For dogged observers of America’s long-running culture wars, a quiet milestone was reached this year: the fortieth anniversary of pop theologian Francis Schaeffer’s enormously influential 1976 tract How Should We Then Live? This portentously titled, slim volume served as a handy Baedeker manual for evangelicals, documenting the wayward distortions allegedly wrought on stalwart Christian faith by intellectual and aesthetic movements steeped in secular decadence.
Workers of the world, cheer up! Researchers from the World Health Organization, aided by an international team of scientists, have crunched the numbers, and the results are in: relieving anxiety and depression is good for the bottom line.
Most kids start to learn their multiplication tables in the third grade. Their storybooks—typically illustrated, with only a few sentences per page—begin to give way to short chapter books. A year later, they are taught the difference between sedimentary and volcanic rock.
Such is the exuberant optimism of the staff at Pret A Manger that you’d assume they were treated well. But Pret A Manger’s employees aren’t overjoyed because of good workplace conditions, generous wages, or regular hours; instead it’s because management have told them to be, and with sickening specificity.
If you’re looking to make a splash in the oversaturated social-mediasphere, nice is the new rule of thumb. The trendlet—officially dubbed the “Nice Internet” by no less an authority than the New York Times—encompasses videos devoted to cute animals, precocious kiddies, paying it forward, and elders reliving their youth.
Feminists of the world, rejoice! Now you can fulfill the grandest of your dreams: expressing your deep-rooted support for all women while also supporting and disguising your hideous, lumpy buttocks. How, you ask? Spanx. The much-derided corset of the twenty-first century is reinventing itself, according to a New York Times profile published last week, and this time with a “feminist” set of values.
I admit it: Game of Thrones’ massive popularity took me by surprise. When I first read George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, I frankly could not understand how it managed to capture its legions of fans.
Andreas Lubitz, the 27-year old German copilot who flew a jetliner into a mountain in the French Alps last week, seemed normal, according to preliminary reports of his character and personality. Sure, Lubitz had worries—his girlfriend was pregnant; he was having difficulty with his vision; he was taking antidepressants.
In Disney’s newest Cinderella—a live-action reboot of its 1950 animated movie—not much has changed, but the ticket sales and potential for new merchandise are fresh. This latest iteration of the famous fable raises an important question: is it possible to kill the princess myth?
If start-up founders are our new royalty—as Mark Zuckerberg is Silicon Valley’s prince—then perhaps venture capitalists are their grand viziers. Once advisers to the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, grand viziers wield power behind the scenes. They variously prop up, manipulate, or replace their bosses.
There’s a divide that runs through the self-help market. On the one side there’s all the emotional, caring stuff—relationships, self-esteem, and healing. On the other, there’s all the macho business stuff, aimed at the gladiators of the executive boardroom. Split down loosely gendered lines (self-help delivered from Venus and Mars, respectively), there’s seemingly little crossover.
Leonard Nimoy, who passed away this past Friday, was less an actor than an icon, an ever-present figure and a seemingly universal pop-culture touchstone. What struck me, upon hearing the news of his death, was that I’d somehow assumed he couldn’t die.