Meakin Armstrong: On Stupidity and The Encyclopedia of Stupidity

June 8, 2010

Given the recent major acts of idiocy (the BP fiasco), it’s about time we studied stupidity and kept the chronically dense (Palin & co.) from destroying our world.

Aviva Chomsky: My U.S. Passport

June 7, 2010

We’re living in a global apartheid. First World countries shut themselves off to travelers, while assuming that their own citizens have the right to travel anywhere they choose.

Rec Room: Erica Wright: David Markson

June 7, 2010

Writers are lovers, and critics are masturbators.

Disgusted by Israel? Grossed Out by Oil? Then Do NOT Read This

June 5, 2010

Once a gigantic oil spill (the size of the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989) and Israel’s excessive force were married not just in time, but in the selfsame event. Namely, in the Israeli military’s rollick through Lebanon four summers back.

Mac McClelland on GritTV: BP Blocking Workers from Wearing Respirators

June 4, 2010

In trying to report on the oil spill in the Gulf, McClelland recalls telling BP it’s a public beach. “But it’s BP’s oil,” she is told.

Five Questions for Sarah Lindsay

June 4, 2010

This issue’s featured poet on galactic collisions, scientific verse, and poetry’s archaeological powers.

Rec Room: Alicia Hyman: Best Coast

June 4, 2010

Maybe all you want is a sunny day on the beach and someone to sleep next to at night, but shit’s more complicated than that.

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Reason Magazine’s Hit and Run Blog

June 3, 2010

Ah, the moral courage of opinion journalists, fighting against censorship, multiculturalists and cowardly liberals like me!

David Bollier: Reintegrating Mind, Life and Matter

June 3, 2010

We’re destroying our environment because we’ve killed the ties between mind and nature.

Rec Room: Christian Anthony: “The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains”

June 2, 2010

Remember that feeling you had that the Internet was eating your brain? Yeah. You weren’t too far off the mark.

Carol Joffe: The Legacy of George Tiller

June 2, 2010

Continuing Dr. Tiller’s fight for abortion rights one year after his death.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: Rolling Back P.J. O’Rourke’s Lame Period?

June 1, 2010

O’Rourke should go back to reporting, or retire. With articles like this he’s just writing his own pre-obituary.

Dilip Hiro: The American Century Is So Over

May 31, 2010

Obama’s rudderless foreign policy underscores America’s waning power.

Adele Barker: The Lives of Books

May 28, 2010

How writing can and can’t help the post-war healing process.

Rec Room: Preeta Samarasan: Food and Politics

May 28, 2010

Clever and fearless insight into Malaysia’s complex racial and political situations.

Rafia Zakaria: The War On Baloch Women

May 27, 2010

Violence against women exists in every nation in the world, but perhaps only in Pakistan is it so easily tolerated and so rarely punished.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: “Write the Future”

May 27, 2010

Ads typically make me nervous, but I was unable to fend off the wit and charm of this Nike World Cup commercial.

Subhankar Banerjee: BPing the Arctic?

May 26, 2010

Will Shell Oil to do to arctic waters what BP did to the Gulf?

Rec Room: Rebecca Bates: A Common Pornography

May 26, 2010

An exercise in mourning.

Video: Urban Farming in Detroit

May 25, 2010

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing was less enthusiastic than his predecessor about turning Detroit’s ruins into farms. Not anymore.

Daniel Moss: How Dirty Are We Willing to Get?

May 25, 2010

Can corporate money really repair the climate?

Rec Room: Alex Smith: The Thursday Next Series

May 25, 2010

It turns the world of fiction on its head.

Stephan Salisbury: Citizen Alioune: How Not to Deal with Muslims in America

May 24, 2010

The Senegalese Muslim vendor who first spotted the smoking SUV in Times Square and alerted police is no hero.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Carefusion Jazz Festival NYC

May 24, 2010

This June, catch one of jazz’s youngest and most stunning performers.

Ruthie Ackerman: To Publish or Not to Publish

May 21, 2010

Faced with citizen photographs of two men beaten to death by a mob in Liberia, Ackerman had to make an ethical decision: to publish, or not to publish.

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Alain de Botton’s Twitter Page

May 21, 2010

Alain de Botton has humanized the mechanical beast that is Twitter.

Steve Wilson: The Spanglish of Los Suns

May 20, 2010

The intent was to show solidarity with the 15 percent of NBA fans of Hispanic heritage, but in reality, the Phoenix Suns’ Spanglish uniforms meant nothing.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: “Take A Negro Home”

May 20, 2010

All the traumatizing things that happen when people dare to rip down solid walls of segregation.

Meakin Armstrong: On Cinema’s Beautiful Blowhard

May 19, 2010

Samuel Fuller had a pulp-fiction mindset and the former tabloid-reporter’s tendency to think in screaming headlines.

Frances Moore Lappé: Why Are We Afraid of Saying “Socialism”?

May 18, 2010

Knee-jerk reactions to words like “socialism” and “capitalism” get us nowhere. We need to first define the terms.

Rec Room: Rachel Somerstein: Femmes Algérienne

May 18, 2010

It took the French government 10 days to humiliate 2000 Algerian women. It took Marc Garanger almost 50 years to “right” the wrong.

Fred Pearce: The Century of the Old

May 17, 2010

Half of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65 are alive now. What does that mean for our society?

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: High Violet

May 17, 2010

There’s a reason this album is getting international attention.

Keli Goff: Words of Caution for Elena Kagan, There’s a Far Touchier Reproductive Issue Than Abortion

May 14, 2010

For some reason the idea of not having children remains one of the most taboo subjects, especially for women.

Kristen Brunelli: Daniel Berrigan: Of Wars, Faith, and Poetry

May 14, 2010

Berrigan, refusing to simply float through life, has both a unifying and polarizing way with humanity.

David Bollier: Big Pharma’s Enclosure of Academic Medicine

May 13, 2010

How drug marketers have thoroughly corrupted academic medicine.

Adaeze Elechi: Lewis Black Diagnoses the Disease that is Glenn Beck

May 13, 2010

It’s Nazi Tourette’s. No sh*t…

Jonathan M. Metzl: In Medical Records, a Story of the Racialization of Schizophrenia

May 12, 2010

What are the connections between mental health and sociopolitical injustice?

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: How to Spend It

May 12, 2010

For those with filthy rich aspirations (and those who like to make jest of the filthy rich’s excesses).

Ellen Friedrichs: Why We Still Blame Victims of Rape

May 11, 2010

Recent research reminds us that no matter how far we’ve come in our understanding of the crime of rape, the old sexist beliefs die hard.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Babies

May 11, 2010

These babies’ homes and cultures could not be more different, but their adventures exploring, understanding and fitting into a new world are identical.

Huma Yusuf: A Case for Irony

May 10, 2010

The Faisalabad police brutality story demonstrates that the proud feminist aspect of Benazir Bhutto’s political legacy has fallen by the wayside.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: Elegant Universe

May 10, 2010

Nerdiness made desirable.

Emily Wilson: Portrait of a Jihadist: New Documentary ‘The Oath’ Reveals ‘Human Side’ of al-Qaeda

May 7, 2010

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras discusses her new film about Salim Hamdan’s brother-in-law, Abu Jandal, a Yemeni taxi driver who was Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard.

Rec Room: Meakin Armstrong: Jellyfish

May 7, 2010

This film is melancholic, but still in love with the world and its magic.

Rafia Zakaria: A Limited Education

May 6, 2010

This Saudi Arabian university may be forward-thinking when it comes to gender equality in higher education, but falls short when it comes to migrant tolerance.

Rec Room: Christian Anthony: Play

May 6, 2010

It’s like being stuck in a video game dream. Virtual realms are indistinguishable from real life. It’s kind of unsettling.

Alexandra Smith: Torture At Home: Documentary On Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons Misses the Mark

May 5, 2010

National Geographic’s well-intentioned effort to show the horrors of solitary confinement may have caused more harm than good.

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: PS122

May 5, 2010

Experimental theater at its most edgy and self-assured.

Aviva Chomsky: Testimonies from the Desert: What’s Behind Our Standard of Living?

May 4, 2010

Without those who labor for little pay, certain products and services in the U.S. could come at a much higher price.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Nashville Flood

May 4, 2010

These images make one realize the severity of the situation.

Michael T. Klare: China’s Global Shopping Spree

May 3, 2010

Is the world’s future resource map tilting East?

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Vincere

May 3, 2010

Sometimes the line between hate and adoration is intangible.

Black Sheep & Exploding Turbans: A Guernica/PEN Event

May 2, 2010

Europe is struggling to come to terms with its Muslim minority. What are the consequences of the intolerance and the violence for the continent and for literature? Join Paul Berman, Jamal Mahjoub, Sadanand Dhume and the rest of this brilliant panel…

Rec Room: Erica Wright: Special Topics in Calamity Physics

April 30, 2010

It might be more than 500 pages long, but this book zips along like the best of its lighter kin.

Tom Engelhardt: Yes, We Could Get Out!: Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq

April 30, 2010

Washington makes it seem so impossible, but we really could withdraw our massive armies from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rec Room: Ricardo Maldonado: The Things They Carried

April 29, 2010

The theater of war comes to us, it seems, obliquely; all residue becomes part of the offices of men…

Bruce E. Levine: Are Psychiatric Drugs Causing the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America?

April 29, 2010

Investigative reporter Robert Whitaker discusses the dramatic increase in mental illness disability and its surprising cause.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: The Big Rich

April 28, 2010

How the first families of Texas oil acquired all the money in the world, and then turned to politics.

Rafia Zakaria: Burka Ban and Earthquakes

April 28, 2010

State intervention in women’s clothing, whether it involves promoting the burka or banning it, achieves the same purpose: subjugating women’s bodies to the dictates of men.

June Carolyn Erlick: A Gringa in Bogotá: Candidates and Caballos

April 27, 2010

Even as war lingers in the Colombian countryside, I have faith in the power of Colombian citizens to effect change through ballots, through the rule of law.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: How to Impress an Architect

April 27, 2010

When next you find yourself in conversation with an architect, be sure to mention at least one of these books.

The Diversity Test: Gender and Literature in Translation: A Guernica/PEN Event

April 26, 2010

Join novelist Claire Messud and a prestigious panel for a lively debate on gender, culture, and literature in translation.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Lagos Wide & Close

April 26, 2010

Lagos is no New York, but there is much to learn from the ancient city.

Brad Reed: How the Used-Car Salesmen at Goldman Sachs Tricked Investors into Buying Their Busted Clunkers

April 26, 2010

Goldman Sachs is being sued by the government for allegedly defrauding its investors. Confused? Here’s some plain talk about a mega rip-off.

Meakin Armstrong: On Mating

April 23, 2010

Are others curious why Rush chose a female voice? I’m hoping this matter will be approached during the April 26 Guernica/PEN event where he’ll be a panelist.

Rebecca Solnit: 350 Degrees of Inseparability

April 22, 2010

The good news about the very bad news (about climate change).

William J. Astore: American Kleptocracy: How Fears of Socialism and Fascism Hide Naked Theft

April 22, 2010

The term once reserved for failed governments can now successfully be applied to the United States.

Fred Pearce: The Danger of Water Wars

April 21, 2010

How the world could come to blows over water.

Rec Room: Katherine Dykstra: New Orleans Jazz

April 21, 2010

These big brass records are the heartbeat of HBO’s new show Treme.

Medea Benjamin: Many in the Tea Party Crowd Have Little Appetite for War and Empire

April 20, 2010

How libertarians and social progressives can make common cause against expansive—and expensive—empire

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: An Image from the White Rose

April 20, 2010

Nobody loves spam. But what if the spam is to bring down Adolph Hitler?

David Sirota: Corrupt Practices Accelerating the Decline of American Journalism

April 19, 2010

We have people posturing as journalists on TV who get paid as business spokespeople, financial reporters who retire to work for Goldman Sachs—media parasites.

Rec Room: David Xia: Treme

April 19, 2010

From the creator of the hit TV show The Wire comes the story of a wounded post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans neighborhood.

Guernica Editor Wins Sidney Hillman Award

April 16, 2010

Alex Halperin wins award for socially-conscious journalism.

Alfred W. McCoy: America and the Dictators: From Ngo Dinh Diem to Hamid Karzai

April 16, 2010

The consequences of tampering with other nations’ governments.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: “Allergy-Free New York”

April 16, 2010

Thomas Ogren suggests replacing New York’s trees with ones that produce less pollen, but what are the greater implications of humans controlling such a natural process as tree growth?

Sophia Raday: Art Lesson: A Child’s Drawing of the War in Iraq

April 15, 2010

Raday and her son deal with the emotional fallout from her husband’s deployment.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Jeff Buckley

April 15, 2010

My kingdom for his talent.

Jasmin Ramsey: Canadian Academics Under Fire For Opposing Scholarship Program For Children of “Heroes” Who Died In War

April 14, 2010

Fifteen university professors have written a letter calling Canada’s “Project Hero” scholarship “a dangerous cultural turn” that associates “heroism” with military intervention.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

April 14, 2010

It’s moody and modern. The characters seem like recognizable people—laptop users and obsessive coffee drinkers—who happen to be conducting criminal investigations.

Mark Winne: Black Farmers and Savannah Foodies Join Forces for Healthy Food

April 13, 2010

Organic farming unites formerly disconnected communities and generations in Savannah, Georgia.

Rec Room: Kyle McAuley: Congratulations

April 13, 2010

Does indie rock have anything new to say? Probably, but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise after listening to MGMT’s new album Congratulations.

Lorraine Adams: Katyn

April 12, 2010

This fall, when I was in Krakow, I paused at the Katyn memorial off Krakow’s main square. Today, I would be placing my flowers below the cross if I could.

Rec Room: Meakin Armstrong: Women and Country

April 12, 2010

I’m not going to lose my mind over this album, but it’s filled with songs I’m going to keep.

Rachel Somerstein: Liveblog: Cities and Women’s Health Conference

April 9, 2010

Childbirth rights in Mozambique, the dark fate of female Cambodian refugees, and the challenges facing maturing female students in developing countries.

Stacy Mitchell: An Overlooked Strategy for Fighting Global Warming

April 9, 2010

How small retail could help the environment.

Rec Room: Christian Anthony: “Triumph of the Cyborg”

April 9, 2010

People get so mad when something computer generated makes them feel emotional. Humans can make other humans feel things, but when machines do it, it’s creepy.

Mara D’Angelo: Structural Barriers to Women’s Health: Preventing Infant Mortality in Delhi

April 8, 2010

Poor women in Delhi, India, are facing a variety of barriers to accessing healthcare institutions that must be addressed if the government’s goals are to be realized.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: SANNA Designs

April 8, 2010

SANNA exhibits the restraint and elegance that has come to a global society still learning from its mistakes.

Rec Room: David Xia: When All Else Fails

April 7, 2010

In a time of health care reform and proposals to enhance consumer protection, this book shows us that the government has played and will continue to play an increasing role in all aspects of American life through its risk management policies.

Tom Engelhardt: Believe It or Not (2010 Imperial Edition)

April 7, 2010

U.S. war-fighting numbers to knock your socks off.

Rec Room: Ricardo Maldonado: English as She Is Spoke

April 6, 2010

Language can be nonsense or mere telephone play.

David Bollier: Should Genes be Patentable?

April 6, 2010

A federal court strikes down gene patents for breast cancer.

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: LateNightTales

April 5, 2010

This collection of songs creates a mellow, ethereal, emotional atmosphere without being sentimental.

Rafia Zakaria: The Fourth Cup of Tea

April 5, 2010

When Three Cups of Tea was published in 2006, publishers were unsure of its reception. Their fears were unfounded. The book’s story of a failed American mountain climber’s humanitarian project to build schools in the most underprivileged parts of Pakistan’s northern areas resounded with millions.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: White Teeth

April 2, 2010

As long as people move around in this world, and as long as we fall in love with people of different cultures and races, the stories in White Teeth will be relevant and inevitable.

John Czarnecki: Lost Treasures

April 2, 2010

Historic preservation in the United States could face a significant financial blow if Congress passes the federal budget as proposed by the Obama Administration.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: Hospital

April 1, 2010

Following the decidedly bloodless drama of the health care bill, this book presents what American medicine really looks like.