A win for science is a loss for spin classes, in this Nobel Prize special from the New York Times. / ResoluteSupportMedia
The Baffler,  October 5, 2015

Daily Bafflements

A win for science is a loss for spin classes, in this Nobel Prize special from the New York Times. / ResoluteSupportMedia
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

• “I’m sorry I can’t spin right now. I’ve won the Nobel Prize,” and other homely reminiscences of genius, lovingly collected by the Times, remind us of Tom Frank’s piece about the “Parable of the Phone Call,” which he calls “a cheap, lowbrow way of humanizing these people who otherwise stand so high above the rest of us.”

• The rich have long used disastrous events to their advantage. Rachel Riederer reviews John Mutter’s Disaster Profiteers in The New Republic, which reports that

of the nearly 1500 contracts awarded as part of the Haitian relief project, only 23 went to Haitian companies. Haitian companies received only 2.5% of the $195 million; much of the rest went to US contractors based in and around Washington DC, often through no-bid contracts.

• The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a goer, now it just needs to get through Congress. In July, Scott Beauchamp wrote on the Baffler blog that:

Not many on either the left or the right would consider the TPP a moral victory (the left because the treaty puts corporate interests above democracy, and the right because Obama supports it).

But it’s amazing what you can achieve in secret negotiations!

• Google embraces evil. OK, not quite. But it has changed its logo to “Do the right thing.”

You Might Also Enjoy

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.

word factory

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading