The Dark and Light

Goya’s etchings of war exemplify one aspect of his talent, but it showed up in many guises. The irreducible breadth of an artist’s vision…
Goya’s etchings of war exemplify one aspect of his talent, but it showed up in many guises. The irreducible breadth of an artist’s vision… [More]

From Wit to Twit(ter)

Wit can be charming or mean, whimsical or incisive. Done well, it mocks pretension, false self-esteem, snobbery. Wit is vital – and in decline…
Wit can be charming or mean, whimsical or incisive. Done well, it mocks pretension, false self-esteem, snobbery. Wit is vital – and in decline… [More]

Gender, blah, blah, blah

Serious, intellectual writing is overwhelmingly male. Why? Ask the serious, intellectual gatekeepers of serious, intellectual magazines…
Serious, intellectual writing is overwhelmingly male. Why? Ask the serious, intellectual gatekeepers of serious, intellectual magazines… [More]

On Nerd Entitlement

Silicon Valley is run by some of the most privileged people in the world. Yet they are convinced that they are among the least. Thus, nerd entitlement…
Silicon Valley is run by some of the most privileged people in the world. Yet they are convinced that they are among the least. Thus, nerd entitlement… [More]

Birth of pulp fiction

Mass-market paperbacks transformed the culture of reading, largely for the better. If no pulps, then no Philip Roth and Erica Jong…
Mass-market paperbacks transformed the culture of reading, largely for the better. If no pulps, then no Philip Roth and Erica Jong… [More]

Seventies Throwback Fiction

The Seventies, once known for its lack of significance, is now a source of mournful nostalgia, for a time when we lost what we had become…
The Seventies, once known for its lack of significance, is now a source of mournful nostalgia, for a time when we lost what we had become… [More]

Artist and entrepreneur

Careers in art are being shaped by two trends: The death of the artist as solitary genius, and the rise of the artist as entrepreneur…
Careers in art are being shaped by two trends: The death of the artist as solitary genius, and the rise of the artist as entrepreneur… [More]

Meaning of “culture”

“Culture” is a confusing word, fraught with divergent definitions. The way we use it today – think “rape culture” – has grown darker, sharper, more skeptical…
“Culture” is a confusing word, fraught with divergent definitions. The way we use it today – think “rape culture” – has grown darker, sharper, more skeptical… [More]

Paradox of Martin Luther King

“The force behind the idea of nonviolence was given its most powerful run in the civil-rights era,” says Taylor Branch. “But it became passé pretty quickly.” Too quickly…
“The force behind the idea of nonviolence was given its most powerful run in the civil-rights era,” says Taylor Branch. “But it became passé pretty quickly.” Too quickly… [More]

The World Is Not Falling Apart

The world is always “more dangerous than it has ever been” – except it isn’t. By most measures – war, homicide, genocide – it’s more peaceful than ever…
The world is always “more dangerous than it has ever been” – except it isn’t. By most measures – war, homicide, genocide – it’s more peaceful than ever… [More]