What's a yeoperson to do? / Collin Votrobeck
The Baffler,  April 8, 2016

Daily Bafflements

What's a yeoperson to do? / Collin Votrobeck


• The AP Style Guide, never at the vanguard of gender justice, has officially done away with the term “mistress” for referring to a female party in an extramarital affair. Likewise, the armed forces are trying to bring their titles in line with recent DOD rulings that now allow women in combat positions. The great difficulty that’s keeping the U.S. Navy in the dark ages? They can’t think of what to call a non-male yeoman.

A seventeenth-century manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton will be digitized by the Chemical Heritage Foundation but just who will be able to read the work—accessible through a database—remains to be seen. As our own Jacob Silverman recently reported, access to scholarship remains fraught. “Information wasn’t liberated,” Silverman writes, “but rather privatized among a new generation of oligarchs.”

• Ever eager to spot a trend that’s been two years in the making, the New York Times Style section was once the breathless butt the Great Grunge Hoax of 1992 (first reported by yours truly, we don’t mind saying). Today, the Gray Lady brings us news of the Snap Pack (get it?), a group of rich young New Yorkers tuned in to their smartphones—and to the hippest parties. Journalistic gold abounds, but these were some of our favorite moments:

Mr. Warren’s Rolodex is burnished, of course, by his agile Snapchat, which Mr. Binn called “more colorful than a Puff Daddy video.”

Even as they grasp that their postings can draw scorn, the Snap Pack seems unable to relinquish the habit of social media, and the illusion of image control it affords. “I look good in pictures I take of myself,” Ms. Matisse said as the group settled in for dinner at Vandal.

Late to arrive were Mr. Warren, Ms. Kennedy, Ms. Matisse and Bambi, her dog, which was dressed in a monogrammed cashmere sweater. Social media happens on their schedule; old media less so.

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Further Reading

 April 4

Official oversight commissions tend to perform all of the trappings of democratic accountability while rarely resulting in lasting reform.