It has been widely acknowledged that HBO’s “Girls” features what is likely the worst sex ever seen on the small screen—or, at least, the worst sex with a female mind at its emotional center. This is fumbling, incompetent sex, performed on a dirty couch in yellowish lighting and filmed from unforgiving angles. Hannah, the character played by Lena Dunham, who is also the show’s creator, gets mounted from behind by her terrible not-quite-boyfriend, Adam.
Khartoum—Amira* is the attractive 16-year-old daughter of an Iraqi mother and Sudanese father. She spent the first ten years of her life in Iraq, where her family lived in an apartment in a multi-story house in Baghdad, just around the corner from her grandmother.
To remember J. D. Salinger is, of course, to remember The Catcher in the Rye—though not, perhaps, how some critics didn't like it in 1951. Catholic World noted its "formidably excessive use of amateur swearing and coarse language," and there seemed to be some question as to whether an alienated, hard-drinking, chain-smoking flunkie like Holden Caulfield was going to prove a good influence on the young. Other critics did say it made them "chuckle and ... even laugh aloud," and many immediately compared Holden to Huck Finn.
It is just about 30 years since the wall around Iran went up. And it is a few days away from fully 20 years since the Berlin Wall came down. The Berliner Mauer had been up for more than a quarter century, and its surface facing east, grim gray, was a metaphor for life in the German Democratic Republic. On its western face graffiti evoked the freer spirit of the half-city whose heart had nonetheless been broken by the Soviet goose step that divided it. And the Cold War was won on the very day the authorities of the D.D.R.
The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (W.W. Norton, 224 pp., $24.95) A certain amount of sensationalistic misinformation was circulated in the press last spring, here and in England, when word got out that R. Crumb had done an illustrated version of Genesis. Crumb was the leading innovative figure of the underground comics movement of the late 1960s and has enjoyed a devoted following ever since. His graphic work, always memorable, is often physically aggressive, raunchy, and sexually explicit.
Adam Nagourney makes the case: Consider this: Perhaps the single most politically devastating moment for Mr. Deeds was when he gave a halting and fumbling answer, in a cluster of reporters and television cameras, about whether he would raise taxes to pay for repairing the state’s transportation system. Republicans have used clips from it to produce two of the most devastating advertisements of the campaign, raising questions at once about his views on taxes and his basic candor. Mr. McAuliffe was given to his excess.
How Conservatives Can Demagogue Health Care and Still Feel Good in the Morning, by Jonathan Chait Dispatch from Afghanistan: A War That Can Be Won, by Bernard Henri-Levy Handicapping the Five Senators Who Now Hold the Key to Health Care Reform, by Jonathan Cohn A Revelation out of Nigeria: The Novels of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Ruth Franklin Relitigating Summers: Should the Government Have Nationalized the Banks? by Noam Scheiber How the Olympics Will Create More Misery for Rio’s Poor, by Suzy Khimm Chait: Are Liberals Ignoring Income Inequality?
The Never-Ending Lunacy of Betsy McCaughey, by Michelle Cottle Did the Senate Just Kill a Crucial Ingredient of Health Care Reform? by Jonathan Cohn How Marrying Marilyn Monroe Ruined Arthur Miller’s Genius, by Adam Kirsch Dionne: Should Obama Let Afghanistan Trample His Domestic Agenda? by E.J. Dionne Jr. From Maverick to Mothball: What’s Happened to John McCain Since 2008? by Jesse Zwick The Shabby Don Who Embodied Old Oxford Culture, by G.W. Bowersock Peretz: From Chicago to Tehran, Is Obama Being Blinded by His Own Narcissism?
Earth to Obama: You Can’t Negotiate With the Planet, by Bill McKibben Benched: Why the Supreme Court Is Irrelevant, by Barry Friedman Everything You Need to Know About the Senate’s New Climate Bill, by Bradford Plumer Dionne: Why Are Democrats Being so Timid in Defending the Public Option? by E.J.
Caritas in Veritate: On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth By Pope Benedict XVI (Ignatius Press, 157 pp., $14.95) I. Are we facing an economic crisis? I do not mean the crisis of the credit markets that has wiped trillions off the global balance sheet and plunged the world into recession. I mean a spiritual crisis, of which the crash is but a symptom. According to Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, we are in the midst of a “late capitalist . . .