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Regular dispatches from our contributors.

This Is Not the Apocalypse

This Is Not the Apocalypse

It’s been a while since a President has had to speak of fascism as something that has a lure.

Also distracting was the image, revealed a few hours earlier, of the next President urging Russian prostitutes to pee on each other in a Moscow hotel bed where Barack and Michelle Obama had once slept.

Housing Crisis

Housing Crisis

What will Ben Carson’s HUD look like?

Many commentators have noted the parallels between Donald Trump’s appointment of the avowedly unqualified Ben Carson to Reagan’s disastrous appointment of Samuel Pierce, Jr., who blew his eight years as HUD chief binge-watching soap operas and permitting his aides to dole out millions in illegal subsidies to real estate consultants.

The Politics Trump Makes

The Politics Trump Makes

Is Trump, like Carter, a disjunctive President?

Every President is aligned with or opposed to the regime. Every regime is weak or strong. These two vectors—the political affiliation of the President, the vitality of the regime—shape the politics Presidents make.

No One Fought Back Then

No One Fought Back Then

We had a different attitude back then. Decency, friendship, family. Now—fuck—everybody’s fallen into the money trap.

Back then you would say, it’s raining, the roof is leaking over here, and the union would send a couple boys over with a wheelbarrow and a bit of tarpaper or a tarp. Problem solved, and you can keep on living there. See if anyone gives a shit now. You could sleep on the streets for all they care. These days? The union? Fuck. Some fucking union it is these days. Now they’ve got the union name but no substance.

Primal Forces

Primal Forces

Jane Jacobs cast her campaigns for urban justice as bids to restore an underlying common sense, not as transformations of the social order.

You might call Jacobs a Democratic Schumpeterian. Though she believed in the dynamism of markets and their propensity to push new, innovative work to grow, she wanted to stoke the egalitarian possibilities of this process within a society that favored established interests.

What I Had Lost Was a Country

What I Had Lost Was a Country

To re-encounter nature would be a way of getting another angle of vision on the same social facts, the same greedy and unequal humanity.

Nature and landscape are palimpsests of history and social violence more than they are alternatives to them. They show back to the observer the durability and definiteness of the world people have made so far, as well as its fragility.

Night’s Nirvana

Night’s Nirvana

On Norwegian Black Metal

A lot of the posed photos are about what you would expect: pig heads set on fire, shrouded band members looming in churchyards at night, or wielding chainsaws, or covered in prop blood. It’s either extremely silly, or very morbid and unholy, depending strongly on whether you also are a teenage boy.

Bright Lights

Bright Lights

Sanders in Philadelphia, Castro ad mortem

The death of Fidel Castro brought to a close an entire era, in which a single figure on a small Caribbean island could dictate whole arenas of American emotional life. Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, the United States has been obsessed not with Cuba, not with communism, but with Fidel.

The Colombian Peace and its Discontents

The Colombian Peace and its Discontents

Colombians can disagree without killing each other. But throughout the country’s history, certain matters have tended to fall outside the scope of peaceful disagreement.

Regional elites help to deliver votes at election time and support the executive’s legislative initiatives in Congress; in exchange, the executive gives them access to government positions and stays out of their way.

What Women Used Before They Could Use the Law

What Women Used Before They Could Use the Law

Or, an incomplete inventory of methods and means to abortion—undertaken with varying levels of success and the ever-present possibility of death—in America before the passage of Roe v. Wade

Hands (made into fists, then used to strike the stomach repeatedly)
Heavy weights (lifted repeatedly or applied to the stomach)
Herbs (picked or purchased, then swallowed or forced through the cervix and into the uterus)

Double Standards

Double Standards

Colin Kaepernick has had his career compromised by the unchecked madness of white American privilege.

The playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has gone from a boring, low-stakes ritual to a fascinating pageant, as players across the country and at all levels kneel, link hands, lie down, or otherwise take the opportunity to express themselves.

Potentially Endless

Potentially Endless

I could sit in front of my laptop all night, into Thursday afternoon, maybe into next week.

Some teams are built around a talented pitching staff, some around canny base-running, some around brilliant defense. With the Cubs it’s more straightforward—they’re built around being great at playing baseball.

This Is Not the Apocalypse

This Is Not the Apocalypse

It’s been a while since a President has had to speak of fascism as something that has a lure.

Also distracting was the image, revealed a few hours earlier, of the next President urging Russian prostitutes to pee on each other in a Moscow hotel bed where Barack and Michelle Obama had once slept.

Housing Crisis

Housing Crisis

What will Ben Carson’s HUD look like?

Many commentators have noted the parallels between Donald Trump’s appointment of the avowedly unqualified Ben Carson to Reagan’s disastrous appointment of Samuel Pierce, Jr., who blew his eight years as HUD chief binge-watching soap operas and permitting his aides to dole out millions in illegal subsidies to real estate consultants.

The Politics Trump Makes

The Politics Trump Makes

Is Trump, like Carter, a disjunctive President?

Every President is aligned with or opposed to the regime. Every regime is weak or strong. These two vectors—the political affiliation of the President, the vitality of the regime—shape the politics Presidents make.

No One Fought Back Then

No One Fought Back Then

We had a different attitude back then. Decency, friendship, family. Now—fuck—everybody’s fallen into the money trap.

Back then you would say, it’s raining, the roof is leaking over here, and the union would send a couple boys over with a wheelbarrow and a bit of tarpaper or a tarp. Problem solved, and you can keep on living there. See if anyone gives a shit now. You could sleep on the streets for all they care. These days? The union? Fuck. Some fucking union it is these days. Now they’ve got the union name but no substance.

Primal Forces

Primal Forces

Jane Jacobs cast her campaigns for urban justice as bids to restore an underlying common sense, not as transformations of the social order.

You might call Jacobs a Democratic Schumpeterian. Though she believed in the dynamism of markets and their propensity to push new, innovative work to grow, she wanted to stoke the egalitarian possibilities of this process within a society that favored established interests.

What I Had Lost Was a Country

What I Had Lost Was a Country

To re-encounter nature would be a way of getting another angle of vision on the same social facts, the same greedy and unequal humanity.

Nature and landscape are palimpsests of history and social violence more than they are alternatives to them. They show back to the observer the durability and definiteness of the world people have made so far, as well as its fragility.