May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
March 7, 2014
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
A wonderful essay on W.H. Auden and his charitable side:
W.H. Auden had a secret life that his closest friends knew little or nothing about. Everything about it was generous and honorable. He kept it secret because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it.
Grantland asks if Jimmy Fallon is the future of comedy:
If Johnny Carson was the dry martini at the end of a long day, Jimmy Fallon is a soothing mug of chamomile. In the two weeks since it debuted, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has established itself as the cuddliest show in the history of late night. The first episode began with Fallon thanking every single person who helped him get from Saugerties, New York, to that glittering new stage in Rockefeller Center. He praised Jay Leno. He waved to his parents. He gushed about his baby daughter. Fallon didn’t want to kill his audience; he wanted to hug them. No — he wanted each and every one of them to hug him.’
Esquire publishes a controversial past essay by John Ridley on race by the 2014 Academy Award winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, for 12 Years a Slave:
LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT NIGGERS, the oppressed minority within our minority. Always down. Always out. Always complaining that they can’t catch a break. Notoriously poor about doing for themselves. Constantly in need of a leader but unable to follow in any direction that’s navigated by hard work, self-reliance. And though they spliff and drink and procreate their way onto welfare doles and WIC lines, niggers will tell you their state of being is no fault of their own. They are not responsible for their nearly 5 percent incarceration rate and their 9.2 percent unemployment rate. Not responsible for the 11.8 percent rate at which they drop out of high school. For the 69.3 percent of births they create out of wedlock
The Times Literary supplement on a new printing of the The Compleat Angler:
Izaak Walton (1593–1683) is remembered as the author of The Compleat Angler, the second-most reprinted book in English after the King James Bible. He was also a pioneer of modern biography, celebrated by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, writing most notably the Lives of John Donne and George Herbert. More pious and less amusingly scurrilous than his Life-writing successor John Aubrey (1626–97), Walton nevertheless valued the intimate and particular details of biographical writing over sanitized exemplary narratives – as in the sharp account of Ben Jonson he sent to Aubrey in 1680, later included in the younger man’s brief Life of the playwright
As Opening Day nears, MLB looks at its lack of diversity:
The percentage always draws attention in April, when’ the number of African-Americans on Opening Day MLB rosters is revealed. Last season the percentage was 8.5, or 64 out of 750. It does not figure to be dramatically different this season, prompting the usual, “Why is this happening?” handwringing for a day or two. After that, everyone will forget about the percentage until next year. Well, almost everyone. Baseball is not happy with the percentage. Baseball wants to do something about the percentage. And the people trying to increase the percentage — those involved with the sport’s On-Field Diversity Task Force, Urban Youth Academies and Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program (RBI) — are seeing progress at the grassroots level, tangible progress.
Ross Douthat considers religious experience in the modern world:
But my question, which surfaced when I read (okay, browsed) Taylor’s argument the first time and came up again while I was thinking through these cases, is whether the buffered self/porous self distinction is supposed to describe a difference in the lived, felt substance of religious experience itself, or whether it’s ultimately an ideological superstructure that imposes an interpretation after the fact. Taylor’s argument seems to be that the substance of experience itself changes in modernity: He leans hard on the idea that (as he puts it) “the whole situation of the self in experience is subtly but importantly different” for people who fully inhabit the secular age. Which would seem to imply that when Verhoeven was in that church, his actual experience of what felt like the dove descending was “subtly but importantly different” from the experiences that the not-as-secularized believers around him might have been having — more attenuated, more unreal, and thus easier to respond to in the way he ultimately did. And it would imply, as well, that if Takeshi Ono’s worldview had been more secular to begin with, he wouldn’t just have reacted to his visions differently (by, say, visiting a therapist rather than a Buddhist priest); he would have had a different experience, period, in which he somehow felt more buffered and less buffeted throughout.
Books and Culture asks, “Wither Monogamy?”:
As strong as their case seems to be, however, their thesis depends on some-what-dubious premises. First and most obvious is the Darwinian reduction of sex to reproduction. Though this should raise immediate problems for the Christian, Geher and Kaufman must also reckon with the remarkably and often deliberately unproductive nature of much modern sex. Yet though they acknowledge the changes contraception has brought, they never explain how evolutionary biology accounts for our peculiar modern war on procreative sex. Homosexuality, too, merits only scant attention.
Deadspin ranks 24 light beers:
24. Bud Light Lime, 116 calories per 12 ounces, 4.2 percent alcohol by volume Woe be to the human tongue that’s touched anything nastier than this sinister shit. Last July I said Bud Light Lime tastes like green Froot Loops soaked in thigh sweat. It’s too cold to muster enough sweat for a retest, but I’m confident that Bud Light Lime is still the world’s worst light beer.
David A. Garner