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The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

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Eve Pell on Old Money and Its Discontents

Tad Friend’s vivid memoir offers an insider’s guide to the peculiar anthropological habits of America’s now nearly extinct WASP ruling establishment.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / mikedarnell1974

Leonard Cohen Defies Boycott to Perform in Israel

Leonard Cohen performed in a soccer stadium near Tel Aviv on Thursday over the objections of activists who want artists and entertainers to stay away from the Holy Land. Unlike Madonna, as The Washington Post points out, Cohen donated his earnings to Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and managed to avoid wrapping himself in the Israeli flag.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


Hollywood in Shanghai
AP / Eugene Hoshiko

China at Odds With WTO Over Media Import Rules

It’s not the first time that objections have been raised over the kinds of values promoted, whether explicitly or implicitly, by media products hailing from the general vicinity of Hollywood, but this time the issue concerns a whole country taking on a major international commercial coalition: China and the World Trade Organization, respectively.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


small town flags
Flickr / Sundi_MOZ

‘Rural Brain Drain’ Turns Small Towns Into Ghost Towns

For those die-hard bicoastal types who view much of America’s heartland as flyover territory, the phenomenon of “rural brain drain,” as The Chronicle of Higher Education calls the ongoing migration of younger generations from the country’s small towns, probably doesn’t seem terribly troubling—but the Chronicle makes the case for why this mass exodus may constitute a national crisis.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


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Joel Kotkin on California’s Golden Age

Kevin Starr’s newest volume in his magisterial series on California examines the dream of endless prosperity that was, for a time, synonymous with the American dream.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


Moby-Dick
tower.com

Google Teams Up With Speedy Bookmaker

Bibliophiles who can’t warm up to the idea of curling up with an e-reader or a laptop instead of a bona fide book may be heartened to hear that Google just took a significant step in the direction of making more book titles available on short notice—in the offline world.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



startrek.com

‘Newlywed Game’ Goes Gay With Sulu

For the first time since its 1967 premiere, the “Newlywed Game” will feature a gay couple: George Takei of “Star Trek” and his husband of one year (and partner for 22) Brad Altman.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Kindle 2
Flickr/bfishadow

Are the Kindle’s Days Numbered?

Although Kindle sales have seemed strong since its debut nearly two years ago, the future of Amazon’s e-reader may not be rosy, according to The Atlantic’s Kevin Maney, who sums up the “Kindle problem” thusly: “[I]n aiming to provide both a great experience and supreme convenience, it has achieved neither.”

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



The New Press

Business Goes to School

Business leaders are eager to meddle in education but rarely take responsibility for the root of education’s problem—economic despair and mind-numbing mass media.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


chimpanzee
Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Godless Darwin Movie Too Sciency for God-Loving America

Let’s get something straight, America. Charles Darwin was right. Only 39 percent of you believe that, but his theory of evolution is the basis of modern biological science. Deal with it. A new film about the man can’t get distribution in the U.S. because—this is embarrassing just to type—150 years after “On the Origin of Species,” he’s too controversial in these parts.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


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