Art, Race, and HBO’s Confederate

While the third episode of the second-to-last season of Game of Thrones aired Sunday night, HBO was trending on Twitter for reasons seemingly unrelated to Westeros: series produces Benioff and Weiss were criticized for their forthcoming Confederate, an alternative U.S. history in which the South retains independence. As with accusations that the showrunners failed to …

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Remembering Flaws

Last year witnessed a handful of significant deaths; and each has offered time for the public to reflect on their history and legacy. I don't know Prince or David Bowie or Fidel Castro or Janet Reno or Gwen Ifill that well, but I do know a great many people who have such deep connections to their work or …

The People v. Free Speech (Hysteria)

“We have entered a new, much less metaphorical phase of the campus-speech wars. We’re beyond hissing, or disinviting. We’re no longer talking about the heckler’s veto, but the masked-thugs-who-will-burn-trash-cans-and-assault-you-and-your-entourage veto.” No, Rich Lowry, Ann Coulter is not a liberal, “free speech” is not under attack, and Berkeley doesn’t represent an authoritarian assault on our values …

Can the Economy be Organized around Happiness?

My sophomore year of undergrad, sitting in a spring-semester honors course on “Ethics,” I was torn between watching squirrels compete against one another for hidden spoils buried the fall before and listening to my professor lecture on Karl Marx. I had taken an introduction to economics as an incoming freshman and that single course seemed …

Anger and Protest

How could I just or support a kind of protest that merely disrupts rather than seeks positive change? Because I do not think the responsibility of change falls on protesters; it falls on spectators.