Gene Lyons

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Reviews — From the November 2004 issue

The apocalypse will be televised

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Armageddon in an age of entertainment

Reviews — From the October 2003 issue

The media is the message

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Notes on our decadent press

Reviews — From the July 1996 issue

To make a cow laugh

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A bad book about the phony Whitewater scandal

Article — From the October 1994 issue

Fool for scandal

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How the Times got Whitewater wrong

Article — From the April 1982 issue

Repealing the Enlightenment

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The biggest thing in Arkansas since Creation–and when was that, by the way?

Article — From the December 1981 issue

Invisible wars

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The Pentagon plays with poison

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Save Our Public Universities·

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“Whether and how we educate people is still a direct reflection of the degree of freedom we expect them to have, or want them to have.”
Photograph (crop) by Thomas Allen
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The Force Awakens criticizes American imperialism while also celebrating the revolutionary spirit that founded this country. When the movie needs to bridge the two points of view, it shifts to aerial combat, a default setting that mirrors the war on terror all too well.”
Still © Lucasfilm
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Isn’t It Romantic?·

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“He had paid for much of her schooling, something he cannot help but mention, since the aftermath of any failed relationship brings an ungenerous and impossible impulse to claw back one’s misspent resources.”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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The Trouble with Iowa·

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“It seems to defy reason that this anachronistic farm state — a demographic outlier, with no major cities and just 3 million people, nine out of ten of them white — should play such an outsized role in American politics.”
Photograph (detail) © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Rule, Britannica·

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“This is the strange magic of an arrangement of all the world’s knowledge in alphabetical order: any search for anything passes through things that have nothing in common with it but an initial letter.”
Artwork by Brian Dettmer. Courtesy the artist and P.P.O.W., New York City.

Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:

60,000

The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.

In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”

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Two Christmas Mornings of the Great War

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Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.

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