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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

COVID-19 and Our Purgatory of Consumerism

Our pandemic quarantine has become the sublime enactment of Baudrillard's theory of consumption – that modern consumption, with its myth of individual liberty and choice, is in fact 'de-socialising'.


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Books

Memoir 'Kiss Myself Goodbye' Dims the Brightest Subject

Ferdinand Mount's gripping family memoir, Kiss Myself Goodbye, paints a calamitous picture of one of its supporting characters, Georgie. But I knew her closely for over 40 years. She not only transcended tragedy but helped me do the same.

By the Book

Right/Wrong: How Technology Transforms Our Ethics (excerpt)

So you think you know the difference between right and wrong? Sure about that? Juan Enriquez's Right/Wrong, excerpted here courtesy of MIT Press, might shake you loose from your convictions.

​​Juan Enriquez
Books

Balanced on the Thin Edge of Democracy, Can We See the Tipping Point?

The Trump-bolstered radical right are akin to fourth-century Christian fanatics who -- in the space of a single generation -- transformed the Roman empire from a state of broadly tolerant religious plurality to one of violence and societal destruction.

By the Book

Cyber Republic: Reinventing Democracy in the Age of Intelligent Machines (excerpt)

Are you ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Can you imagine, for example, a hospital completely made of software? These and other forthcoming changes to the workplace and the global economy are explored in this excerpt of George Zarkadakis' Cyber Republic, courtesy of MIT Press.

George Zarkadakis
Film

The Risky and Limited Life of Burt Reynolds' Macho 'Hooper'

Burt Reynolds' Sonny Hooper is a carefree and lovable guy whose reckless stunt pro lifestyle symbolizes the self-troubles and limitations toxic masculinity creates.

By the Book

¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (excerpt)

From satire and portraiture to politicized pop, ¡Printing the Revolution! examines how artists created visually captivating graphics that catalyzed audiences. Enjoy this visually gorgeous excerpt courtesy of The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Princeton University Press.

Stephanie Stebich
By the Book

Automation and the Future of Work (excerpt)

In Automation and the Future of Work, Aaron Benanav uncovers the structural economic trends that will shape our working lives far into the future. In this excerpt, courtesy of Verso Books, he considers what's on our minds these days, "What if everyone suddenly had access to enough healthcare, education, and welfare to reach their full potential?"

Aaron Benanav
Television

'The Baby-Sitters Club' Can Help Children Cope with COVID-era Death

As the COVID-19 pandemic upends our families, communities, and way of life, children, especially, struggle with loss. Rachel Shukert's Netflix series, The Baby-Sitters Club can help.

Music

Futureshock: Herbie Hancock and the Body Politics of Pop

A classically trained jazz pianist who spent five years with the Miles Davis Quintet, Herbie Hancock is also a practising Buddhist whose ideas about transcending the body are realized in his funky cyborg "Rockit" video.

Culture

5 Negative Effects of Fandom Nostalgia and How to Overcome Them

Fandom, powered by nostalgia, is gigantic, uncloseted and, unfortunately, argumentative. It's so powerful it has driven creators away from their creations. How do we control that rabid drive to "own" someone else's works?

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Music

John Lennon: Revolutionary Man As Political Artist

John Lennon helped transform the art and image of the pop star. His very public political activism and socially and politically aware lyrics have earned him a prominent place in the creative and political history of rock.

Rachel Johnson
Film

Kamala Harris' 2020 VP Run Evokes Rod Lurie's 2000 'The Contender'

Like The Contender's Laine Hanson 20 years prior, US Democratic Party Vice-President choice, Kamala Harris, cuts the oxygen feeding the US political climate's raging sexism.

By the Book

Jack Halberstam's 'Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire' (excerpt)

Enjoy this excerpt of Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire, wherein Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the 20th century.

Jack Halberstam
Culture

Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.


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