The Baffler,  June 30

Weekly Bafflements

Here are some good words we didn't write



After Piketty it’s the after-party

First up, our very own editor Chris Lehmann read a book titled The Wisdom of Money and it went as well as you might expect. It seems that if this “book can teach us anything, it’s that, as fathomlessly wise as our market may be, it will always make more room for unadulterated bullshit.”

Video killed the writerly stars

Over at Spin, Jordan Sargent has a deeply-reported piece on the demise of longform at MTV News and what it reveals about the state of digital media. If you see any of us at the bar this weekend please buy us drinks, we are very depressed.

Notes from the Underground

Ryan Cooper has a timely and necessary piece about the faltering New York subway system. Everyone will enjoy him laying into Andrew Cuomo and remember to keep telling the Governor to fix the fucking subway already.

Socialism or barbarism

Finally, friend of The Baffler Tim Faust lays out a lucid and compelling plan for Universal Healthcare in America. While you’re drinking beer and eating hot dogs this holiday weekend don’t forget that our current system is an absolute moral travesty. Happy Fourth! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

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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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