Tagged: malcolm gladwell

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),...

Female Problems

The playwright Aristophanes wrote a hit comedy called “Lysistrata.” It’s about all the women in Greece going on a sex strike until all the men agree to stop fighting the Peloponnesian wars. Frustrated husbands walk around onstage with painful erections. It’s funny stuff, if unrealistic. Such a sex strike could never really work. All 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....

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...

Is the Tall Man Happy?

Driector Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) is currently flummoxing viewers with his persistently inventive “Mood Indigo.” But of all his blazingly original creations, the 2013 documentary “Is the Tall Man Happy: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky” might be his most densely wonderful work. Gondry and the indispensable linguist and social critic...

Pandora’s Promise

Committed environmentalists know that nuclear power is bad. Evil. The worst. We’ve been trained by incidents like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima to fear the inevitable disasters that radioactivity will surely wreak upon our energy-hungry world. Not to mention the apocalyptic weaponry that nuclear power begets. It’s a settled issue. According to the provocative...

Israel’s Final Solution

Enough already. We’re sick and tired of hearing about the conflict in Gaza, especially when there’s a new turtle movie coming out. Sure, our tax dollars pay for Israeli and Egyptian weaponry, and, yeah, OK, that sort of makes us involved. But, really, what does this decades-old grudge match have to do with us here...

Religious Champions of Discrimination

America’s religious leaders, some of the most esteemed and respectable citizens in our republic, are helping us understand that our precious freedoms — the ones our brave soldiers fight and die for in faraway dust bowls most of us can’t find on a map — are once again under attack. This time the perpetrator isn’t...

Redskins Forever!

The Washington Redskins have the coolest nickname in all of sports. Their logo – a stone-faced Indian wearing 19th Century feathers – is also pretty awesome. Here’s how you know the name “Redskins” isn’t a slur against a conquered and marginalized people but is actually a part of the NFL’s long tradition of diversity and...