British Politics, Balthus, New Zealand, World Police, Contain ISIS, Lucy Kellaway


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British Politics Is Broken

Andrew Marr | New Statesman | 23rd March 2015

The central narratives of post-war British polities have collapsed. Socialism was crushed by Margaret Thatcher and then abandoned by Tony Blair. Market fundamentalism died in the 2008 financial crash. Scotland is pulling the constitutional order apart. The coming general election is going to be a mess. Something new may emerge, but it's hard to feel optimistic. "All around the hollowing centre are multiple populisms, rubbing their hands" (2,580 words)

Balthus And The Soft-Core Polaroids

Jeremy Sigler | Tablet | 23rd March 2015

Balthus hid the Polaroid photographs which were his passion in his final years. But when his widow found them, and told Larry Gagosian, it was only a matter of time before they ended up on display. The subject matter is what you might expect: Sexualised children. Which is a problem. And yet: "I feel like these Polaroids may be among his greatest achievement, and I am glad that they were put out in the world" (3,600 words)

Midsummer In Midwinter

Daniel Davies | Crooked Timber | 22nd March 2015

Notes from New Zealand, the Saudi Arabia of milk. "You get a sense of magnitude in the processing plants, rather than the pastures and fields. You drive through a town like Edgecumbe, past something which looks for all the world like an oil refinery, and realise that it is in fact a dairy the size of an oil refinery. Four million litres of milk go through that particular plant every day, and it’s not even one of the top plants" (7,800 words)

They Didn’t Believe The Camels Were Ours

Ken Armstrong | Marshall Project | 22nd March 2015

Three years into his seven-year walk around the world, Paul Salopek has been stopped by police 42 times, including 17 stops in Turkey. He reports that the encounters have been generally encouraging. "If I’d tried this walk 500 years ago, I’d probably have been killed and dumped beside the trail many miles ago. I remind my readers: As bad as things seem, relatively speaking, we still live in a golden age of freedom of movement" (1,700 words)

Dealing With ISIS

Francis Fukuyama | American Interest | 23rd March 2015 | Metered paywall

The West should aim to contain conflict in the Middle East, not to resolve it. "The US and other democratic countries have no reason to favor one religious sect over another in the Sunni-Shiite war. None of the major players shares significant values with democracies in the developed world. No one in any outside capital has the wisdom to construct a stable and just political order in the Middle East any time in the near future" (1,212 words)

Motherhood Is Not A Job

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 23rd March 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Middle-class mothers used to insist that parenting was a 'job'; now they reject the term, because the status of jobs has declined; jobs are for drudges. These days, if you like your job, you claim that it isn't a job at all, but an outlet for your passion and creativity. You can also describe motherhood in those terms if you wish, but motherhood is like nothing else. It has its own rules, its own morality — and it's for life (784 words)

Video of the day: The Octopus's Tale

What to expect: Perhaps the perfect short underwater documentary film (4'40")

Thought for the day

If you want strangers to help you, smile. For those close to you, cry
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10152901611818375&id=13012333374)

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