White men — what are they thinking? What do they think about what they think? Is it good to write thinkpieces on thinking about how white men think? In the land of hot takes, the cold shower is king.
This week, ToM favorite Jonathan Chait served his role as toady and translator for established power yet again — in this case, the US national security state — by blithely explaining that American media do not constantly parrot propaganda about Venezuela. This, at a time when every outlet from NPR to the New York Times is just publishing CIA press releases to save time on writing articles. Ideology is a hell of a drug.
There’s also friend-of-the-blog Sean Wilentz, whose illustrious career as the Clintons’ pet historian is chronicled by the baddest, Tim Shenk. Meanwhile, long-time dreamboat Aaron Schock confirmed the fondest hopes of some on our editorial staff. And Andrea Kaston Tange explores how gendered expectations mean that male faculty get a pass for bad advising and plaudits for just-good advising, while academic women get cast in the role of Mom.
For my part, I don’t know what to say. Everyone could stand to be a little more nurturing, especially in academia. But then there’s a point where the mom-ing and the parental metaphors start to get out of control. On the first day of grad school orientation, I met with the professor who would eventually be my MA thesis adviser. She told me, “I think you will find grad school to be a deeply infantilizing experience.”
Below you will find this week’s best-of-the-web, including great articles about Superstore (rapidly shaping up to be the network sitcom of the era), the twilight senescence of democracy, tunnels (a favorite ToM subject), the gendered labor of Instacart, and the steady rise of Liz the Purposeful, amid all the increasingly silly primary-season chatter.
- How Superstore got so good (Vox)
- Why Simone Weil is the patron saint of anomalous persons – Christy Wampole (Aeon)
- Inside The Lost Jehovah’s Witnesses Tunnels Under Brooklyn Heights (Gothamist)
- Tim Shenk on The Political Odyssey of Sean Wilentz (Nation)
- Adam Tooze on Democracy and Its Discontents (NY Books)
- Indian Democracy Was Dying Before Modi (Bloomberg)
- In 20 Tweets, GOP Rep. Justin Amash Lays Out Case For Impeachment (TPM)
- This college is so gerrymandered, different dorms are in different districts (NBC News)
- Why Jon Chait Can’t Read (FAIR)
- Chase CEO Giving Commencement Speech Pledges To Double Whole Class’s Student Loan Debt (Onion)
- Georgia nonprofit is helping trans people adjust to life after prison (NBC News)
- “You Do Not Exist To Be Used”: Why Your Life Purpose Is Bigger Than Capitalist Productivity (The Body Is Not an Apology)
- Why Suburban Moms Are Delivering Your Groceries (NPR)
- What Growing Up X Taught Ilyasah Shabazz About Feminism (Ms.)
- ‘Moment of awakening’: The impact of the Winnipeg General Strike on Canada’s labour movement (CBC Radio)
- ‘I Did My Best to Stop American Foreign Policy’: Bernie Sanders on the 1980s (NYT)
- Slowly and Persistently, Elizabeth Warren Is On the Rise (NY Mag)
- Antigay former Congressman Aaron Schock busted trying to pick up a guy in West Hollywood (LGBTQ Nation)
- Being a thoughtful academic is more work than just being an academic (Andrea Kaston Tange)
- Miniacs Live in a Small, Small World (NYT)