Benjamin DeMott

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Article — From the August 2007 issue

Battling the hard man

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Notes on addiction to the pornography of violence

Article — From the October 2004 issue

Whitewash as public service

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How The 9/11 Commission Report defrauds the nation

Article — From the November 2003 issue

Junk politics

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A voter’s guide to the post-literate election

Article — From the September 1995 issue

Put on a happy face

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Masking the differences between blacks and whites

Article — From the December 1993 issue

Choice academic pork

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Inside the leadership-studies racket

Article — From the October 1984 issue

Mobile souls

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The Brothers Karamazov maps a multitude of transfigurations

Readings — From the September 1984 issue

The L.L. Bean sublime

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Article — From the March 1981 issue

Ordinary critics

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Immanuel Kant and the Talking Heads

Article — From the July 1975 issue

Hot-air meeting

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The new books — From the January 1965 issue

Koestler’s kit

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The new books — From the September 1964 issue

Character building

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’64

The new books — From the June 1964 issue

The need for watering places

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The new books — From the April 1964 issue

Of snobs & taxes & unimpressed men

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The new books — From the February 1964 issue

The way we feel now

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The new books — From the December 1963 issue

Seasonable truths

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The new books — From the October 1963 issue

Poets, presidents, and preceptors

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The new books — From the May 1963 issue

Slightly cheerful news about our schools

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The new books — From the March 1963 issue

Designs for the new politics

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The new books — From the January 1963 issue

Cultural politics

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1963

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“1. Death, The Sound of Perseverance (Nuclear Blast, 1998)”
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“He explained how sober Doug structured the bits and worked out the material’s logic; drunk Doug found the funny.”
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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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Consume, Screw, Kill·

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
Collage (detail) by David McLimans

Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.

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