Two Minutes Chait

Hello? Garçon? I asked for a what-what. Can I get a what-what?

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.

I’m in the mood for a MeToo-has-gone-too-far. Maybe a drones-and-Guantanamo-aren’t-that-bad. And all God’s tenured radicals love a “liberal case against affirmative action.” (Praise be!)

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.