“Quick, Henry, the Flit!”: A Review of Jarett Kobek’s I Hate the Internet

Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon first appeared as a serialization in Black Mask magazine, starting in September, 1929. One of the best-known advertising catch phrases of the time (it had debuted in 1928)… Continue reading

Who Can Save Journalism?

What’s happening to our discourse? Have we abandoned all common assumptions simply for the sake of opposition? The ‘he said, she said’ that has been at the center of much journalism for the… Continue reading

From Under Trump’s “Landslide”

This short book of mine, some 60,000 words, is based on posts published here, on Salon, ePluribus Media, and the Academe blog over the past 18 months. There are 25 chapters (from 24 posts) along with… Continue reading

Why Monica (Crowley) Matters

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
BY AARON BARLOW Questions of ‘intellectual property’—oh, how I hate that term—continue to plague us in this new digital age, and in ways never contemplated when patents and…

When “Liberal” Becomes a Euphemism for a Race

We really do have two cultures in the United States. Actually, we’ve many more. But we have two that are dominated by European-Americans of Christian ancestry and they happen to be the biggest… Continue reading


In the Afterword to The Cult of Individualism: A History of an Enduring American Myth, I quote the character Lonesome Rhodes (played by Andy Griffith) in the 1957 Elia Kazan movie A Face… Continue reading

From Alexander Woollcott to “Fake News”

Where does today’s ‘fake news’ come from? There is no simple answer, but part of it can be traced to the development of journalistic practices and ethics over the course of the 20th… Continue reading

Privilege, PC and Christmas

  A friend of mine, like thousands of others and not without reason, says that Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election through ‘fraud, manipulation and outright lies.’ Others say it was a… Continue reading

“Campus” Is Not Quite What Nicholas Kristof Thinks It Is

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
When I read Nicholas Kristof’s “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus” last night, I knew I would have to write in response. Drive-by commentary of this sort…

“What Have They Done to My Song, Ma”: Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize and the Meaning of Literature

Bob Dylan’s not the only one to use “Ma” in a song title. Of course not; not much of what he has done is singular, though that’s another matter. His “It’s All Right,… Continue reading