Snowden

German director Thomas Ostermeier offers one of the most thorough indictments yet seen of the culture of the American whistleblower.

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In 2007, then-Congressman Edward Markey couldn't make it to Bali, Indonesia to speak at a conference on climate change, so he created an avatar on Second Life to deliver his remarks instead. While he spoke into a microphone in Washington, D.C., his animated likeness orated from a computer screen at the Bali conference.

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The video released on YouTube several days ago by a group of amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong is the first of what will surely be many dramatizations of the Snowden saga. Paced like a thriller, it features the requisite pounding music and a few brisk shots of city skylines. It makes reliable use of cinematic details such as the Rubik’s cube that Snowden allegedly used to identify himself to Greenwald.

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I initially read Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 while squirreled away in a Toronto hotel room during the 1997 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention. It was December, and I had just finished my first semester teaching English at West Point. Heller’s novel was a revelation—an outrageous fiction opening a window onto the various paradoxes and pathologies that characterize institutional cultures everywhere. More important, it helped me to make sense of my recent introduction to military culture. Heller’s glorious caricatures—ex-P.F.C.

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The case for a coalition against the Tories.

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Retribution

No one can be more tired than the reformer of the perpetual cry that disaster is the price of competitive anarchy. For at least a generation radicals in England have been arguing that industry conducted as a scramble for profits was a menace to the country. They pointed to the normal horrors of peace, they painted pictures of what might be, and were put down as theorists who did not comprehend the sacred mysteries of business. They were treated as the trustees of Pennsylvania’s university or the New York Times would like them to be treated.

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