William F. Buckley's ingratiating letters to J. Edgar Hoover are released. / Commons Wikimedia
The Baffler,  October 13, 2015

Daily Bafflements

William F. Buckley's ingratiating letters to J. Edgar Hoover are released. / Commons Wikimedia


• Persecution of Christians has taken a number of different forms over the years, from being burned alivestoned to death, crucified (both then and now), and perhaps the most sinister of them all, asked awkward questions over brunch. Yes, that’s the sort of awkwardness that comes only when dating while Christian among the godless urbanites in the northeastern United States, notes one Buzzfeed contributor. Disregard that Buzzfeed’s conception of faith is one that is so sterile and banal that it fits nicely into a corporate-friendly YouTube video about how religion and “open mindedness” aren’t at odds with one another—this is serious persecution that we’re talking about! 

• Taking a breather between swapping hipster furniture and posting their babysitting needs, the users of Oakland social network Nextdoor.com have taken to using the forum to engage in a grassroots racial profiling effort: “residents have called Black and Latino men suspicious for being near bus stops, standing in “shadows,” making U-turns, and hanging around outside coffee shops.” At the drop of a hat, off the back of this secondhand advice, these curtain twitchers encourage each other to participate in community life by alerting the cops. Hm. 

• Conservative Cheshire Cat William F. Buckley’s fawning correspondence with the FBI is up online, including a thank you letter written by Buckley’s son, who decided to be “an action man” after visiting the bureau. (Thanks Muck Rock!)

• “The word that kept coming up was prick,” says Lou Reed’s disappointed biographer. “Girlfriends called him a prick, people he was at school with called him a prick; people in his band called him a prick.”

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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.