¶ We may a practice of reading the Times’s conservative columnists, David Brooks and Ross Douthat, very, very carefully, because while they often have good things to say they are just as often merely plausible, as Mr Douthat is today, comparing TARP and the voters’ reaction against it to Truman’s deployment of the atomic bomb against Japan and the immediate taboo on using such devices again.
If the Republicans gain control of Congress in the coming election, the blessed event (not) will be far more attributable to the White House’s poor-to-nonexistent leadership skills on the economic front (not to mention the retention of Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke) than to some heallthy principle of political isostasy.
¶ We think that Ben Brantley is a bit of a doltish chump for holding Jan Maxwell’s age against her performance — obviously splendid by his own account — in the Second Stage revival of Arthur Kopit’s Wings. (NYT)
¶ James Kwak’s brisk comparison of nutritionism and financialization shows how dangerous it can be to get meta about vital mattesr. (The Baseline Scenario)
¶ In homage to Maurice Allais, who died earlier this month, Jonah Lehrer writes about the long-term impact of his 1953 paper on the irrationality of loss, what came to be known as the Allais Paradox, when Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky got hold of it. (Wired Science)
¶ At The Awl, Eryn Loeb talkes about “My Former Best Friend’s Wedding,” which she didn’t attend, although she gave herself a headache looking at all the photos online. Leaving home isn’t what it used to be; arguably, Facebook has made it impossible. You grow up and apart but not away.
¶ From Edmund Burke’s The Sublime and the Beautiful to the Pledge to America: Cory Robin traces the vein of hot-air-appreciation that animates conservatives whenever war is under discussion — so long as the actual warfare is far enough away to seem “sublime.” (Chron Higher Ed; via 3 Quarks Daily)
¶ From a Rumpus Poetry Club discussion of Timothy Donnelly’s acclaimed collection, The Cloud Corporation. We applaud the bit about re-reading, and are faintly surprised by the notion that a poet would not have memorized his own verse.
¶ James Somers muses on the contrast between now and then — now a confident and capable alumnus of the University of Michigan who is nonetheless too settled to indulge the impulse to chat up everyone he encountered at a recent football game on campus; then, a freshman during the first two weeks of college, who like all of his classmates did exactly that. The image of annealing is particularly just. (jsomers.net)
¶ Leah Fusco’s Owling. (The Best Part)