Culturally Determined

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Sophie's exploration of the use and misuse of "the Irish goodbye" ... The strange joy of watching a Picasso painting fall to the ground ... NFTs and the question of authentication ... What makes an object a valuable collectible? ... Sophie
Katie's recent essay, "Nickelodeon’s Generational Divide" ... Children's entertainment that didn't pander ... The early '90s as a midpoint in the shifting cultural battle of kids vs. parents ... The ultimate childhood dream: the Super Toy
Joe's new essay on online disinformation ... Does advertising actually work? ... Joe: Maybe the real critique of Facebook is that it's a worthless product ... The ivermectin craze and the end of media gatekeeping ... How do you solve a pro
Why John hated The White Lotus ... Is the show more of a farce than a satire? ... Debating whether the staff was thinly characterized on purpose ... John critiques the show's treatment of race and class ... Why the 1619 Project made so man
Joshua's new novel, The Netanyahus ... How Harold Bloom inspired a novel about Bibi Netanyahu's father ... Other influences: Philip Roth, classic sitcoms, and Yiddish anecdotes ... Jewish assimilationism vs. Jewish identitarianism ... The s
Laura's essay, "What the Hell Happened to the Claremont Institute?" ... Background on Harry Jaffa and the West Coast Straussians ... Why did many East Coast Straussians become NeverTrumpers? ... Michael Anton, the cosplaying conservative int
Rebecca's essay on how Hannah Arendt was misread during the Trump years ... A capsule biography of Arendt ... The real meaning of Arendt's famous line about "the ideal subject of totalitarian rule" ... Rebecca: Trump's lies were mostly "boa
Leigh's new poetry collection, What to Miss When ... How the collection emerged from lockdown ... Leigh's poem "Simulation Theory," which was inspired by a episode ... Leigh's essay, "Sympathy for the Girlboss" ... Women t
Barrett embeds at a TikTok "collab house" ... Pleasant young people who are starstruck at themselves ... Why are so many college students anxious and depressed? ... Joan Didion and despair ... Barrett and his brother's unusual journey to a
John's new book, Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever ... The original profane words: damn and hell ... The four-letter big ones ... How donkeys and buttocks got the same name ... The nasty word we still euphemiz
The origins of Doug's "New York Times Pitchbot" project ... The "In this Ohio diner..." trope ... The NYT's de facto national status and the hollowing out of local journalism ... The Opinion page's lack of ideological and geographic diversi
The absurd exercise of ranking presidential greatness ... Aryeh: We all agree on Lincoln and Washington, but then it's a fight ... Daniel: George W. Bush was much worse than Trump ... Did America react hysterically to the storming of the Cap
Christian on gothic, sentimental, and ironic strains in recent US history ... Biden the pre-Boomer sentimentalist ... Trump as a postmodern gothic figure ... Why the gothic and the sentimental are two sides of the same coin ... Aryeh: It tu
Rabbi Ari introduces himself ... How do Millennial American Jews understand their Judaism? ... The unique Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois ... Identity, tribalism, and communal thickness ... The failures of Hebrew School education ...
Nicholas's essay, "The Language of Privilege" ... Bottom-up vs. top-down language change (e.g. "cheugy") ... Nicholas: This is a mean way of talking ... The lefties who mock woke language ... Coca-Cola and the CIA got woke. Hooray? ... Tr
Amazon launches "AmaZen" to keep its warehouse workers mindful ... Amazon's total war against unions ... Jeff Bezos blasts off ... Will the feds break up Amazon? ... NYC sues Chipotle, alleging 600,000 labor violations (some involving rats)
Default Friend's new podcast, After the Orgy ... 2008 as a hinge point in sexual culture ... Is sex positivity over? ... DF: Young people want to get married and have kids sooner ... Ancient wisdom and cosplaying as a way of life ... G
Ben's new book, Canceling Comedians While the World Burns ... Joe Rogan, Louis CK, and the online left's moralistic overreactions ... A material analysis of how Twitter distorts political movements ... Stalin nostalgia, guillotine gifs, and
Accusations of sexual assault against Philip Roth's biographer, Blake Bailey ... Laura's early negative review of the biography ... How Bailey justified Roth's mistreatment of women ... Aryeh worries about an alleged rapist framing the histo
Mourning MEL Magazine ... Everything you ever wanted to know about Juggalos ... Do Juggalos vote? ... Why Magdalene identifies as a Juggalette ... Simps, incels, and pickup artists ... Trends in male horniness ... Should cat guys on dat
Matt's podcast on the conservative movement, Know Your Enemy ... Matt's journey from movement conservative to democratic socialist ... Trump and the conservative intellectuals who tried to defend him ... Can there be a Trumpism without Trump
Jacques's essay on race in Philip Roth's fiction ... Roth and Updike, compare and contrast ... Was Roth always totally in control of his powers? ... How Roth depicted the Newark riots ... Portnoy's Complaint and offensive humor ... Will w
All about OnlyFans, which is like Substack but for porn ... Parallels between online journalism and online porn ... Cathy's experiences on OnlyFans ... When the NY Post "outed" an NYC medic as being on OnlyFans ... Is Twitter going to embr
The new NYT documentary on Britney Spears ... The many ways the media mistreated Britney ... Revisiting the paparazzi, the head shaving, and the umbrella ... The conservatorship and the #FreeBritney movement ... Why we should have listened
Lauren's new novel, Fake Accounts ... Autofiction in the disinformation age ... Why the novel's narrator is unnamed ... Berlin, the city of expats hanging out ... The uses and abuses of a fragmentary narrative ... Twitter is made out of p
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