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Spring Fever 2016: Bits & Pieces (1)

In “Virginibus Puerisque” (1881), Robert Louis Stevenson noted that “Enthusiasm about art is become a function of the average female being, which she performs with precision and a sort of haunting sprightliness, like an ingenious and well-regulated machine.” In the emerging android era we won’t need what Tom Wolfe dubbed the “culture buds” to perform this task; there’s an automaton for that. […]

Election 2016: Image World (6)

The visual images of mostly white men preventing a legitimately elected black president from appointing a highly qualified candidate to the Supreme Court may suit the “base” just fine, but with these and the Flint images all over the media in the final months of the campaign they can pretty much kiss the “minority” vote goodbye. […]

Election 2016: Image World (5b)

With their let-’em-eat-cake attitudes, the Republic Party threatens 45 million people with plans to take the food out of their mouths, while derogating them for their inability to feed themselves. That’s a powerful image of themselves for the GOP to project. Let’s see how well it serves them on November 8. […]

Election 2016: Image World (5a)

Taking the “food-stamp challenge” over a three-month period, I discovered that, even in the relatively expensive urban environment of one of New York’s outer boroughs, a sum between the average and maximum monthly SNAP allotment ($135-200) could provide sufficient healthy food for an adult with no special needs who shops carefully and prepares his own meals at home. […]

Cabin Fever 2016: Bits & Pieces (1)

My rule of thumb: If it hasn’t cost you anything, it’s not principle, it’s just attitude. By the same token, if nothing’s at stake it ain’t criticism, merely (in Leon Wieseltier’s felicitous usage) a “take,” which you can change the next day without losing face. […]