“Believers in capitalist liberal democracies may cluck at the over-the-top Maoist inquisitions devoted to revolutionary self-criticism, but our society encourages us to practice the same extravagant self-loathing, only privately.”
Adolph Reed considers how pop culture narratives of Black “inspiration and uplift” featuring a singular (usually male) hero reflect the real-world leadership of Black gatekeepers and talking heads granted legitimacy by “elite opinion-shaping institutions and individuals.” Both, Reed claims, stifle the possibility of political change.
Why don’t women feel well? We’ve come down with an advanced case of patriarchy.
Two new books on poverty, Not a Crime to Be Poor (Peter Edelman) and The Poverty of Privacy Rights (Khiara M. Bridges), suggest that poor people are disproportionately surveilled, imprisoned, and monitored — “treated presumptively as lawbreakers” — so that the state can “redress its budget shortfalls” by imposing exploitative fines on anyone without ready access to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Laurie Penny on Queer Eye: “It’s not about queerness at all. It’s actually about the disaster of heterosexuality—and what, if anything, can be salvaged from its ruins.”
M.H. Miller shares his family’s story of financial collapse and explores the crippling effects of long-term debt.
On skateboarding’s libertarian paranoia.
After a hundred years of performing the so-called “hand job” of journalism, the puff piece is giving way to a more enlightened form called the power piece. The successful power piece acknowledges the white cis male status quo and can help reshape the world its subjects and readers inhabit. When it fails, it perpetuates the same old same old it claims to subvert, puffing up activism instead of celebrity.
Now we can outsource imagination.