Category Archive: Politics

alain de botton’s religious atheism

The dream is always the same. I awaken to find I’ve been transformed, not into a hideous insect, but into something much worse: Alain de Botton, my doppelganger. Like me, de Botton loves… Continue reading

the obama memos & obama’s long game

Here at the Kugelmass Episodes, we play your requests. Today’s letter comes from alert reader tomemos, who asked for my take on this New Yorker article about Obama’s recently released batch of internal… Continue reading

the “entitled” generation?

It seems like just yesterday that Malcolm Gladwell published Outliers, doesn’t it? That’s because it actually was yesterday, or pretty close: Gladwell’s book was published on November 18th, 2008, less than four years… Continue reading

A Political World: Malcolm Gladwell Invents Friendship, Disses Internet

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do… Continue reading

In Which Our Hero Resolves The Question of Nature vs. Nurture

(x-posted to The Valve, of course) Nature versus nurture, Lodge. Nature always wins. –Secretary William Cleary, Wedding Crashers Jenny Davidson’s new book of cultural criticism, entitled Breeding: A Partial History of the Eighteenth… Continue reading

Those Obscene Octuplets

(x-posted to The Valve) Greetings from California, where, as is now very widely known, people do crazy things with the help of doctors, up to and including giving birth to children 7 through… Continue reading

On Writer’s Block and Responding to the Joker comments

Dear readers, Happy Indian summer, everybody! Even if you’ve already headed back to school, or are working an eight-to-five, there’s a dreamlike haze to August, a feeling as though there’s still one or… Continue reading

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stranger: Heath Ledger’s Joker

(x-posted to The Valve) Dear readers, this is about the film The Dark Knight and will, of necessity, be crammed absolutely full of spoilers. *** It seems we are still too close to… Continue reading

The Shape of Things To Come: On ‘Literary Thinking and the New Left’

(x-posted to The Valve) What follows may appear to be a discussion of the 1960s in America; it is not. Reading through Sean McCann and Michael Szalay’s indispensable essay “Do You Believe in… Continue reading

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Side Jobs and the Internet Economy

Such a muddy line between The things you want And the things you have to do –Sheryl Crow, “Leaving Las Vegas” Over eighty thousand pounds! I knew, didn’t I know I knew? Malabar… Continue reading