Oh, we may say our colleges are the best in the world while we secretly believe they’re an overpriced rip-off, but leave it to Thomas Frank in The Baffler no. 23 to ask whether they’re the best in the world at committing the rip-off. Welcome to America five years after the financial crisis. It’s a place “made possible by buncombe,” as David Graeber explains here. And it’s a time of magical thinking, as Susan Faludi says in her exposé of the narrow brand of feminism on offer from Sheryl Sandberg’s positive-thinking tract Lean In.
Luckily, we have Jacob Silverman to burst the techno-bubble that is South by Southwest; Ann Friedman to explain why we’re “All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go”; and Quinn Slobodian and Michelle Sterling to report from Berlin “How Hipsters, Expats, Yummies, and Smartphones Ruined a City.” Our midyear issue contains world-defining fiction by Adam Haslett and genre-bending prose by Thomas Sayers Ellis about Lou Beach’s surreal cover art. The carnival’s all here. From Seth Colter Walls on Jean-Paul Sartre to Farran Nehme on Buster Keaton, from Dubravka Ugrešić’s dreams of Wittgenstein to Richard Byrne’s “Nod to Ned Ludd,” The Baffler gives you the latest trends in cultural news and retail opinion. Step right up!