Losing Hope on Israeli-Palestinian Peace
December 06, 2012
LOST CAUSES are not wrong causes, unless winning is the measure of right. The historical victory of an idea reveals nothing about its merit: power has uses for fictions, and the popularity of lies is an ancient feature of human affairs.
Eyewitness Sandy: Reflections on a Disaster
November 16, 2012
After Sandy, I witnessed two New Yorks: one in light, one in darkness.
Why the Taliban Shot the Schoolgirl
October 19, 2012
In Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the struggle for gender equality is the campaign against totalitarianism.
Cartoons, Videos, and the Politics of Blasphemy
October 05, 2012
The true reckoning will come when an insult to Islam is issued not in Paris and Los Angeles, but in Cairo and Lahore.
Syria Burns on Obama's Back Burner
September 14, 2012
Does the United States have a foreign policy? Of course it does. So what exactly is it?
His Grief, and Ours
August 24, 2012
Paul Ryan’s nasty ideal of self-reliance.
Bob: Remembering Robert Hughes
August 23, 2012
Art critic Robert Hughes died on August 6, 2012.
Washington Diarist: A Saint in the City
August 01, 2012
“HE IS THE RARE man of sixty-two who is not shy about showing his ass—an ass finely sausaged into a pair of alarmingly tight black jeans—to twenty thousand paying customers.” This panting observation about a rock star was committed by the editor of The New Yorker. I miss Eichmann in Jerusalem, almost. David Remnick’s 75,000-word profile of Bruce Springsteen is another one of his contributions to the literature of fandom.
July 13, 2012
THERE ARE MANY ways to read legal opinions, and not all of them are investigations of law. For many years I have been reading Supreme Court opinions not in the lawyerly way, because I lack the competence and the interest. The lawyerly standpoint misses too much about life, and even about law. It can become an obstacle to a full understanding of social developments: in the study of the Internet, for example, significant concerns about copyright and privacy have overwhelmed more significant concerns about the psychological, cultural, moral, and even spiritual effects of our plague of screens.
Who Goes There?
June 23, 2012
IT TAKES ONE to know one, as we used to say in Brooklyn. Jeff Bezos, one of the most powerful gatekeepers in the history of gatekeeping, had the effrontery to rhapsodize not long ago about “eliminating all the gatekeepers.” The eliminationist rhetoric was consistent with the monopolistic inclinations of his company. “I see the elimination of gatekeepers everywhere,” he hypocritically declared, referring no doubt to his fellow Internet oligarchs, whose codes and algorithms and policies and interests have broken new ground in the manufacture of gates.