Daily Bafflements

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 20, 2017
To cheer you up, a picture of National Women's Liberation, one of the organizations chronicled in Sarah Jaffe's new interview series. / Photo courtesy of Erin Mahoney.
To cheer you up, a picture of National Women's Liberation, one of the organizations chronicled in Sarah Jaffe's new interview series. / Photo courtesy of Erin Mahoney.

Today in presidential aesthetics: commentators weigh in on Trump’s selection of (two!) bibles for his swearing-in and an oil painting takes aim at Obama in a bizarre echo of Trump’s promise that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”—a fitting gift from the likes of Sean Hannity.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 19, 2017
Washington, D.C., readies itself for inauguration. / Geoff Livingston
Washington, D.C., readies itself for inauguration. / Geoff Livingston

Betsy DeVos’s hearing was fraught with controversy and moments of complete idiocynot to mention a brief discussion about bears. The billionaire and education “philanthropist” proved to be incapable of answering basic policy questions, all the while demonstrating little-to-no knowledge of basic educational terms.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 17, 2017
Message from your parents. / Denis Bocquet
Message from your parents. / Denis Bocquet

Amid mounting pressure on Obama to pardon whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden this week (update: Manning will be freed in May!) it’s worth revisiting Astra Taylor’s salvo on presidential pardons, and their shady, unofficial counterparts.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 11, 2017
Just two friends. / DonkeyHotey
Just two friends. / DonkeyHotey

When it comes to election 2016, you could say, “when it rains, it pours.” And “pour” it did last night after BuzzFeed dropped a 35-page dossier on what kompromat (compromising material) the Russians allegedly have on Trump.

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The BafflerJanuary 09, 2017
glasseyes view
glasseyes view

Longtime Baffler hand Siddhartha Deb has a books column in 2017! In his first piece, today, he remembers John Berger, and his “principled opposition to the contemporary idea of the writer as entrepreneur.”

“There have always been crazy movements (remember Lyndon LaRouche?) that lived and breathed fake news,” writes contributing editor Evgeny Morozov, over at The Guardian.

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The BafflerJanuary 06, 2017
Tired moralizing can't obscure the fact that Silicon Valley bears some responsibility for our always-on culture. / Farhad Sadykov
Tired moralizing can't obscure the fact that Silicon Valley bears some responsibility for our always-on culture. / Farhad Sadykov

Today in tech: Tristan Harris, a Silicon Valley stalwart with a résumé that includes the likes of Google and Apple, has begun running “digital detox experiments” designed to put an end to the practice of hacking human psychology.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 04, 2017
Behold, the micro-cheater. / Tookapic
Behold, the micro-cheater. / Tookapic

This is for all the ladies out there: Did you know your male partner is micro-cheating and, like, totally getting away with it? On Facebook, he’s reacting to all these other women’s posts with a “love,” not a “like” (no.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJanuary 03, 2017
Dennis Jarvis
Dennis Jarvis

Forget about the United States for a moment. France has accorded its workers “the right to disconnect,” that is, French companies of a certain size have to negotiate a protocol with employees, so that work does not habitually spill over into free time.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerDecember 19, 2016
Mike Licht
Mike Licht

Was the Trump campaign’s decision to spend 3.2 million on badly-designed hats between July 2015 and September 2016 a good one? Over at the Fast CompanyBaffler art director Lindsay Ballant gives an insight into why it was indeed.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerDecember 16, 2016
It seems more tasteful in French. / Dereckson
It seems more tasteful in French. / Dereckson

In Queensland, Australia, a horse named Party Till Dawn tested positive for methamphetamine. That makes the aptly-named mare “the only other horse in the state to test positive for methamphetamine was Island Tang in Mackay in October last year.” 

Cuba has found a curious way of paying off its debt to the Czech Republic: rum—specifically 276 million dollars worth.

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The BafflerDecember 12, 2016
Tommaso Meli
Tommaso Meli

Pankaj Mishra writes about the new angry world we live in, in which old liberal dichotomies no longer make sense. Quoting Tocqueville, he argues that “people liberated from old hierarchies ‘want equality in freedom, and, if they cannot get it, they still want it in slavery.’”

Teen Vogue’s latest piece of good political coverage is entitled “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,” and it’s worth reading:

Trump won the Presidency by gas light.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerDecember 07, 2016
b33-150-cover
b33-150-cover

Dear Bafflers, we offer you a new issue, “The Virtue Cartel.” This one’s dedicated to the virtuecrats—in the words of Chris Lehmann, these are the “policy big thinkersmilitary strategists, and neoliberal nudgers [who] have appointed themselves the permanent guardians of moral uplift and the public good.” It has salvos that run the gamut from virginity to smoking bans—via billionaires, empire, and Slack—as well as fiction, art, and poetry, not to mention a brand-new design.