Folks! Hawks and doves, boondogglers and Blackwaters, nannies and mommies, debtors and billionaires, indie rockers and Aussies, platforms, platishers, and public university administrators, let’s all take a look back together at the past week on the Baffler blog!
• First, we would like to acknowledge that tomorrow would have been the 109th birthday of the great Jean-Paul Sartre. We re-posted Seth Colter Walls’s essay “Sartre for Sartre’s Sake” from Baffler Issue 23 for the occasion. As Daniel Wright, one of our Twitter followers remarked today, “Even after death there is No Exit from birthdays.” Sorry, everyone.
• Willie Osterweil made the case that, despite popular narratives about Republican hawks, Democrats are the real party of war.
• In response to last week’s developments in Iraq and the Blackwater contractor trial, Scott Beauchamp shamed neocon talkers and politicos who want to double down on the faulty logic that caused this mess in the first place.
• Ned Resnikoff reviewed Sheila Bapat’s new book about the abuse of domestic workers in the U.S., and analyzed the pattern of predominantly female industries being cast as not “real” work.
• The story of Eileen DiNino, the Pennsylvania mother who died in jail recently after her failure to pay a truancy fine led Kathleen Geier to consider all of the increasingly common court fees and other fines that are both criminalizing and exacerbating poverty in America today.
• Jacob Silverman exposed the lie of YouTube’s self-generated populist image, with help from the news this week that its new streaming music service will block indie labels and artists that don’t agree to its terms.
• Alana Massey dished out some tough love for her alma mater New York University for its skewed financial priorities and problematic worker protections—which both continue while its students continue to pay more to get less.
• Finally, in a debut post from the Baffler’s Australia bureau, Sarah Burnside explained how “American” came to be a bad word down under—a shorthand term in political debate, connoting class inequity and austerity. USA! USA! USA! [Insert vuvuzela sound here.]