Photo by Leo Anderson
The Baffler,  January 27, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Photo by Leo Anderson


• In the run-up to Monday night’s snowstorm, Mother Jones published the results of an extensive series of calculations for how much you should tip a food delivery person during a blizzard. The author came up with the answer of 30 percent. Our answer: learn to cook, or eat a granola bar like the rest of us, you selfish so-and-so.

• Today in Bespoke: The Coloradoan asks, “Bespoke or not bespoke, now that is the question.” Our answer: no.

• Republicans at the Iowa Freedom Summit over the weekend seem to have almost entirely avoided the phrase “middle class,” according to The Week‘s analysis of CNN transcripts.

• From Entrepreneur magazine, please enjoy these twenty very earnest “inspiring quotes on how to build a successful start-up,” including Ev Williams’s exhortation to “live and breathe…user-centered design.”

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High on the Apocalypse

Jessa Crispin

Maybe we all just decided it was cooler to be George Orwell (who came from money) than H. G. Wells (who did not)—cooler to be the smirker saying, “Pah, it'll never work,” than to be the kid chirping, “Here is what we can do.” The H. G. Wells we find profiled in Krishan Kumar's Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times was someone who suffered greatly and wanted to help prevent the suffering of future generations. He was someone who cycled through great optimism and great despair, but kept coming back to optimism, believing that equality is possible without totalitarianism. He treated his ideal society—in which property would be held communally, the state would be run by the enlightened, and all would be free to express their eccentricities without being marginalized for it—as neither an impossibility nor an inevitability, but as something that could be willed closer by way of the imagination. Yet his critics, like Orwell and Aldous Huxley, felt free to mischaracterize his work and compare his vision to the vision of the Nazis. You know who has a vision of the future? Those actively working to destroy it.

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Roger, Over and Out

Chris Lehmann

It’s certainly not in character for the corporate chieftains at Fox News to keep mum during the marquee action at a Republican Nation. . .

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So Much Bigger Than Standing Rock

Sarah Jaffe

The way that the camp started, first of all, was with the youth. They had a vision and a goal and a dream because of the fact that suicide rates in our communities are so high. It is so devastating that so many kids would rather kill themselves than deal with the hurt and the transgenerational trauma that has happened over the years. When we talk about the camps, we have to include a history of they began and why. It was amazing to see youth like Jasilyn Charger and Bobbi Jean Three Legs and other youth that decided to do these runs, where they ran in their own community—it was just a few miles and they were like, “This is fun. We should organize another run.” That is when they called up and included the Indigenous Environmental Network. We had helped them with their first run, just for food and funding.

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Further Reading

 April 14

The gospel of Scott Adams is one of mediocrity untroubled by humility, which means that now is the perfect time for him to. . .