The Baffler,  January 12, 2015

Daily Bafflements


Photo by Brad Fleckinger
Photo by Brad Fleckinger

• Oh, good! Finally! “Silicon Valley Turns Its Eye Toward Education,” reports the New York Times. According to one research analyst, the obvious question everyone is asking is, “How are you going to monetize those users?”

• Via the Daily Beast, meet the people making a profit off of the “I Can’t Breathe” and, alternately, “Breathe Easy: Don’t Break the Law” T-shirts.

• Blocks away from luxury high-rises being built with money from Venezuela, Hong Kong, and Argentina, Miami’s poor families live on $11 a day.

• Today in Billionaires: “The 100 biggest donors of 2014 gave nearly $174 million to Democrats, compared to more than $140 million to Republicans,” according to analysis by Politico. And it wasn’t just Tom Steyer’s money bumping up that total (although he did give a lot): “Donors who gave mostly or exclusively to Democrats held down 52 of the top 100 spots.”

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Why They Need the Cucks

Jessa Crispin

Strip The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy of its satirical critique, and you're left with a logic that is dismally familiar. The categories of embattled manhood now trafficked by the cuck-trashing, immigrant-bashing men of Breitbart or 4chan are shifting but ultimately exacting; like Fourier’s taxonomist, they obsess over finer and finer distinctions. Their aim is not to elevate one idealized version of masculinity, but to break masculinity into a more perfect pecking order, so almost everyone can look down a level at the scum below. This new order relies on the traditional markers of manly achievement—a girlfriend, sexual partners, money, power, and, most importantly, control—but none of those matter as much as the act of division itself. It’s a coping strategy. Yes, the 4chan men like to make jokes about living in their parents’ basements, but those jokes are only funny if they can point to someone even lower than themselves.

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