Tagged: adam gopnik

So You Think You’re an Environmentalist?

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of global climate change and environmental devastation. Fossil fuels are a major contributor, yes, but livestock are actually the chief malefactors in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – and a litany of destructive ancillary effects. Environmental harms associated with the meat industry include deforestation (particularly in the Amazon basin),...

A Five-Sided Story

This is a reminder, not an insult: There’s no dictionary you could consult, no thesaurus or magic lexicon that describes the Pentagon as a paragon of peace. More like Hollywood and Silicon Valley’s most important ally in convincing the populous that what’s best for us is constant war and mayhem, the lubricating grease on the...

The Righteous Delight of Whiteness

Life is grand. Especially for people who look like me. I don’t make society’s rules, I just benefit from them. I didn’t decide to be a White Male, that’s just the way I was born. You know how it is — especially if you’re Jewish. Some of us are Chosen. Fate, dumb luck. It’s terrific....

Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic is one of the most powerful artists of our time. Her medium is performance, the human body as a maker and object of art. In the arresting and illuminating documentary “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present,” about her landmark 2012 exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art — entitled “The Artist is...

We Didn’t Know

If, like us, you don’t watch much television and, therefore, effectively shield yourself from the indignities of all the marketing/messaging/propaganda used to sell products and “lifestyles,” when you come face-to-face with the fire-breathing beast, your ignorance of Basic Ideas might take your breath away. It did ours. We were forced from our hermetically sealed cave...

The Healing Power of Carbon Neutrality

Terrific news! We’ve discovered a handgun company, Gang Green Firearms, whose entire product line is certifiably carbon neutral. They have certificates that say so. Their pistols and automatics do what all other guns do – shoot bullets that kill living creatures – but, even so, you’ve got to admit that a carbon neutral gun has...

The Nuclear Option

Now’s the perfect time to assess our nuclear option. (We would have said “re-assess,” but for most of us a critical assessment hasn’t ever happened.) Now’s the time to make a big change. A series of scandals involving our nuclear weapons force has spurred leading war-makers, like Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel, to call for...

Revolutionary Words

“Revolutionary Words.” Sounds intriguing, and possibly…violent? Not that kind of revolution. We’re talking about the bloodless kind, the mind revolution, each individual looking deep and changing the one and only person he/she/we are able: ourselves, one at a time. “Revolutionary Words” are those that dare to speak the truth out loud. “Revolutionary Words” are those...

Century of the Self

Originally released in 2002, Adam Curtis’s “Century of the Self” was a four-part series on the BBC that examined how Sigmund Freud’s theories of human psychology have been employed (and refined) by the rich and powerful to control the dangerous impulses of the masses. Much of this dazzlingly entertaining yarn focuses on Freud’s nephew Edward...

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Slovene philosopher Slavoj Zizek is a charming public intellectual whose accented-English, absentminded nose-wiping, and obvious enthusiasm for Ideas make him a kind of ambassador of deep thinking. In the 2012 documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” directed by Sophie Fiennes, Zizek delivers dazzling deconstructions of many popular films, showing how they function as instruments of...