From sneer to smear. / Gage Skidmore
The Baffler,  January 20, 2016

Daily Bafflements

From sneer to smear. / Gage Skidmore
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• In the Palinian spirit of not pussyfooting too much, The Baffler has moved our print edition to a quarterly publication schedule—that’s right, we’re putting our spurtive past behind us, and being a bit more punctual. On the web we can offer you a little regularity, as well: two new columns, with another special surprise to come around Valentine’s Day. But for now, please enjoy senior editor Chris Lehmann’s “Jaundiced Eyeball,” which surveys the media landscape hawkishly each week and publishes on Thursdays. Natasha Vargas-Cooper, meanwhile, is on the “Bad Behavior” beat, and her crime column will continue to appear every second Tuesday.

• Speaking of bad behavior, since Vargas-Cooper’s column yesterday on the state of Texas’ unconstitutional foster care system, the state’s attorney general has disputed the judge’s verdict: “He said she used ‘anecdotal evidence’ of sexual and physical abuse.” Read the piece and decide for yourself how terrible Texas is at keeping kids safe.

• Today in billionaires: honestly, why does anyone care what rich people—from Reese Witherspoon, to Oprah, to Mark Zuckerberg, to Bill Gates—are reading? 

• On writing about Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, who knows a thing or two about smear: “He’s dangerous. Call your mom. Tell her you love her.” (Thanks, the New Republic!)

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Introduction

The Baffler

We finished this issue in November 2002, shuttling between Dan Raeburn’s pied-à-terre in the fashionable Kenwood neighborhood. . .

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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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Further Reading

 September 5

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I say, shut up, the lot of you.