The Backlash

Sad Dreams of a Sanitized Heaven

Megan NolanJanuary 03, 2017
Tom Coady
Tom Coady

There are many horrors the incoming administration promises to impose on the disadvantaged in America, and one of the cruelest is a crackdown on a woman’s right to access abortion. It is all the more frightening for already being well underway.

The Night Phyllis Schlafly Went Over the Rainbow

Jane O’ReillySeptember 09, 2016
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8571370990_7f6dbb5688_k

Phyllis Schlafly was one of the scariest people I ever met. I suspect her personal role model was Torquemada. Certainly she was absolutely convinced of her rectitude—while being at least as ambitious as any Spanish crusader prosecuting a holy war.

Down with Dynamism

Robert AppelbaumMay 12, 2015
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606897554_39e4adcdf2_z

A good way to flatter public speakers, teachers, or politicians is to call them “dynamic.” When the nineteenth-century social critic Thomas Carlyle first used the word, he compared “dynamism” to “mechanism.” The latter had to do with the repetitive energy of mere machines.

Working Woes at the Strand, Illustrated

Tim PetersDecember 15, 2014
Photo by Alan Turkus.
Photo by Alan Turkus.

As Borders, B. Dalton, and many other big chain bookstores get kicked out the door by Amazon, a few privately-owned outposts still provide a respite for book-lovers who like to both browse in brick-and-mortar shops and support local businesses. Some of the best-known independent bookstores continue to thrive despite their financial pressures—stores like Powell’s in Portland, City Lights in San Francisco, The Last Bookstore in L.A., BookPeople in Austin, Faulkner House in New Orleans, Quimby’s in Chicago, and Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C..

The Disruption This Time

L.A. KauffmanDecember 08, 2014
A protest at New York's Grand Central Terminal on December 7. / Photo by Leslie Kauffman.
A protest at New York's Grand Central Terminal on December 7. / Photo by Leslie Kauffman.

I’ve been attending and observing protests for thirty years, and I’ve never seen anything quite like what I’ve experienced in New York City over the last week.

In the days after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to charge police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, thousands of grieving and angry people have marched all over town, taking over streets, blocking intersections, disrupting holiday shopping, and repeatedly overwhelming police attempts to steer or stop their movement.

Payday Loans 4 Kids!

Darren CullenNovember 03, 2014
Logo by Darren Cullen
Logo by Darren Cullen

This week I opened the UK’s first payday loan shop just for children, Pocket Money Loans. The London-based store offers kids an advance on their pocket money at interest rates as low as 5,000 percent APR, (a substantial 853 percent less than market leader wonga.com).

Labor Day Reading from The Baffler

Lauren KirchnerAugust 29, 2014
Baffler9cover
Baffler9cover

Happy Friday, all! If you find yourself with some extra time over this long Labor Day weekend, why not take a moment to think about the reason for the season?

These classic salvos from The Baffler all happen to be from issue 9 of The Baffler, a labor-themed issue we published in 1997.

The Guns of Ferguson: When Tyranny Really Comes into Town, the NRA Goes into Hiding

Corey PeinAugust 14, 2014
Golden arches in Red Dawn / Still from Red Dawn, 1984
Golden arches in Red Dawn / Still from Red Dawn, 1984

I grew up around reclusive Cascadian hill folk who lived in fear of phantom black helicopters piloted by agents of the New World Order. Some of these guys, true to the stereotype of bunker-digging preppers, stockpiled outrageous quantities of firearms in preparation for what they believed was an inevitable confrontation with an authoritarian force on domestic soil.

When London Burned

Lauren KirchnerAugust 06, 2014
Stencil by SPQR / Photo by urbanartcore.eu
Stencil by SPQR / Photo by urbanartcore.eu

This week marks the third anniversary of the start of the “summer of disorder” in the UK. In August 2011 the world watched, baffled, as the Brits seemed to be burning all of their cities down to the ground.

Private Prisons, Public Cash

Scott BeauchampAugust 05, 2014
Illustration by Shando Darby
Illustration by Shando Darby

It’s fait accompli that conservatives and neoliberals will want to solve America’s alleged immigration problems by building walls and prisons. As frustrating as their proposed “solutions” are, they shouldn’t come as entirely shocking. They have at their core the same punitive catchall approach that they take to everything else, including the economy.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJune 09, 2014
A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky
A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky

New York’s state legislature only has two weeks left this session, and probably won’t have time to consider new laws on the minimum wage or campaign finance issues. Newsday reports that lawmakers will definitely have time for “legislation to authorize red-light cameras in Nassau and Suffolk counties,” though, so that’s good.

Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJune 06, 2014
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2446406669_68ccbfe33b_m

From The Baffler’s own Chris Lehmann in In These Times, a look at Whole Foods’s “artisanal union-busting” in Chicago.

Glenn Greenwald writes at First Look that the last year of Snowden disclosures has, among other things, triggered “a desperately needed debate about journalism itself, and the proper relationship of journalists to those who wield political and economic power.”

Via Electric Literature, a comic by Grant Snider representing all the types of conflict in literature; “man vs.

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