Scott Beauchamp comments on the tradition of military graffiti, including Kilroy. / Jinx!
The Baffler,  November 13, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Scott Beauchamp comments on the tradition of military graffiti, including Kilroy. / Jinx!


• Johari Osayi Idusuyi, the woman prescient enough to bring a book (Claudia Rankine’s brilliant Citizen, at that) to a Donald Trump rally speaks to Jezebel.

• On the Paris Review blog, Baffler regular Scott Beauchamp looks at the expressive vandalism of latrines by U.S. service members in Iraq and the long tradition of military graffiti. “People use graffiti to say that they exist,” writes Scott, “to communicate through space and time; to participate in the folk art of the eye-roll; and, most important, to redecorate foreign surroundings with the baubles of familiarity. That familiarity comes in many forms, penises and poems among them.” We couldn’t agree more.

• In Yale University Press’s new book trailer for James West Davidson’s A Little History of the United States, viewers—and a precocious, blonde child—are treated to a three-minute overview of American history. Of course, with just three minutes, the child’s doting parents have had to gloss over a few things; for instance, Christopher Columbus “introduced some big things” to the continent (dandelions! lemons! radishes!) “and, unfortunately, some not so great things, like smallpox.”

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Further Reading

 November 9

There was no quibbling over what item on the menu might be more digestible---Virginia voters just carted off the whole buffet.

 November 10

Yesterday’s twin reports on Roy Moore and Louis CK remind us that sexual assault and women’s inequality are still everyone’s problem.

 November 8

Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" finds moral complexity where it needed moral certitude.