Details – RIP

With Details joining the great auk, let’s take a minute to praise the stable of writers under James Truman’s stewardship in the mid nineties: Rob Sheffield, Chris Heath, Rob Tannenbaum, Glenn O’Brien, and countless others who contributed to a magazine whose vision of masculinity as insouciant, sexually ambivalent, and comfortable with objectification educated thousands of… More Details – RIP

Hack vs Hack

George Will has been a walking conflict of interest ever since he prepped Ronald Reagan for his debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980, didn’t disclose the info, and on ABC congratulated him on his performance. He lunched often with Nancy Reagan, his columns feasting on the scuttlebutt. Will’s purported Toryism and mastery of polysyllabic words… More Hack vs Hack

‘The President was sore as blazes’

Reviewing the journals of Drew Pearson, Thomas Mallon notes the most notorious instances of conflict of interest: Robert Novak, known as “the Prince of Darkness,” records in his autobiography of the same name how the social connections of his writing partner, Rowland Evans, sometimes put their column in the tank for J.F.K. Things got even… More ‘The President was sore as blazes’

‘If I decided to build one of these fountains, I could probably do it’

Bill Withers tells us how to live: “I can’t play the guitar or the piano, but I made a career out of writing songs on guitars and piano,” he said. “I never learned music. I just did it.” How? “It was just something I decided to do. If I decided to build one of these… More ‘If I decided to build one of these fountains, I could probably do it’

The stupidity of George Will, Part XIV

“They certainly are not tea partyers, those earnest, issue-oriented, book-club organizing activists who are passionate about policy,” writes George F. Will about the Trumpites. Those earnest “issue-oriented” types who wear Lady Liberty hats and scream about the government keeping its hands out of their Social Security. Once a year I revisit The George Will Show.… More The stupidity of George Will, Part XIV

Reclaiming spinsterhood and bachelorhood

I have read a couple of dissenting reviews of Kate Bolick’s Spinster, but Briallen Hopper’s is the liveliest and most allusive. The crux of her counterargument: although Bolick is correct to reclaim spinsterhood as a desirable state, the assumptions on which this state rests still get defined by men. “Whom to marry, and when will… More Reclaiming spinsterhood and bachelorhood

‘How a politician can chalk up wins against structural racism’

Yep: f you look at a typical presidential campaign site under a heading like “Issues,” you’ll see that there isn’t a bullet point that lists a candidate’s plans to attack the complicated issue of structural racism with specific steps. This should change. And in this, candidates can take a lesson from President Obama. His administration,… More ‘How a politician can chalk up wins against structural racism’