June 1, 2002
Worth Your Time (1) New Electrolite feature: links to other writing on the web, all guaranteed worthwhile but unencumbered by more than a line or two of further comment by me. Often, because fourteen-eleven other bloggers have already commented on the piece in question. Not everyone who reads Electrolite reads fourteen-eleven other blogs, however. Thus.
- “Bomb Saddam?” by Joshua Micah Marshall, in the Washington Monthly. A liberal concludes that (1) the neoconservative Iraq hawks are sloppy with the facts, pursuing unsavory agendas, and generally untrustworthy, and (2) we probably have to go after Iraq anyway.
- “Power and Weakness” by Robert Kagan, in Policy Review. Much-discussed analysis of why Europe and America are drifting apart, and why (in Kagan’s view) this is liable to continue.
- “Bigotry in Print. Crowds Chant Murder. Something’s Changed.” By Paul Berman, in the Forward. Spooky, thoughtful examination of the worm of anti-Semitism and its return to center stage in the West.
- “Japan’s Voluntary Shut-Ins,” by Kathryn Tolbert, in the Washington Post. “As many as a million Japanese — most of them young men — are considered shut-ins, either literally cloistered in their rooms or refusing to work and avoiding all social contact for periods ranging from six months to more than 10 years.” WTF?
- “The end of multiculturalism,” by John Lloyd, in the New Statesman. If “multiculturalism” means tolerating practices like nonconsensual arranged marriages within immigrant communities, Western liberals are increasingly likely to reject it.
- “In Praise of Vulgarity” by Charles Paul Freund, in Reason. Outstanding libertarian analysis refuting the idea that popular culture is dictated by entertainment tycoons. (We tycoons just wish.) Many fascinating digressions, like the tale of the “stilyagi” in the 1950s USSR.
- “1491,” by Charles C. Mann, in the Atlantic. Mind-blowingly provocative overview of controversies over the true state of the New World’s natural environment before the European conquests. Some of its suggestions are sure to be refuted, but it can’t be emphasized enough that American aborigines were as enthusiastic about modifying their environment as we are—and darn good at it.