- 1:20 pm - Sun, Sep 16, 2012
- 2 notes
Happy Sunday, Wonkistan! A couple of weekend #longreads for you:
-“The House that Hova Built” by Zadie Smith. The extraordinary young British writer Zadie Smith of White Teeth fame sits down with Jay-Z to think about rap, Brooklyn, American culture, and his legacy. (Oddly, the restaurant in which they conduct the interview is across the street from where Amanda used to live, and she happened to bump into Zadie Smith yesterday. New York is weird.)
-“Obama’s Way” by Michael Lewis. Reading about the unnatural, incomprehensible, weird details of day-to-day life in the Presidency is one of our favorite hobbies. Lewis presents a nuanced (!) and rather extraordinary view of President Obama’s particular approach to his job, as well as larger meditations on what it means for a society to delegate to one man the responsibility for all of these impossible choices.
-“DHS Crushed This Analyst for Warning About Far-Right Terror” by Spencer Ackerman. An examination of what happens when institutional culture overrides the truth, focusing on Homeland Security analyst Daryl Johnson. A provocative look at the entrenched interests of the post-9/11 security apparatus, especially in the context of August’s attack at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Most chilling, perhaps, are the numbers:
[T]he DHS employed as many as 40 analysts who looked at al-Qaida and other jihadist groups’ inroads into the homeland. Johnson ran everything else.
-“The trouble with atheists: a defence of faith” by Francis Spufford. A touching, funny reflection on beauty, certainty, the inappropriateness of urging others to monochromatically “enjoy your life,” and the fact that most atheists possess a concept of God that didn’t evolve past childhood. Even if you’re not a believer, the piece is worth reading for Spufford’s crystal-clear illustration of Christian epistemology. Learn something new, guys.
We hope you make all these essays part of your weekend—and do share your thoughts via reblogs or #wonkistan!