Norman Mailer on Politics and Cigarettes

Politics has its virtues, all too many of them—it would not rank with baseball as a topic of conversation if it did not satisfy a great many things—but one can suspect that its secret appeal is close to nicotine. Smoking cigarettes insulates one from one’s life, one does not feel as much, often happily so, … Read more

I work, therefore I meditate, therefore I work harder.

As workplaces demand that their employees hustle harder in a more precarious world, mindfulness has emerged as a means to manage stress and increase productivity. Since its import to America, it has been oddly well-suited at making the individual citizen responsible for mitigating the suffering and loss that our necrotic social structures have induced. So … Read more

One Mouse, Two Cups?

On January 1, 2019, original works from 1923 will move into the public domain. This batch will be the first new public domain works in over 20 years. Mickey Mouse was born via Steamboat Willie in 1928. That means that, barring further Disney intervention, in 2024, the Mouse can become…anything. I, for one, am keen … Read more

Passing the buck

Shame is now both global and permanent, to a degree ­unprecedented in human history. No more moving to the next town to escape your bad name. However far you go and however long you wait, your disgrace is only ever a Google search away. Getting a humiliating story into the papers used to require convincing … Read more

Disturbing for all the right reasons

It may surprise some Catholics to learn just how literally the modern Church interprets Satan and his army of demons. While many people today understand the devil as a metaphor for sin, temptation, and unresolvable evil in the world, the pope consistently repudiates such allegorical readings. In sermons, interviews, and occasionally in tweets, Pope Francis … Read more

Quotes from Underworld

The ankle wallet answered a need. It spoke directly to a personal concern. It made me feel there were people out there in the world of product development and merchandising and gift cataloguing who understood the nature of my little nagging needs. Don Delillo