdolls | Joseph Loughborough | Nicomi Nix Turner | Millie Brown | Filthy the Bear | Jean Paul Bourdier and many more. Click through the categories or scroll down the sidebars and be amazed or disgusted or meh.
Every clock at New York's Grand Central Station runs one minute fast by design. It's not an uncommon psychological trick: an informal poll of the Straight Dope message board turns up dozens of people who set their clocks 1, 15, or 30 minutes ahead to encourage punctuality and "create" more time. "The problem with this" (points out Crooked Timber) "is that if you’re half-way rational, you’ll correct for the error, making it useless. So the solution is to have a probabilistic clock, where the clock is fast, but you aren’t sure how fast it is within a given and relatively short time range." [more inside]
Sexual harassment in science generally starts like this: A woman (she is a student, a technician, a professor) gets an email and notices that the subject line is a bit off: “I need to tell you,” or “my feelings.” The opening lines refer to the altered physical and mental state of the author: “It’s late and I can’t sleep” is a favorite, though “Maybe it’s the three glasses of cognac” is popular as well.
During a session with students at Goldsmiths, University of London Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was asked for his opinion on whether sex work should be decriminalised, he said: “I am in favour of decriminalising the sex industry. I don’t want people to be criminalised. I want to be [in] a society where we don’t automatically criminalise people. Let’s do things a bit differently and in a bit more civilised way.” But some of his backbenchers are unhappy with this position. [more inside]
Do you walk your dog in areas where there are coyotes or hawks? Are you worried about taking your small dog to the dog park or the beach, where there are so many incidents of larger dogs injuring or killing smaller dogs? Do you own a larger dog that won't stop picking on your smaller dog? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your small dog needs CoyoteVest™ body armor.
The Forgotten Politics Behind Contra's Name by Matt Morey [Kill Screen]
Do a quick Google search of “contra.” Browsing the first few pages, you should see a saturation of links about the videogame—the now-primary version of the word—sprinkled with other definitions. Next in the deck is contra as preposition: “against, contrary, or opposed to,” suitingly enough. Then, a “contemporary New York cuisine” restaurant; contra-dancing, a folksy flirty form adaptable to many musical styles; the second album by Vampire Weekend; and eventually, peeking through before being closed out again, you’ll stumble upon the elephant in the room.
If you’re expecting me to end this essay on an uplifting note—“I’ve come to appreciate my inevitably middle-aged face, which shows proof of hard-won wisdom and a well-lived life”—you can forget it. I will never not blanch at photographs showing the accents grave and aigu on either side of my nose, not to mention my multi-circumflexed forehead. That’s decrepitude, not character.Nell Beram: I’m Middle-aged and I Look It — But Don’t Ask Me to Like It
So on the night of the New Hampshire primary, MSNBC's Chris Hayes accidentally referred to the democratic socialist senator running for President as "Bernie Sandwiches". There was much guffawing, punnery and memeing. And now it's a game, for iOS and Android. The staff from All In w/ Chris Hayes is reportedly entranced. (Note: the Bernie Sanders caricature in the game comes from DonkeyHotey, though it's used without attribution.)
"The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. They are 'wicked' problems..."[pdf] [more inside]
The Only Thing I Envy Men is an essay about women writers by Rivka Galchen, taken from her book Little Labors. The book focuses partly on writing by Japanese women, especially the 11th Century writers Sei Shonagon and Murasaki Shikibu, authors of The Pillow Book and Tale of Genji respectively. The latter has recently been retranslated, and was the subject of a lengthy article in the New Yorker by Ian Buruma.
The case for optimism on climate change - "I'll finish with this story. When I was 13 years old, I heard that proposal by President Kennedy to land a person on the Moon and bring him back safely in 10 years. And I heard adults of that day and time say, 'That's reckless, expensive, may well fail.' But eight years and two months later, in the moment that Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, there was great cheer that went up in NASA's mission control in Houston. Here's a little-known fact about that: the average age of the systems engineers, the controllers in the room that day, was 26, which means, among other things, their age, when they heard that challenge, was 18." (via; previously) [more inside]