"I name this ship RRS Boaty McBoatface. May God bless her and all who sail in her." / National Museum of the U.S. Navy
The Baffler,  March 21, 2016

Daily Bafflements

"I name this ship RRS Boaty McBoatface. May God bless her and all who sail in her." / National Museum of the U.S. Navy


• Over at Buzzfeed, Baffler contributor Niela Orr has written, beautifully, about the myth of cultural mobility, in the context of her intimate, degrading experience working for Instacart (“Uber for groceries”): “Instacart times their shoppers, and I was getting further and further away from the desired 1.8-minute picking time per item, which would result in lower stats and possibly a lower tip — metrics that factored into my pay and place in the app’s order dispatch algorithm.”

• Tom Frank was on the idiot box talking about his new book Listen, Liberal. One lovely review of the book says, of this magazine: “The sell-out of liberalism to corporate interests and ideas formed the night sky behind The Baffler, a permanently pissed-off magazine Frank founded in 1988 [that] took delight in goring the management jargon and bourgeois uplift of the 1990s.” Read an excerpt from Frank’s book from issue 30 here!

• What if, instead of apps owning workers (and circumventing labor laws), the workers owned the apps? Bring on the co-opalypse. Our contributing editor Astra Taylor reported on the New Era Windows Coop in Baffler, no. 25, and is back in the Baffler today, urging us, in the telegrammed words of Joe Hill, to “stop mourning, organize!”

• Is Obama to blame for Trump? Don’t be daft.

• Happy Monday, from RRS Boaty McBoatface.

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 June 22

For the Atlantic, actual political agency, it seems, is a lesser virtue than the civic jolt proffered by a “mediating function.”