In November, the Atlantic slotted [Hussman] at No. 14 on its list of 25 “Brave Thinkers.” In 2008, Editor & Publisher named him “Publisher of the Year.” His brave thought is simple: Protect the value of your product. When his paper launched its Web site, it followed the industry lead and gave everything away online. “People started coming up to me saying, ‘I really appreciate you putting up that content for free. I don’t have to subscribe to your newspaper anymore,’ ” Hussman says. “I thought this was crazy. We’re teaching them they don’t have to subscribe to the paper.” So in 2002, he erected a pay wall around the site. Print subscribers get free access; everyone else has to pony up $5.95 a month. And for the next several years, when most other news organizations were dreaming up ways to monetize the new platform, Hussman focused on expanding the circulation of the retro old print product. “I think for a long time there people kind of laughed at us and thought we were kind of stupid for what we were doing,” Hussman says. Nowadays, Hussman is looking pretty smart. —“Against the Grain,” Bret Schulte, American Journalism Review
The daily suicide of our west coast dailies;
the state of the glossy, from a septuagenarian: “magazines will never die because there is a visceral feeling of having that thing in your hands and turning the pages. It’s so different on the screen. It’s the difference between looking at a woman and having sex with her”;
the horrible cost of today’s “chick lit”: “very little wit, and no jokes. If I read another sensitive account of a woman coming to terms with bereavement, I [am] going to slit my wrists”
Three millennia after Tutankhamun’s death, for example, the Daily Record touted research revealing that the “boy-king portrayed as a godlike figure in statues” was actually “a pear-shaped fatty” and unceremoniously redubbed him “Two-Ton-Khamun.” A 2007 wire headline blared, “Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s greatest female pharaoh was fat, balding and had beard.” National Geographic notes that the queen was “one of the greatest builders in one of the greatest Egyptian dynasties,” a woman who was “more afraid of anonymity than death.” Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. Perhaps Gloria Allred accepts turquoise protection amulets and cast gold as payment? Perfection is, of course, a perennial obsession. The crowds at the trim and dapper Giza pyramids dwarf those exploring the older, endearingly flabby step pyramids of nearby Saqqara. Michelangelo made an executive decision not to circumcise David that people still quarrel over. The U.S. Congress believes economic salvation lies at least partially in a proposal nicknamed “The Botox Tax.” —“The Birth of Vanity,” Shawn Macomber, American Specator
From the very beginning Christianity has been anti-sex. Jesus understood human nature and was as explicit as he could possibly be in suggesting that the elimination of all differences between the sexes was the correct prescription for rigid chastity. “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake,” Jesus says in Matthew 19:12. “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” The castration theme is repeated in the Gospel of Thomas, unearthed at Nag Hammadi in 1945. Though not included in modern Bibles, it appears to be at least as old as the four canonical gospels, and there is no reason to treat it as any less accurate a reflection of what Jesus said: “And when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male be not male nor the female female…then will you enter [the kingdom].” Thomas goes on to relate that “Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.’ Jesus said, ‘I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.’” —“Praying for Sex,” Luis Granados, The Humanist
If dogs are the genetic descendants of Middle Eastern wolves, do they really deserve habeus corpus?
miaow miaow is no good for you;
please, Mr. Kucinich: don’t kill the healthcare!