Newsletter 918

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

Ai Weiwei: Wonderful Dissident, Terrible Artist

Jed Perl | New Republic | 1 February 2013

Verdict all there in the title. But a pleasure to hear Jed Perl prosecuting his case. "It is tempting to say that I admire the politics and am left cold by the art. But that lets the art off too easily. It is bone-chillingly cold, the thoughts or attitudes of a great political dissident who remains untouched by even a spark of the imaginative fire"

We Need A New Generation Of Army Husbands

Anne-Marie Slaughter | Atlantic | 1 February 2013

The army wife is admired, revered, a pillar of society. But now women can be combat soldiers too. To thrive in that career they need the support of army husbands. How many men can cope with that degree of role-reversal — raising children at home, while their women go out and fight? "The elephant in the room is how we define manhood"

Speak, Memory

Oliver Sacks | New York Review Of Books | 1 February 2013

On the fallibility and malleability of human memory. Quite common for older people to turn stories they have been told into memories of their own. Ideas absorbed in the past can resurface later as ideas of one's own, perhaps explaining much literary and artistic plagiarism. Psychologists can easily implant false memories, by skilful suggestion

NRA vs America

Tim Dickinson | Rolling Stone | 31 January 2013

"The NRA still claims to represent the interests of marksmen, hunters and responsible gun owners. But over the past decade and a half, the NRA has morphed into a front group for the firearms industry, whose profits are increasingly dependent on the sale of military-bred weapons like the assault rifles used in the massacres at Newtown and Aurora"

Maybe It's Time I Picked Up A Pot Habit

Mark Oppenheimer | New Republic | 30 January 2013

A father of three considers whether marijuana smoking is now acceptable family behaviour: "I still can’t figure out how to be comfortable as a dad who smokes pot. I know I don’t want to get high in front of the girls: I don’t want them to see me stupid or out of control. I think that would frighten them. I definitely don’t want to be a cliché"

Video of the day: One Grain More

Thought for the day:

"The trouble with simplification is that things are complicated. The trouble with things being complicated is that we need to simplify them" — Charles Crawford

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