Terrifying, not soothing. / Alaska Fisheries Science Center
The Baffler,  June 22, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Terrifying, not soothing. / Alaska Fisheries Science Center
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• Donald Trump may have built the Evangelical advisory board he so desperately needs, but his efforts to woo the Christian community are still lagging. That said, it’s impressive he managed to get Jerry Falwell Jr. to pose in front of a Playboy cover

• Thanks to Ben Schwartz’s latest, we’ve been musing a great deal over “punching up” versus “punching down” in comedy. But we’re not tremendously convinced that Kim Davis et. al. are “punching down” victims, as First Things suggests. A civil servant neglecting to do her job—all while making more than the average middle-class salary a year—is hardly an underdog. Has someone coined “punching horizontally” yet? 

• Baffler founder Tom Frank graced the airwaves of Democracy Now! today to talk inequality, Democratic elites, and his latest book, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? An excerpt from Listen, Liberal appeared in Baffler no. 30. Enjoy! 

• In which the head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, teaches us about eels:

“You see that big eel?” Priebus asked one day, pointing out a black slithery creature on the bottom, before noting others. “That’s a yellow tang, hippo tang, a spotted puffer. There’s an anemone. An urchin. An orange clown fish.” He took a hunk of shrimp from a refrigerator and dangled it with a set of tongs into the water. A race to the bottom ensued as bits fell away and the fish vied for pieces of flesh. It was difficult to look away from the feeding frenzy. The big orange clown fish flailed at front and center.

• Niall Ferguson wants the world to know that Brexit, like divorce, is brutal. Somehow, leaving the European Union would mean no yacht for you. 

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Further Reading

 April 26

A refusal to assess damage is tantamount to caring only that a bombing occurs rather than what or whom it kills.

 April 17

Or, put it this way: Paul Ryan went out onto the tightrope. The crowd, so long adoring their golden child, cheered. But a jester got the best of Ryan.