Monthly Archives: September 2015

Toys, AI, and Evil 80s Snakemen

With respect to Mattel’s new talking Barbie, I’ll make one observation: saying a toy like this has “artificial intelligence” is like calling the doll itself an “artificial person.” Technically true. But come on already. I want to pivot to a … Continue reading

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Hillary Clinton is Not Inspiring–and Thank God for That

You don’t need to be an anti-feminist to think this column from Allyson Hobbs on Hillary Clinton is pretty far-fetched. Hobbs wants to peg our flagging enthusiasm for Clinton to sexism. But there are better explanations. Hobbs’ argument is this: in 2008, we elected … Continue reading

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Woman’s Tears: Victim Culture, Microaggressions, and Feminism

Touch me with noble anger. And let not women’s weapons, water drops, Stain my man’s cheeks! –King Lear This paper by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning has been making the rounds in libertarian circles. Their subject is microaggressions; their approach … Continue reading

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Rejection Letters

There used to be a web site where writers could post rejection letters they’d received and append their own comments–a kind of critique of a critique. Ostensibly this was to help editors craft better rejection letters. Of course, it turned … Continue reading

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Yes, I’m a Luddite

In this Slate article, David Auerbach makes the case for a nuanced Ludditism. He does a good job, I think, of reclaiming the label from techno-zealots who use it as a term of abuse, and a brilliant job of summing … Continue reading

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Another Post on Michael Derrick Hudson, This One Considerably More Rantish Than the Last

I didn’t mean to bang on about this, but I do think the Michael Hudson brouhaha, silly as it is, speaks to a lot of issues at the heart of modern publishing. What really got people worked up, I believe, … Continue reading

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Thoughts on the Yi-Fen Chou Scandal

Here’s the skinny: aggrieved by frequent rejections, poet Michael Derek Hudson, a white man, began submitting one of his poems to journals under the Chinese pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou. It was accepted for publication. Later, it was selected for inclusion in … Continue reading

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For Shame, Shamers: A Review of Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

When his book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed was published, Jon Ronson found the kind of publicity every media person dreams about. He achieved this by reporting on the kind of scenario every media person has nightmares about. Ronson’s book is about what … Continue reading

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Why This Blog Is the Way It Is

The posts I’m publishing here tend to be on passé topics. That would seem to contravene the guiding principle of a blog, which is: New, new new! Now, now, now! But let’s be honest: blogs aren’t what they used to be. … Continue reading

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Where Exactly is the Trainwreck in Trainwreck?

In Trainwreck, Amy Schumer plays a moderately successful magazine writer, based in Manhattan, who likes to party. She drinks a bit more than is good for her. She dotes on her philandering dad. She occasionally locks horns with her happily … Continue reading

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