The Wide, Wide World

So obviously, we want to hear our smartest friends’ perspectives on the political scene. Write here to: weigh in on public discourse or matters of policy that are making the world around us.

The Happy Slave: or, Khaleesi’s American Dilemma

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6
April 4, 2014
The Happy Slave: or, Khaleesi’s American Dilemma

Avidly is very avid about Game of Thrones.  This is our second piece anticipating Sunday’s premiere; find the first here. –Eds. What does it matter, to a master, how a slave feels? If you own another person—own them as though they were a thing—it seems that their feelings, this strange proof of humanness, would almost...
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Moonlighting

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12
March 17, 2014
Moonlighting

In December 2013, the journalist Yasmin Nair wrote a response on her blog to the magazine Jacobin killing one of her articles, entitled “On Writers as Scabs, Whores, and Interns: The Jacobin Problem.” The aim of the piece was to expose the hypocrisy of small internet publications like Jacobin that espouse radical views while...
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17 Endangered Species That Are Also Bands

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3
March 5, 2014
17 Endangered Species That Are Also Bands

1: Alabama Heelsplitter This richly colored Gulf mussel, with a shell like polished leather in a college library, plays bluegrass with a strain of Lynyrd Skynyrd.   2:Leadbeater’s Possum The official “faunal emblem” of the Australian state of Victoria, this native of Australia’s central highlands opens for Alabama Heelsplitter and adopts a wry, collegiate...
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Disrupting the Higher Education Content Cycle

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3
February 19, 2014
Disrupting the Higher Education Content Cycle

Nicholas Kristof spent the weekend reviving the old canard that academics have removed themselves from the public sphere through obscure prose and interests. Among the problems we might identify in Kristof’s essay—there are, obviously, many—is the irony of a writer with the resources of the New York Times supporting him chiding the rest of...
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Dispatch from Paternity Leave 3: Pressures

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1
December 5, 2013
Dispatch from Paternity Leave 3: Pressures

 Find the earlier installments in this series here and here. When I was in high school and college, I painted houses each summer: now there was a job where every day something got done.  The whole world knew it—or at least the whole neighborhood.  We could do a decent-size house in just a few...
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We Don’t Want to Build That

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25
November 26, 2013
We Don’t Want to Build That

GoldieBlox: you are a Serious Toy for Smart Girls. And yet in true Goldi-fashion, you’re not too serious, and not too smart. You want to “disrupt the pink aisle” of Girl Toys, but you are full of pastel plastic and Barbie-haired cartoons. You want to advance Girl Power in a still-sexist world, but you...
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Three Words for Boston

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1
October 17, 2013
Three Words for Boston

I would like to follow in the footsteps of many middle-aged male academics and write an essay about baseball. I would like to depart from the general tone of those essays and focus on three words: “fucking,” “niggers,” and “our.” #1. “Fucking.” As in “This is our fucking city.” On April 20th, 2013, this...
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Don’t Be So Earnest

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1
September 3, 2013
Don’t Be So Earnest

Seamus Heaney taught me in my freshman year of college that the verb “perfect” means nothing more than to “make through.”  Perfection?  To follow something to its end.  Finishing your work, but not before it’s done. That lesson suited him beautifully.  It was my introduction to the thought that etymology is metaphysics for the...
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Top 10 Fictional Characters Who Should Be Worried About Climate Change

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2
August 20, 2013
Top 10 Fictional Characters Who Should Be Worried About Climate Change

A new genre, climate fiction, has developed as some prominent writers have begun to explore a world skewed by climate change.  But won’t climate change matter to characters we already know and love? Here are a few characters who should begin calling their representatives.   1: Sebastian, The Little Mermaid Sebastian already has a lot...
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Say Hello To My Little Friend

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2
July 17, 2013
Say Hello To My Little Friend

“Scarface was a good movie to watch, I watched it like 2 times after the first time I saw it, that’s how good it was to me. I think I might watch it again.”                         –Korin, online user review of Scarface (1983) When I sit down in front of the television at night, I’m...
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