Zombies

American Nations

In the Marginal Revolutions blog, the economist Tyler Cowen mentioned American nations : a history of the eleven rival regional cultures of North America as a partial explanation for support for the candidacy of Donald Trump among American working class and middle class voters in the midwest in the 2016 American elections. I found a …

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Ribbons are Nice

Jennie Bristow, reviewing Sarah Moore’s Ribbon Culture for Spiked, nails the self-obsessed culture of advertising one’s moral quality by fashion accessories. Her review is called Untying the ‘ribbon culture’. The moral virtue of wearing ribbons is to show awareness or solidarity with a group of victims. Being a victim has become a way of attracting …

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Yummy

The National Post has been publishing a series of articles titled “Beyond Belief”. A piece by Charles Lewis or Charlie Lewis (not the Charles Lewis of 60 Minutes and the Center for Public Integrity) titled “The Trouble with Mary”, featured at AL Daily, discussed the psychology and semantics of “belief” and “faith”. Lewis found a …

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Amour Propre

In Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein, the title character is an American academic, fond of Paris, and prone to using French expressions. In one scene, he dismissively mentions some neighbours as self-satisfied bores, full of amour propre. Ravelstein was founded on Bellow’s friend Allan Bloom. Bloom after having studied and taught in Paris, was a life-long francophile. …

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Therapeutic Man

Around the time that I was reading Christopher Lasch’s books, in 2005, I saw a few interviews with Philip Rieff at AL Daily. There is a long, penetrating essay about Dr. Rieff’s work by George Scialabba, “The Curse of Modernity, Philip Rieff’s problem with freedom” in the Boston Review. Much of Rieff’s work involved the …

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