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March 26, 2022

I've got a lot!  These are good; highly recommended.

If this article is anything to go by, two things seem to unite the people in this new journal: an ideological hostility to, even ressentiment about, something called “liberalism”, and a profound anxiety about race.


A powerful and thought-provoking article about the possibilities of medicalizing grief.  I agree with the concerns about medicalizing grief; but then again I also read this as suggesting a focus on people who are stuck, as it were, in a melancholic mode of endless grief—still stuck where they were on the day of the death of a loved one, a year and more after that date.  So I see the treatments proposed here, which are not so much pharmacological as cognitive and behavioral, as more continuous with older models of non-chemical treatment; and I feel better about that.  Should I?


Columbia U maybe faked its data for US News and World Report! Shock! Who is surprised by this? No one. No one is surprised; or should be surprised. The whole thing is made up.


Always worth listening to Ivan Krastev.  


“A cynic might think that the millennial-led community of academic Twitter has been so busy criticizing the academy that it forgot to criticize Twitter. A more generous take would be that early-career scholars have never known anything but emergency mode, and that social media provides an outlet for intellectual expression that precariously employed academics simply cannot find in their own colleges.”  Actually, I can be both cynical and generous here.  Still, this is worth your while, a little bit, I think. And also, this piece could have been about half as long, and twice as direct (even if some of the audience would find reasons for pearl-clutching), what is it with English lit PhDs?



An exceptionally informative piece (well, it’s quite informative, and hardly anyone else is informing us of these things) about what’s going on in Russian and affiliated Orthodox churches vis-a-vis the war.


Interesting about the Jack Reacher character. 

Clear and Present Danger, Ford’s second outing as Ryan, was released in England on 16 September 1994, 11 days after Jim Grant set to work. Perhaps he glimpsed the poster, with its tagline “Truth needs a soldier”, on the afternoon of 1 September, when – we learn from Heather Martin’s engaging biography The Reacher Guy – he visited WH Smith in Manchester’s Arndale Centre and spent £3.99 on lined paper, a pencil, a sharpener and a rubber. The bestselling fiction hardback in the UK that week, and no doubt amply available in Smith’s, was the latest addition to the “Ryanverse”, Debt of Honour.”

Reacher is so much more about the western motif.  The books have a velocity in the prose that is unmatched, and have scraped away almost all the encyclopedish war tech-porn that Clancy was so good at doing; here almost everything that is explained is explained in Reacher’s inner monologues.

Also there’s a weirdly apolitical or depoliticized vision of crime & punishment here.  Politics takes place far away, and yet local politics is ever present, but mostly detached from larger political patterns, anchored firmly in the maleficence of individual villains.  There’s no sense of larger patterns that evil-doers are caught up in, that they are symptoms of.  Everything is anchored firmly in individual character: it makes it the perfect neoliberal story.


Good weekend everyone!