Politics

Progressive, Tea Party, or Anarchist: Whose Side Is Katniss Really On?

Since I began turning its pages, I assumed The Hunger Games was a rallying cry for like-minded progressives and radicals. This was thanks to its pretty upfront indictment of state-inflicted violence and, in particular, of hunger caused by gross economic inequality. Occupy Panem! I thought. Redistribute the wealth! … Read More

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The Dispute About the Ethics of Tipping Continues: Links You Need to See

The custom of tipping has been raging among food critics and the restaurant industry for at least a year now (with pieces at Esquire, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal all weighing in on the debate). Adam Platt at Grubstreet is the latest writer to partake in the dispute in a long-ish piece titled “Is It Time to Topple Tipping? Adam Platt Tries (and Fails) to Go Gratuity-Free.… Read More

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19 Novels About Politics for Election Day (and the Revolution, Too)

Did Election Day bring out your inner pundit, organizer, or revolutionary — or depressed person who wants to escape reality via reading? If so, here’s a starter list of novels about politics that will feed the flames. We’re lucky so many of our greatest writers of the 20th century were disaffected… Read More

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Why We Should Applaud Ferguson Protesters for Interrupting Last Night’s NFL Game

Last night, St. Louis Rams fans were engrossed in the second half of their team’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, when a giant banner dropped over a scoreboard, reading: “Rams fans know on and off the field black lives matter.” This marked a new tactic amid the weeks and months of protests that have continued virtually uninterrupted since the death of unarmed teenager Mike Brown at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson, who still hasn’t been charged (a grand jury is hearing the case). … Read More

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10 Mind-Altering Philosophy Books from 2014

Philosophy books often don’t get their due. They’re usually long, often badly written, frequently pompous and annoying, and sometimes even poorly edited. But 2014 has been a hallmark year for works of philosophy that can genuinely impact your life (even in the immediate future) without becoming self-help nonsense. These books deal try to change what is possible in politics, sex, feminism, art, and more. … Read More

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Snoop Dogg Promises Wellness Retreat Concert if Alaska Legalizes Pot

Snoop Dogg isn’t known for his political advocacy (though he did support Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012), but marijuana… Read More

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10 Irresistible Books About Juicy Scandals

A scandal is a thrilling topic for a book. It is the story of people with goals, grasping for something just out of their reach — and whether they get it or not, when the story reaches the public eye, they’re judged and put under glass. Whether they’re about politicians wheeling and dealing or gory looks into the end of the affair, books about scandal, fueled by gossip, keep us entertained and hungry for more. Here are ten such books that Olivia Pope herself might keep on her bedside… Read More

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Monica Lewinsky’s Comeback Shows We’re as Confused About Her as Ever

Sixteen years ago, I spent every morning eating Cheerios with no milk and reading the newspaper, like every kid who wanted to know what was going on in the world. But on a September day in 1998, my copy of The Boston Globe had a special section about The Starr Report, an exhaustive, R-rated tale of how then-President Bill Clinton had an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Blue dresses. Linda Tripp. A description of the President’s sexual proclivities. The cigar was included, in excruciating detail. … Read More

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Feminism and “The Left” Need Ellen Willis’ Ideas More Than Ever

Between the wars and the economic meltdowns and the national security scandals, the past decade has seen progress for liberal causes: Barack Obama’s historic two-term presidency (which still holds some symbolic value despite the President’s complicity in the aforementioned horrors); a national healthcare plan that, if deeply flawed, is still more comprehensive than any before; a rapidly accelerating LGBT rights movement, etc. But still, liberal politics is in trouble. In the few years since Occupy Wall Street came and went, attracting plenty of news coverage but effecting little lasting change, a commitment to liberal politics feels increasingly futile — not to mention dreary as fuck. … Read More

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The Enduring Legacy of ‘Election’s’ Tracy Flick and “Who the Fuck Does She Think She Is?” Women

In the 2008 Democratic Primary race, the roles were just as clear as they were in Alexander Payne’s excellent 1999 satire Election: charismatic newcomer Barack Obama was Paul Metzler, and Hillary Clinton was the perky yet terrifying Tracy Flick. There was no doubt that the latter had put in the years necessary for the role, but something about her down-to-business ways did not sit right with the voters. They opted for change instead of experience, for the ex-quarterback with new ideas and a disregard for how things have been done in the past because, well, he hadn’t been adhering to the rules for very long before he was in the position to break them. … Read More

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