The Baffler,  April 5, 2016

Daily Bafflements

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• Would you look at that! For only a few thousand dollars you can have lunch with the editor of that “senpai of seduction” and dubious etiquette peddler, Neil Strauss. It’s a rare opportunity to neg the man who could have saved us a lot of grief and tactfully cut negging out of our vocabulary. Amber A’Lee Frost wrote about Strauss and his brother in dudeliness Tucker Max in the current issue of the magazine. (Why not subscribe?)

• On art and moolah: since the time of J. P. Morgan, the “Buddha” in whose “very soft, big hands” artists could make a living, things have only gotten more plutocratic: “Art has become an instrument for generating wealth and political influence in the interests of an audacious plutocracy.” Rhonda Lieberman wrote on the art of the one percent in this magazine’s twenty-fourth issue.

• Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s latest Baffler web crime column has been annotated by Natasha here. It’s a chance to indulge your morbidly fascinated cynicism on many of the questions that doubtless swirl in your mind: Why are libertarians so militant about people being shot in the back? How do you make chitchat with a cop? What is Excited Delirium Syndrome?

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Further Reading

 January 16

I lined up at MOMA for a close-up view of how the brutal business of global garment-making was to be cleaned up for aesthetic presentation.

 January 11

Enmity, rendered gamelike through this remove into the virtual, is the same as it’s always been, only now maybe even worse.