Category Archives: Politics

Your Morning Cup of Links

Did Jane Austen die of arsenic poisoning?

Is American culture rotten? (Spoiler: Yes.)

How lemonade helped Paris fend off plague

Breaking ground – and betting big – on a doomsday community for the rich.

The rise, fall, and lonely death of Benny Hill

I stopped watching “Girls” after season 2, but if it ended up being an indictment (albeit unintentional) of postmodern feminism and millennials maybe I’ll go back and watch.

This:

What followed was a toxic culture of conservative celebrity, where the public elevated personalities more because of their pugnaciousness than anything else. Indeed, the fastest way to become the next conservative star is to “destroy” the Left, feeding the same kind of instinct that causes leftists to lap up content from John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and Stephen Colbert. Liberals use condescending mockery. Conservatives use righteous indignation. That’s not much of a difference. The cost has been a loss of integrity and, crucially, a loss of emphasis on ideas and, more important, ideals. There exists in some quarters an assumption that if you’re truly going to “fight,” then you have to be ready to get your hands dirty. You can’t be squeamish about details like truth or civility or decency.

The message sent when conservatives rally around the flag to defend the indefensible is exactly the message the Democrats sent so loudly as they continued to prop up the Clinton machine through scandal after scandal. Only winning matters. Ambition is everything. Political movements are about personalities, not ideas — so you’re left with the political equivalent of warring mafia families in which the highest value is loyalty, and the ends always justify the means. But ambition isn’t everything, and the single-minded quest for winning ultimately creates a class of losers.

The conservative movement includes some of the best and most admirable people I’ve ever met. It also includes its share of grasping, ambitious fame-hounds, people who live for the next Fox hit and angle to write this year’s version of the “liberals are sending this country to hell” bestselling book. But bad character sends a country to hell just as surely as bad policy does, and any movement that asks its members to defend vice in the name of advancing allegedly greater virtue is ultimately shooting itself in the foot. O’Reilly’s fall can be an important act of public hygiene, but only if it represents the beginning of the end of a conservative culture that makes us behave like the cultural enemies we purport to despise.

The return of Beowulf

The forever young Percy Bysshe Shelley

Scientists find footprint of unknown ancient reptile

Good piece on the deep generational divide on the right

“The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are assholes.”

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Filed under History, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

The popularity of American country music in rural Norway

Want to buy an old CIA rendition jet?

The sad and cowardly spectacle of the anti-anti-Trump movement

Why did California spend $1 million to fire a single bureaucrat?

Is this the underground Everest?

Michelangelo’s forgotten statue of the risen Christ to go on display in London

A history of gin

Turner’s port paintings

Why the period of rapid economic growth between 1948 and 1973 might never happen again

Alas, poor Yorick! The shocking life of theatre’s greatest skull

Can neuroscience help us understand art history?

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Filed under Around the World, Art, History, Music, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

The universe is as spooky as Einstein thought

The luxurious history of dogs in India

How the credit rating was created

Rice vs. Trump is like the Iran-Iraq War for the IC. Can they both lose?

Lol

This. Stop trying to make Chelsea Clinton happen. She’s not happening.

The sea otters of Morro Bay have made a comeback, defying man and nature

The dinosaur classification system that has been used for more than a century? A computer upended it in 5 minutes.

These people eat monkeys and piranhas. They also have the lowest rates of heart disease ever measured.

Here comes the Pizza Gestapo

ESPN has seen the future of TV and they’re not really into it

When every day is ‘Groundhog Day’

The most expensive library in the world?

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Science, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

Alien intelligence: the extraordinary minds of octopuses and other cephalopods

Nearly extinct tigers found breeding in Thai jungle

Jesus Christ, just teach them the canon, FFS.

This will do more harm than good.

“After the health-care debacle, he is proceeding as though he believes that conservatives are his enemies, and he is ready to recruit Democrats, who will bring their policies with them, into that fight. Trump being Trump, nobody knows where he’ll be politically the day after tomorrow, but from one point of view it makes no sense to worry about Trump’s selling out conservatives: He was never a conservative to begin with, and it is impossible to betray principles that one does not in fact hold.”

Notebook written by unknown 17th-century William Shakespeare scholar leaves Antiques Roadshow expert ‘trembling’

Pence’s family practices expose a divide over human nature

Finally, the WORST argument for public funding of the arts

Lincoln the inventor

Norse mythology reimagined

The revival of Yiddish in music and literature

Paris wants to fight terror with culture. Will it work?

Shipwrecked: looking for God in The Ancient Mariner

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Filed under History, Literature, Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Weekend Links

Why no one takes protest art seriously

Tyrannosaurus rex was a sensitive lover, new dinosaur discovery suggests

Capturing the essence of Pushkin

‘To Walk Invisible’ explores the suffering and genius of the Brontë sisters

The Freedom Caucus is the silver lining in the Obamacare debacle

Picasso portrait that became legend of the French Resistance could sell for $50 million

Don’t mock Mike Pence for protecting his marriage. Commend him.

Why Mosul is so hard to take

This is why you probably hate slam poetry, according to a linguistic scholar

Why are ‘doomed’ poets considered better?

Democrats are heading toward an epic miscalculation in filibustering Neil Gorsuch.

How did Monet become so popular?

President James K. Polk’s body may be moved. Again.

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Filed under Art, Literature, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

This: “Trump’s arts funding cuts will take us back to the 1950s. Good.”

“Eliminating the NEA is not a program for punishing artists but for liberating them — from bureaucracy, from mediocrity, and, above all, from subservience to politics.”

New medieval galleries bring knights’ gear back to Art Institute to ‘Game of Thrones’ fans’ delight

Sentenced to Shakespeare

What a fucking disaster. Thank you, House Republicans, for saving us from this.

Love this Continetti tribute to Robert Osborne

Yep. Sad!

Yep. The bill failed because President Toot Toot the Truck Driver doesn’t know or care about any of this.

Paul Ryan deserves a ton of blame too. The bill was shit and the idea that this is the House Freedom Caucus’s fault is absurd.  HFC is being blamed for making the naive mistake of assuming the GOP wanted to do what they’ve been promising for seven years.

These people are so incredibly brave.

Step inside the model plane shop where NASA flies the future.

What happened to Newcastle’s dream for a vertical city?

The allure of deserts

The real Mr. Darcy?

 

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death

Saffron growers look to get a foothold in the U.S.

This. Stop whining.

The French origins of think tanks

Good. More please.

Whitman’s first rule of manliness and health: eat meat

But not people. That’s very unhealthy.

America’s atheists

Conservatism for losers

Camille Paglia predicted 2017

Barbarians and the civilized

Michelangelo’s grave miscalculation

The environmentalist who unintentionally killed millions

Why youth wasn’t enough in Egypt

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Filed under Around the World, History, Politics, Uncategorized