Issue No. 18

No. 18—Margin Call

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Ah, the financial crash. Old media has kicked the bucket, and so has the economy. The founding Baffler crew reemerges one last time to say we told you so . . . with full-color art and a built-in ribbon bookmark. Christine Smallwood considers the difficulty of thinking about the Internet. Astra Taylor asks about the meaning of “free” in an age of digital piracy. Michael Lind resurrects the word “oligarchy.” A.S. Hamrah links the work of the painter Thomas Kinkade to the mortgage bubble—an observation that would be quoted frequently when Kinkade died a few years later. Naomi Klein discusses the continuing relevance of her ten-year-old classic, No Logo. Will Boisvert remembers Detroit. Mike Newirth remembers Nelson Algren. Walter Benn Michaels tells us how Americans’ fixation on social virtue has blinded us to our economic regression. Matt Taibbi reads Rod Blagojevich. And Maureen Tkacik drops an eight-thousand-word bomb on the literature of the financial crisis. “This issue of The Baffler was assembled in December 2009 in Chicago, Washington and New York after having been painstakingly ghostwritten by Bill Ayers,” reads the front matter. It was also the last issue edited by Thomas Frank and Dave Mulcahey.

Table of Contents

Salvos

Poems

Stories

Intros and Manifestos