Cats may not be man’s best friend, but they’re arguably something even better: man’s key to instant Internet pageviews. It’s a long-established fact that Internet content—whether it’s a cutesy video, a photoshopped inside joke, or a longform public health article—has a better chance of achieving coveted “viral” status if it somehow evokes the sound of purring. But if we’ve come to accept that cats play an outsized role on the World Wide Web, our understanding of why that’s the case still lags.
Last April, former TNR Senior Editor Jonathan Chait asked a piercing question: “Why Does the Weekly Standard Hate Hippies So Much?” Chait’s pictorial tour of hippies on the cover of the right-wing magazine did little to stop the epidemic. In fact, The Weekly Standard may have taken it as a challenge: In the last six months alone, the magazine has had no less than five covers depicting liberals in long-haired hippie glory. Sandals? Check. Unkempt hair? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Rolling Stones t-shirt? Check. Poor George Harrison.
The 84th Academy Awards are on Sunday, and this year’s nominees are a large group of crowd pleasers who spend a lot of time—sometimes too much—addressing war, infidelity, the sanctity of life, and nostalgia for the 20th century. Sound familiar? It should: That also sums up the GOP’s 2012 presidential field.
Now that Jeremy Lin has performed the unlikely feat of saving the New York Knicks from another dismal season, we thought it would be only fair for him to take his talents beyond the basketball court. Indeed, if the young Harvard graduate’s Lintastic powers of Linprovement are as special as advertised, there’s no reason he should be Lingering around the NBA.
When Barack Obama declared in 2004 that there was no Red America or Blue America, it was states like Virginia that he probably had in mind. In recent years, Virginia has been fertile ground for candidates of both parties: The state’s current governor is Republican, but its previous one was a Democrat; in 2008 the state voted for Barack Obama, but four years earlier it went for George W. Bush.
After a disappointing showing in Florida, Newt Gingrich may soon need to give up his dream of becoming President of the United States (not to mention “Definer of civilization”). It will probably be a while yet until Newt qualifies for food stamps, but in the meantime we thought we’d offer him some pro bono career counseling. The former Speaker is ambitious; he’s well-educated; and even if his historical analysis is shoddy, even we’ll admit he’s not a dumb guy.
In advance of today’s primary, the Republican establishment has gone into overdrive to convince Florida voters that Newt Gingrich is a faux-conservative, ethically challenged has-been. The collective Republican panic has been fun to watch, not least because some of the GOP all-stars condemning Newt are best known for their own ethical lapses and heated rhetoric.
The prospect of Iran laying mines along the Strait of Hormuz is no laughing matter, but we did have to suppress a giggle when we found out what the U.S. response might involve: Flipper. Deploying dolphins to locate underwater mines (as a retired Navy admiral suggested in an interview last week with NPR) is, we learned, a tried-and-true military strategy.