Time Considered As a Helix of Grimy Fingernail Clippings: Samuel R. Delany’s Weirdly Prescient “Driftglass”

I just finished reading a collection of Samuel R. Delany's short stories and novellas from the mid- to late-'60s, Driftglass (link is to the copy I bought at BookMarx, with the ultra-cheesy fishman cover), and man, I always forget just how good his best work is. Here's a rundown of what's in this collection."The Star-Pit": The first story is by far the best--worth the price of admission for this alone. It's startlingly contemporary. It's a story about working-class men and their longing for … [Read more...]

“Marilynne Robinson Returns to Gilead”: I review “Lila”

at AmCon--I think this piece turned out well: Ten years ago Marilynne Robinson began telling us the story of Gilead, Iowa, a tiny town surrounded by fields and farms. A droplet of water in which the whole world is reflected.She began with Gilead, a novel in the form of a long letter written from the dying John Ames to his young son. Ames situates the town in its historical context, showing how this apparently all-white enclave nonetheless falls under the shadow of racism, from the Civil War … [Read more...]

Marriage as Work vs Marriage as the Cross

From the department of Those Who Can't Do and/or Fools Rush In, so as always, this post is worth at most what you paid for it:Conservatives often argue that Americans have a Disneyfied, "soulmate" view of marriage, which makes us unprepared for the fact that marriage--like all vocations--can be terribly hard. I don't think that's quite right. We do have a cultural vocabulary for talking about the "hard parts" of marriage. The problem is that we have only one vocabulary, only one metaphor; … [Read more...]

“Obama’s College Plan Bows to Elites”: Megan McArdle

I have no actual opinion on the community-college plan but there are some good points here: ...Why aren't we at least asking ourselves if there's something we can do to create more opportunity for people without diplomas, instead of asking how many more years we can keep everyone in school? Why do all of our proposed solutions essentially ratify the structure that excludes so many people, instead of questioning it?I have some ideas about what those policies might look like: broad … [Read more...]

“Tony Kushner’s Communist Turducken”: I watch “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures”

for AmCon: My heart is by dejection, clay And by self-murder, red.–John Donne, “A Litany”Gus’s heart is Red, all right. He’s a 72-year-old Communist Party member, former longshoreman, and union organizer; he’s already tried to kill himself once, and has called his children together to explain his new plan: Sell their Brooklyn brownstone, split the proceeds among the kids, then finish himself off. Tony Kushner’s “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key t … [Read more...]

“Five Ways Delivering Food Is Like Living in a Tarantino Movie”

Cracked is so variable these days so I figured I'd highlight a recent article I really enjoyed, by an author whose name I didn't recognize. (The ones I always read are John Cheese and Kristi H, and I like a lot of Buchholz's stuff too.) The final tipping story is just... a peek into the howling vortex of human evil. LOL! … [Read more...]

“The Jobs of the Future Don’t Require a College Degree”: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

at Forbes: We’re all talking about the “jobs of the future” and “winning the future” and transitioning to a “knowledge economy.” Since predictions are hard, especially about the future, it’s a good idea to look at some data.And it looks like we have some of it.... more (and see also: "Avg student loan debt of Class of 2013 is $30K") … [Read more...]


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