Tag: Culture

A Clear Menace

Minneapolis’s new football stadium could have avoided murdering hundreds of birds. The City Council voted to construct it from special glass coated in a film that birds can see. Unfortunately for the birds, however, the stadium’s managers refused to use the recommended material, Read original

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The Suffrages

Freedom doesn’t think on us.

It’s not
a god,

                                                it’s a word

we further

(a word we once tore down
forests to tell)

                                               and by “we”

I don’t mean something
you or I have not had
a small part in defining.

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The Reenactment

What mattered in early wars
was the cavalry marching through
deep muck, the fife & drums,

stern ravens, words called out
across small, stagnant ponds.
They tell us every landscape longs

to be a battlefield. Someone
fires a cannon the size of a cave,
and we watch as shockwaves

italicize the trees. We, the living,
try channeling the original grief.
But this battle is nothing like

I thought it would be.

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Science Fiction’s Wonderful Mistakes

From the mid-1920s, when Hugo Gernsback coined the term “science fiction,” several fallacies became associated with the increasingly vigorous commercial genre and never entirely went away. The first was the “Taught Me Science Fallacy,” which goes something like this: Isaac Asimov writes about science and particle physics, so if I read the Foundation trilogy, I might learn what a neutrino is. (Kingsley Amis argued in his influential Read original

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The Heavy-Handed Moralism of Terrence Malick’s New Film

It should be hard nowadays to make art set in Europe just before or during World War II without arousing some suspicion. Too often in such films and books there’s a longing, however concealed, for some prelapsarian moment when right and wrong, good guys and bad, seem to have been helpfully demarcated, and every day provided the opportunity to display one’s mettle.

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The Irishman and Parasite: Two Paths for the Hustle

You have to respect the hustle. No matter what else you might think of Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, the titular anti-hero of Martin Scorsese’s twentieth-century gangster saga The Irishman, you have to admire his rise from lowly truck driver to mob heavyweight. It begins in a steakhouse, with Sheeran boldly making a proposal to Skinny Razor, the wise guy who owns the place. “You like steak?” Sheeran asks.

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Sweetgreen’s Soft Rebrand of the GoFundMe Crisis Model

Sweetgreen, as you may already know, sells expensive salads. Its schtick is fairly simple: Take lettuce and kale, put it in a bowl with some other stuff—maybe chicken, maybe tofu, maybe cranberries—and then charge $15. The company also brands itself as a more ethical consumption choice than its salad competitors with nonminimalist aesthetics. For Sweetgreen, this combination has led to the company being valued at $1.

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Vladimir Nabokov’s Fighting Spirit

In 1925 in Berlin, Vladimir Nabokov participated in a literary evening for Russian émigrés living in the German capital; the topic of his talk was a recent boxing match he attended at the Berlin Sports Palace. Of the match, in which the German Hans Breitensträter sparred against Basque boxer Paolino Uzcudun, Nabokov narrated the various blows, knockouts, and bodily excretions that colored the event: “Breitensträter attacked first, and the moan turned into a rumble of delight.

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