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The Baffler’s Week That Was

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Mark S. Fisher illustration

Illustration by Mark S. Fisher, from Issue 24

This week! On The Baffler online! We reached peaks of excitement, and depths of dread! Let’s look, shall we?

• From our current issue, we put up Gene Seymour’s salvo on the political implications of science fiction—including the works of Orson Scott Card, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, Joss Whedon, and more—entitled “The Billionaires’ Fantasia.” It’s a doozy, and it’s joined by gorgeous colorful book-cover illustrations by Mark S. Fisher, like the one you see above.

• From the archives, we found occasion to revive and revisit Jim Frederick’s absolutely timeless classic on unpaid labor in the glamour industries, “Internment Camp: The Intern Economy and the Culture Trust”; Christian Lorentzen’s deep dive into the Jimmy Savile scandal at the BBC (the assigning of which resulted in the firing of exactly zero Baffler editors, we might add); and Tom Vanderbilt’s epic “The Gaudy and Damned, Part 2,” from back in Issue 9, on office-life drudgery’s ills and momentary cures.

• On the daily blog, Willie Osterweil explored Hollywood’s love of surveillance technology (looking specifically at Captain America, Robocop, and Her), and how those positive portrayals subtly raise movie viewers’ tolerance for state surveillance in real life.

Kyle Chayka wrote about the Kara Walker art opening at Brooklyn’s (now-defunct) Domino Sugar Refinery, and how the exhibit is doing double duty as valuable advertising for real estate development there.

Helaine Olen pilloried the “magical thinking” of Mark Zuckerberg’s gifts to the Newark, New Jersey school system—and of so many well-meaning, but clueless, philanthropists before him.

• On the occasion of Elizabeth Lunbeck’s new book on narcissism, Baffler contributing editor Catherine Tumber offered a passionate defense of the work of Christopher Lasch.

Ned Resnikoff imagined a terrifying and altogether plausible future where wearable tech like Google Glass could turn every workplace into a virtual panopticon, to the detriment of employees.

Hannah K. Gold discussed Leslie Jamison’s new book The Empathy Exams, and empathy’s role in the American healthcare system.

• Kathleen Geier argued that child care and elder care represent the last frontier of feminism today, and followed up her previous stinging critique of conservative Thomas Piketty critics with one for neoliberal critics, too.

What a ride it was, Bafflers. See you next week, when we begin again. In the meantime, consider subscribing to the print magazine if you have not already—just in time for Issue 25, which is coming out so soon we can smell the ink.