The MC as Strawman.

John McWhorter has carved out a niche among the commentariat, blasting hip-hop for contributing to the waywardness of black youth. Granted, it’s not exactly the loneliest ideological space, as Cee-Lo Green Stanley Crouch does the whole get-off-my-lawn-you-crazy-hippy-hop-kids act with unparalleled aplomb, and there are plenty of others. McWhorter, though, is pretty much alone [...]

Obama is Ready for His Closeup(s).

Last week, a commenter joked that he wished the Obamas were appearing on the covers of magazines with a little more heft than US Weekly. But Barack Obama, it seems, really ain’t trynna be too picky with where his mug is plastered, as the above Gawker composite shows. (Full size here.)


Zimbabwe's Brutal Inertia.

[Photo: Wash. Po.]

Robert Mugabe bludgeoned and tortured his way to a sixth term, even amid a growing chorus of condemnations. Condi Rice called the votes a “sham” and the U.S. considered tightening sanctions, though that seems much more likely to hurt the many poor people in Zimbabwe rather than Mugabe and [...]

We On Award Tour With Obama, My Man.*

Ezra Klein, upon hearing that Obama will cameo on Q-Tip’s next album:

There are things in this world that are true. There are things in this world that are not true. And there are things in this world that appear to be true, but would be so awesome that were they allowed to [...]

When Work Just Works Out

[image from Art Sentral Asia.]

A few years ago, when I was in journalism school, a friend of mine went to a panel of members of the Pulitzer Jury hosted at the school. She asked the panel members how they had managed careers in journalism, the brutally long hours and low pay, [...]

Trying Harder at Doing Better

In the current double-month issue of The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin wrote a story about rising crime rates in new areas of mid-sized cities. Sociologists and criminologists can link it to the outward migration of inner-city, housing-project dwellers who took Section 8 vouchers and spread out when their developments were torn down. It seems [...]

Something's Strange About This Ad.

*taps chin*

Oh, okay. Figured it out. It’s because this dude is a Republican.

After seeing the spot, the Obama campaign made a point to suggest that it was supporting Jeff Merkley, Gordon Smith’s Democratic challenger.

Smith must have peeped which way the wind was blowing in his state, what with the city-sized crowds [...]

The Bumper Sticker Says It All.

We’re not expecting dude to be pure or perfect around here, but his defense of the FISA “compromise” was eyebrow-raising and legitimately worrisome. We didn’t even get to catch our breath before we learned that he was screwing over all the Muslim Americans who were clamoring to support him.