Tagged: malcolm gladwell

Fewer Police, More Peace

This will sound ridiculous. This will sound a little funny, sort of strange, not quite right. Like one of those “Modest Proposal” type satires we’ve been publishing lately. But this time we’re not kidding, not inverting meanings and uncovering absurdities. We’re serious. Here in Los Angeles – and probably in most major cities – there’s a...

Those Ridiculous Clerics!

The nerve of these people! We are outraged. We are livid. This kind of barbarity cannot be permitted in civilized society. Mahmoud Shaaban is an “ultraconservative” Islamic cleric in Egypt. “Hard-line,” “orthodox” – whatever. In the name of his great religion, he and his fellow cleric Wagdi Ghoneim have issued fatwas (edicts) calling for the...

Very Short Books

Books are far too long, right? Who has time for 300-pages of blabbering on about nothing? Do you know how many tweets you can read in the amount of time it takes to slog through one stupid novel? A lot. And they’re usually way funnier. And unlike books they’ve got hashtags, like #betterthanactuallyreading. Still, in...

Stress

Certain amorphous concepts exist only in the theoretical realm: truth, justice, beauty. Time. Yet we “know” (or think we know) they’re there. Indeed, we’re the ones who manifest them. By observing, say, a ravishing Southern California sunset, or the blossoms of a cherry tree, or our lover’s face, we feel quite sure that Beauty is...

Life as a First-Person Shooter

The world didn’t end. We went on. After the last of the murdered children was laid to rest, buried in the Connecticut dirt, it was time for life to get back to normal. To play our “first-person shooter” video games – “Assassin’s Creed” anyone? – and watch our TV programs – Criminal This and Criminal...

An Interview with Michael Konik about His Novel “Becoming Bobby”

In the days preceding the publication of Michael Konik’s eighth book, a darkly satirical novel called “Becoming Bobby,” writer and Vegas Lit Managing Editor Arnold Snyder interviewed the author. Much was revealed about the creative process and Konik’s motivations for writing a book so drastically different than his previously published work. The interview originally appeared at Write-aholic....

The NASCAR President

So long as the American people are quite alright with their elected offices being available for rent, let’s have some fun. We’re resigned to a world where money is speech, not property, a world where no one minds that half their Members of Congress are millionaires (as opposed to 1% of the population-at-large), where $372...

America and Human Rights Abuse

Allow us to describe a country for you: Prisoners detained without charges. Prisons operating outside the legal system. Limits on free speech. Limits on the Internet. Legitimately entitled voters prevented from casting ballots. Government sanctioned kidnappings. Witch hunts against political enemies. Torture. China, right? Or is it Russia? Actually, this description, reported in the Los...

This is Democracy?

This Tuesday (October 23) there’ll be a fourth Presidential Debate held at the Chicago Hilton and moderated by wizened celebrity interlocutor Larry King. Didn’t hear about it? That’s because it’s not being broadcast on any television network – the debate is being streamed on the Internet – and neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama will...

Little Lies, Big Lies, and American Lies

Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee, which guides national science policy. His constituents, who elected and re-elected him, are untroubled apparently that Broun rejects science as a legitimate basis for decision-making. Broun has publicly called evolution – and all that we’ve learned about the process –...