Newsletter 895


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Best of the Moment

Secrets And Lies Of The Bailout

Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone | 4 January 2013

"We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we ended up doing was the opposite: committing taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system"

Golden Handcuffs

Daniel Bosch | Berfrois | 4 January 2013

An imagined dialogue on the beguilingly naughty poetry of Frederick Seidel. Tempting to say that this is the best thing you will read all year, save that, the year is yet young, and, to get full value out of this, you should probably read some of Seidel's work too

Syria: A Two-Year Travelogue From Hell

Christoph Reuter | Spiegel | 4 January 2013

Scenes from the civil war. The rebels are winning, but the country is ruined. "The cities have turned into battlefields. The air force is incinerating the infrastructure. Many of the people who helped us are now dead"

George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year

Joel Lovell | NYT | 3 January 2013

Admiring portrait of America's finest living short-story writer. "His stories are set in what might be described as a just slightly futuristic America or, maybe better, present-day America, where, because of the exigencies of capitalism, things have gotten a little weird"

America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

Kevin Drum | Mother Jones | 3 January 2013

Rise and fall of crime in the US over the past century correlates closely with the rise and fall of lead emissions from petrol. So (deep breath): Does lead affect our brains in ways that encourage criminality? A big conjecture. But well-researched and well-argued. Worth your time

Tyranny–It’s What’s for Dinner

Corby Kummer | Vanity Fair | 3 January 2013

Nice, fat weekend read. Rant against grandstanding five-star chefs who insist on serving gigantic tasting menus that take hours to digest and cost hundreds of dollars. "How did the diner get demoted from honoured guest to quivering hostage?"

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