Skipping The Summer Reading

This essay is about reading gay porn before class. And it resurrects an Ideological Outrage Of The Day from 2012. And a graphic novel. And striking out romantically. And Richard Dawkins.


Questions From the Headlines

When headline writers use questions, Burt Likko answers them. Briefly, completely, and unabashedly expressing his own opinion. Ten questions about politics, the business of news, news of business, and grizzly bears.


America’s Tiger Mom and the Totally Valid, Not At All Biased, Really Scientific Practice of Ranking America’s Cultures and Races

Famed Tiger-Mom Amy Chua’s new book helpfully lets its readers know which cultures and races in America are superior, and which are inferior.


Nazism is Dead, Long Live Marx

I recently wrote about how radical intellectuals are treated as ipso facto irresponsible or abhorrent in middlebrow American ideas magazines where little comprehension of their thought is even attempted. I was talking about the liberal-ish ones like the New Republic and the New York Review of Books. If we expanded that out to include conservative magazines;…

A leisurely Sunday afternoon riot

After we returned from an early dinner with friends late Sunday afternoon, we began to hear the reports of disturbances a few blocks away from where we live in downtown Huntington Beach.  The annual eight-day-long and well-attended US Open competition had just concluded around 5:00.  The neighborhood had been packed with attendees all weekend, and…

Does Opposition to Abortion Demand Certainty That the Fetus Is a Person?

I agree with Ned Resnikoff that the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood, but I am not sure the question of personhood as related to nascent human life has to be answered definitively before one may have an ethical basis to avoid (or morally permit) lethal violence against it. We may not,…

Culture is the villain

I’ve had this sort of nebulous notion that culture itself is a problem. Not any particular culture, mind you, but rather the entire concept of culture.  The exclusivity of the group over the individual. A lot of people will hold up individualism against collectivism, but what if that’s just scratching the surface? Culture is the…

Intellectual Art, Popular Media, and Getting Away from Aesthetic Subjectivity

In the May 2012 issue of the Atlantic, writer Taylor Clark has an excellent profile of videogame developer Jonathan Blow. He’s misanthropic, severely thoughtful, and somewhat abrasive. But he’s also a brilliant creator and a near perfect example of what Clark thinks the medium needs more of: developers willing to make smart videogames. Because for Clark the…